Upgrade specs

  Rich84 21:34 29 Apr 2004

What should I be looking for in the specs of a new pC to ensure ease of future upgrades?

  byfordr 13:19 30 Apr 2004

Both Intel and AMD are introducing new ranges. This will mean slightly different motherboards needed. Also PCI express seems to be the way forward for graphics cards (That and a power station bigger enough to run a small country) click here

Gigabit networking is becoming increasingly common 10/100/1000

A quick punt around thgis site should help with the latest news. click here

Either jump on the pc bandwagon now, or wait a few months for the new technology to kick (6 months for it to come down in price)

Hard to say at the moment, but you can guarantee that what ever you buy there will be something bigger and badder around the corner.


  Rich84 18:03 30 Apr 2004

Thanks for that byfordr. Some very helpful advice there. What I am specifically concerned about is whether I will be able to upgrade sound card, RAM, hard drive or even processor. How can I tell in a PC spec what are integrated parts and what are seperate components? I need to purchase relatively low spec computers for a school and want the potential to be able to upgrade components if necessary in the future.

  Totally-braindead 18:20 30 Apr 2004

On board sound is ok but onboard graphics you have to watch, its ok at the start but ensure the PC has an AGP port so at a later date you can disable the onboard and put in a seperate card. The only way to tell whether a computer can have a faster processor and RAM is to check the website for the board and see what it will take. As a simple example, say you buy a pc with a duron 1400 and 128mb ram on a ABC mainboard. Later you decide to upgrade it but find it will only take a duron 1400 and won't take faster memory so you're stuck. If before you buy the pc you check the mainboards website you could find this out and buy another pc which can be upgraded. Sorry if thats not too clear but its the best I can do.

  Rich84 18:27 30 Apr 2004

Thanks. I'll follow your advice and check the board details.

  byfordr 18:49 30 Apr 2004

Check out the reviews. (Ones from the Dennis stable have a handy chart with amount of spare slots etc)If you post back later with a budget, and what you want to achieve with the computer (office tasks, games, photos, video editing etc) I'm sure a formunite will point you in the right direct, telling you what to avoid or go for.


  Gongoozler 19:33 30 Apr 2004

If you want to be able to upgrade, I think it is important to avoid mATX motherboards. If a case has fewer than four 5 1/4 inch front drive bays (for cd and dvd drives), then it is likely to house a mATX motherboard with only 3 PCI slots. This leaves little room for expansion. If the case has enough space, there is little that you can't do if you're brave enough.

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