Get A Faster CPU
I have a 3.5 year old Gateway desktop GPT-450 PC. My CPU is a SAC CPU PIII 450MHZ RO. The motherboard is a MBD PII/BX TB2 W/AUD JABIL R2. There is 96K of memmory - MEM DIM 32M 2X8 4C 100/66 RO. The Hard drive - HDD IDE QTM 13GB CR13.6AT RO. The video card - VID CRD 16MB NV4 AGP R1. Does anybody have any ideas about going faster on a budget with a plug and play solution? Where would I get the instructions on the swap?
Mat is right! Get a new system if possible and salvage whatever you can. You must upgrade the following parts if you need a faster system (in order of priority):
1. faster processor, but you might get a slot 1 P-III 600 MHz machine, might need to update the BIOS.
2. a board that will support the processor as well as the future ones to some reasonable extent (like the Asus TUSL2-C or Intel D815EEA2U) it will support newer high speed disks with ATA/100 standard.
3. faster more memory, if you go with upgrading both the CPU and the board you will buy a CPU with 133 MHz FSB and that will need a PC133 SDRAM. i'd say you go for newer memory whatever you do.
4. hard disks, alongwith greater capacity, they will also offer better performance.
5. chassis, most urgent if you do go for better CPU, motherboard, memory as well as hard disks.
6. better video card, you could keep your card if you dont game too much
<font color=red>No system is fool-proof. Fools are Ingenious!</font color=red>
Thank you for your response. When you say get a new computer (system) do you mean the motherboard? How do I determine whether they will be compatible with what I keep? I am very much a stranger here. If there were more spaces available for my username, there would have been "froma" in front of mine. Thanks for your help.
The whole new system would consist of a new motherboard, a new cpu, probably new ram, and a new videocard for certain, I do not think you can reuse the case, it is probably far too underpowered for modern motherboards, a good plan, would be to build an entirely new pc, and reuse the monitor, the total cost can be well under 700, and even less if you skimp. go to www.pricewatch.com and price some things, also reply with your budget and perhaps we can design a good system with that in mind.
"Friends don't let friends buy Pentiums"
Girish, Looks like I have some homework to do. I was hoping for a simple CPU swap but I can tell that that you and Mat have a better vision of a better way to go. When you say "build" a computer though, that brings to my mind a lot of scary stuff. Is there a primer for strangers where I could get a warm and fuzzy feeling about stepping into this brave new world? I am willing to learn but need direction on where to begin. Thanks.
No worries about building a new computer. If you've ever built model airplanes as a kid, builing a computer is MUCH easier. And unfortunately, a simple CPU swap isn't practical, especially right now with so many good processors using different platforms. I have always been a fan of the Pentium III (coppermine anyway), but my recommendation would be to go with AMD's Socket A. I built my buddy an Athlon 1400 from scratch for under $500. (Which is ironic because I have an OEM! But there is actually a good reason for that, which is rarely the case). As a primer, I would read all the hardware guides Tom has written. Many people in these message boards who have helped me are more qualified than the best technicians you would normally encounter, and it is a very good fallback. Not to mention that building a computer is more fun and adventurous than letting an OEM cheat you with a flashy case and state-of-the art features like a built-in compact disk storage compartment!
You can go 2 paths with this. If you only need a little more speed, and you are on a serious budget you can check with your vendor and see what the board can handle and then plug in a new chip.
The other (and better path if you need a big improvment) is what the others are suggesting. Get a new case w/power supply, motherboard, chip, video card and ram. Then throw in your old hard disk, cdrom, modem and sound card if its not built in to the old board. You should be able to get up and running with say a 1400 Athlon for $3-500 depending on the quality of the components.