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Help with upgrading...

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Last response: in CPUs
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June 18, 2002 8:14:18 PM

I've been looking to upgrade my computer for awhile, and now i've finally gotten enough money to do it. Also, keep in mind that I'm probebly not as tech-savay as most of you, and I probebly will ask some newbie questions. :o ) First off, heres my current system.

AMD K6-2 300mhz
160 MB of 66mhz ram (lmao, i know)
8 gig HD
16 MB Voodoo3 PCI Video
Aureal Diamond Ultra Sound Card

I've been seeing alot of ads in the newpaper for bare bones systems that include motherboards, cpu, a case, and sometimes a power supply. I saw one last week for a 1800+ Athlon with the motherboard, case, and power supply for $330. I'm thinking this is a good deal, espically since I know nothing about motherboards and what board is compatible with what cpu. Is this really a good deal? I realize I would need to buy some compatible memory also, but I think the CD-Rom/RW, Hard drive, and video/sound cards could be transfered over. Is there anything else I need to buy that I am not aware of?

And my main question, how easy would this be to put together? I've installed video, sound, memory, and a CD-RW before, and they were all pretty easy. But i've never done a hard drive, and have no idea how they hook up. (I'm assuming the annoying cables that run all over my system)

Oh and if anyone can share a good online shop that carries bare bone systems, it would be much appriciated. :0) Thanks.

More about : upgrading

June 18, 2002 8:22:50 PM

Are you not interested in putting together your own system entirely like CPU, mobo, case and everything? A hard drive installs physically the same as a CD-RW.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 18, 2002 8:27:02 PM

Building your own system is not hard, and the manual from the motherboard describes how to build the system.

I would recommend finding a good deal on an Athlon 1800+, a motherboard (socket A) capable of running PC2100 (DDR266) memory and then get 256MB PC2100 (DDR266) RAM. If you can spare the money, I would get either a GeForce4 (expensive), a GeForce3 (not very expensive, but powerful), or a GeForce2 MX400 (very cheap, but still far more powerful than the voodoo). You should also get a ATA100 7200rpm harddisk.

I had a cool sig. ready, but my dog ate it!
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June 18, 2002 8:33:23 PM

I would build my own system, but I have no idea what motherboards support which chips. I don't even know what socket A means. :o P Is there a list of motherboards and the cpus they support somewhere on the web?

And yes, I was looking into getting a video card. Probebly the GeForce3 Ti200. Hows the price on the bare bones system i mentioned earlier?
June 18, 2002 9:13:10 PM

Quote:

I would build my own system, but I have no idea what motherboards support which chips. I don't even know what socket A means. :o P Is there a list of motherboards and the cpus they support somewhere on the web?

Oh, as for this, no prob. A lot of people here know a lot about compatibilities. If I may say so, I'm not too shabby at that either.

A GF3 Ti200 is pretty good, although a R8500 would be better. What is your budget? That way we could make up a list of parts for you.

As for the price of the bare bones, I'm pretty sure you can get it cheaper if you build it yerself.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 18, 2002 9:50:42 PM

Ok here's a possible setup. I'll stay conservative.

1. Athlon XP1800+ - $106
2. EPox 8K3A KT333CE - $89
3. 512MB Samsung PC2700 DDR333 - $149
4. ANTEC Performance PLUS Model PLUS660 with 330W PSU - $91
5. Lite-On 16x DVD-ROM - $45
7. Maxtor 40GB 7200RPM - $72
8. D-Link 10/100 Mbits - $10
9. Radeon 8500 128MB RETAIL - $142

Total of $704
$286 of that is what your barebones system is offering, though these components are probably better. newegg.com is a great online store, though not for barebones systems.

My firewall tastes like burning. :eek: 
June 18, 2002 10:49:22 PM

Well I was hoping to get the cpu, motherboard, ram, power supply and case for around $450, but I don't think that's going to be enough. So I'm looking to spend around $500-600. I'm content with the hard drive I have now, I'll upgrade that next month when I get my next paycheck.

What is the major diffrence between motherboards other than what chips they support and what RAM they require?

And I noticed alot of diffrent companies are selling GeForce chips on thier cards. Is this the same type of deal as what happened to the voodoo2's? That is, pretty much the same quality but diffrent prices?
June 18, 2002 11:23:10 PM

try and be carefull about it. I know a comp store near me was selling an athlon 1900+xp with a ECS mobo that wouldn't run at 133 fsb. So instead of running at 1600mhz i had a nice 200 dolla 1200 mhz machine.
June 19, 2002 12:03:28 AM

The difference between mobos would be different features the FSB supported and the RAM used. So there are some boards that have extra goodies like RAID, USB 2.0, hardware monitoring or jumperfree o/cing (not really a goodie anymore, so many boards have it). The FSB the AXP runs at is 133MHz DDR, which is 266MHz. The RAM that can be used in a KT333 is DDR333 or PC2700. All you have to do when using PC2700 RAM with a AXP is set the FSB/Mem ratio at 4:5 and run the FSB at 133MHZ DDR and the RAM at 166MHz DDR.

I'm not sure what you mean by this:
Quote:
And I noticed alot of diffrent companies are selling GeForce chips on thier cards. Is this the same type of deal as what happened to the voodoo2's? That is, pretty much the same quality but diffrent prices?

A good video card would be needed to supplement your AXP1800+, something like a GF3 Ti200 or R8500.

$450 should be enough for the stuff you mentioned by the way...

What's the deal with lampshades, I mean it's a lamp, why would you want a shade? :smile:
June 19, 2002 12:16:17 AM

FSB? AXP? huh?

And what I meant to say, is what is the diffrence between all the diffrent companies that produce GeForce cards? Take one companies GeForce 2 MX400 and compare to another's. Would there be any diffrence in performance?
June 19, 2002 12:19:53 AM

FSB-front side bus. This determines the memory bandwidth of the processor, and the RAM it can support
AXP=Athlon XP xxxx+

Video cards aren't really dependant on the manufacturers, since they use the same chipset for some cards. It depends on the chipset the card uses, like the Gf3 Ti200 is slower than the Gf4 Ti4600



"When there's a will, there's a way."
June 19, 2002 12:21:52 AM

FSB is the front side bus, which is basically how fast your CPU can get info passed to it in basic terms. AXP is merely shorthand for Athlon XP (hence the A and XP).

As for the different manufacturers of nVidia cards, there really isn't any difference in performance within the same cards, but the features are different. Example ASUS always includes loads of extras with their cards, which makes them a bit more expensive. Gainward makes cards that are really good at overclocking and so forth.

Oh yeah, if you're thinking of getting a GF2 MX400 with that AXP1800+, I'd steer clear, cause your system will be really bottlenecked by that card. Get at least a GF2 GTS-V for $45 if you really don't have money. I'd say for that system, at least a GF3 Ti200 would be needed.

What's the deal with lampshades, I mean it's a lamp, why would you want a shade? :smile:
June 19, 2002 2:44:02 PM

Do you play paintball, Quetzacoatl??

Anyway, build your own stuff...its not that hard. Although you are likely to run into some driver troubles if you expect to reuse your current HD with all the data still on it.

Expect to drop 100 on a mobo, 100 on RAM, 130 on a graphics card, 60 on a power supply, and 30 on a cheap case. I'd also suggest you drop 70 and get a new HD while you're at it!
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