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Replacing vs. Building vs. Buying

Last response: in CPUs
July 4, 2002 2:58:45 PM

All this started b/c I was trying to inc. game play performance on WWII Online. I bought a ti 4200 128MB, yesterday, and I found out I don't have an AGP slot on my motherboard. So my question is should I replace what I need in my comp., should I build from scratch or should I just buy a new comp.

Current comp.: H.P. Pavillion 8660c; Win. 98; 533 MHZ, 256 RAM; 20 Gig. HD; DVD and CDRW.

I've never tried to build a comp. Besides recommendations on what to keep and what to discard and on brands and probable costs associated with upgrading. Here are some specific questions I have:

Will my current housing suffice? If not does housing come w/ directions on installing parts.

How hard is a new motherboard to install, since best case scenario (money wise) is that I just replace the motherboard - with much better upgrade potential this time :) .

Should I be able to transfer most of what I want to keep from my current comp., or is alot of stuff proprietary to H.P.

Any help is much appreciated.
July 4, 2002 3:16:23 PM

i dont know what stuff is proprietary in your system but personally i would keep the hdd cd dvd and cdrw. get a new processor motherboard and ram throw it in a new case reformat and you then have a new computer. that would probably be the cheapest way to upgrade and give the best upgrade path

I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
July 4, 2002 4:13:05 PM

How much $$ do you have to spend on this? I would build new from the ground up. If you're looking into another Intel proc, then you're most likely going to need a new powersupply, and for that you might as well buy a new case. Antec SX series is good, the mid-tower 635 model is what I have...I love it. New motherboard is easy to install into that case, you just screw down stand-offs and then sit the mobo on top and screw it in. That's what I suggest you do, change the mobo, and the processor and ram as well. Get some ddr mobo, w/ an AthlonXP proc, some ddr ram, and maybe a new power supply if the old one cant handle the new load. That's definitely the cheapo solution. You keep everything else except for the processor, motherboard and ram. You already have that kickass gfx card.

I sold my sig for $50.
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July 4, 2002 4:38:51 PM

if your going to get a new case from antec, go find the one you want, then find the same thing from chieftec (who makes the cases antec uses) and save yourself 60+ bucks. I purchased the 1040 case with a 430W power supply and have been happy ever since.
July 4, 2002 4:47:48 PM

Sounds like good advice. Any recommendations on mobos? How do I figure out what kind of power supply I need? Also, I heard that Win 98 won't effectively push more than 256 RAM, is this true?

Is transferring my equip. and putting all this new stuff into a new housing a relatively simple process?
July 4, 2002 6:13:04 PM

Windows 98 can handle up to 512 megs, as for psus, grab a 350 enermax, that will handle any cpu out now and then some imo.

350-400 is a good safe bet.

:wink: The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark :wink:
July 4, 2002 10:05:35 PM

I was hoping to spend no more than $300 to $400. It sounds like money wise the AMD 1800 XP might be the processor to go with - is that a pretty fair statement? I've heard about overclocking the Intel P4, would that be a cheaper method to get more GHZ? If so, I'm a taking a bigger risk w/ crashing my system?

I would appreciate a recommendation on a mobo and RAM to go w/ this setup w/in my target price area. I went to the mobo forum and, frankly, the discussions were over my head :-0. Is there a good site to select a variety of products and compare their features side by side. From what I gather Newegg is the consensus place to purchase.

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a b V Motherboard
July 5, 2002 5:25:16 AM

In the AMD pricerange, your best P4 option would be a P4 1.6A, an Asus P4S533, and some PC2700. You should be able to reach 2400MHz with this settup.

<font color=blue>At least half of all problems are caused by an insufficient power supply!</font color=blue>
July 5, 2002 3:29:02 PM

How easy is it to overclock? Is there an article or step-by-step process that can teach me how to do this? It certainly sounds like I can get much better performance for my money by OCing a P4, rather than getting the AMD. Is GHZ the only consideration in performance? I noticed all that's mentioned in articles and forums is the AMD XP, but the Thunderbird's offer more GHZ for less money. Is that just a really bad brand that crashes a lot, or what?

Also, with the P4s what's the difference between a 1.6A or B? Also, what difference does the socket # make and how do I find out if I'm getting the Northwood?

July 5, 2002 5:45:33 PM

Before you do anything else, have you determined where your problems are with ww2 online? It's easy to say you need a faster comp, but are you sure that whatever frustration you feel is going to be solved with a new computer? Are you on a properly functioning broadband connection or are you on a dial-up connection? If the latter, then the biggest source of your problems may be your line and not your computer.

I agree that upgrading will probably not be worth it for some of the reasons given earlier. The drives are probably the only things to bring over.

Buying isn't really an option in the price range you are looking at, considering that gaming seems to be a focus. On the other hand, you might consider delaying and saving up for a pre-built.

Building a system isn't generally difficult, but you need to understand the trade you are making. If you buy a pre-built and there is a problem, the company is responsible for getting you a working system. Issues like tech support, free shipping if product needs to be returned, etc. will probably be provided. If you buy a bunch of parts you are on your own. You will likely not get tech support. Noone is responsible for making sure that the parts function together properly and that you end up with a working system. The burden of troubleshooting is fully on your shoulders. It may be that everything will go together and power up without a hitch. If things don't, are you confident that you can troubleshoot and solve the problem?

With low price parts suppliers understand what you give up for the low price.

a.)there is no tech support
b.)you will be responsible for return shipping charges.
c.)Retail cpus frequently have to be returned through the manufacturer.

The point is that you save money if all goes well. For saving that money you take responsibility onto yourself. If there is a problem, the cost of resolving it will probably easily eat up any savings you had from the low price.

I'm not trying to frighten you away from this, but it's important to understand that you are going to have to handle any problems and troubleshooting yourself. You won't get help. If you feel confident in being able to troubleshoot then so be it. If you don't, then it will probably be worth it to spend the extra money for the warranty and support issues and go with a prebuilt.

No, cases don't generally come with instructions. In fact, there will be no set of tidy instructions for connecting everything together, although you should get some configuration info with the individual parts, especially the motherboard.

Whatever case you buy, make sure it has a minimum 300 watt amd/intel approved power supply and you should be ok with power supply issues. I have an enlight case with such a power supply and am satisfied with it.

I think it would be a bad idea to go with a p4. I don't say this as an amd fanatic. p4 Price/performance isn't up to that of an amd xp. Don't get pulled into a "which has more ghz" question, that isn't the issue. Ghz doesn't tell you about performance. Within your budget the 1700-1800 xp is a very good choice.

Yes, you take greater risk when you overclock. I would not advise this under the circumstances.
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July 5, 2002 6:53:18 PM

The 1.6A at 2400MHz would perform about the same as an Athlon XP2400+, but since there is no such thing as an XP2400+, you get more performance from the 1.6A at 2.4GHz than from any Athlon, even an overclocked unit, when using normal air cooling.

The Athlon actually offers more per MHz performance than the P4, this is calculated into the XP model number scheme. An XP2400+ would be 1933MHz, which is just beyond the ability of the Athlon for overclocking using standard cooling.

When people talk about A and B they are talking about the 100MHz bus clocked "400MHz bus" processors, and the 133MHz bus clocked "533MHz bus" processors. As such, the 1.6A, 1.8A, 2.0A, 2.2A, and 2.4A are all at 100MHz FSB, while the 2.26, 2.4 "533" version, and 2.53, are all the later. The lower bus speed versions are easier to overclock. For instance, by simply changing the bus speed from a standard bus speed of 100MHz to the newer bus speed of 133MHz, the 1.8A gets 2400MHz, which makes it the performance equivalent of the "2.4B". The 1.6A needs a higher bus speed of 150MHz to get that high, which is rather easy to do with overclockers boards such as the Asus P4S533.

<font color=blue>At least half of all problems are caused by an insufficient power supply!</font color=blue>
July 5, 2002 10:47:28 PM


Thanks, all your information has been very helpful. Do you recommend some where I can look to find out, in detail, how to overclock the P4?


Thanks for the warning. I am using a cable modem. I am positive that it is the performance ability of my current PC that is leading to slow game play. I also am fully aware of what I give up by building my own system. It is worth it to me to save the extra money and put in the hours to learn what I need to do. Hence, my prowling these forums =).

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a b V Motherboard
July 6, 2002 12:34:55 AM

You can find out here. Just read the post, especially in the Overclocking>CPU forum.

<font color=blue>At least half of all problems are caused by an insufficient power supply!</font color=blue>
July 6, 2002 12:39:01 AM

If you wanna build your own PC I suggest reading some articles and looking at the screenshots... try to figure out where everything goes... thats how I learned. If you need any help there is a very good article on on how to build a PC in the hardware section...,12880,2842650,0... I recommend using that as a guide when your building it.

Just get familiar with the hardware and what goes where and it should be easy... its pretty much just putting the right piece in the right slot... you shouldnt have any trouble with it. As for what to get... for your price range I would recommend an Athlon XP 1700+/1800+ with some DDR266 Ram or some DDR333(good ammount is 512MB for Windows XP) a good motherboard (Asus) and a decent case with a 300-350W Power Supply... The Antec cases are really good, im very happy with mine...

anyways thats my 2 cents