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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-27-2003, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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To upgrade, or not to upgrade, .....?

Hello Folks,

OK, my PC is working like Krap and I'm gettin' sick of wiping [bleep] out, reloading, uninstalling things, blah blah blah.
Its a P3/550, 256 mg ram, and I have the Tyan trinity motherboard that can be upgraded to 1 gig.
Should I get this one upgraded to the full gig, stir in a little more ram, and get Windows XP?
Or, should I go with a whole new motherboard so I can bump up to a P4/ 2 point something gig processor with oodles of ram? Be a couple hundred $$ more I'm sure.
My PC is just a few days over three years old, so is there any worries of my other items crapping out if I add new parts? Cooling fans, power supply, etc, etc?

Any thoughts would be great....thanks.

PS: I've got a new laptop waiting for me at work when I get back, Compaq with a P4/2.6 gig, tons of ram, and a 60 gig HD.....I'm gonna hate to get home and use this one...ha ha ha.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-27-2003, 09:04 AM
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Re: To upgrade, or not to upgrade, .....?

As with any mod...get the best you can afford! I'd go whole hog. I plan to upgrade/rebuild mine early in '04. I now have a 5 yr old (well the case anyway), I've rebuilt it twice, the last time was about 10 minutes before the release of the P4! I've got a P3 400 overclocked to 733 and a 1/2 gig of ram. I never really need any more that that except when I recording music or doing photos.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-28-2003, 06:26 PM
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Re: To upgrade, or not to upgrade, .....?

I second going with the biggest and baddest you can afford. BUT, if you can't afford much right now I'd just upgrade to a gig, add in a ton of ram, and maybe upgrade to XP if you can (depending on what you already have). Note, you will probably notice a bigger increase in "speed" from adding a gig of ram than you would going up to a bigger processor.

I still use a P2/350 with 384mb ram (win98) along side a sony vaio (desktop) P4/2.4 with 256mb ram (XP). I don't notice a whole lot of difference when opening programs and stuff (maybe twice as fast, but that's like 3sec instead of 6), but the vaio sure does boot up 100x faster.

Hope I helped a little and not hurt.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-02-2003, 05:21 AM
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Re: To upgrade, or not to upgrade, .....?

Skip the Intel junk and go AMD! [img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img]

Seriously, there's nothing wrong with Intel chips, but their stuff is soooo overpriced it ain't funny. One thing you have to consider is that AMD's overclock like there's no tomorrow, while Intel's stuff typically won't go very far. For example, AMD just released some newer Durons in August that are clocked at 1.4ghz and 266mhz bus speed officially, but have successfully run to 2.5Ghz and almost 500mhz bus speed to the limits of the motherboards. How much is this chip? Less than $50! The newer Athlon XP chips around ~2ghz are going over 3ghz as well. But just keeping the overall factory speed and bumping up the bus speed will get you nice memory/cpu bandwidth with very little fuss, assuming you buy some quality pc3200 or higher ram. This hardware is very competitive with Intel stuff that costs 3x as much, mainly due to how the AMD chips handle operations per clock cycle... I would suggest reading some reviews at before you drop major bucks on anything. Clock speeds alone don't tell much any more, you have to dig deeper. I can tell you one thing for sure, get a new hard drive! They are mechanical and get worked hard, and eventually get loud and slow. Plus, newer hdd's have the faster interfaces found on newer motherboards, and the prices are awesome on even the huge drives.

Obviously I'm an AMD fan, but I've been a "computer geek" since I was 12 so I consider tweaking hardware a pleasure, not a pain. AMD seems to be more of an enthusiast platform whereas Intel caters to the business world, but they are trying to change that fact with their new 64-bit processors. We'll see how it goes, but honestly there's no reason to buy cutting-edge any more because hardware out-ran software long ago, and even my 2-year-old 1.4Ghz machine still satisfies my geek side just fine. Even gamers don't need the latest and greatest any more since the video card is the bottleneck now. For stability's sake, whether you go AMD or Intel, be sure to have at least a 300watt power supply with a brand name on it. Anything less is asking for trouble. Good luck picking out the perfect hardware, there's soooo much stuff on the market these days that it's damn near impossible to figure out what's "best". [img]images/graemlins/burnout.gif[/img]
<img src=>
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-02-2003, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: To upgrade, or not to upgrade, .....?

Thanks Bumperless,

I've decided to try and go the easy route for now, since is close to X-mas, and the money is disappearing fast....
Went to see our Computer/network tech at work today, and for a couple bucks and a bottle of Rum....he he he,
He's gonna wipe my PC clean, stir in another 256mb of Ram, install Windows XP, Office, Excell, Norton, etc, etc,....
And then I'll see if I can't get another year or so out of it....
I don't wanna dump any more money into it than I have to, I'd rather just buy a brand spanky new one next year...

On a side note, I just got my new work laptop the other day, and its a P4/2.6 and man does that thing work nice....
Its a pleasure to use..

When it comes time for a new PC at home, I'm gonna explore every option....
I'm not married to Intel or anything, I just want the best bang for my buck, and something smokin' fast....
Got a couple buddies runnin' Athlons....and they seem to like 'em...
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-06-2003, 12:31 AM
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Re: To upgrade, or not to upgrade, .....?

My Xmas present to my fiance and me is a new computer to replace this Gateway POS. Well, aside from the .45 for me and the earings for her. This is "our" gift[img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img][img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]. Luckily my brother is a computer dork majoring in Computer Sciences and other 'puter stuff that goes over my head like automotive stuff goes over his.[img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] My Xmas present from him is free labor on the puter. Fast, really, really fast AMD processor, super dohicky motherboard, a crapload of RAM, more gigs of memory than NASA had from 1958-1980, a sound card to wake the dead, or at least have them tapping their feet, all kinds of good stuff. I figure since I'm about to leave for college and take on all these other responsibilities and debts, might as well get the computer now and be done with it, then have this POS finally become unuseable or die in 6 months when I have no money.

Hopefully it'll be so overbuilt we can keep using it for several years and it'll still be somewhat competitive. At least it'll be upgradeable, whereas the POS here isn't.

One of the first things I shoot with my new .45 will be a Gateway PC.[img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]images/graemlins/AR15firing.gif[/img]
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