Upgrade time - motherboard and processor to change

  Handy Spinner 13:24 27 Jul 2005

Hi all,

I've been thinking it's finally time to upgrade my aging PC, which currently has an AMD Athlon XP 2000+ with a ASUS motherboard with onboard graphics and no AGP slot. It's done me pretty well for the past few years, but now I think it might just be time to step up a gear and move into Windows XP - I've been on Windows 98 for a long while.

So, here are the components I've earmarked on my first cursory glance:

click here

click here

I thought it would be good to get an expert opinion on them, though, so...what do you guys think? Should I stick with Athlon XP or are there better deals out now?

I'd like to stay under the £100 mark for these two pieces of kit if possible, as there's also Windows XP and other bits to buy!



  garrema 13:32 27 Jul 2005

to spend you may want to see if you get a 64 bit athlon and corresponding mobo. The XP3200 is as far as AMD went (albeit very capable)with the 32 bit before going to 64 and a 64 bit will be more future proof, say if you go beyond XP.
You need a graphics card too - you have one?

  Handy Spinner 14:57 27 Jul 2005

Currently I have a PCI (**not** PCI Express) 128MB graphics card, an ATI one if I remember correctly. As a side query, it doesn't require a fan, so am I correct in thinking it's not anywhere near as fast as an AGP card?

Hmmm...64 bit eh. Would there be a speed advantage involved if I went for a cheapish 64 bit processor?



  keef66 10:13 28 Jul 2005

Unless you upgrade frequently, and it looks like you don't, to get the most from your new components you really should replace CPU, mobo and memory at the same time. Several online sellers offer bundles / upgrade kits / motherboard kits. For future proofing I'd suggest moving to a PCI-express mobo with socket 939. Only go for a posh graphics card if you're into gaming, and then you may find you need to beef up your power supply.

PC upgrade kits from Low:

Sempron 2400 + agp mobo + 256mb DDR ram £90

Athlon 64 3000 + agp mobo + 512mb DDR ram £190

My particular favourite;
Athlon 64 3200 + PCI-e mobo + X700 graphics card (no memory) £250

Link to the last one here:
click here

  HondaMan 12:21 28 Jul 2005

Try this: click here

  Handy Spinner 12:28 28 Jul 2005

Thanks for the tips! I have already 512MB of PC3200 DDR RAM; I was thinking of upgrading that to 1GB.

As for graphics cards, I'm not a fanatical gamer; although I occasionally play a game or two, it's never a FPS or similar, just some strategy and racing. Though decent graphics might be nice should Age of Empires III tempt me...

Regarding CPUs again, does the Athlon XP 3200 match the Athlon 64 3200 in speed, or is there a speed advantage with the 64bit version? I thought it was better to avoid Sempron for that reason of speed - or am I mistaken?



  garrema 12:58 28 Jul 2005

Avoid sempron and yes a Athlon 64 3200 is faster than an XP3200 but not that much. 64 bit is perhaps more future proof.
Take a look at this;click here
THG is a good place to have a look in general incidentally. Unless you run games or edit video your RAM is adequate and was the norm circa Q1 2004 for a £1100 PC package so its not crap.
I think its time to spend that money!

  keef66 14:10 28 Jul 2005

512 mb ddr ram is fine to run XP so I'd go for the Athlon 64 3200 bundle from Low. You're getting a PCI-e mobo, speedy 64 bit CPU, and a pretty decent graphics card. Mind you, you're quite a bit over budget!

  jack 14:55 28 Jul 2005

But be warned
It is not simply unplug, plug in and go
Oh no this is computering --remember?

See my recent post
click here

  Handy Spinner 16:10 28 Jul 2005

Okay, so now I'm tending towards a Athlon 64 3200...though yes, jack, I'll have plenty of work to do, and perhaps extra bits to buy. A new tower case for one thing.

THG looks like a really useful site, garrema - thanks!

keef66 - exactly, quite a lot more than I was expecting to pay. Still, it's a distinct possibility.

Otherwise...can buying each component seperately work out cheaper?

  jack 19:26 28 Jul 2005

'Can buying each component work out cheaper?'

The simple answer is no- You will find a similar 'built box' will be cheaper and throw in some xtras -keyborad and mouse- but it will not be exactly the machine you want- and you won't have the satisfaction of having 'Created' something -albeit- leggo style.

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