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Upgrading..any last min suggestions?

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 14, 2001 1:46:16 PM

Finally upgrading the Dell Dimensions P-3 500mhz. I've never had an AMD so anything special I'll need to do?

Asus ASA266
256 PC2100...should I get crucial?
AMD 1.2 266

Anyone know what power supply I have? Will I need to upgrade it? What fan for the AMD do you guys reccomend? I'll use my existing 7200 RPM 12gig HD and 64meg Nvidia. I use my PC 85% of the time for gaming and the rest surfing and a little CAD design.

Thanks,
Gary
June 14, 2001 2:16:46 PM

I'm pretty sure that if you're upgrading from a P3-500 to an AthlonC 1.2 GHz, you'll need a new power supply. You'll also probably need a new heat sink because those chips can get hot.

I'm not too experienced with who makes good power supplies, so someone else will have to suggest a good one. Also, THG has done some great reviews on heat sinks, so you should be able to look at that to find one that best fits your needs.

If the opposite of pro is con, what is the opposite of productivity? Ground first.
June 14, 2001 2:33:22 PM

Yes, you have a 250w power supply, and you'll have to get a 300 watt.

As for a heatsink, if you get a retail Athlon, just use what came with it. Other wise, get something like the ThermoEngine from <A HREF="http://www.3dcoo.com" target="_new">3dCool</A>. It's what I have for my Athlon 1.2/266

Apple? Macintosh? What are these strange words you speak?
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June 14, 2001 2:42:18 PM

I don't think I'd ever put faith into a stock heat sink these days. Not that I don't doubt that they work. I just doubt that they work very well when a system is under heavy use and/or in a less-than-ideal environment. (Such as summer in Florida without air conditioning.)

So if I were getting a new CPU today, I'd definately go at least one step higher than a stock heat sink just so that I know I could trust it. That's just me though. If you think a stock heat sink will meet your needs, then there's no need to get a better one.

If the opposite of pro is con, what is the opposite of productivity? Ground first.
June 14, 2001 2:48:06 PM

Enermax is the way to go for a power supply. I was doing the same thing you are about a month ago, and actually ended up with an almost entirely new computer. The only things left from the dell are the sound card, DVD drive, and I still have a 12 gb 7200 RPM HDD from it in, although it's just a backup drive. You will need a new power supply for sure. The dell ones aren't normal. They have some extra connector on them that attaches to the motherboard along with your standard ATX connector. Also, consider a new case with that powersupply as many cases come bundled with one at about the same price as you'd pay for the PSU alone. This will make life easier as you won't be trying to reuse the motherboard mounting hardware from the dell case. As for a heatsink, I've been through many and have yet to find anything great. Right now I'm using a home modded Vantec which I mounted 2 60 mm deltas on. It works ok, but not good enough. So watercooling is on it's way. Good luck with the upgrade.

That oughta void your warrenty!
June 14, 2001 3:02:45 PM

just go for PIII 1GHz,Intel D815EPEA2 mobo and 256MB of PC133 ram.AMD Sucks.

Never share your secrets with a friend,you never know when he becomes your enemy.
June 14, 2001 3:11:20 PM

Yeah go for this system if you are a moron who likes to pay more for less performance.

~Matisaro~
"Friends don't let friends buy Pentiums"
~Tbird1.3@1.55~
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 14, 2001 3:12:19 PM

Hey, now that sounds familiar. I upgraded my Dell Dimension P3-500 a few months ago.. to an AMD system. A few remarks:

1) Yes, you need a new PSU. As someone pointed out, the dell psu has an extra 12v-style connector. If its not connected, it doesnt work. Also, if you want to sell your current MB to someone, he'll need the psu.

2) Consider a new case. I kept mine, but not without trouble. The ATX board I have (MSI K7T Turbo R) fits, but its not 100% properly suspended. Also, I had to remove the black plate with the ATX connectors, since my Dell only had 1 COM port, and the other one was blocked. Also, Dell uses this air duckt with a huge cpu cooler, that is actually a case fan. I trew away the air duct (since its a slot 1 design), and reused the fan (which is quiet and powerfull) as case fan. Fits perfectly, but due to a lack of mounting holes, I needed to glue it.. not really ideal.
Lastly, the you'll need to rewire the case connectors for the on/of, reset and LED's.. once more a propriarety Dell connector that didnt work on my MSI board. All in all, you'd be better of selling the case+psu+mb+cpu as a bare bone system.

I also kept my TB Montego II sound card.. Prepare for some headaches under Windows 2000. I ended up using the onboard sound system (which is much better than I thought), but if you need some help in getting the TB to work under Win2k, drop me a line.

I also kept my "Dell" (maxtor) 20 Gb 7200 ATA66 harddisk. I bought a second one (20 Gb 7200 ATA 100, also Maxtor) and configured a RAID 0 stripe set. Works beatifully ! Cuts my boot time almost in half.

As for your cpu choice.. 1.2 will do for gaming. If combined with a GF2 or something. Dont know about CAD. is it cpu intensive ? Personally I went for a Duron 600 (dont laugh, it costed me $30 and runs @933 Mhz). I tried (and almost suceeded) to make this a 0$ upgrade. The money I got for my old motherboard, cpu, ram and psu bought me my MSI board, Duron 600, cooler and 256 Mb PC133. Only added an Enermax 350W PSU and a second drive.

As for this enermax.. I love it for its silence, stability and powerfull air flow.. however, it seems STR3 suspend to ram no longer works since I installed the psu. It worked fine with my old one. Im looking into it, and if STR3 isnt a big deal to you, the Enermax PSU's are warmly recommended.

One last thing; coolers. AMD cpu's tend to run hot. Get a decent but no to loud cpu cooler (check out Toms recent review), and make sure you have a decent airflow in your case. Add some case fans if your case temp exceeds ambient by more than 5°C.

Happy upgrading !

PS.. please buy a new case.. otherwise I'll need to change my signature ;-)

---- Owner of the only Dell computer with a AMD chip
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 14, 2001 3:12:20 PM

Hey, now that sounds familiar. I upgraded my Dell Dimension P3-500 a few months ago.. to an AMD system. A few remarks:

1) Yes, you need a new PSU. As someone pointed out, the dell psu has an extra 12v-style connector. If its not connected, it doesnt work. Also, if you want to sell your current MB to someone, he'll need the psu.

2) Consider a new case. I kept mine, but not without trouble. The ATX board I have (MSI K7T Turbo R) fits, but its not 100% properly suspended. Also, I had to remove the back plate with the ATX connectors, since my Dell only had 1 COM port, and the other one was blocked. Also, Dell uses this air duckt with a huge cpu cooler, that is actually a case fan. I trew away the air duct (since its a slot 1 design), and reused the fan (which is quiet and powerfull) as case fan. Fits perfectly, but due to a lack of mounting holes, I needed to glue it.. not really ideal.
Lastly, the you'll need to rewire the case connectors for the on/of, reset and LED's.. once more a propriarety Dell connector that didnt work on my MSI board. All in all, you'd be better of selling the case+psu+mb+cpu as a bare bone system.

I also kept my TB Montego II sound card.. Prepare for some headaches under Windows 2000. I ended up using the onboard sound system (which is much better than I thought), but if you need some help in getting the TB to work under Win2k, drop me a line.

I also kept my "Dell" (maxtor) 20 Gb 7200 ATA66 harddisk. I bought a second one (20 Gb 7200 ATA 100, also Maxtor) and configured a RAID 0 stripe set. Works beatifully ! Cuts my boot time almost in half.

As for your cpu choice.. 1.2 will do for gaming. If combined with a GF2 or something. Dont know about CAD. is it cpu intensive ? Personally I went for a Duron 600 (dont laugh, it costed me $30 and runs @933 Mhz). I tried (and almost suceeded) to make this a 0$ upgrade. The money I got for my old motherboard, cpu, ram and psu bought me my MSI board, Duron 600, cooler and 256 Mb PC133. Only added an Enermax 350W PSU and a second drive.

As for this enermax.. I love it for its silence, stability and powerfull air flow.. however, it seems STR3 suspend to ram no longer works since I installed the psu. It worked fine with my old one. Im looking into it, and if STR3 isnt a big deal to you, the Enermax PSU's are warmly recommended.

One last thing; coolers. AMD cpu's tend to run hot. Get a decent but no to loud cpu cooler (check out Toms recent review), and make sure you have a decent airflow in your case. Add some case fans if your case temp exceeds ambient by more than 5°C.

Happy upgrading !

PS.. please buy a new case.. otherwise I'll need to change my signature ;-)

---- Owner of the only Dell computer with a AMD chip
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 14, 2001 6:12:00 PM

Thanks! Sounds like I'll save a lot of time and headaches by switching to a new 300 watt PSU. I know very little about RAM is the 2100 sufficient?

Thanks Again
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 14, 2001 6:13:09 PM

I meant to say upgrading to a new case with 300W PSU.
June 14, 2001 8:55:51 PM

well, go with what the motherboard recommends. I do not know why they are selling 2400 DDR.... My asus a7a266 told me to buy 2100 DDR. So I did. The CPU is 266 and the DRR 2100 uses the same speed or something.

I bought crucial. 2 sticks of 256meg DDR 2100 CAS 2.5. Free shipping when you buy it direct from the company. This is what my motherboard recommends, so I got it. 512 megs of ram for 120 bucks. Hard to go wrong.

IMacs for the blind
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 14, 2001 10:08:26 PM

Yes. Micron Crucial PC2100 is the way to go.

Leo
June 14, 2001 10:52:59 PM

This is a site that was recommended in Dell's forum for rewiring your case and moding it for a non-dell motherboard. I think this is fine if you really are trying to save cash, but having to knock out another com port, rewire, and get another powersupply really is too much to ask. Spend the money on a new case. Personally I've outgrown the dell case since it's a bit on the difficult side to have all the slots filled. With some of the new motherboards having an extra two ide controllers, the dell case is way too small.

<A HREF="http://www.csolutions.net/~dougm/images/dell/casemods.h..." target="_new">http://www.csolutions.net/~dougm/images/dell/casemods.h...;/A>

<font color=red>Amd or Intel? Who cares?? Not me...</font color=red>
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