brit chick going 'round the bend!
I know i'm probably asking very silly basic q's but puting a computer system together is a brand new experience and i'm only doing it cos i have to.
i have spent the day lurking about on price watch trying to decide if pentium 4 is a lot better than Athalon (does that come in various version also?)
I was also told that the athalon t bird was a good one but what does slot A means?
What about an operating system? the computer i have been using is an HP, will that work with a new mother board?
Am confused with the difference between the CPU speed and the bus speed.
what do guys think of Duron?
then there is the issue of a case, do i get just a case, does it coem with power ? do i get that separatly?
help! this is driving me bonkers
and another thing What's an atx form factor?
ATX form factor:
Motherboards come in standard sizes, which fit in standard cases. ATX is the most common size MB. Obviously it requires an ATX case and PS.
Yes, cases come with PSes. ATX case will have an ATX PS.
Bus speed is the speed of the clocks the PCI bus and memory use. PCI bus runs at 66 mhz, recent memory runs at 133 mhz, CPU runs internally at a multiple of the memory bus speed. If you have 133 mhz ( PC133 ) memory and an 800 meg CPU, the CPU is running 6X the bus speed. You set that in CMOS memory using BIOS setup.
The CPU plugs into a socket on the MB. Obviously the 2 must mate. Slot A is the socket for Athlon, Socket 370 for Celeron, Slot 1 for Pentium II/III.
HP uses a Restore disc which sets up the HD as an HP computer. It will load with drivers for the video card, sound card, modem etc on the HP. Which you will have to remove to avoid conflicts with your new system hardware.
Read read read and ask more questions---check out the Sysopt search feature...
I'll take two... CPU's
Most all older HP computers use propreitary motherboard/case/power supply designs...meaning upgrading or finding repair parts is almost impossible.
On the other hand, buying bare bones systems on www.pricewatch.com can let you build a totally new PC for much less than upgrading your old one...so you end up with two PC's ( great for younger relatives or home networks ).
Definitely find out what all the buzzwords are and what they mean...ask lots of questions right hear
WINDOWS 2000....Need I say more!
Slot A is the old socket that old Slot type Athlons plugged into. You'll want to avoid Slot A (though even if you wanted Slot A, they're hard to find these days).
The new socket for Athlons, Thunderbirds and Durons is Socket A. Athlons/Thunderbirds are available at 2 different bus speeds. One is the 200MHz bus chip and the latest is the 266MHz bus speed chip (Durons have a 200MHz bus speed). An Athlon/T-Bird with a 200MHz bus needs a motherboard with a 200MHz (2x100) bus and an Athlon/T-Bird with a 266MHz bus needs a motherboard with a 266MHz (2x133) bus. A 200MHz bus motherboard will want PC133 memory. A 266MHz motherboard will want DDR memory (PC2100) though some 266MHz bus motherboards also support PC133 memory. I recommend getting your memory from www.crucial.com/uk/index.asp they have a memory selector where you enter what your motherboard is and get a list of compatable memory.
As for Athlon vs Pentium4. An Athlon will outperform a Pentium4 at the same MHz rating (i.e. both chips at 1.4GHz) and Athlons are cheaper. The disadvantage of an Athlon is Athlons run a bit hotter and are delicate compared to Pentium4s. The Athlon core is made of porcelin and if you're not careful when fitting the heatsink, you can crush it. A Duron is basically an Athlon/Thunderbird but with less cache memory and so it's an excellent budget CPU.
If you build an Athlon, you'll want an AMD approved 300Watt Power supply and a good case that allows for the fitting of a front and rear case fan.
Edit: BTW, if you take the P4 route, you'll have to get a case that is P4 approved. Also, I don't really know anything about P4 systems (I'm an AMD man myself) but it'd probably be a good idea to avoid a motherboard that takes RIMM type memory and get one that supports DDR memory.
Last edited by Dudster; 10-04-2001 at 11:18 PM.
You guys are fab!
Thanks so much for all your advice i really appreceiate you takeing the time. So i have a few more q's,
what is heatsink?
what is cache memory?
what is the difference between RIMM type memory and DDR memory?
I just did a double check in my text book so here it is...
a RIMM is direct rambus DRAM memory
DDR is double-data rate SDRAM also called SDRAM2
with a new mobo you will need a new case( when the p3 came out the voltage for the cpu and the mobo have changed to a smaller voltage) atx case are cheap and come standard with 300 watt power supply. that is good for the average gamer ( works good for me..... ie: AGP pro video card, cd-burner, two harddrives,and another dvd player. so there is no problem with p/s with lots of power hungery hardware. enjoy the new comp.
A heatsink and fan is absolutely essential for a CPU. Without a heatsink, an Athlon would fry instantly (probably taking the motherboard with it) and a P4 would run at a fraction of it's usual speed (though it wouldn't actually fry). The heatsink you get must fit the type of socket that your CPU plugs into and must be rated to be able to cool processors at least as fast as yours (whatever it ends up being ).
You can read about heatsinks here > http://www.heatsink-guide.com/
I know less about cache memory than Eddy
I think basically with RIMM/RAMBUS memory, it's expensive and might be extinct in the not so distant future (and it's not really any faster than DDR memory as far as I know).
Will have to take issue with you Dudster over 200Mhz FSB requiring PC133 memory - Durons & Athlons at 200FSB are quite happy running on PC100 - I would suggest however, that you buy branded memory as generic can cause probs in any system.
You're right of course, it's just that when buying memory, it's pointless buying PC100 for an Athlon/Duron system. I also of course agree with buying branded memory instead of generic. Plus I recommend getting CAS2/CL2 memory instead of CAS3/CL3.
Well welll I have some night beyond me (Weekend clubbin) so excuse my language, but I think I am have the right to say: PLEASE don't throw this techtalk like CMOS memory, RAMBUS, SDRAM2, RIMM, FSB, RAM bandwidth, CAS2/CL2, CAS3/CL3 on a what I think is a newbie!!
However plain and simple Dashiel, with us you can build a good system. We will help you through for sure!! Could you tell us if your planning a multimedia PC, gaming PC, Office PC or other?
We could give you some ideas on new hardware.
I agree with BBA, keep the HP as it is and build a new one with our help. Those old ones are still running at my home as a server(I know techtalk) or as backup PC's.
**** I had so kewl night, I totally forgot my manners. Well Dashiel ofcourse welcome at sysopt!! Your are at the right place. This forum rocks!! Many compu wizzz around here!!