I need someone's help in deciding if this upgrade will work. Hopeing someone out there has/had experience upgrading presarios. I know compaq's are considered bad to upgrade and my current system pretty much needs a new case and motherboard to do this, but I want to salvage most of my components and my HD with the windows 98 OS. I realize starting from scratch would be my best option with such an old system, but I don't really have the money right now and I want to wait maybe a year for the new smaller AMD processor to be cheaply available before going with a totally new system.
Here's the current specs on my presario, at least the best I can determine by the limited info compaq gives.
pent II 350 processor (going to junk it)
motherboard- hate it cause it dosent have an AGP slot (junk)
10 Gig HD (5400 RPM I heard but not sure) with win 98
128 meg pc100 memory (junking) 128 meg pc 133 added later
zip drive CD rom drive (24X I think) 1.44 floppy
So, here's what I want to do. I have been looking at newegg and want to get-
(new case)EVERCASE E4252WEF5, Intel P4 / AMD, 10-Bay, 300W P4, Truely Screwless ATX MID Tower Case. BEIGE. W/ 1 side Case Fan & 2 removeable HD cages- $42
(motherboard)ECS K7SEM SiS730S MICRO ATX - RETAIL Supports AMD Athlon/Duron (K7) processors & full series of Athlon/Athlon XP/Duron CPU. FSB: 200/266. Two 168-pin DIMM sockets for 3.3V SDRAM (Ready for PC100, PC133): Maximum: 1.0GB. 2 PCI slots, 1 AGP slot. $63
Everything comes out to $280 including shipping which is what I am willing to pay for stuff I will probably be junking a year or so down the line (except for the computer case).
So my question is, will this work out? Will I be able to install the compaq HD (and have the windows 98 which came with it work on the new MB), and will the compaq HD, floppy, zip, and CD rom drive fit into the new case without special railings? I may try and add the compaq case fan to the new case as well for extra cooling (if it fits). By the way, the windows 98 came with the computer and is stored on the quick restore CD (though I have the right registration code), so I am not sure if it will give me a problem with a new motherboard and processor.
Is there anything else I am overlooking or need? I really dont plan on overclocking unless I can safely use the default cooling that comes with the CPU.
I do realize a 266 FSB with a TB or XP processor and DDR and a better HD would be much faster, but it would also double my cost so this is my best option other than popping in an evergreen overdrive and keeping the crappy stealth 540 PCI card in this system. Unfortunately, newegg was out of some of the $45 motherboards and the cheaper ones that supported both SDRAM and DDR. But I am thinking the new AMD processors will be better off on a new generation motherboard anyways when they come out and I really think the new NFORCE boards will be what I will want (great sound and will hopefully have an integrated GEforce 500 for a decent price in a year or more).
By the way, I despise compaq. When I paid $1000 for this system (open box-wasnt able to return it), I was assured it had an open AGP slot. Then later I find out compaqs case design will not allow me to add a new motherboard. Ouch.
Anyways, I figure going this route will also give me some experience in building my own system and the components are so cheap that if I screw up and break anything, no big deal.
If you do upgrade, you'll probably have to do a fresh install of windows. Since you have a "recovery cd" it will not work with the duron motherboard. For what you are spending, you can get a complete duron system. I'd like to help you, but you'll spend more money upgrading than starting over. You'll have old leftover parts that you won't be able to sell. I would try selling your complete system in the paper, and see what offers you get for it. Pricewatch has hundreds of generic systems listed at reasonable prices, letting you choose from many configurations and virtually any cpu speed you desire. Just select "pc windows" and the cpu speed you want, and start scanning through the pages. Call the vender's 800 number listed, and get a build time, and use a credit card, in case you don't get what you ordered. You can use your old monitor, or get a new one. Prices for 17 inch monitors are much lower now.