To Upgrade or Buy new PC?

  portchalmers 13:28 27 Mar 2003


Need some advice

System mainly used for gaming.

1.2ghz Athlon
Asus A7M 266 (will confirm)
384mb 2100 RAM

After installing a new power supply (250 watts to 400watt in order to upgrade the graphics card)in my PC I connected everything back together switched on the PC, started up OK, went to kitchen to get food came back to PC to find that it had shut down and there was a burning smell in the air.

Opened the case and noticed that the CPU fan had come away from the motherboard, on closer expection I noticed that one of the lugs that the fan clips to is broken so I can't reattach the fan.

In any case I suspect I have fried the processor as the computer starts but doesn't engage the startup routine.

So I'm thinking do I have a bash at upgrading/replacing the motherboard and processor or do I just bite the bullett and buy a new PC.

I'm tempted to try the replacement option as it will be cheaper by about £700- 1200 over a new system

I was thinking of

ASUS A7N8X motherboard
2.4ghz AMD Athlon XP
ATI Radeon 9700 Pro

What I would like to know is what are the tricks and traps that I need to be aware of before I go down the repair/upgrade route as I have never done anything like this before.

Sorry for the long post but thought that I had better give some background.


  pj123 13:50 27 Mar 2003

If your Hard drive, CD drive and Floppy drive are OK try click here and click on bundles.

The same site offers complete systems as well click on systems. You won't get better deal.

  Paranoid Android 14:12 27 Mar 2003

Yes, definitely go for a mobo / cpu bundle rather than a complete system. However many predefined bundles include ram and case which you don't need.

Get to quick, they have a used A7M266 for £ 42.99 +vat (quick code 39452) but only one left. Stick on a 1.1 Ghz Athlon for £20.13 +vat (code 19151) or a 1.33 Ghz if it will take it (£28.59 +vat code 23232) and this will be a lot cheaper than a pre-configured bundle.


  woodchip 14:17 27 Mar 2003

Yes but if he is replacing ,it would make sense to go for a XP CPU and Board

  Paranoid Android 14:26 27 Mar 2003

Oops didn't read your whole post, the mobo you suggest should be fine.

Tips :

Use arctic silver or arctic allumina on the cpu / heatsink and FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. (What heatsink / fan are you planning to use ?)

Don't force the clips. I guess you already know that one :(

Fit the CPU and heatsink on a flat static-free surface before you mount the mobo in the chassis. If nothing else is available use the bag it came in. Firm even pressure is OK as long as nothing is flexing or bending.

Check your case has adequate ventilation for the upgraded CPU by monitoring the temperatures for the first few hours. Motherboard Monitor MBM5 is very good and free to download.

Good luck and enjoy.


  tenor 15:20 27 Mar 2003

Your mobo is a good one,and supports the athlon xp an xp2400 and save a lot of money,if the board isnt fried.

  MartinT-B 15:40 27 Mar 2003

Now is a good time to nuy that Mobo, it's the one I have. Came with the 1002 bios installed. FYI, If it has any of the 1001 BIOS series (a-g) send it back :) You'll be able to tell as it has a yellow sticker on the BIOS chip that tells you.

I bought mine on-line from Overclockers UK.

I KNOW that Maplin still sell the old boards, I've seen one in Wood Green yesterday - you want a dealer with high turnover you has the latest MoBo, not something from the back of the storeroom.

If you Buy XP (I suggest Pro not Home) now, it should have Service Pack 1 and Windows Media Player 9 already on. There is a white sticker with red writing on that says Service Pack 1 on the disk. That will save you time in 2 ways - firstly you wan't have to get SP1 and WMP9 and secondly SP1 supports USB2 so you don't need to load that from the nVidia Driver Disk.

If you're serious about the A7N8X click here for the specialist forum. Ignore some of the Help threads - those are early issues resovled by BIOS 1002 and 1002a

Also click here for more Asus Mobo help

I pored over both those forums for about 7 weeks before building my PC with said MoBO

  portchalmers 16:29 27 Mar 2003

Thanks for the advice, I'll give it a go.

Have no idea re heatsink

Any advice?

  portchalmers 16:34 27 Mar 2003

Ok, this may seem a really dum question but unless I ask the I'll never know

Do I need windows XP for an AMD Athlon XP MOBO?

Been using windows ME for so long have no idea about XP.


  961 17:17 27 Mar 2003

No - you don't need Windows XP and if your Me is working OK then stick with it.

You can often buy the motherboard with the processor and fan already installed at a good price and this removes the danger of putting a screwdriver through the motherboard as you attach the fan to the processor

Check existing memory suits new board

  woodchip 22:57 27 Mar 2003

When and if you upgrade, Format you drive and reload all you software. Do not try to get by trying to run it with the old configuration

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