First serious upgrade project ... pls help

I have an AST Advantage 9402 (Pentium MMX 166 MHx, Intel 430HX chipset, 32 MB SIMM) which I purchased about 4 years ago, and have since upgraded several times (more RAM, bigger HD, a CD/RW) but have now reached the end of the road ... this baby needs a faster CPU, and preferably a better motherboard.

However this is where I am in unknown waters ... can I actually swap in a newer MB ? has anyone actually upgraded this machine ? I pulled out the MB and it looks unlike any I have seen in the shops ... how do I tell what will fit in the same space ??

thanks for any help
and happy holidays everyone
17 answers Last reply
More about first upgrade project help
  1. Check your cpu internal Voltage jumper settings on the board. If it can go to 2.8 V or lower, 2.2V is way better, than you are in luck and should be able to pop in a K6-2 400 or more. The external Voltage you can leave at 3.3V.
    Set your cpu frequency jumpers to 2.0X. This is read internelly by the K6-2 as 6X. So 6 X 66mhz = ~400. This is also wy you will have no gain from a K6-2 500/550.
    However, if you can find a K6-2 + series, or K6-3, use that it will be even faster cause more L2 cache.
    You can upgrade your BIOS but this is not necessarily a must thing. You can try with actual BIOS, chances are it will work. If not a BIOS upgrade is in order.
    Now, this can work, really.
    I have a old sochet 7 430 HX mobo with a K6-2 500+ running on it. And as surprising as it may seem the damn thing is stable as a rock.
    I will post back with a link in a giffy.
    This article is for you: <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>
    Now after reading this you may still wish to swap mobos.
    The thing here is this:
    - You have AT formfactor case = no good for new ATX mobos
    - You can buy a new ATX case/mobo/cpu and use DD, CD-R, CD, SND(isa is not recommended) and most pci cards. The problem is simms are out of here and your vid card will work but you will have a poor performance compared to that of AGP cards. Also your PIO mode DD will be a poor performer compared to the ATA 33/66/100 models.

    Yes, it's all a damn lot of figuring, but that's the fun of it all :lol:


    Duby the snake now has a brand new skin :lol: <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by pike on 12/28/01 03:22 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
  2. If you don't have at least an ata 66 hardrive and geforce 2 video card, I suggest you sell your old system in the paper and start over. I suggest the following: shuttle ak31 version 3.1 ($80 newegg), athlon 1600 xp ($128 aprox oem) vantec 6035d or thermalright sk6 heatsink (25-$33), crucial 256k case 2.5 memory ( $65.69 unbuffered non parity pc2100 ddram with free shipping at the crucial website), ibm deskstar 40 gig 7200 hardrive (aprox $100), and geforce 2 ti 500 or ati radeon 7500 ($95-125 oem). The video card will be the most important decision. The rest are pretty much no-brainers. Read some posts on the video site before deciding. Check newegg's refurbished section if you want to save some money and get free shipping on some items.
  3. I will second that notion as the amount of money that you will spend trying to get your antic heater/dust collector to increase its speed will not be able to compare to the >$1000 machine that you could build described above. 4 years is a good life for your average computer so sell the old one for around $100-150 and just buy new. Newegg is a good company by the way. Quiet a few of us at Tom's enjoy spending our hard earned dollars there:)

    If it works for you then don't fix it.
  4. You can add a K6-2 400 to it, using the multiplier for the Pentium 133 (2x) with the voltage you have already. You'll need a large cooler to keep the over-voltaged CPU within reasonable temps, most inexpesive Athlon/Duron/PIII (Soket 370/462) coolers are large enough, and these coolers DO fit Socket 7 (most salesmen don't know this). The K6-2 changes 2x to 6x internally, making it 6x66.6=400. I have done a computer just like yours and it's still in the field after 6 months with this arrangement.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  5. For the K6-2, 2x=6x

    For the Pentium MMX, 1.5x=3.5x unless it's locked lower.

    For the K6-2, 1.5x=4x I think, can't recall for sure.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  6. Right, I did screw up on that :-(
    The 1.5 X to 3.5 X for p-233mmx was what mixed me up there.


    No Barbie Dolls under the tree this Xmass! :frown:
  7. Hmmm... Hey, all you great sages of computerdom out there... So you don't need a special "super 7" board for the k6-2/k6-3? That's handy... My father has an old k6 233mhz system he's planning on replacing, and guess who gets to fool around with the old technology...

    Would it be possible to stick in a k6-3 into a socket 7 board that originally ran a k6? I'm guessing i'll have to do more research on the mobo, all i know is that it has a via chipset, 1 agp, 3 pci, 2 isa... I'll have to open the case and see if I can't find something that resembles a model#/name on the north/south bridge.

    It'd be nifty if I could upgrade that slow thing... Could use the system as a "practice unit" for my A+ Certification class.
  8. it'll fit, but it might not run that chip...
    if you look up the board, and check its support...

    i dont really know what the "super" part of the supersocket7 means...
    i might have been told, but i cant remember that has been a while.


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  9. Here you go.
    Yes K6-3 is compatible with K6-2 mobos.
    K6-2 has 64 kb L2 cache
    K6-2 +(mobile cpu) has 128 kb L2 cache
    K6-3 has 256 kb L2 cache
    Put internal voltage to 2.1 or 2.2 V for these cpu.
    Goto "amdzone", sorry can`t put up the link , my connection is bad at the moment. There you will find: "K6 Speed" and other progs to enable "write back" for cache and also to enable your actual onboard L2 cache witch will become L3 cache.
    This all works , i have a P55T2P4 sys up and running with all this :-)


    No Barbie Dolls under the tree this Xmass! :frown:
  10. I busted open the case (handy easy-open fron bezel), and couldn't find something resembling a mobo "name" on the board. However, I found that the # on the northbridge was VT82C597AT. Searches for information on yahoo were inconclusive, all I could find was that the chipset was originally intended for the k6 and that it will run k6-2's at least up to 400mhz on a certian board (do I own that certian board? i dunno...). Anyone know where I'd look on the mobo to find the boards "name" or "model #" or whatever you call it. Even knowing where manufacturers like to stick their logo would be nice...

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by preventer_wind on 12/28/01 05:43 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  11. i have this program called ctbios that i downloaded which helped me identify a motherboard that i was working on...
    cant remember where i got it from....just search for it, shouldnt take too long.
    but that should let you know who made the board, and when you know that, you can look up their site, and get all the latest bios stuff, and the latest drivers, and even download a manual...hehe


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  12. For BIOS support, mobo compatibility and other links for K6-2 go here: <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>

    Nostradamus: "In the year 2002 naked alien women will descend to earth"<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by pike on 12/28/01 11:44 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
  13. Thanks to honestjhon and pike, i'm pretty close to finding out what board I have. According to the bios #'s and the list of what boards used a bios with those #'s, i have a 1/4 chance of having a k6-III compatible mobo.
  14. schweet...that would be much faster than the k6 and the k6-2!


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  15. It's an FIC VA-503. Any ideas how i can adjust the jumpers to get the full benefit of a 450mhz k6-III processor on this thing?
  16. i dunno, but i have that motherboard)actually the va 503+) sitting in my little sisters computer. and i have a k6-2 450 in there.
    umm...i think if you go to FIC's site, they have a manual that you can download...
    <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>


    -Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
  17. Thanks for the tip, but i actually went there and did that. If what everyone said on the previous page about voltage settings for the k6-x processors are correct, then i can run the k6-2 and k6-III. I'm just not quite sure about setting the multiplier for above 400mhz. As for official support for the k6-III processors, it doesn't really exist. They have bios updates for the k6-2 and could probably support that 450mhz k6-III. I see the instruction for setting the core voltage to 2.2v but don't know what to do about setting the multiplier.
Ask a new question

Read More