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Thread: PC upgrade?

  1. #1
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    PC upgrade?

    I am eventually buying some upgrade parts, more or less a complete machine except drives and PSU.
    Parts left Spec.
    1 HDD (IDE)
    1 DVD/CD-ROM
    1 CD-RW
    420 W PSU, almost 1-year-old, 20/24-pin connector plus 1 extra 4-pin, SATA cable.

    After initial questions like how much to eventually spend, can parts fit in the PC case (size); I have looked at some alternatives. This upgrade is not so much something I like to do since I probably would have bought a new machine in next 12-18 months (Windows Vista et al), but since my troubleshooting and MS

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    Re: PC upgrade?

    Hi Argus,
    I can't help much with AMD products since I am solidly a Pentium type.

    The one question that stands out is how big is your existing HDD?

    If you are looking into an eventual upgrade to VIsta, make sure you have PLENTY of spare capacity. I understand that Vista is a HUGE program that needs an awful lot of room.
    I would also give the need for additional memory to about 1 gig, some serious thought or at least put it up high on your wish list of things to add.

    Have you tried the MS Vista advisor on your present machine to see what it suggests?
    BOB
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    Re: PC upgrade?

    I read somewhere that Microsoft advises 1 GB of memory for Vista, but that would mean 2 GB for good performance!

    John
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    Re: PC upgrade?

    Bob,
    Well someday in the future we all (maybe) have upgraded to Vista. To be ready for an eventual OS upgrade is not the issue for this eventual hardware upgrade.

    However, if one were forced to do an unscheduled upgrade it would be not so wise if not looking at the requirements. So, for instance the types of mobos I am looking at can be upgraded later to AMD 4200+ two cores, 4 GB RAM. They are capable of handling SATA drives etc. even if it is not the top line mobos.

    As I mentioned, if I do this it will be a forced upgrade, thus I am not now looking for extra expenditures HDD's, DVD-RW et al. My present HDD in this machine is 80 GB and I have used maybe 7 GB (OS/Data everything), other data is on CD's.

    The main issue is to solve hardware problems - not to be Vista ready. Yes, I think you are right about HDD space. However, I can easily add another 200-300 GB HDD and RAM later. The only issue here is if I want to make use of dual-channel and use 512+512 or 1024+1024 MB. If I later would like 1024+1024, it would be better to start with a single 1024 now. With a 512 MB chip, I would have to buy more to get a pair. However, dual-channel is only an option, not necessary to configure it that way.

    No, I have not thought of checking the present machine against MS Vista advisor, since that belongs to the future. Maybe should for fun.

    As to my plan, if I would like to experiment I could buy only the memory and test it with present HW, next buy a mobo (not mentioned above) with both AGP and PCI-E graphic ports and test my present graphic card, and at last buy a new PCI-E graphic card. Somehow I am a bit tired on my old hardware and do not think I am interested in testing any more.

    I suppose almost all ATX mobos does fit in ATX cases, not sure about the I/O shield on the back of the case.

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    Re: PC upgrade?

    John,
    Yep. MS

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    Re: PC upgrade?

    <hr>Only question would be if I would want a pair of memory sticks that match...<hr>
    That would be a motherboard feature, but it's been some time (as far as I am aware) since this was an absolute requirement...

    John
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    Re: PC upgrade?

    I have not said it is requiered ... see my answer to Bob, Yes I do remember that years ago there were machines that reguiererd RAM in pairs, I have never owned one.


    Now, would any in the Lounge like to give comments on the hardware mentioned in my post (and forget Vista).

    Regards,

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    Re: PC upgrade?

    Hi Argus,

    I cannot comment on the AMD processor as all my systems are Intel... including my recent new environment that I assembled from scratch. I am an ASUS fan and can readily recommend their motherboards. You would want to examine their offerings to ensure that the m/b has both SATA and IDE ports. With my ASUS P5LD2 Deluxe, SATA becomes the bootable part while the IDE connections are reserved for secondary hard and optical drives.

    Regarding memory... going dual channel is the current trend and if you only want to get one module than opt for the 1024MB. If you go with name brands then you would stand a good chance of acquiring a reasonable matching module in the short period.

    Regarding graphics... my ASUS m/b came with a pair of PCI-E slots and no AGP slot. Not too sure if the ASUS boards can come with both AGP and PCI-E. It would be nice to have an AGP to fall back on, but my preference would be the oompf provided by PCI-E.

    Regarding the I/O Shield... all the ASUS motherboards I have acquired have come with appropriate I/O shields. It is very easy to remove the old and pop in the new shield.

    If you have a standard ATX case then you should have no problems with an ASUS ATX board.

    The main reason I like the ASUS motherboards is that they come fully equipped with all the appropriate hardware to facility your installation.

    Hope this helps, and good luck in building your new system.

    Cheers, Bob
    Regards,
    Bob

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    Re: PC upgrade?

    Bob,
    Thanks for your reply! Yes, I have found some mobos (not only ASUS) that have less IDE and more SATA. If I do this upgrade, I would like to have it set similar as now with HDD on prim. master and DVD/CD-RW on sec. master and slave, thus two IDE would be desired, but for the most, they still seem to have that.

    As to memory, that was how I thought about it also. However, it will be hard to get a 1024 MB in the budget.

    I have not seen so many mobos with both AGP and PCI-E, and if one finds such mobo there are probably other things that one does not like.

    Regarding ASUS mobos, so far what I have read, they, as you say, do come well equipped. I did see something about I/O shield in one manual, so if that comes too great.

    The PC is in a miditower. For some of the mobos I have looked at the width is maybe 2 cm more than present. I think that will go OK; there are extra holes for wider mobos in the side shield. I also have no CD drives that low in the case, so they will not get in the way.

    Regards,

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    Re: PC upgrade?

    Do you need to make this upgrade now??

    there are a lot of big changes happening at the moment and it might be prudent to wait for these to settle down.

    As you maybe aware AMD have just introduced a new socket type for their processors - AM2 and processors to fit, as a result future processors will be made for this socket type, this also support DDR-2 ram.
    Also you have the new intel core 2 processors arriving in a months time and by all accounts these are very very quick, The standard 2.66 ghz dual core version is out performing the athlon FX-62 which is the current daddy of processors.

    prices for these will be equivalent to current processor prices so expect the older AMD and INtel processors to drop in price very soon.

    just some food for though

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    Re: PC upgrade?

    killercob,
    Thanks for your reply. I read it at the time when posted, then several other things took my time so I forgot to reply.

    You make some good comments. I did know about the changes, then we also saw some big price changes regarding AMD CPU's.

    To answer your question: no, I did not need to upgrade that week or month, but the trouble I had with the hardware had been going on for some time. Then one morning it was dead, gone etc. Not a sound came when I pushed the power button ... I did the usual checking of cables, connections, removed some parts (NIC, CD drives, memory), then tried with another PSU, nothing worked.

    At that point I certainly needed to upgrade. Still, since it was not a scheduled upgrade, I did not want top of the line hardware, but now it is on a platform that can be upgraded. New CPU (AM2), Mobo, RAM, Graphic card, PSU.

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    Re: PC upgrade?

    Hi Bob,
    Again, thanks for your comments earlier. In another reply to killercob I mentioned that one day the system was dead. After fruitless troubleshooting, that was the start for my upgrade shopping.

    As mentioned earlier I was thinking of using some old parts: case, HDD, CD-RW/DVD, PSU. Thinking of the different hardware I was buying and how the old one ended (don't know if problem with PSU), I decided to buy a new PSU also.

    Since I'm into AMD, I looked at Asus M/B's for the new AM2 socket. With that I can choose from around 17 different CPU's for AM2. I did not buy anything extreme, I was looking for stability and compatibility; the Asus M2V is good for this machine. It has (as all AM2 M/B's) support for DDR2, in this case 800/667/533, though speed will depend on CPU. Other significant things included is: 8 GB RAM support, PCI-E 16/1, SATA I/II, single Gigabit LAN, eSATA, the latter can come handy.

    The CPU is an AMD 64 3500+ (AM2; Orleans), graphics is basic: GF 7300 LE PCI-E, memory (at the moment) 512 MB DDR2-667, PSU 520 W.

    So, since some weeks it is up and running. No problem so far; Windows XP, as expected, didn't like this big change <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>, so a fresh install was needed. I have not finished installing everything yet, <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>.

    The motherboard has 4 external USB ports and 4 internal connectors. As it seems, the connectors from the casemounted USB ports (front) do not match the ones on the M/B. The front USB was not connected to the old M/B either. I have not looked close at the connectors, but it seemed like they did not match, so I left them disconnected. Maybe can be fixed.

    I'm happy with this Asus M/B; a last step would be to disable that Realtek HD Audio Manager (came with the audio drivers) that runs at boot time!

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