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Quick upgrade for old system at around $250

Last response: in Systems
August 28, 2006 12:57:20 AM

my dad has asked me to upgrade his old athlon XP 2100+ system
he uses it mainly for organizing photos and editing videos with a microsoft video editor 9 or somesuch

he complains that: the movie is not finally put together in realtime speed because his processor is too slow

the program and files load very slowly and will not play without lag until 5 minutes in

he has 1 GB of ram

i figure that the first problem could be fixed with a better processor if i could find one for the same socket (socket a i think), or else a new mobo and proc, but it would need to support his AGP AiW graphics card

other options might be a faster hard drive, but that would require SATA2 which would also be a new mobo

or possibly a sapphire graphics card that comes with the video editing software accelerated by the card

i only have a budget of around $250 CAD to get the best possible upgrade, but im not sure which path to take for the best boost, i need reccomendations, or else i may end up wasting it for only a marginal performance boost
August 28, 2006 1:28:56 AM

As much as it pains me; the 805D is damned cheap right now.

I'd say snag one of those (around 85$ here in the states) a decent, stable 775 board; a decent cooling solution (those things get warm) and depending on the video rendering, more RAM couldnt hurt...

If you got enough, throw in a better GPU (depending on what he has now)


There's many upgrade solutions he could go for. He could stay Socket A, and just throw in more RAM. Or he could go 939, and keep his current RAM, but just throw more in.

The problem is the memory. What is he running; PC2100??

There's several ways to attack this thing. It would probably be best to sit down and come up with a list of components...then select the one with the greater price/performance ratio.
August 28, 2006 1:59:10 AM

yeah... the best price/performance upgrade that comes to mind for what purposes youre saying, that fits inside your budget... offhand i can think of a fast s939 based system:

a s939 X2 3800+ for $150

nforce4 motherboard with integrated 6100 series gpu for $50-100 depending on the motherboard features (since hes not gaming, a faster gpu isnt required)

and you already have the memory, hdds, all that stuff

and that falls in your budget, you have a very fast dual core processor, that you can overclock if you choose to do so, giving even more benefit for your money

and, if you decided to upgrade the gpu, or add more DDR1 memory and such, you could do that later on too

but for $250, you have all the basic upgrades for a functioning (and performing) system taken care of. is where im referring the prices from, though im sure theres other places too you can look

edit: as far as the motherboard supporting agp, i overlooked that part... the ASROCK m1695 board offers both agp and pci-e support... he might be better off with a different gpu, but if he needs his agp AiW, thats one of the alternatives, those are about $65+ on average

also, as far as the hdd... if you want sheer hdd throughput performance thats affordable, and a definite improvement over what he has (even though i dont even know which specific hdd), the only definite way to go then, is with raid 0... he could go with either sata150 and sata300, or just stay with pata100/133 like he probably has, the performance of single drives are still below those interface limits... with most single drives being unable to attain even 100MB/s constant throughput... but above 100MB/s in burst transfer rates... so, i would say then to just get 2 identical hdds and pair them in raid 0 (virtually all current motherboards support raid), he could go with sata or pata, it wont really matter either way

either way though, a cpu/motherboard combo is 100% the way to go, if you really want to see a performance boost
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August 28, 2006 2:09:16 AM

An X2 3800+ can be had for $150 and intergrated video is fine. Just get a 939 motherboard, that X2 3800+ and perhaps a 10K raptor to use as an OS drive and use the other two as storage.

If the other disks are identical, you could go RAID but personally I would just use a raptor as my OS / work drive. If you act fast you can get a 10K 150GB raptor on for $200.

The dual core processor will make a big difference, and usually you can go from the stock 2.0 ghz to 2.4 ghz pretty easily. That 400 mhz difference will be huge, but going from what he has to this 939 will be earth shattering for him.

If hes running ATA 66, upgrading to Sata 1.5 10K RPM raptors would do him big as well.

After these upgrades I sugest a complete reformat and reinstall of everything on the computer.
August 28, 2006 6:50:03 AM

raptor is terrible for price/performance. and this is BUDGET situation.

i second the 939 3800 x2 with a mobo.

it would be the best boost for his applications
August 28, 2006 9:24:45 AM

Since he wants to keep his AGP card and he wont care for bleeding edge nvidia chipsets I see two paths you could follow:

Get the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2, its good because you dont have to upgrade your mobo in a loong time due to the expasion card for AM2 and DDR2. And get the X2 3800+, this should come around $215 US.

Or, still get the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2 but just get an athlon 64 3500+ and go for another gig of memory. This is will more expensive and one gig sounds enough for what hes doing so ild go for the first choice.

Just make sure the check the hard drive compatibily with the ASRock 939Dual-SATA2.