hello, i'm new here and i'm looking for some info. i used to be pretty tech savvy but the plethora of products these days makes my head squirm. i want to make the most of my system without spending too much, but i dont know what to do. this is what i have: dell dimension 8200 p4 1900mhz, 512mb RD Ram. i dont know the motherboard or the socket, 80gb hd. i have a creative audigy 2 mp3, and a radeon 9800 (not pro, whatever that means). i am interested in overclocking, or possibly upgrading the processor, but i dont know what other processors would fit. i want more memory and i know that rambus requires two maching sticks. i believe i have 4 slots (2 are occupied with one 256 mb stick each). are different speed modules compatible? for example could i put two 512 sticks of a faster speed in the other two slots? or would i be better off pulling those out and replacing them with the bigger faster memory? or will the faster memory even work at all? basically, i want to know where i can go from here..what are my options. i'm happy with the video and sound cards, but the processor is slow and i believe the memory is lacking. thanks for your help.
I doubt Dell will let you overclock your system using the BIOS, you might want to try programs like SoftFSB, havn't tried it but heard about it.
You can't put faster RAM than you already have in RDRAM systems. The only way to put faster RAM is replacing it all, but it isn't worth it.
I have a system very similar to yours (not Dell) and I think that there aren't many upgrade possibilities for you, except taking your video card with you to your new system (it's very good and there's no need for an upgrade there anytime soon). Also take your HD with you, but you would probably have to format it.
I can design a good system for you which would probably cost you less than what you were thinking an upgrade would cost:
AMD Athlon XP 2500+ (Barton core)
512MB of PC3200 Crucial DDR RAM.
A motherboard which has the features you need, nothing more, and support Socket 462 and an FSB of 200.
You can later overclock this system by raising the FSB bit by bit and see if you can reach 200 with your system still being stable.
Got a nice overclocked overvolted system to keep you warm at night? That's great. Guess I'll have to settle for a woman...