Best upgrade advice - £200 to spend

  Mr Scone 15:05 17 Nov 2005


I have a Mesh Matrix PC which is about 3-4 years old. Spec is...

Athlon xp 1900 + 1gb DDR ram (133mhz) + GeForce 3 ti500 + 3 HDDs + DVDrom + DVDRW.

Monitor is a 19" Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 920 and it's running Win XP (HE) SP2.

I've been having problems with crashes and poor performance and want to spend about £200 to upgrade it. I think I'll need to upgrade the MB, processor, H/S + Fan but not sure if i'll need new memory with the new MB. Mine is slow by modern standards, but there is 1gb of it so hoping it will still be able to keep up with modern kit. By the way, what would be better...1gb of slow RAM or 512mb of much faster new RAM?

Has anyone got any suggestions on what upgrade I can make for £200? I would like to upgrade the monitor at some point but that isn't esential at the moment.



  Skyver 15:38 17 Nov 2005

For £200 you could pick up a complete Athlon64, mobo and memory upgrade - click here
If you can find a Socket 939 bundle at that price which has a PCI-E graphics slot aswell as AGP it will be more future proof though.
The bottleneck in the system after such an upgrade would be your graphics card.

  PaulB2005 15:47 17 Nov 2005

Only problem with that sort of upgrade is you'll need a new copy of Windows too....

I would backup and reinstall Windows from the System Recovery first. See how many problems that solves.

Then tell us what you use the PC for. It's no good upgradig stuff if you're not going to use the new speed!

  Skyver 15:52 17 Nov 2005

Yes, I hadn't thought of that. Good point.

  Mr Scone 15:59 17 Nov 2005

I have the windows disk so can reinstall that on the new PC legally as long as I wipe it off of my existing PC. I use my PC for a wide range of tasks from word processing to video editing. I watch DVDs on it and play the odd game or two.

Skyver - that looks like idea but do you think I'll need a new PSU as well. Mine's only 300w at the moment. Are there any other deals like that around from other sites that anyone knows about?

Thanks so far


  Mr Scone 16:01 17 Nov 2005

Oh...and if I get the motherboard budle, will the fast memory be better than my current memory even though it's half the amount?


  PaulB2005 16:06 17 Nov 2005

I'm assuming you have a Full Retail Windows CD then.

If that is so then you'll need the bundle advised above with a new PSU as you say. Maybe a new case.

The graphics card won't be such a bottle neck depending on the games you are playing.

The faster memory will help with the games and the video editing but it would be better to get a Gb rather than half a Gb.

  Skyver 16:14 17 Nov 2005

You'd need to call Microsoft during activation and they may or may not allow you to re-activate. As PaulB2005 mentioned regarding activation, the product code generated by XP from all your hardware will appear to have come from a different PC after such major surgery. Might be worth giving them a call first actually just to check.
Yes, the memory will be DDR400, a fair bit faster than DDR266 - it's true you will see less difference in speed between 1gb of slowish RAM and 512mb of faster RAM on your system as it stands now, but on a newer system everything else will be faster anyway. Plus the 64 bit CPUs have on board memory management which makes them way faster than the older chips in that respect.

  Skyver 16:15 17 Nov 2005

A new PSU would be a good idea.

  PaulB2005 16:17 17 Nov 2005

Also IF the mobo supports Dual Channel then 2 x 512 Mb sticks will run faster than 1 x 1 Gb. So you could buy one 512 Mb stick now and another later.

  LANDCRUISER 16:18 17 Nov 2005

Hi mr scone,your system is the same as mine & you have upgraded the memory to 1gb as i have done to my pc,i do beleive you can upgrade the memory to 3gb that will give you a faster pc,i to have been thinking of upgrading mine so i will keep a close eye on your thread, because i am not sure as to what i need.

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