Help with new mobo+cpu Upgrade

First some background:

1. Although I have taken apart my case dozens of times to replace various things, this is my first mobo/cpu replacement - hence, my alias ;)

2. My pcs are an IBM Aptiva celeron 500 128 meg mini tower bought ~1 yr ago and a HP Pavilion P2 266 48 meg full tower bought ~3 years ago.

3. Looking to replace the mobo, cpu, mem, and graphics card similar to the article "A new lease on life" written Oct 5.

I am looking at the P4 1.4 gig since it seems the best for the money ($125) on the pentium platforms anyway (I can't install an AMD in a former Intel machine right?)

What motherboard should I get for this? The Gigabyte GA-8IDX3 seems pretty good, and at 100 bucks seems a good price. 3 dimm slots for 1.5 gig mem, 6 pci, 1 agp. For video, looking at the Geforce 2 MX 400 64 meg. For mem, 512k pc133 sdram from Crucial (is DDR really worth the $$$?)

My concerns are:
1. For cases and power supplies, everywhere I see "Pentium 4 ready." What does this mean? Can my old case, fan and power supply handle a P4 1.4 gig? How much power would I need? Peripherals would be a cdrom, hd, floppy, Geforce 2 MX 400, modem and I think thats it.

2. Which pc should I upgrade? I would actually prefer to ugrade the older HP, and keep the aptiva as a backup. Might as well throw out older chips, anyway.

3. Where's the best place to buy parts? I found which seems pretty good: good reviews here at Toms, good prices, tons of parts, and best of all: only seller I have found that offers preassempled mobo+cpu bundles. I am a bit nervous about installing a cpu and heatsink since if I get it wrong you fry your processor.

Thanks for reading, sorry so many ?'s. But I have read tons on this website before posting, so I've done as much homework as I can on my own, now just need some help from experts.

Thanks all! =)
11 answers Last reply
More about help mobo upgrade
  1. I think none of your powersupply's will be able to feed the P4, most mobo's for the P4 have special power plugs on it which only are compatible with newer 'P4 ready' PSU's. Also your newer cpu/mobo will drain more power than you older ones.
    You also have to check if your cases are ATX form, your Aptiva will be it, but I don't know if the HP is an ATX.

    Hope this can help a little.

    My case has so many fans that it hovers above the ground :eek: .
  2. Also, if you upgrade the MOBO and the CPU at the same time, you don't have to worry about Intel or AMD compatibility. The compatibility issues are only between the CPU and the MOBO. If you're putting this in an older machine, you'll probably want to get a new power supply. I'd recommend at least a 350W model (The Enermax 'Whisper' series are nice). Make sure you get a new heatsink too, your old one probably won't have the necessary cooling capacity.

    Wabbit season! Duck season! AMD season! INTEL season!
  3. gives digi a pat on the back - Hey - hows the learning curve.

    <font color=purple><b>Techie2001</font color=purple></b>
    <i>(Forum Techie)</i>
  4. And I'll continue answering your questions.

    (is DDR really worth the $$$?)

    Yes, but it depends on your motherboard. They fit into different sockets, so unless your motherboard accepts it, you can't use it.

    I recommend against a GeForce 2 MX. The MX400 is much, much better than the MX200, but they're both old cards that are getting older. I'm about to replace mine, and I kind of wish I hadn't gotten it.
    But if you're not much of a gamer (or really want to save some cash), then don't worry about it too much.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  5. Were you serious? I hope I didn't give him any bad info...

    Wabbit season! Duck season! AMD season! INTEL season!
  6. Were you serious? I hope I didn't give him any bad info...

    Maybe I'll hush and let the pro's handle it.

    Wabbit season! Duck season! AMD season! INTEL season!
  7. Hi.
    You asked what P4 ready means on cases and power supplies. Mobos for P4 have additional power socket (12V). So the power supply for P4 has to have proper plug. That's why old p. sup. may not work properly with P4 mobos. Case that is "P4 ready" has special mounting holes for CPU fan. But on some mobos you can mount fan to the mobo, not to the case, so older cases may be used. Only dedicated fan for P$ can be used.
    I'd recommend you to chose AMD machine. There is no reason why you couldn't do it. Changing Mobo and CPU you can select any system you want. Installing AMD system would cause less problems because both, the tower and the power supply are ordinary ATX solutions. Power supply should have at least 300W, but it's worth trying your older one. May work. Upgrading HP is good choice.
  8. Great replies, thanks all!

    Digi and Trojan: Thanks I kinda thought that I could switch to AMD but wasn't sure, like if there would be any software conflicts (remember I am keeping my old hd with old OS on it).

    Fatburger: Hmm, I knew the GF2 MX400 was old (but still good), but I really don't wanna spend $300 for an Ultra or a GF3. If you had $100 to spend on a card what would you get? (and yes it will be for gaming).

    Digi (again, heh ;)

    Make sure you get a new heatsink too, your old one probably won't have the necessary cooling capacity.

    I thought the new cpu would come with a heatsink? I have never seen heatsinks for sale by themselves, did you mean cooling fan?

    Lastly, How's this for a set up:

    Athlon 1.4 ghz, 266
    Biostar M7VIB 4 DIMM (wow!) supports DDR, 5 PCI, 1 AGP*
    512k PC2100 DDR mem

    *This mobo is only $81, is there something wrong with it? I like the 4 DIMMs and that it supports DDR, but don't wannna get stuck with an unstable or slow board.

    edit: I just found an article that rips apart the KT266 chipset, which is what is in that Biostar mobo (VIA KT266 / VT8233 to be exact). I guess that answers that.

    Thanks again guys! =)

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by endless_n00b on 12/07/01 03:23 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  9. For $100 you can find a GeForce 2 GTS. Much better card.

    <font color=orange>Quarter</font color=orange> <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
  10. Two more things. Keeping old system on HD isn't good idea. Windows probably won't manage to recognize and install properly new hardware. New mobo means totally new irqs, drivers, sys. resources. IT's strongly recommended to reinstall system. Put your documents on safe place, format hd and install new system. Register will be clean, it's gonna work better and faster. Even if you changed to intel platform I'd recommend doing the same.
    CPU doesn't come with a heatsink but CPU fan does. And you'll have to buy new one.
  11. Ref; MWave
    I purchased several items from them and then had a problem with the Motherboard. They exchanged it for a new one with no questions.They shipped the new one the day after getting the defective one. If you purchase from them I think you will be happy. The AK-31 ver3 motherboard is excellent for a first time system builder(as I was) The documentation with the board is excellent,and the instructions are easy to follow,however it will not support a P-4.It supports the AMD Athelon. A free soft ware program
    is motherboard monitor 5 (just do a search-google) and you will find it.This program makes it easy to see the temperatures on your board and cpu.It also shows the fan speed.
    Good Luck,
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