How to choose

Hi, I hope it is ok to ask for advice on a board like this, if not, just leave the post. The thing is I'm runnin on a pretty old system right now, a p2 350, with 128mbyte sdram pc100, and I need to do an upgrade, but a pretty cheap one.

I'm thinkin of a new cpu and I guess I'll need a new motherboard as well. Intel or AMD? Can I keep my memory?

I would be very glad for any help and suggestions I can getto make the right decisions to get a better performin system.

30 answers Last reply
More about choose
  1. Hi. If you want a cheap system, your best bet is a Duron. A Duron running at 700 Mhz is dirt cheap. You'll have to buy a new motherboard though you can keep the ram. However, if the motherboard that you currently have can support a P3 coppermine, then maybe you can consider just getting a P3. You'll save on the motherboard. Motherboards that can support a Duron are still quite expensive.

    You should go to or and take a look at their suggestions for a value system. I think they update the article once every month.
  2. Another thing, I thinkin about spendin around 400$

    ty for all suggestions I can get

  3. It depends on your MB and how much faster you want ot go, if you just want a bit of a boost then maybe look for a cheap slot P3 clocked as fast as your MB can go , otherwise go for a Socket A Mb and a Duron/Athlon chip.....
    have a read of your MB manual before you decide so you know what it can do...
    If you are changing both the Duron offers by far the best Price performance......

    Good Luck


    one of the first UK T-Bird users....
  4. Yeah, yeah, yeah - like you went to a Duron for p/p ? You just looked at the goodies with the Tbird and tossed the Duron out with the trash ...

    Do unto others before they do unto you...
  5. First off,
    Why do you want to upgrade? What do you want to go faster? What are you wanting to accomplish?
    Are you wanting better gaming performance? If so, then what graphics card are you running?
    Are you running big apps like PhotoShop and need better performance there?

    The more details you provide the better your responses will likely be.
    Take Care
  6. I was willing to pay for the T-Bird , the original post said cheap and the duron is better for that .....

    Oh and of course you really need that gig of ram :-)


    one of the first UK T-Bird users....
  7. Oh, don't be so ridiculous - windows barely boots with less than gig of ram. Besides, how do you justify the five or so machines in your office room ?

    Do unto others before they do unto you...
  8. Research????


    one of the first UK T-Bird users....
  9. I personally do not see five machines ( except maybe for storage space ) as a necessity for investigation

    Do unto others before they do unto you...
  10. will you quit it and give this guy some advice....


    one of the first UK T-Bird users....
  11. Go for Duron - the motherboard IMHO offers better upgradability up to 1.2Ghz Tbird, for not a lot of dosh....

    Do unto others before they do unto you...
  12. Ok, I will try to make some further explanation, right now my system is like this:

    p2 350
    128mbyte pc100 ram
    15gig hdd
    riva tnt2
    x40cd rom
    19" philips monitor

    I'm not a very big gamer, I only play 1 game, and thats Age of Kings:TC, but it doesn't perform very well on my computer, in big multiplayer games. Other I mostly use Visual Studio and photoshop.

    So, where shall I put my ~400$ to get my system running better. One more question, do I need to change the case if i'm buyin an athlon?(I don't think my power supply can give 300w, havin an ATX case now)

    Tanks for all help I can get and all help I aldready got

  13. yea, I'm runnin w2k, and I do play AOK:TC alot so thats the main reson for my frustration --> thoughts of upgradin..:o)
  14. You left out which motherboard you currently have. Did not see a sound card mentioned earlier is it onboard? You don't do alot of gaming, but what do you do?

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  15. even if you need a new psu for an athlon/duron you just change that and not the whole case and a PSU is only £20 over here in the uk which is about $30 so it is a small price to pay. I would recomend getting some more mem but do it fast as teh prices are on the up again....


    one of the first UK T-Bird users....
  16. eek, sorry about that last post missed the photshop part. At $400.00 budget you have a couple of options and strong arguments can be made for both. If you opt for the tbird/duron yes you will need another psupply along with pc133 ram to take full advantage. This almost negatates the price performance issue in your particular case.
    At first glance I would opt for:
    1) p3 800/100.............$190 (shipping included)
    2) MS-6337 pro............$120.00 (shipping included)
    3) 128 meg pc-133 SDRAM...$70.00 (shipping included)

    After that in the future when your budget allowed it the next thing would be to get a better vid card, but seeing how you are no gaming nut that can wait although visual basic would benenfit.

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  17. if even the mobo is to be pulled off, AMD is the one and only way to go in terms of performance/$$$
  18. Not if in the process you have to get a new case and ram. Remember we are talking an upgrade here and not a new system build. I love AMD, don't get me wrong, but we are talking the best for this man for 400 bucks using as many of the old parts he can. This is not a question of who is better, AMD or Intel.

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  19. >>Not if in the process you have to get a new case and ram<<
    If he uses AT case which I doubted he does, then you need a new ATX one (even in that case, it's only $55 for Enlight 7237).
    He can still use his old PC-100 RAM (KT-133 chipset supports it as well as PC-133).
  20. To my knowlegde I have not seen a pentium using AT since the 233 mmx. And yes he could use the 100 mhz with the duron but if he does that s he loses some of the performance increase you touted earlier.

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  21. thx everybody, I just realized that I will spend a few more bucks on the system..hehe what do u think about this:

    (this some kit I found at
    ASUS A7V "Thunderbird" Athlon MotherBoard
    AMD Athlon CPU 900Mhz - 3 Year Warranty
    AMD Approved Mega Cooling Fan / Heatsink
    128MB Atlas Precision PC133 SDRAM Matched to your ASUS A7V
    80mm Case Fan (Ball Bearing


    In-Win Q500 Full Tower ATX Case(300W)

    Total, with tax and shippin = 654.49

    Is it good price? Is it a good combination? Will I need anythin more?
  22. ASUS A7V "Thunderbird" Athlon MotherBoard
    AMD Athlon CPU 900Mhz - 3 Year Warranty >>>>>>>$327.00
    AMD Approved Mega Cooling Fan / Heatsink
    pc-133 128 meg>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> $72.00
    (Paradise PC)
    Big blue case >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> $78.00

    the case is kinda cool but a matter of personal pref I have one and like it quite a bit.
    This setup saves you enough to get a gforce mx

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  23. Definitely go for the Duron system, best bang for the buck of all the CPU's out there.
  24. This is what I am in the process of putting together.

    Abit KT7 RAID motherboard, Duron 600 Mhz, (pretested to 1000 Mhz), and OCZ Monster II Heatsink and fan. $217 for the combo (from OCZ.SAFESHOPPER.COM)

    128 MB pc-133 RAM, $75, from the same source.

    Midtower case, 4 5-1/4", 2 3-1/2", and 3 3-1/2" hidden bays, with 300 Watt power suply + case fan, $42 + $4.25=$46.25 from WWW.NIMBUSPC.COM

    Total cost=~$380 including shipping.

    I'm still waiting for the case and fan but I have everything else.
  25. I have used both of PC-100 and PC-133 in my system, and the performance gain is insignificant.
    in Sandra
    1. PC-100 ALU/Mem 435MB/s, FPU/Mem 539MB/s
    2. PC-133 ALU/Mem 448MB/s, FPU/Mem 556MB/s
  26. The special is KT7 (not KT7 Raid) Mobo, Duron (overclocked to 1.0 Ghz), and a OCZ's own Monster II cooler for $217.99 at OCZ.SAFESHOPPER.COM

    Sorry, I misread it (and purchased the wrong special) thinking I was getting the KT7 RAID.

    Another special does include the KT7 RAID, 1 Ghz overclocked Duron, Monster II cooler, plus 128MB of OCZ Select, PC-133 RAM for $309.99
  27. phsstpok,

    How was your experience with
  28. You can get a case, motherboard, Duron 700 or even an 800, and a decent cooling fan for under $400.
  29. I'd say it was a very good experience. They were prompt and kept me posted of my order status. They were also responsive to my email.

    As promised, I received a Duron processor (600 Mhz) which overclocks to 1000 Mhz and it is rock-solid at that speed.

    OCZ's own brand, "Select", memory also works well, allowing 4-way interleave and "Fast" settings at 133 Mhz. Right now I am running CAS2 for testing purposes but OCZ has better memory which they endorse for CAS2 and even higher speeds (but at twice the price). Their memory is their own brand.

    When I finally put my system together and closed the case I found the CPU was running at 55 degrees C. I thought this was too high so I rearranged some boards and cables inside the case for better cooling and reduced to 900 Mhz. Now the CPU doesn't reach any higher than 48 degrees. I emailed OCZ regarding my experience and they suggested that I should have removed the thermal tape from the cooler and used thermal paste instead. Installing the cooler was a little hairy so I think I will just settle for 900 Mhz. The cooler does fit the KT7 very nicely but it still seemed too easy to mash the Duron. My original intention for this system, after all, was just to have the security of knowing that I could go to 1000 Mhz. Most of the time I don't need the extra speed. And even at 600 Mhz this thing is much faster than my old K6-2, 400 Mhz.

    I highly recommend OCZ.SAFESHOPPER.COM! (and they lowered the price again on the Abit KT7, Duron, Monster II Cooler combo!) I think it's now $214.99. Good price for 1000 Mhz!
  30. well, if you have a P-II 350, then the board it already is 100 MHz FSB capable, so you can go for just a CPU upgrade, a P-III 700 MHz would be be the best economical choice. You might need a BIOS update for your newer CPU, and confirm whether the motherboard supports P-III 700 voltages. this upgrade would cost you under well $200 and you can keep all your current hardware including the memory and oter parts. besides you wont even need to reinstall *ANYTHING*, just switch your CPU!

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