Upgrading motherboard etc. on a 6 yr old PC

  Jem 13:23 03 May 2007

Through help of this forum came to conclusion late last night that my 6 yr old Evesham Axis (AMD Athlon 1000MHz) PC has suffered a catastrophic motherboard or processor failure (see "PC died and won't restart" post from yesterday).

Now decided to replace both but not sure how to decide which motherboard/processor to go with. This is our family's second PC so doesn't have to be the "ultimate" but would like to make sensible improvements given the work I'll be putting in.

Current PC has ATX tower case, brand new 370 watt PSU, around 1GB RAM in DIMM cards, 160GB HDD, CD RW, DVD reader, reasonable video card, sound card, USB 2.0/firewire card, floppy disc reader etc. I have a full version of XP Pro on DVD.

Can anyone recommend a motherboard/processor combination that is good value and would work well for me? I would be prepared to upgrade memory to DDR if that was felt sensible.


  Jem 13:33 03 May 2007

Just found this description of my PC hardware, in case it helps:

Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional OS
Service Pack: Service Pack 2
DirectX (DirectX 9.0c)
CPU Type: AMD Athlon, 1000 MHz (10 x 100)
Motherboard Name: Chaintech 7AJA(1 ISA, 5 PCI, 1 AGP, 1 AMR, 3 DIMM, Audio)
Motherboard Chipset: VIA VT8363 Apollo KT133
System Memory:896 MB (PC133 SDRAM)
BIOS Type: Award Modular (01/02/01)
Communication Port: Communications Port (COM1)
Communication: Communications Port (COM2)
Communication Port: Printer Port (LPT1)
Video Adapter: RADEON 9600 PRO Family (Microsoft Corporation)(256 MB)
Video Adapter: RADEON 9600 PRO SEC Family Microsoft Corporation)(256 MB)
3D Accelerator: ATI Radeon 9600 (RV350)
Monitor: NEC MultiSync 95F [19" CRT] (0Y50786YE)
Audio Adapter: Creative SB Live! Player 1024 Sound Card
IDE Controller: VIA Bus Master IDE Controller
Floppy Drive: Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive: Maxtor 5T060H6(60 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/100) Optical Drive: PIONEER DVD-ROM DVD-116 (16x/40x DVD-ROM)
Optical Drive: SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-408B 8x/8x/32x CD-RW)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK
Partitions: C:(NTFS) 58635 MB (52521 MB free)
Keyboard: Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse: PS/2 Compatible Mouse
Network Adapter: Belkin Wireless Pre-N Notebook Network Card(
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
BIOS Properties: Vendor Award Software International, Inc. Version 6.00 PG Release )1/02/2001 Size 256 KB
Capabilities Flash BIOS, Shadow BIOS, Selectable Boot, EDD
Supported Standards DMI, APM, ACPI, ESCD, PnP
Expansion Capabilities ISA, PCI, AGP, USB
System Properties: Manufacturer VIA Technologies, Product VT8363
Wake-Up Power Switch
Motherboard Properties: Product 8363-686A

  donki 13:44 03 May 2007

Would you noe consider a new base unit and just use your exsisting monitor, k/b & mouse. You can get some very good deals and you have none of the hassle ad get yourself a warrenty into the bargin.

You could be one of the first to tests Meshs new customer service :).

click here

If you were to buy a new MB, processor and RAM you wouldt be far off the price anyway.

  keef66 16:01 03 May 2007

You're faced with the same problem as me. If you just want to replace the motherboard and processor, you have to find a mobo which is compatible with your AGP graphics card and 184 pin DDR SDRAM, otherwise it becomes too expensive and you've already said it's a second pc.

I'd suggest googling for a socket 754 AGP mobo and a S754 Sempron 3000 or similar. I found both easily enough for about £60.

I hope you're right about the cause of the problem!

  keef66 16:10 03 May 2007

Slightly more expensive would be a motherboard bundle (mobo, cpu, ram) but I'm struggling to find one which isn't PCI-express graphics and DDR2 ram.

Whichever way you go, do you have all the software on disk so that you can reinstall? A new mobo will occasionally work without any reinstallation, occasionally with a repair install of windows, but frequently requires a clean install of the operating system.

  keef66 16:23 03 May 2007

click here

£100. Looks like it would take your graphics card and RAM.

  wee eddie 16:23 03 May 2007

You will have to chose a MoBo that will fit your current Case's mountings.

  Jem 19:14 03 May 2007

Thanks for all the advice. How do I check for sure:

(a) Whether a new MB fits my case?
(b) Whether a new MB will work with my graphics card?
(c) Any other compatibility issues?

Having looked at Mesh I can buy their cheapest tower unit for £229 details:

"Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Basic
AMD Sempron™ 3600+ Processor
with HyperTransport™ Technology
512MB DDR2 Memory
160GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
128MB Shared Memory Graphics (on board)
Sony 18x Super Format DVD Writer
5.1 Channel Surround Sound Audio
PCIe Mainboard,6 USB, LAN
Silver Warranty-1 Year On-site Service"

Whereas a replacement MB/processor is £60 to £100+ depending on whether new RAM is needed. Admit it is probably going to be a close decision - but I do hate the idea of throwing away the bits that work!

  wee eddie 19:23 03 May 2007

I'd go with XP. It'll be compatible with all your old bits.

Vista does not really appear to be very backward compatible at the present.

  Jem 19:26 03 May 2007

Yes, that was a thought I had as my PCs are networked and the software is all XP or earlier.

However, as I have the XP disk as I installed it on my old PC (originally it was ME) - presumably I could do a clean install on the Mesh unit or even ask them to put it on?

  jack 19:58 03 May 2007

IMHO it is simply not worth the consideration.
Devices change monthly let alone annually, if you change the MoBo then the memory is almost certainly not go in or if it did not be fast enough
You will enter a loop you will not be able to get out of chasing bits to replace bits because they didn't work with the other bits you changed.

Simply go to someone like click here and get abase unit to suit- assuming all the externals are serviceable- Keyboard. Monitor, etc.

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