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Need Computer Help -- Trying to Decide if I Want to Upgrade CPU

Posted on 12/18/2002 8:05:36 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick

OK, I have a computer that's about 3 years old and I'm very attached to it. I've done lots of upgrades and improvements over the past year or so and instead of getting a new one, I'd like to do one more upgrade.

Having put in a Network Interface Card, doubled the RAM to 256K, installed a CD-RW drive and replaced the hard drive in my IBM Aptiva, I'm giving serious thought to updating the processor from a Pentium III 600 MHz to something like a P4 2G or something, and I have a few questions:

1) Do I need a new motherboard to do this?

2) How difficult is this to do? Will it become one of those "more trouble than its worth" things?

3) What issues and potential problems should I consider?

Here are some of the specs:

Pentium III 600
system board: V66M
system board chipset: Intel 82443ZX
system board form factor: micro-ATX
front-side bus speed: 100 MHz


TOPICS: Technical; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: cpu; imbpc; intel; motherboard; pentium; processor
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Any help, suggestions, ideas would be very much appreciated! Thanks!
1 posted on 12/18/2002 8:05:36 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: NYC GOP Chick
You will need a new motherboard for the new processors (and a new fatherboard too HAHA)

Seriously, I would go with AMD over Intel I have had much less problems with them & they are cheaper

I just priced a new 2GHZ AMD with all the goodies for CAD (& games, video, etc) it was $1,200 wholesale

3 posted on 12/18/2002 8:14:31 PM PST by Ford Fairlane
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To: NYC GOP Chick
When I was about 16 or 17 years old, my buddies and I would buy "Dago Red" wine from this old Italian guy at the old race park for a $1.00 a gallon; he put it in rinsed out Clorox bottles, always tasted kinda like clean clothes smell.
4 posted on 12/18/2002 8:16:08 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: NYC GOP Chick
New Pentium 4 (2.0 GHz)/512MB RAM/80 GB drive/64 MB graphics for $700 + monitor (from Dell). (Mine arrives tomorrow - fingers crossed)
5 posted on 12/18/2002 8:19:36 PM PST by bcoffey
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Go here: www.newegg.com

figure on getting an Athlon mb (Asus is good). you may need new memory. get ddr. get a good fan (thermaltake) for the cpu and box. use your old box if it will fit, otherwise a new one (try Enlight). You should expect to spend $300. Other people might mention different brands. there are a lot to pick from. check out the user ratings at that website.

It's pretty easy to put together. you just gotta know your goesindas.... this goes inda this... and this goes inda that.

6 posted on 12/18/2002 8:20:48 PM PST by cowtowney
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To: NYC GOP Chick
If you're not into gaming, video editing or really massive database proecessing, what you've got will still do the job just fine.

If you are into any of those things, and don't want to mess around with installing motherboards, power supplies and RAM, your best bet is probably to buy a "barebones" box which has mobo, RAM, power already installed in a new case. Swapping over HDD, CD, sound and video boards from your old machine should be a slam dunk for you (although if you are getting into gaming you'll want a new video board, at least a GeForce 3).

I can recommend a couple of barebones box vendors that have done well by us in the past, but I don't like to do anything that might be construed as advertising in the forum - freepmail me if you are interested.

7 posted on 12/18/2002 8:22:51 PM PST by Charlotte Corday
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Check out Tiger direct
Some really good deals,also the hot deals page at Anandtech can point you towards the latest rebates etc.
8 posted on 12/18/2002 8:24:06 PM PST by damnlimey
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To: William Creel
I've got an AMD Athlon XP processor (1700 MHz) with 512 MB of RAM and I really like it. I've had it for about 10 months and it's worked great for me.
9 posted on 12/18/2002 8:24:34 PM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity
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To: NYC GOP Chick
I might mention that you have to get a new case for the motherboard. The earlier motherboards are AT form factor whereas the new motherboards are ATX form factor. Diffently dimensionally.

You also need new memories.

Rest of the stuff should be transferable.

Might be cheaper to buy a new machine outright. Check www.output.com for good pricing from Fry's Electronics.

10 posted on 12/18/2002 8:27:22 PM PST by Sen Jack S. Fogbound
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Also think about video and audio. A lot of the new MBs have video and sound chips built in. Are you attached to your video and sound cards? Your video card might not be compatible with your new motherboard, depending on its type. Some of the new MBs have ethernet built in.

Will the new MB physically match up with your old case? Check the configuration of the openings for plug-ins--USB, etc.

A lot of (all?) new motherboards have an additional power plug-in. Does your power supply support that, or will you have to replace it?

Do you have any "legacy" cards that require the older type of slot?

The last 5 machines I've assembled for myself have been Intel, Intel, Celeron, AMD, and AMD. The next one is also going to be an AMD. The price-performance equation just makes it a no-brainer for me.

Lastly, if this is your first time, take it slow and easy. Getting in a hurry or getting frustrated is the best way I know to goon something up. (<--voice of experience)
11 posted on 12/18/2002 8:28:22 PM PST by dsc
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To: Ford Fairlane
Why AMD over Intel?

Also, I do a lot of work with stuff like Flash and Photoshop, and have heard that Pentium is better for working with them, for some reason.

Was that $1200 for a whole computer, or just for the processor?!

12 posted on 12/18/2002 8:28:23 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Yes you will need a new motherboard to go to P4 or AMD Thunderbird. For the money an AMD 2000 XP is the way to go. You can get a new motherboard and the CPU for under $200 if you know where to buy it.
13 posted on 12/18/2002 8:29:59 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: bcoffey
Thanks, but I don't want to get a whole new computer if I can help it. Among the many reasons, I have a very good CD burner and I prefer Nero over the Roxio crap that comes with Dells.

Good luck with your new one -- I just ordered one today for my dad. :)

14 posted on 12/18/2002 8:30:43 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: NYC GOP Chick
From what I could tell from a google search, the 82443ZX motherboard can't handle more than a 800Mhz CPU, it also has support only for the old SDRAM at 100MHz FSB. You'll have to get a new motherboard and new memory to go any faster.
15 posted on 12/18/2002 8:30:51 PM PST by Brett66
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To: cowtowney
Thanks for the help!
16 posted on 12/18/2002 8:31:05 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: Charlotte Corday
I'm not into gaming or video editing, but I do a lot of processor-intensive work in programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, etc.

Would it *not* be worth a faster processor for all that?

17 posted on 12/18/2002 8:32:35 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: damnlimey
Thanks for the info. :)
18 posted on 12/18/2002 8:33:05 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: cowtowney
newegg.com is good. I just got a new power supply from them.

May I suggest the Cooler Master HHC-001 fan? Great for overclocking.

19 posted on 12/18/2002 8:33:09 PM PST by THX 1138
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Another thing, if you go to a P4 or AMD you will have to get new RAM to match.
20 posted on 12/18/2002 8:33:42 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Yes you need a new motherboard, cpu, and memory. I do this all the time and get most of my stuff from http://www.computergate.com. I would also go with the AMD, more bang for the buck. Abit has some great Mboards with VIA chipsets for $100 or less.

You didn't say what OS you were using, but you may run into a few snags pluging your hard drive into a new motherboard. such as the OS seeing new hardware and old drivers etc. Be sure you do a full backup of your hard drive before you start.

good luck and have fun
21 posted on 12/18/2002 8:33:43 PM PST by krizzy
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Why AMD over Intel? Also, I do a lot of work with stuff like Flash and Photoshop, and have heard that Pentium is better for working with them, for some reason.

That used to be the case but by all accounts, AMD has caught Intel in graphics and performance. Any advantage Intel had over AMD is now slight and getting smaller with each new CPU both produce.

22 posted on 12/18/2002 8:34:11 PM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult
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To: NYC GOP Chick
What do you do with your computer? It could be that what you have suits you just fine. MS Word and the internet won't move any faster with a new computer. If you build you own (doubtful) I would get this motherboard at newegg: ASUSTEK COMPUTER INC.--Motherboard - A7N266-VM  on board sound, lan and video. I have one.

For the best deals go here and see what Dell is blowing out for $330 to $450 dollars w/ free shipping.

23 posted on 12/18/2002 8:36:49 PM PST by dennisw
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To: NYC GOP Chick
I'm going though a similar decision taking process.
Should I upgrade from my old Vic 20 to a C-64?
24 posted on 12/18/2002 8:37:47 PM PST by ASA Vet
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To: THX 1138
I like newegg too. I had to send back a motherboard and there was ZERO problem w/ doing that. Their rep is well deserved. What's cool there are the customer comments about items they sell. The comments have saved me time and money.
25 posted on 12/18/2002 8:40:58 PM PST by dennisw
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To: NYC GOP Chick
What video card do you have? You might find that getting a fast video card will make everything be much snappier.
26 posted on 12/18/2002 8:44:20 PM PST by ikka
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To: NYC GOP Chick
I have put in quit a few systems on the side in the last couple of years, & have used AMD for people who didn't care, because I get a better margin, & it seems like there are fewer instances of the dreaded "blue screen of death" & similar problems.

I personally have a P700 laptop, & 1ghz pentium & AMD workstations, the laptop locks up a lot, but i figure that is because it is a laptop, the pentium locks up some, but the AMD almost never locks up.

All are running windows ME (yes, I know I need to change that), and are mostly used for web browsing, Microsoft Office apps, and Autocad 2000.

Interestingly, it seems that outlook is what locks any of them up most often, but the pentium chips act finnicky while running autocad, while I rarely have trouble with the AMD machine.

27 posted on 12/18/2002 8:49:19 PM PST by Ford Fairlane
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To: ikka
"doubled the RAM to 256K"

wow that must have cost a fortune !!!

28 posted on 12/18/2002 8:49:25 PM PST by George from New England
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To: NYC GOP Chick
I was perfectly happy with my 550 PIII until the power supply went Kerflooey! and took the motherboard with it. As soon as the holiday cash hemmorhage ends, I'm buying a new board. I'm leaning toward the P4 - I had a old Duron system on hand and installed my old HD and it wouldn't boot up (I have Windows XP Pro) at all. I took the HD with me to work (that's another PIII machine) and it booted, but it wants me to reactivate the operating system with Microsoft.

Like you, I'm not ready to trash my HD, and I'm hoping that the P4 is similar enough to the PIII that the drive will boot. You may have to reinstall the OS, depending on what you're using and what your hardware configuration is. Before you start, definitely back up any data files that you want to keep. You will almost certainly need new RAM. Good luck.

29 posted on 12/18/2002 8:51:05 PM PST by CFC__VRWC
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To: NYC GOP Chick
You may be better off starting with a barebones and keep your present machine for a backup. Check prices here:

www.pricewatch.com
30 posted on 12/18/2002 8:53:47 PM PST by ptrey
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Check out http://www.kristamicro.com, you need a tax # to do business with them, but their systems are AOK & their prices are good (wholesale).
31 posted on 12/18/2002 8:54:04 PM PST by Ford Fairlane
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To: George from New England
Wow! Thanks for the great insight and help!
32 posted on 12/18/2002 8:55:01 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: ASA Vet
want my TRS 80?
33 posted on 12/18/2002 9:04:00 PM PST by krizzy
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To: NYC GOP Chick
By the way, it's real tricky to change a motherboard without reinstalling the OS. Best to start over and reinstall the OS and all your programs unless you know someone who has done it before.
34 posted on 12/18/2002 9:06:16 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: ikka
What video card do you have? You might find that getting a fast video card will make everything be much snappier.

How/where would I find that info?

35 posted on 12/18/2002 9:07:09 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: krizzy
Will it run as fast as my TI-994A?
36 posted on 12/18/2002 9:11:11 PM PST by gcruse
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Right click on my computer, L click on propertys, L click on hardware, L click on device manager, L click on display adapter and it will tell you.
37 posted on 12/18/2002 9:11:22 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: John Lenin
OK, it says: SR9 Pro - 16MB SDRAM
38 posted on 12/18/2002 9:14:55 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: gcruse
I think they were about the same. after all basic doesn't exactly push the limits of hardware.
39 posted on 12/18/2002 9:16:08 PM PST by krizzy
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To: NYC GOP Chick
You have a prety good card, 16megs is kinda small but a new card will not speed things up much unless you do a lot of graphics.
40 posted on 12/18/2002 9:18:10 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: John Lenin
Well, I do use Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash a lot...
41 posted on 12/18/2002 9:19:15 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: NYC GOP Chick
I'm not into gaming or video editing, but I do a lot of processor-intensive work in programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, etc.


G4, baby!

-ccm

42 posted on 12/18/2002 9:20:47 PM PST by ccmay
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To: ccmay
Yeah, but I'd have to replace all that software -- not cheap! :(
43 posted on 12/18/2002 9:21:34 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Than get 128 graphics card but for real speed you are better off ith a new CPU.
44 posted on 12/18/2002 9:22:19 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: NYC GOP Chick
I am a little confused as to how you obtained an aptiva that can have a mother board upgrade. But maybe they made something like that in recent years. You will be much more limited if you can only use a micro ATX board. Chances are that your CPU is already maxed for your current motherboard. So you might have to buy a new case, motherboard, memory. The newer motherboards use DDR memory. A case is not expensive. They start at about $39.00 Asus used to be a good motherboard manufacturer, but they have slipped. Some of there stuff is real buggy now...I found out the hard way. The Soyo Dragon series are great. As others have mentioned...Amd is great. Just go with a mother board with a KT333 Via chipset or newer.(a higher number is newer). Via was buggy before that. As someone suggested...Newegg.com is a good place to buy. Many of there items have no shipping charges right now. No Tax unless you live in CA. If you don't get built in(Motherboard) audio or video then I would recommend a cheap ATI Radeon video card and a cheap sound blaster audio card. This is assuming that you don't want to buy higher priced cards which are needed mostly for gaming or video editing. All of your drives should be re-usable. If your burner came with NERO then it will install on your new system. If you don't have a stand alone copy of windows then you will have buy it...but you can get it for under $100.00 from newegg if you purchase it with a motherboard or hard drive.

Also a PIII 600 is not to shabby for normal use unless you are into really intense games or something like that. Your not going to see any improvent if all you do is search the internet or use Office and things like that.

45 posted on 12/18/2002 9:24:27 PM PST by Revel
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To: NYC GOP Chick
Just find a PIII 1000, make sure your motherboard will accept it. You can probably find one for $40-50 used.
46 posted on 12/18/2002 9:24:29 PM PST by John Lenin
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To: John Lenin
Would the graphics card really make a significant difference?
47 posted on 12/18/2002 9:25:23 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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To: NYC GOP Chick
why do you wish to upgrade? What do you wish to achieve?

What you have should be quite adequate for most uses, and adequately fast.

I have built and rebuild and upgraded many computers over the years, and finally given up, as it is a big pain, due to all the various incompatabilites in components and software.

Most good computer systems are made from same era components which work well together. Companies will rarely 'upgrade' computers, it is far more cost effective to just replace them with new systems.

The easiest thing to do, is to buy a whole new system, fully integrated, with the latest operating system and software installed, and a large hard drive, then bring the old hard drive over to the new one, and 'copy' it onto a special partition on your new computer, most particularly your data files.

Then re-install your old hard drive in your old computer and use it for a backup.

If you are intent on upgrading however, it is a great learning experience, possibly far more than you wish to learn. I have lost a lot of hair over the years, trying to figure out the problems. And tech support today is almost non-existent, except at very high prices.

If you do decide to upgrade, I would buy a new hard drive, copy your old hard drive to the new one, and take out your new hard drive, and proceed with the upgrade. Large Hard drives are very cheap these days (about $1 per gigabite).

Lastly, windows 95 and 98 have many bugs, especially when you run out of memory - they do wierd things. Windows 2000 is currently the operating system of choice for the most stable, bug free operating system.

The biggest problem with upgrading is the major chance of losing all your important data, which probably took you hundreds or thousands of hours to collect and generate.
48 posted on 12/18/2002 9:26:10 PM PST by XBob
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To: NYC GOP Chick
I just got a P4 1.7 "basic" system for my dad for Christmas. It was $300 including shipping from www.pcusa.com It was decent enough for a $300 computer.

I can vouch for newegg. They treated me very well when I built an AMD 1800XP for myself a few months ago.

Whatever you do, look up the vendor at http://www.resellerratings.com/ before you buy. It might save you from a bad experience.
49 posted on 12/18/2002 9:28:00 PM PST by FreeInWV
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To: Revel
Thanks for all the info. Like I said, I use Photoshop. Flash, Illustrator, etc., often and am looking to boost performance.
50 posted on 12/18/2002 9:28:23 PM PST by NYC GOP Chick
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