Ok... now, I've searched for hours and still can't find my answer. I have to put my NEW computer build on hold for a while, so I have $40 to dump into this old thing to spruce it up a little so it can hold me over till I can build the beast.
RAM upgrade is obvious and cheap ~ $10 for one 256mb chip which would give me 384mb. What is the diff between ECC and non-ECC and will that affect compatibility?
Pci graphics card ~ $10 for 32-64mb.... not sure which one yet but was wondering if there is anything to worry about compatibility wise... cause I saw an ATI 9250 128mb PCI card for cheap. Slot fits but not sure if the compaq PS can handle it. don't want to spend extra on PS
Processors ~$25 and I obviously want to get the fastest one but there lies the problem.... I've read conflicting stories of ppl saying CPUs w/ 133mhz FSB will work and some saying only 100mhz FSB will work. One guy said u just have to swap out the PC100 RAM for PC133.
I know MB was designed to handle up to 133, but Compaq had other ideas with their BIOS. Some say 1Ghz is the highest, some say 1.2Ghz
Celeron. My head is spinning, and I need help... plz!
I've found some 1.1Ghz and 1.0Ghz P3's with 100mhz FSB, but the Vcore for them is 1.7 or 1.75. My 700Mhz is only getting 1.65, is that going to stay the same no matter what CPU I put in? Or will the MB adjust depending on the CPU, or would it require a BIOS update or something?
I noticed the Celerons required less Vcore, but I've always heard bad things about Celerons, especially those old ones. I don't think it'd be worth spending $20-25 on a celeron even if it did go 1.2Ghz, but plz correct me if I'm wrong.
Sorry so long, but as I've said, hours and no answer... very frustrated.
The 128MB system RAM is very small, even for Windows 98. You didn't say what OS you are using, XP runs like a snail with 128 meg. Adding 256 MB to get to 384 MB total system RAM is about the only thing I would invest a single dollar in on that system. And then, only so I wouldn't have to sit iin front of it all afternoon waiing for a 3MB file to download and install. Really, don't spend any money on it. Sell it on Ebay for $12.
As far as ECC vs. non-ECC goes, ECC is basically only used on servers. The vast vast majority of home PCs use non-ECC, unbuffered, unregistered RAM. And yes, compatibility is an issue with all three of those specs, not only between two sticks of RAM but also between the RAM and the MoBo.
on a system that old, spending any money to upgrade it is wasted.
if you're on a tight budget you should look into buying a used dell. Check ebay, i've bought well over 50 dell systems on ebay. You can get a dell optiplex that is a year or 2 old for under $200.... or if you have $450-500 to shell out you could buy a brand new dell vostro or optiplex w\ 19-22'' lcd from dells website.