What's involved to upgrade Mobo\CPU?

  HWJC 23:54 14 Jun 2010

My old computer was an AthlonXP 2400+ with an ASUS motherboard and various cards. I tried to upgrade the CPU and it was never quite successful and reinstalling the old CPU was never stable enough to re-use, so I upgraded instead and mothballed the old machine.

Maplin are selling an AthlonXP 3200+ Mobo\CPU for a reasonable(ish) price and I fancied having a go at installing it and seeing if I can make use of my old cards and drive, but this isn't really my field and I'd appreciate some advice about what's involved. Ideally I wanted to retain the old XPSP3 OS and make it as minimal an upgrade as possible, just as long as it's working.

The new Mobo is an ECS GS7610 - the old one an Asus A7N8X - so I'm concerned about Mobo drivers. Obviously, I'll need to boot with and install new drivers. Should this be done with a new drive and\or a new windows install or can I get away with it in some other way? What other issues will I face?

If there's a website you can point me to that describes all the issues and the general process, I'd appreciate it.

  gary2112 09:10 15 Jun 2010

hi there first off .what price are you buying the chip for ...as this is quite a old cpu ... as things have moved on a lot from then ..all so you might stuggle to find upgrades later on...as for the installation you will need to wipe the harddrive clean...if your planning to install windows ,,the diffrence between your old cpu and your new one will be minimal

  gengiscant 09:14 15 Jun 2010

It will be necessary to copy all your personal files somewhere safe from your hard drive as you will need to reinstall Windows and install the drivers for your new motherboard.
As far as I can see you should have no problems with your ram,though it would be helpful if you would post what type etc you are currently using.

Also you do not mention your graphics card.
The tricky bit is the connection of the front panel wiring,I have been building for years and still, on occasion have problems with this.
Make sure you follow the mobo manual and if unsure post here.

  HWJC 14:20 15 Jun 2010

gary2112: first off, what price are you buying the chip for ...as this is quite an old cpu... as things have moved on a lot from then ..all so you might stuggle to find upgrades later on...

We're not looking to upgrade this machine further - just to get it working stably. It's in (domestic) replacement for a 500MHz machine, so in spite of it being old it will fly in comparison to what it's replacing. The price of the new CPU\Mobo\PSU combo is £70. I know I could get a later generation of mobo for not much more but I wouldn't be able to retain the existing graphics card, RAM, other cards etc. I'd previously boosted RAM to the right speed to match the max rating needed for an AthlonXP 3200+ machine.

The one issue I'm unclear on is the graphics card compatibility. I believe the old one was AGP16. The new board mentions PCIex16. Is this a problem? It may be the critical factor as to whether it's worth bothering with an upgrade or just get a current gen machine and be done with the hassle of it all.

Thanks for the advice though. You confirmed I will need to format and reinstall windows as well as installing the new mobo drivers. Never having done this before I was hoping to get away without doing so. Oh well...

  woodchip 16:09 15 Jun 2010

If you have a oem XP CD you will need to run this after upgrade, To do a repair as it will not work with the Old Motherboard Drives loaded

  woodchip 16:09 15 Jun 2010

PS A Restore CD is no good for repair

  HWJC 00:07 21 Jun 2010

Having considered this further, I've decided I'm wasting both time and money even bothering. At all levels apart from reusing old equipment it makes little sense to try.

Thanks for your help anyway. Topic resolved for me.

  keef66 12:24 21 Jun 2010

You've arrived at the right conclusion. We have an Athlon XP 2100+ box, and it's no longer economically sensible to fix it when it breaks.

I'm curious about the reason for the instability with the original and the upgrade cpu though.

The first time I reinstalled the OS, the FSB reset itself wrongly and I had to correct that in the BIOS. Later when I had to replace the mobo with a different make the FSB was set manually using jumpers on the mobo.
Other problems with the thing have involved defective memory, dodgy psu, and 2 faulty HDDs.

  HWJC 02:15 22 Jun 2010

keef66: I'm curious about the reason for the instability with the original and the upgrade cpu though.

To be honest, so am I. I bought a CPU from eBay which looked in good condition on arrival and I had a local company install it. It only worked when the FSB was set at its lowest speed. I ensured the RAM was of the right speed and went in search of another CPU which I could see before purchase and it was in pristine condition as best as I could tell. I had the local company fit this too and it was no more successful.

On reinstalling the original CPU, it was never quite stable at its original CPU speed, so I ran it for a while at a lower speed until eventually buying a whole new machine.

Maybe it was the old mobo, maybe the old PSU, maybe the company I used to fit it (now out of business). I don't know. It's been out of commission for 3 years now and it was the sight of a complete mobo\cpu\psu combo that got me thinking about resurrecting the old machine.

Time to let go. I surveyed and extracted everything from the old machine already. I just don't like the idea of scrapping what was a very nice machine until I started meddling with it.


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