Upgrading vs. purchasing a new system...
Hi all -
Trying to decide whether to buy a new system or upgrade.
Upgrade would require:
1. New MB (Abit? Asus?) - figure 100Mhz bus that could be pushed higher when I learn to OC. Checked pricewatch.com - is approx. $100 decent price? Should I look for 3yr. warranty, what the heck does "OEM" mean, are these suppliers reputable?
2. New CPU - looking at either PII 350 or 400. Is the 400 so much faster that it's worthwhile to spend 100 bucks more? I assume the 350 can be oc'd to 400+ with extra cooling. Is 512K L2 cache o.k? Is approx. $170 fair?
3. 64 mb sdram - price / brands? any advice here welcome. Does this stuff hold down the spped of your system too?
4. 4MB video card - no clue about this. dram or sdram or what? Decent brand or price? help!
5. Modem - looking at USRobotics 56k v.90 x2 internal. PCI is better than ISA right? Saw one for about $60 - is this too good to be true?
Well, that's what I need. Figure I could get all 5 for about $450 - $650 depending on CPU speed. Would it be more worth it to just get a new system? Installation would not be too much of a problem as our case is pretty spacious and I have a relative who could likely install it all.
Thanks for all advice, appreciate your time and sharing your experience / knowledge.
If you get a new motherboard, you will most likely need a new case. You need an ATX case because you most likely have an AT case. Also, you should get a Celeron instead of a PII. They're much cheeper and easier to OC (300A to 450+). Unless your playing 3D games, just get a cheepo 4 MB PCI video card.
64 MB PC100=good, modem=good.
Come to think of it, the only things you will be salviging from your "old" system will be the drives. you would be able to save more money by selling your old system and building a new one...maybe.
When you purchase OEM, you do NOT get the manufacturer's warrantee (sometime up to 3 years)..instead you get a warrantee from the reseller, which may be about ~30days. You will get all the appropriate drivers for the product, but no additonal software, like games, and no fancy box or rebate.
No - RAM does not hold down the speed of your system, it increases it.
If you plan on playing any games, I would suggest you get a 8Meg Video card. In my own opinion, before long the minimum requirements for some games may be 8meg. Better to be safe than sorry. You can get a generic i740 Chipset 8meg card for $50.00.
PCI vs. ISA Modem - there has been much debate over this issue. I use an ISA modem for ease of using it with other OS's - PCI modems are Winmodem's (for right now), and only work in Windows, but they work okay.
I agree with JP about the case, motherboard and CPU.
My two cents:
Your proposed system looks very good. The real advantage over the Celeron is that the PII may have a slightly higher resale value.
As for video cards, a name brand 4MB you can pick up for about $30 if you shop carrefully, but I recommend that you bite the cyber bullet on this and buy at least a Riva TNT with 16MB - you can find one for about $100 (prehaps the best upgrade I ever did).
Regarding PCI modems, not only do they not work with other operating systems (yet) they use considerably more CPU power - but it will likely be for only a year or two that we continue to connect with phone lines anyway. Personally, I would look at alternatives such as the ISA Creative Blaster $79, and perhaps a Diamond Supra Express (ISA) $89 - these are both very fast modems that do not suck power from your CPU. They have cheaper PCI versions of these modems but there is a reason why they are cheaper.
Thanks for the call, Mike. :-) I'll have the price when the parts place opens on Monday.
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