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Advice needed: upgrade to ancient computer

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January 20, 2010 3:22:37 PM

I was given an old IBM 300GL (9275) a year or so ago. Have used it for occasional Internet browsing only. I have no desire to spend much money on upgrading it as it's so old it is laughable; and also my wife has a new laptop for any serious work or play.
SPECS: Pentium 2 @ 400 MHz: 320 MB RAM: S3 Trio 3D Video: no Sound Card. Now what I would like to do is upgrade this to a more respectable "Internet" machine for use by my son and myself, since we don't get much chance to get on the laptop. We are networked together via Linksys router. My one-day research into this endeavor has brought me to the conclusion I can spend about $50 (includes shipping) to make surfing (and son's increasing fourth-grade homework) a much more entertaining experience; with an added benefit of increasing household unity by decreasing "computer-time" friction.

I have found the following via eBay and am considering the purchase(s).
Pentium 3 500 MHz Katmai: 100 MHz FSB: 2.0 core Voltage: which match board spec. ($13)
ATI Radeon x1300 128 MB PCI-E Video Card. ($14)
Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 PCI Sound Card. ($10)
Insignia 2.0 speakers. ($10)

Will the above upgrades allow a "tolerable" if not pleasant viewing of streaming video and other multimedia applications? I understand the above components are very budget-grade components, but I don't want to spend much more than $50 on this.
Thanks for any input and/or advice.

Larry
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January 20, 2010 8:02:04 PM

It would be easier for you to search your local craigslist. Just type your city and craigslist and do a search under the computers category. I've seen lots of systems listed for $50-75, some with windows xp. If you have an old ide hardrive, you can change the jumper on it to the "slave" setting and install it in an empty 3.5 or 5.25 bay inside your new machine and be able to access your old files. Better to buy a complete older system than try upgrading your old one. But you may also find a bargain on upgrades. I saw an amd board, cpu/heatsink, and 1 gig of ddr ram for only $30 recently. And the main reason for buying another system is the case; your old IBM case may only work with old IBM motherboards. I worked there for 12 years back when IBM made computers.
January 20, 2010 8:28:45 PM

Your machine is so old that that Radeon X1300 PCI-E won't fit. PCI-E is not the same as PCI! I doubt that the Pentium 3 will work either! Pentium 3 is prob socket 370, Pentium 2 is Prob slot 1. It's time to retire the dog or live with the fleas.
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January 20, 2010 8:37:17 PM

You don't to upgarde the CPU and motherboard to improve web surfing. That's all on your network speed. The best improvement is probably a high speed network adapter (assuming you have 56k NIC).
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January 20, 2010 9:41:51 PM

aford10 said:
You don't to upgarde the CPU and motherboard to improve web surfing. That's all on your network speed. The best improvement is probably a high speed network adapter (assuming you have 56k NIC).



What is a 56K nic? LMAO
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January 20, 2010 9:43:05 PM

rsmith13 said:
Your machine is so old that that Radeon X1300 PCI-E won't fit. PCI-E is not the same as PCI! I doubt that the Pentium 3 will work either! Pentium 3 is prob socket 370, Pentium 2 is Prob slot 1. It's time to retire the dog or live with the fleas.



Very good point.

Best to save a bit more buy a used pc.
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January 20, 2010 9:44:55 PM

Are you serious?
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January 20, 2010 9:45:45 PM

aford10 said:
Are you serious?



Dead Serious.

Explain please.
January 20, 2010 9:51:31 PM

BadTrip said:
Dead Serious.

Explain please.


A 56k NIC is a 56k baud rate modem, you know the old ones before dsl or cable that used the phone line and actually dialed a ISP company and hooked up to it and made that funny connection sound like you used to hear in the movie weird science.
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January 20, 2010 9:55:11 PM

samuel said:
A 56k NIC is a 56k baud rate modem, you know the old ones before dsl or cable that used the phone line and actually dialed a ISP company and hooked up to it and made that funny connection sound like you used to hear in the movie weird science.



I know what a 56K MODEM is. :sarcastic:  :sarcastic:  :sarcastic: 

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January 20, 2010 11:11:27 PM

OP the short answer is your not going to get much joy with the suggested upgrade as a 500Mhz PIII is just going to be too slow to run XP or Win7 with anything left over to browse ... much less watch higher res video.

A better bet would be to look for a faster second hand PC as suggested.

The graphics cards then used the AGP ... not PCI-E bus as well ... so the X1300 card won't fit.

Hope this helps.

I have a PII 350 here which we put together for Nan some time ago ... it was just too slow ... for Nan !!
January 20, 2010 11:52:46 PM

Reply to ALL, and many thanks for the advice.

I am using a 10/100 NIC in the computer ethernet cabled to a cable modem @ 3MB speed. It seems to do fine loading web pages and such but streaming video and audio is so clunky I was amazed when I heard music on the radio as it didn't have the same gaps and skips I got used to listening online. <winking> The Pentium 3 500 I was looking at is Slot 1, there were plenty of Socket 370's but I didn't want to have to get a slocket (Slot 1 to 370) on top of everything else. Also, the voltage on the 370's was not compatible with my 2.0V board. Intel's web site also seemed to make the claim that a Pentium 3 will be okay with the latest IBM BIOS. The Radeon I was unaware that the "E" would not fit my PCI slot, thanks for that information. They have several x300's also for sale with a standard PCI interface. I did not think to check into Craig's List, I may find a system locally that someone has outgrown. Oh, and by the way I am using Windows 2000 on the computer.

Many thanks for the thoughtful advice and for taking the time to reply.

Larry
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January 21, 2010 12:01:27 AM

Hedgehog49080 said:
Reply to ALL, and many thanks for the advice.

I am using a 10/100 NIC in the computer ethernet cabled to a cable modem @ 3MB speed. It seems to do fine loading web pages and such but streaming video and audio is so clunky I was amazed when I heard music on the radio as it didn't have the same gaps and skips I got used to listening online. <winking> The Pentium 3 500 I was looking at is Slot 1, there were plenty of Socket 370's but I didn't want to have to get a slocket (Slot 1 to 370) on top of everything else. Also, the voltage on the 370's was not compatible with my 2.0V board. Intel's web site also seemed to make the claim that a Pentium 3 will be okay with the latest IBM BIOS. The Radeon I was unaware that the "E" would not fit my PCI slot, thanks for that information. They have several x300's also for sale with a standard PCI interface. I did not think to check into Craig's List, I may find a system locally that someone has outgrown. Oh, and by the way I am using Windows 2000 on the computer.

Many thanks for the thoughtful advice and for taking the time to reply.

Larry


Internet connection is not your problem, as I am sure you knew.

If the pentium 3 is a slot 1, then i would go for it. x300 will work wonders for you.

I would only consider upgrade to xp if you get both of the above.

!