need advice on a mobo/cpu combo

Hello all,
I've decided that it is time to upgrade, but I haven't really kept up with the hardware scene so I would appreciate some advice.
I am only looking to upgrade my cpu and mobo/memory if neccesary (the rest of my hardware is in good condition and reasonably up-to-date). I am planning on using this computer mostly for software development and some game playing, but given my budget I know this won't be a killer game machine. I'm only looking to spend about $100-$150 on this upgrade and am wondering what I should get.
I have priced cpu's, mobo's and ram at pricewatch and have found that the celeron's tend to be more in my price range mostly due to the mobo price. However, like I said, I don't know too much about what's new in the hardware scene so I may not know what Athlon xp mobo's are good quality and cheap price. Also I currently have alot of pc100 ram in my current system (640 megs) and am not really wanting to give up that space, however, with my price range I can only get 256 megs of ddr for the newer systems, so I am also considering the slower celeron 1.3's that use the pc100 ram just so I can recycle some of what I have.
To give you all a reference point I currently have a P3 450 with 640 megs of pc100 ram. Since I am not going to replce my case/ps/video/sound/hd/cd/etc. I need to find a good cpu/mobo/ram combo that has these minimums:
atx size (not micro atx)
no more that 300 watt power consumption
1 apg
at least 4 pci slots
usb 1.1
ata 66

I would appreciate any advice you could give me on what to get.

Thanx in advance
7 answers Last reply
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  1. Fry's has been selling the ecs k7s5a for $79-99 with athlon xp2000 bare cpu. With heatsink and 256 megs of pc2100, that should be around $150 or so. Otherwise, you might look at refurbished boards at newegg with the xp1700, going for about $47-52.
  2. SDRAM/DDR combo mobos are known to be more problematic than DDR mobos, especially the ECS K7S5A. Try to run with less memory for few days, then buy more when you need.

    Recommemded CPU:- Athlon XP 1700+ retail
    Mobo:- MSI K7N2-L
    RAM:- Kingston PC2100 CL2.5 DDR/Kingston PC2700 CL2.5 DDR

    Kingston DDR's are cheap and good.

    <b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
  3. LOL once again I find myself posting after Spitfire and reccomending the MSI 745 Ultra as a good budget board. Save the money on the board and go for a faster processor instead.

    <A HREF=" " target="_new">Almost Breaking 12k!!</A>
  4. I am running an ECS K7S5A and have found no problems with it, what are you on about, I use to run SD RAM on it but now run DDR and have found no problems what so ever cumming up, and it runs very very stable as well, I am running an Athlon XP 1800+ with it

    1 Set Of Morals For Sale, Never Used, Will Sell Cheap
  5. only a 100-150 you really narrow it down to only a few configs....most new high feature motherboards cost more than your budget :smile: ...but anyways I will give you the cheapest config I can dream up and you can take it from there...

    First of all no matter what you have to lose the pc100 it is <font color=purple>garbage</font color=purple> and will be a bottle neck of any system you would try to build with it. And do not order a refurb mobo, especially a refurb ECS mobo....thats just asking for trouble
    1) Motherboard ECS K7S5A motherboard, which is a very good motherboard for the money no matter what some people say. You will notice that this motherboard supports both pc100, pc133 and ddr sdram. <font color=red>I would not suggest it</font color=red> but if your budget doesnt allow for the memory upgrade at first then you could always use the pc100 until you have enough money for the ddr memory (has built in ethernet, sound, and supports usb2.0) <font color=red>$60.00</font color=red>
    2) crucial 256mb pc2100 <font color=red>$43.00</font color=red>
    3) amd athlon xp1700 tbred processor retail box(will come with heatsink and fan) <font color=red>$63.00</font color=red>

    That gives you a total of <font color=blue>$166.00</font color=blue> for the whole upgrade. This is probably the cheapest and the minimum I would think of upgrading. This system will give you more than enough performance for todays operating systems(winxp) and games etc. <font color=red> I priced this config at <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> ...I highly recommend ordering from here because they are probably the best online store around.

    Also note that if you do use the pc100 on this board along with this processor you would have to run a 100mhz fsb, which means you would be downclocking your processor to 1100mhz. The only way around not doing this would be to order a 200mhz fsb tbird processor. This is important to know.


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  6. Quote:
    Save the money on the board and go for a faster processor instead.

    You should always care more about mobo instead of processor. Mobo is the thing where your CPU sits, you do upgrade through your mobo. Little slower CPU does not make a system unstable, but a bad mobo does.

    <b> "You can put lipstick on a pig, but hey, it's still a pig!" - RobD </b>
  7. you don't have to run the fsb at 200Mhz is you only have PC 100 RAM, the bios will still let you run the CPU fsb at 266Mhz with the RAM at 100MHz, I should know, I have the mainboard, also to note that if you have decent quility RAM then you could probebly over clock it to 133 without any real problems!!

    1 Set Of Morals For Sale, Never Used, Will Sell Cheap
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