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Thread: how to tell....




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    I am kinda new to this hardware stuff. I have done some of the more simple things, adding new cards.... that kind of thing. I have added a new sound card and a dvd drive. I think my pentium II 266 is really to slow to operate the dvd in any acceptable manner. So, I have entertained the thought of upgrading my processor and motherboard. So, my question is this: how can I tell if I must do both? Can I get away with just upgrading the processor without the motherboard? I bought my tower from a store everything in it is non proprietary so I can't tell who the motherboard is made by, is there a way to tell this? My bios version is V4.51PG, I am assume I must upgrade this as well. Any ideas? Help? Things I should know before I undertake this step? Places that I can go to learn more about this? Thanks for all replies.

    KC

  2. #2
    Beefy Guest

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    It all depends on what you want to upgrade to. If you were to go out and buy some new parts, then you'd need to get both, and probably new RAM and possibly even a new case.... Or, you could hunt around for an old Pentium II (possibly find a PII 450 - 500).. but that's not much of an upgrade now, is it? :)

  3. #3
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    Ok, I don't have a lot of ram, one 64K and one 128K SDRAM. So that is not a problem. Why would I need a new case? (only thing I can think of is possibly screw placement.) Cases are not that expensive so that isn't really a problem. (I guess.) I don't have a lot of extra stuff in what I have but most is new. (network card 10/100, tkd velocd writer, buslink dvd reader, sound blaster 5.1, and then the old mother board, processor and video card(don't know what that is either). I don't think just buying a complete new system is worth the money. So now that I have replaced most of the inside I might as well continue. Is replacing the MB and the processor hard to do?

    KC

  4. #4
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    As beefy stated, it all depends on what you want. If you want a new processor, you will in turn need a new motherboard, power supply, and likely a case. You need a new case because of the size difference in the motherboards, the old AT style cases would not fit a new ATX mother board. You could get away with using your old SDRAM, however with RAM prices as low as they are, I dont see why you would want to. One more thing you would want to look into if you decide this route is video card. Assuming your current card is built-in to the mother board, you will need a new card, or, you could buy an nForce2 based mobo which has onboard video, but would require new RAM (Im not sure if there are any nForce2 boards supporting SDRAM). The BIOS comes with the new motherboard.

    If you do decide that way, as you can tell, you will pretty much be looking at a new system. Replaced my old system recently and it cost my about $400 USD for the mobo, RAM, Vid card, Case & PS, and processor.

    On the other hand, if you decide to upgrade, it would be a lot cheaper, looking at maybe $20-30 for the processor.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2001
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    I'm no expert here, but DVD drives I've looked at have a minimum requirement of 500 Mhz CPU.
    Now that's a minimum which translates in hardware terms to - you can claim to run it, but it ain't gonn'a be much to brag on

    Consult the specs on your DVD drive of choice for more information -- but add at least 25% to the minimum to get a near reasonable target range.
    Let's just say 600Mhz for the sake of simplicity.

    Liklihood of your current motherboard supporting a 600 CPU is slim to none.
    Count on a new motherboard.

    That new motherboard is in all liklihood going to have a different form factor than your current one. The one you have now is probably an AT the new one would probably be an ATX.

    As the form factor determines both the size and method it fastens to the case, you will quite possibly need a new case.

    Now that you have that, you will want to pair your memory to your processor for best performance. ie. the front side bus speed will be 100 or 133 Mhz --- that 266 runs at 66 Mhz.
    Hence, you will need to spring for new memory.

    Then other considerations, a vid card that will display a DVD decently, and a power supply that will provide adequate power.
    Chances are, your current configuration just isn't going to cut it.

    I'm not trying to be negative here.
    I do hate to see you run out and spend good money on a DVD drive that you can't even use.

    I hope you can see how each part affects the next part in the system. Upgrading your current system is likely to not meet the requirements of the DVD drive. Best to build a system that will allow you to actually use and enjoy the drive and DVD's that you will be spending your hard earned dollars on.

    Next time you look at one of those drives, check the specs on it and see what they reccomend -- remember, add 25% to those minimums to get a decent showing. Meeting or exceeding the reccomended requirement is better yet.

    Good luck to you:)
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

  6. #6
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    PII 266's are pretty good for DVD play back dependin' on how much resources are bein' taken up by other programs. ;)

  7. #7
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    Slot 1 motherboards may support all the way up to secc PIII800e or 1G celeron CuMines depending on what the chipset is - so it would be worth looking into - as long as it supports a 100MHz FSB you might have a chance - although you still might need to go to eBay to find a compatible CPU.
    If a 66MHz FSB is the max you're pretty limited

    I had half a dozen PII300's & 400's around here running on Epox i440bx MB's - about 9 months ago I bought a bunch of 900 & 1000 CuMine celerons & some slockets & upgraded the lot - all it took was a bios update


    there's also the powerleap upgrades www.powerleap.com that will allow you to use tualatin CPU's - but you still need that 100MHz FSB to get the full power

  8. #8
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    Mar 2003
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    I found the book on the motherboard that came with the computer. Here are parts I think will add to this discussion:

    Speed
    - supports 233MHz to 333 MHz CPU (I tried moving the appropriate jumpers it only slowed the speed. top speed was 266)
    - supports 33MHz PCI Bus speed
    -I/O clock 8MHz for ISA Bus
    -Supports 66MHz / 133MHz AGP Bus.

    Dimension (ATX form-factor)

    - 30.5 cm X 19 CM

    the model of the motherboard is M6TLC Ver:1.0

    While I think this motherboard is not going to provide me what I want, I think based on other things said and what the book says I should be able to replace the mother board with an ATX type board.....

    Any thoughts?

    KC

    PS: I found this on the internet and so far it looks close to what I have.....


    http://th99.pley.org/m/A-B/35254.htm

  9. #9
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    The multipliers are locked so changing them won't do any good (basically no overclocking with that Biostar mobo) but you could look around for a PII300 or Celeron333 2nd hand or maybe even a 2nd hand CPU/mobo combo that's even faster (PIII450 and BX mobo for example).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    I just recently upgraded from my P4 1.4 to my new rig. What is your budget is the real question? Your system is definitely antiquated and you could use a new mobo, ram, vid card, chip, hsf, and case.... Pretty much you would need to built a whole new sys.:eek: You ought to be able to pick up a board and chip that run around 1.4 to 1.8 gigs relatively cheap tho.:D I have, as does probably everyone, lots of suggestions. Good luck Bro.

    -Hawks
    <center>| Processor: P4 2.4B OCed @ 3.2Ghz | MoBo: Albatron PX845PE Pro II |
    | OS: Windows XP Pro | RAM: OCZ 512MB PC3500 OCed @ 445 mhz |
    | Graphics: Radeon ATI 9700 Pro @ 395/345 | Temp: 32C normal, 35C full |
    | 3DMark2001: 18094 | 3DMARK03: 5763 | PCMARK02: Score |
    | Sound: SB Live 5.1 | Cooling: Thermaltake Volcano 7+ HSF |
    | PSU: Antec TrueBlue 480W | Mouse: Logitech MX300 |</center>

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