Help me choose an upgrade path...

This is unrelated to my other post...that is for someone else...this is for me ;)


ECS K7S5A w/ 512MB Crucial PC2100
Duron 900Mhz
Gainward GF4 4200 64MB

I can see 2 roads...

A) Upgrade CPU to Athlon XP 2100+ (due to budget constraints) retail = $102 at Newegg. Keep current mobo, upgrade it later to an NForce2 mobo (currently eyeing Epox 8rda+). Total cost = $102.

B) Upgrade CPU and mobo. Lowering expectations of CPU (again, budget) to an Athon 1700+ Tbred retail = $63 at newegg PLUS the EPox 8rda+ mobo ($112 at Newegg). Total upgrade cost=$180 (shipping included).

Option A is the lower cost with faster processor, Option B is future upgradeability and still a nice step up in CPU (for me). Also, I assume I would be able to OC the Athlon 1700+ with the EPox board. Not currently an option with the ECS board. I would keep the PC2100 until I can afford PC3200 upgrade. Also keeping the GF4, no reason to mess with that yet...

Also, I am using Win98SE now, is it worth it to get WinXP???

What y'all think?

goldarn the pusherman
6 answers Last reply
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  1. As long as the M/B will support it, I would go with upgrade A, the ECS M/B won't allow O/Cing, I'm pretty sure, but if it did, you'd need a better cooling solution than stock, the 2100+ is a hot running sucker, and if you change OP/SYS, go to WinXP Pro, not the Home version, so far from myself changing from 98SE to XP Pro, I've been able to install all my old games that included Win2K requirements, using the NTFS format.

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  2. Here is what I would do. Keep your current MOBO, and go with the 2100 CPU. I too have an ECS K7S5A Board, and with my BIOS updates I have performed to it, I can install up to a 2600+ CPU in that board. Also my BIOS allows me to adjust Bus frequencies without having to do any bridge closing or fancy stuff like that. It has options from:
    133/133 <-- 1700+ (Actual speed of my CPU)
    138/138 <-- Makes my 1700+ an 1800+
    143/143 <-- Makes my 1700+ a 1900+
    147/147 <-- Makes my 1700 a 2000+
    166/166 <-- Never Tried :P
    200/200 <-- Never Tried :)

    My computer runs stably at 2000+ with standard air cooling, no upgrades, I run it at 1900+ though just to be on the safe side.

    I downloaded this Bios from

    That is just my suggestion though.

    When the goin gets tough.... Add some more RAM.
  3. Here is an idea... how about getting a XP1700+ in the TbredA or B form.

    I know at least that the tbredA XP1700+ is multiplier unlocked, so you get a cheap cpu thats considerably faster than your current one, and can overclock quite easily in your mobo WITHOUT having to mess with the FSB speed, so you should get at least XP2100+ speeds out of it.

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  4. I dunno. If you're not afraid to overclock and you have a decent HSF then I think that i would go for the second option. I've heatd of people getting their 1700+ up to 2800+ speeds without any real difficulties. Just be sure to get the "B" core. See this for more details: <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    of course, if you don't have a good HSF then you need to add on at least $26 for a volcano 7+ (my personal minimum for overclocking).

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  5. I never have overclocked, though I'm not afraid to try someday. I think by moving from Duron 950 to XP 1700+ or beyond I won't need to OC - I'll be in la-la land just having the stock speed!!

    That's why I was considering the EPoX board...will let me OC later if I it supposedly has a nice onboard sound component (to replace the crappy ECS sound chip, without having to buy a sound card). Plus plus, it is pretty cheap. I was thinkin of upgrading the CPU again later, and putting the Athlon 1700 in my other system (my current main system, the ECS).

    Arghh...decisions decisions. I got the "itch" to upgrade lots of stuff, but not the cash to do it all at once (or even much of it). Why can't I just be ignorant...and save some money???

    goldarn the pusherman
  6. Check out for anything related to that motherboard. I would get the 1700+ and then play around with a bit of overclocking. That board isn't the greatest overclocker, but you should be able to squeeze some performance out of it. Check their forums over there and you'll see that people have modded that board to overclock even more.

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