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Its Annual Upgrade Time ! (for me)

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February 15, 2003 9:09:40 AM

As my system hasnt been upgraded since mid 2001, I was thinking of the following essential upgrades.

Im running a ASUSA7PRO (VIA KT 133, no XP compatability)

Duron 800 = Duron 1300
256MB PC133 = 512MB PC133
GeForce 2 MX 400 64MB = Geforce 4 MX 64MB

Anyone have any objections or comments ?

Before anyone tells me about why I want a GF4MX, it is because I am on a tight budget and this is the best card (framerate wise) that I can afford. (Unless anyone can name another card which can offer similar framerates while maintaining the similar price)

On a similar note, should a ask for brand name parts or generic ? (My local chop shop offers all these video cards and mobo's made by no name companies i.e. Graphics Master GF4MX440)

More about : annual upgrade time

February 15, 2003 11:32:46 AM

I am afraid that none of those upgrades would really yield any benefit.Get yourself an xp1700- they are very close in price to duron 1300s and the performance difference is huge.Adding another 256mb of pc133 won't make much difference either because it is slow memory and 256mb is still enough for most things.You can get very cheap ddr motherboards and getting just 256mb pc2100 would make a lot of difference.And, as for the gf4mx, it IS a geforce 2 AFAIK.

no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]
February 15, 2003 4:35:15 PM

That's a complete waste. Don't do that! I object to the whole thing. That is not going to yield a large enough performance increase to warrant spending money on it.

If you're going to upgrade, get a new motherboard and a XP processor. If price is a concern, consider a XP 1700+ for $60 which will destroy the Duron. I would not upgrade without buying a new motherboard and a XP.

If you want to keep your memory, there are a few motherboards out there that support PC133, but I would recommend investing in DDR. DDR prices are actually less (or really close) than SDR so there is virtually no reason to go the PC133 route.

If you barely play games and don't play new ones, then keep your current videocard. If you are planning on playing games then you should consider another videocard. No matter what, don't buy a MX card. I would suggest getting a Radeon 8500 (not LE) if you want a good budget card.

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February 15, 2003 10:46:16 PM

Ok, If what you say is true, then what should I spend $500 on ? (Be specific)

Currently My System is:
AMD Duron 800
ASUS A7PRO (KT133)
2x 128MB PC133 (one empty RAM slot left)
GeForce 2MX 400 64MB
20GB Quantum Fireball (I think its either ATA66 or ATA 100)
56K Modem
Soundblaster Vibra 128

If I was to get a NeForce based board (Leadtek Winfast K7NCR18D Pro) would the onboard sound be better/same/worse then from a SB Vibra 128 ?
a b à CPUs
February 15, 2003 11:14:17 PM

Why don't you learn a little about computers before telling someone with a KT133 board to get a 133MHz bus (DDR266 FSB) processor?

<font color=blue>There are no stupid questions, only stupid people doling out faulty information based upon rumors, myths, and poor logic!</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
February 15, 2003 11:16:13 PM

You could get the board you mentioned for around $100, bringing the cost of a board/processor/PC2100 SDRAM to around $300. Better than the SB128.

<font color=blue>There are no stupid questions, only stupid people doling out faulty information based upon rumors, myths, and poor logic!</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
February 15, 2003 11:16:13 PM

You could get the board you mentioned for around $100, bringing the cost of a board/processor/PC2100 SDRAM to around $300. Better than the SB128.

<font color=blue>There are no stupid questions, only stupid people doling out faulty information based upon rumors, myths, and poor logic!</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
February 15, 2003 11:16:14 PM

You could get the board you mentioned for around $100, bringing the cost of a board/processor/PC2100 SDRAM to around $300. Better than the SB128.

<font color=blue>There are no stupid questions, only stupid people doling out faulty information based upon rumors, myths, and poor logic!</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
February 15, 2003 11:16:14 PM

You could get the board you mentioned for around $100, bringing the cost of a board/processor/PC2100 SDRAM to around $300. Better than the SB128.

<font color=blue>There are no stupid questions, only stupid people doling out faulty information based upon rumors, myths, and poor logic!</font color=blue>
February 16, 2003 12:09:35 AM

As a start, for a motherboard, consider one of the following:

1. Asus A7N266 for <b>$72</b> (Nforce)
-onboard sound
-onboard video (similar to what you have right now)
-onboard LAN
-supports up to 266MHz FSB
2. Epox EP-8RDA for <b>$88</b> (Nforce2)
-has onboard sound
-Supports up to 333MHz FSB
3. a SIS 735 motherboard. ie. a motherboard that uses this chipset. I'll leave it up to someone else to recommend one. I have the ECS K7S5A and love it but there are better out today.

Then consider a processor
1. The AMD XP 1700+ is a sure bet <b>$63</b>
- Thoroughbred core
- 1.47 Ghz
- Buy retail, so it includes a heatsink/fan, instructions, and a 3 year warranty.

Then consider memory
- There are a ton of brands to choose from. Crucial, micron, kingston, corsiar are all fine. Corsair is probably the best although I've had great luck with all of the above.
-Don't buy generic
-Try to get either CAS2 or CAS 2.5. The lower number is faster. PC2700 (333Mhz) is fine, although for motherboard suggestion 1 and 3, PC2100 (266 Mhz) will do.
-You do not need registered ECC memory.
- I'll list some examples below just so you get a feel for prices. If you want to look at CAS2 memory that's fine as well. It might not be worth the price difference to you.
1. 265MB Crucial PC2700 CAS2.5 <b>$48</b>
2. 512MB Crucial PC2700 CAS2.5 <b>$90</b>
3. 256MB Crucial PC2100 CAS2.5 <b>$41</b>
4. 512MB Crucial PC2100 CAS2.5 <b>$80</b>

Then consider a videocard
-Buy a Radeon 8500 as a bare minimum if you want better graphics than what you have now. It looks like allstarshop.com has them for <b>$70</b>
-If you really want a good card start considering a Radeon 9500 Pro ($180), or a Radeon 9700/9700 Pro. If you aren't playing a lot of games, consider keeping the card you have or buying a Radeon 8500 since the others are probably overkill. Nonetheless, if you're trying to plan for future games they will be a good purchase.

I'm out of time, so I'll leave you with this for now and hope people will jump in. My total for a much better upgrade is well under $500 so there's a bit of room to play with. Check out pricewatch.com (and resellerratings.com for each vendor), and newegg.com for prices and products.

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February 16, 2003 12:15:08 PM

Quote:
Why don't you learn a little about computers before telling someone with a KT133 board to get a 133MHz bus (DDR266 FSB) processor?

Oops!Sorry.I'm guilty of the old 'skim-reading the first post' thing.It happens to us all at the best of times.I kind of got lucky though coz i did recommend a ddr (and xp compatible) mobo in relation to his memory.Still, thanks for clearing up my mess.I do not have anything like the extensive knowledge of one such as yourself (or a hell of a lot of the people in thgc) but i do know that kt133 does not support xps. :smile:

no matter how hard you try, you can't polish a turd. :]
February 16, 2003 5:00:58 PM

Like Dhluche said, I would recommend mobo #1 (Asus a7n266) if you don't play alot of games. The onboard graphics are about as good as what you have right now, and the sound is better.

If you want to keep your current RAM then get option #3, a ECS k7s5a. It'll take SD ram or DDR, so if you want to upgrade to DDR later on you can. Please note that DDR is at least 20% faster than SDram.

As for a processor, anything between Athlon 1700+ and 2100+ is a good choice. My personal recommendation is the 1800+ or 2000+ for the best price/performance ratio.

RAM: If you get the ECS-k7s5a then don't bother with pc2700. That mobo can't run faster than pc2100. Of course you could also use your SDRAM in it, be be aware that you'll take a 20% performance hit.

I'll add Samsung to the list of good RAM brands, but only on the pc2100 and pc2700 speeds. Their pc3200 RAM is not nearly as good.

If you get either of the nforce boards (a7n266 or the ep-8rda) then I would recommend getting 2 sticks of DDR, especially if you plan on using the onboard video on the a7n266.

Vid Card: Bare minimum for gameplaying is a Radeon 8500 (not LE) or a Geforce 3 (any model). These are getting hard to find now though.

Models to stay away from are the Radeon 9000 non-pro and the geforce 4 mx line. Recommended is the Geforce 4 ti 4200 or the Radeon 9500 Pro for serious gaming.

Next thing to upgrade would be your hard drive. I'll let you choose the best model. Providing it's at least ata66 your current hard drive is by no means antiquated, but it is a bit small. If you want to keep using it then go ahead, but don't use it along with a newer hard drive, as it will slow down the newer one.

As for sound, the onboard on all 3 of these mobos is better than your current sound card.

Then when you're done you'll notice that except for the case you've replaced everything. If you want to you can now either sell off the old PC to recoup some money or else keep it as a second PC. All you'll need is a case, mouse, keyboard and speakers

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a b à CPUs
February 16, 2003 5:49:42 PM

LOL, it's OK, I might have jumped the gun myself on that one. The problem with the KT133 is it doesn't support 133MHz bus speeds.

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
February 16, 2003 6:16:24 PM

Just did a check at newegg.com

a7n266 $72
Athlon 1800+ retail $72
2x 256meg Crucial pc2700 DDR 2x$48 = $96
WD 80 gig 7200 RPM HD $96

Total = $336 plus shipping

Then you have $160 or so to spend on a vid card.

Or if you want a whole new computer spend the $160 on a case, keyboard, speakers, mouse and a DVD drive. Move over your modem and CD burner (assuming that you have a CD burner) from your old PC. Then sell off your old PC and use the money from that to get a new vid card (the onboard video will hold you until then).

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Knowan likes you. Knowan is your friend. Knowan thinks you're great.
February 16, 2003 6:37:21 PM

Frankly you would be a lot smarter to invest in a really decent motherboard, one that supports both DDR and SDR, and transplant your current components into it. Over time, as money permits, swap out the CPU for an xp2000+ (or better), switch over to DDR, buy a top line video card, etc.

Just avoid the idiot motherboards with the vaccuum tube audio on them. (Methinks somebody got a real bargain on antique technology and now it looks for a home...)
February 16, 2003 6:38:48 PM

XP2200 retail box with heatsink and fan $117 Asus A7n266-vm MOBO $72 ATI Radeon 9000 PRO 64MB DDR $94 Corsair XMS PC 2700 CAS2 333 MHZ $76 under $500.00 Plus Free Shipping From NewEgg.com
February 17, 2003 4:23:58 AM

What do you think of these prices ?

AMD Athlon XP 2000+ Retail $169
Generic 256 MB DDR-RAM PC2700 $85
Generic 128MB DDR GF4 Ti4200 $309
WinFast K7NCR18D $300
Plus $40 Install
February 17, 2003 4:45:31 AM

Those prices are roughly 100%-300% too high.

Whoever is charging you that is ripping you off. They're thieves.

Buy from http://www.newegg.com/ and then go get it installed for $40, although I would take my business somewhere else for the installation since those people are obviously just out to steal from you. Not only are they charging you too much, but they're selling you generic parts which is NOT good.

That motherboard costs $92
That CPU costs $86
That videocard costs $140


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February 17, 2003 10:58:23 AM

Oh, I forgot to add that the above prices I listed are in Austalian Dollars (Half the numbers to get a US Dollar equivalent)

Oh yes, here is a link for the stores price list if interested. http://www.netsolution.com.au/parts.htm
February 17, 2003 4:37:30 PM

I don't know of any Aussi online computer stores, but I do know of alot of Canadian ones. A canuck buck is roughly equal to an aussi dollar. From what I can tell you're still being overcharged. Not by alot, but somewhere around 10% to 20%, which would be about normal for a small "mom and pop" computer store.

BUT you are being seriously overcharged on the leadteck winfast mobo. It's about $100 AUD more than it should be.

Edit: I just checked and Australia has an integrated GST tax, so that explains the 10% to 20% increase. In other words the only overpriced item is the motherboard.

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Knowan likes you. Knowan is your friend. Knowan thinks you're great.<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by knowan on 02/17/03 09:53 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
February 18, 2003 1:02:21 AM

LOL. Sorry. Just worried you were going to get ripped off. I'd still try to avoid generic memory though. Follow up on the price of the motherboard as well.

Have fun

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!