help a computer idiot upgrade

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by bofe954, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. bofe954


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    Feb 27, 2003
    I have a home built computer that I 'd like to upgrade. I can't play the new generation of games. It has an AMD thunderbird 1.33 ghz PCU, nvidia geforce2 MX400 64mb video card and 512 MB ram.

    My question specifically is this- can I leave the t-bird family of chip into another AMD athlon chip. The T-birds only hit 1.4 ghz. I'd like to go 2ghz. What PCU would you recommend for my situation. If I can upgrade the PCU I may consider video card upgrade. I could upgrade the RAM also, it is not DDR ram and is realy cheap. I haven't so far because I didn't think my current system suffered from lack of ram alone.

    Any advice?
  2. bobby_w

    bobby_w Alienigena Platinum Member

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    Nov 10, 2001
    South of Houston
    What is the brand and model of the motherboard. Many times the mfg. issues BIOS upgrades that let you upgrade the CPU to a faster one. With this info you can check their site and see if you can crank it up with a faster CPU without changing the motherboard.

    I was able to put a 2.4 Athalon in one of mine by upgrading the BIOS.

  3. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    Um...have you PRICED new SDRAM PC100/PC133 lately?! DDR IS CHEAPER everywhere I shop, unless you're after some XMS or low latency PC4000 stuff.

    I built over 200 PC's last year, so I know what I'm talking about. I face client concerns like yours quite often, because it seems like you can get something good for less. It isn't possible, and you will waste money in the attempt that could nearly pay for the 'dream machine' I parted out below!

    I'd have to suggest that you do what I tell my clients to do, and what I do all the parts necessary for a really nice new PC, and either sell that oldie or use it for a networked PC or as a router.

    You will wind up replacing everything in it eventually to eliminate all the bottlenecks, anyway. And an Athlon XP 2000+ will give about 15%-20% more power than what you have now unless you OC it and strain the old parts.

    How about this:

    AMD Athlon 64 3500+ for SKT 939
    1 GB PC3200 (400MHz) DDR RAM
    Asus Socket 939 Motherboard w/onboard sound, LAN, SATA, ect.
    AGP NVidia 6800 (or GT, or Ultra) video card
    2 x 120GB IDE HDD's, for ICH5R RAID0 (use current HD as BU)
    Large, roomy Mid-Tower case with at least 5 cooling fans
    Minimum 430w Antec (or better) Power Supply
    Energizer 650 VA (or equivalent) Uninterruptible PS
    XP Home, purchased with PC parts =$70 or so.

    Now THIS is a rocking system (cost: $1500, +/-) that will ensure you are future-proofed and ready for 64-bit computing. It will also cost only slightly more than upgrading that old PC, and will work far better than anything it could ever do, due to low system bus bandwidth and many, many bottlenecks.

    You'll eventually upgrade to something like this anyway, so I advise you to make the upgrade happen now, and leave your old machine as is.

    A metaphor: You want to use a machine that will go 200MPH, but you currently have a Yugo. A Yugo can be MADE to go that fast, but since it isn't designed to do so there will be many obstacles to overcome before that speed can be safely attained.

    So why not start out with a Porsche, and enjoy life in the fast lane without having to waste much time and money on an upgrade that is doomed to failure!

    You can even buy the parts here and there, a couple at a time, and use your old PC until they are all present and accounted for. Then use them to build your wicked gaming rig, knowing that it will do all you ask it to and more!!

    It is a great feeling when you own a PC that you are certain will play all of those awesome games that are going to arrive on store shelves for the next few years perfectly, let me tell you.

    Best regards,

  4. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

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    May 22, 2003
    North Carolina
    Fastvfr knows what he's talking about...helped me several times. That being said, I have done with both of my computers what he said not to do ;g I ended up decent, but like was said, could have nearly built a dream machine both times.