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How does this upgrade look?

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January 31, 2003 3:52:00 PM

For several reasons, I need to upgrade my 500 mhz K6--the 13 gig hardrive is basically full, the system has gotten inexplicably slow, and Windows ME is crashing all the time, etc. I’m not sure what is causing it to be slow and unstanble--the OS or deffective hardware or the full hardrive, or maybe all of the above.

I use my computer for some intensive business applications (i.e. big spreadsheets), photo editing, web, multi-media.

Anyway, I am a novice at putting systems together and I wanted some input. The system I’m looking at is this:

ASUS A7V333 motherboard, 512k of PC 2700 RAM, an athalon XP 2000 processor, and a 60 gb ATA 133 hard drive, and Windows XP Home. (My current case, power supply, monitor, video card, CD Drive, etc. are all ok for my needs, as far as I can tell.)

I think that setup will cost me about $450.

Is it a balanced system? Fast? Stable? Overpriced? Any bottlenecks? Any red flags?

For about $80 more, I have my choice of upgrading that bundle to Windows XP pro, or upgrade the MB and add a second drive and go RAID. I’m leaning towards RAID 0--the HDD access time seems to be a big bottleneck in the kind of stuff I do.

If you had your choice between Windows Pro and RAID, which way would you go? Does RAID 0 really work? How reliable is it? Is it more hastle and risk than it is worth?

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January 31, 2003 4:35:58 PM

I would go for an 80gb hard drive, with an 8mb cashe. Nice and fast. As for raid 0, it has speed, but not much security. You have data across 2 drives. Have a problem with one drive, loose 2 drives of data.

And you may benefit from win XP, just make sue all of your software is compatable.

<font color=blue>...we are not responcible for any amount of idiocy you apply to our advice.<font color=blue>
January 31, 2003 4:42:59 PM

Dont bother with Raid 0 it's only worth your while if your working with large files regularly. On top of that if one drive fails you lose all your data from both drives. Also with Raid 0 it increases the chances of drive failure. Leave it alone. Your Power Supply may be a bit on the weak side, you could try it out and see if it'll work. But if it's less than 250W dont even bother. Last but not least check your video card and make sure it's a 1.5v video card. I believe most of the newer chipsets do not support the older 3.3v cards. If your video card is a older AGP card you should look into that.

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
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January 31, 2003 4:52:40 PM

if you value your data don't use raid 0. if one drive fails your screwed. you shouldn't need xp pro unless you login to a windows domain. everything else looks ok.
January 31, 2003 7:09:02 PM

all pro windows are MUCH more stable than none pro, I am running XP pro hitting 9 days straight now no problems. For HHD, Maxtor and WD both have very nice 60+ gig HHD's

<font color=blue>Let's see, 500 posts a day, each day, for 30 days, and I will have more posts than Crashman!</font color=blue>
January 31, 2003 7:53:08 PM

Firstly get rid of winme before you upgrade your hardware it is garbage! That symptom of your system slowing down is one of its infamous traits. Go back to win98se or upgrade to winxp.

PS. I'm not necessarily into conspiracy theories but I've heard rumours that Microsoft is sabotaging ME through its automatic updates so users spend money upgrading to XP. If you must reinstall ME for the moment disable its auto updates so you get more mileage out of it
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