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Thread: Upgrading Motherboard and CPU/Ram




  1. #1
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    Hamilton Ontario Canada
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    Post Upgrading Motherboard and CPU/Ram

    Been a while since i've been here...

    I just sold my dirtbike for $400(CAD) (1993 Suzuki RM80) and I am planning my upgrade on my computer.

    Currently...
    Athlon 1800+ running at 1.66ghz (2000+)
    2x256mb DDR333 PC-2700 (Unknown brand, actually it is brand name im just too damn lazy to turn off my computer to take it out and look)
    Chaintech 7VJL (It's actually a really good board)
    Powercolor Radeon 9600Pro 128MB
    Lite-on 52x24x52
    Quantum Fireball|ct15 30 (30gb)

    The question is...
    What to upgrade since I have only $400
    I know for sure I am getting the Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe unless there is a better board out there that hasn't gotten my attention yet.
    Now shouould I upgrade RAM or CPU?
    Can my current RAM even work dual-channel?

    I plan to use my computer as I do now... for gaming :)

    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Athlon XP 1800+ DUT3C 1.53ghz @ 166*11.5=1.91ghz | Chaintech Apogee 7VJL | 2x256mb DDR333 PC-2700 | Powercolor Radeon 9600Pro 128mb EZ 400/400 | Lite-on 52x24x52 | Pioneer 108 DVD-RW 16x Dual Layer Dual Format | Xbox USB Modded Controller

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Upgrading Motherboard and CPU/Ram

    You can do a lot with $400 CAD. For sure get a Radeon 9800 Pro. That'll eat up most of your budget. While PC3200 is nice, unless you overclock PC2700 will be enough for anything below an Athlon XP 3000 and will work on dual-channel boards. I would suggest a Mobile 2500 or just a desktop 2800 (333FSB model) if you can't find a mobile (I bet you cant though). It will allow for overclocking beyond 3200 speeds even with that PC2700 RAM. When you get a chance, upgrade to PC3500 as that will allow you to go even further, but that's the last thing you'd want. For a board, an ABIT NF7 S2G would be quite good for you. Those three things (the video, the CPU, and the motherboard) will be getting close to your budget limit. If you can afford it, a nice HSF such as a Thermaltake Volcano 12 (about $40 U.S.) will be a good idea eventually. You'll definitely need to get a thermal compound such as Arctic Silver 5 with your new processor if you don't have any lying around.

    The alternative that is better for upgrading but worse for gaming right now is to forget about the video card and get a socket 754 board along with an Athlon 64 2800, or a Sempron 3100 if you're willing to wait a short amount of time for Canadian retailers to start selling them (it costs a fair amount less but offers good performance). You'd also want a couple 256MB sticks PC3200 or PC3500 (PC3500 for overclocking). That would be better for upgarding possibilities in the future but wouldn't provide nearly as much gaming power now.

    I'd also look at getting another HDD if I were you. A nice 80GB SATA drive wuold give a lot more speed and storage than that 30GB. That brings me to one more alternative:
    Get a new HDD (IDE or SATA and get a SATA to IDE converter cable) along with a new CPU (again, Mobile 2500 or 333FSB 2800) and a new video card (again, 9800 Pro would be a great spot for you). That, in my opinion, is the best option. There's nothing wrong with your board, it's just lacking in some new stuff (SATA) and 400FSB+DDR400 support. Replacing it would allow to overclock a processor a lot more, but with that HDD and that video card it would hardly matter.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Upgrading Motherboard and CPU/Ram

    I think your missunderstandng.... a Radeon 9800 Pro is $310 CAD...

    I'm only looking to upgrade the Motherboard and CPU or Motherboard and Ram.
    May I ask where the mobile junk came from?
    And as for an Athlon 64.
    ATHLON 64 3400+ (1MB Cache) $ 599.97
    ATHLON 64 3200+ (1MB Cache) $ 409.97
    ATHLON 64 3000+ (1MB Cache) $ 319.97
    I'd rather not spend all my money on just a CPU and then not be able to get a motherboard.
    My 9600 Pro is good enough for me, runs smooth, it's the best piece of equipment in my system and I am not changing it.
    What about that ABIT board, I read a few reviews on it and it doesn't seem to stack up against the A7N8X-E Deluxe, what gives?


    And I don't really need a new HDD this one does a good job (I don't mind waiting that extra 5 seconds for games to load)
    And again, I'm not building a new rig! I'm not the type of person who likes useless information (No offense but telling me to get Arctic Silver 5 is useless info to me)

    Thanks for your help though.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Upgrading Motherboard and CPU/Ram

    Edit: Oh yeah, sorry for treating you like you know absoulutely nothing before. The way TT has been lately, it was kind of a force-of-habit type thing.
    I guess Canadain stuff is more expensive than I thought. It's only $200 here which is $265ish over there but I guess stuff is much more expensive over there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Juggalo_Dan
    May I ask where the mobile junk came from?
    It came from AMD...

    For an Athlon 64, you could get the 2800 like I said in the first place... That should leave enough money for a motherboard. Motherbaord and Athlon 64 2800 in U.S. <= $250 U.S. =$330 Canadian. Add in the fact that stuff costs more over there and that's your budget.

    But that's not really a great idea. The 2700 would just hold it back...

    Quote Originally Posted by Juggalo_Dan
    What about that ABIT board, I read a few reviews on it and it doesn't seem to stack up against the A7N8X-E Deluxe, what gives?
    Are you sure those weren't reviews for the NF7? Not only is this Rev. 2, but it was always a better overclocker. To quote one of the reviews at Newegg (too bad it doesn't ship to Canada :( ):
    Pros: Very nice mobo with lots of builtin features. Worked the first time out and continues to work flawlessly. STABLE. I was worried about Northbridge passive cooling since my last mobos from Abit all had fan coolers. Not to worry! It runs VERY cool even o'clocked 30%. Same with bare Southbridge. Nice layout. Not crowded like an Abit AN7. Even with HUGE ThermalRight SLK-900A w/92mm fan. Cool running mobo. Great sounds. Lots of ports. Good manual. Quality built.

    Cons: Limited voltage options in bios. Not the best for overclocking. Of course, did not recognize my AMD XP2500+ Mobile - but still works okay. Asus has no company sponsored tech forums and support is slow.

    BottomLine: A good mobo especially stable at stock speeds or slight overclocking. Not the first choice if you're looking for extreme overclocking - more than 30%. Go for Abit's NF7 in that case.
    Skimming through the hundreds user reviews of both the A7N8X-E Deluxe and the NF7-S will give off that impression. Overall the NF7 people seem a lot happier with the overclocking possibilities.
    You may want to look at this if you want Anandtech's opinion. This little quote might help you more:
    Quote Originally Posted by Anandtech
    In a lot of ways, the ABIT NF7-S Rev.2 (also known as the ABIT AN7) is a beefier version of the ASUS A7N8X-X. This is primarily due to the NF7-S Rev.2's better feature set, which includes SPDIF, an MCP-T South Bridge for superior sound, and a dual channel DDR capable chipset in the nForce2 Ultra 400 (versus just the nForce2 400, non-Ultra, found on the A7N8X-X).
    I would recommend that motherboard along with a Mobile 2500 and a nice HSF. I'm guessing that's $260ish Canadian, adding the extra that hardware seems to cost over there. That should leave you enough room for a couple 256MB stick of PC3500. It can also overclock to 2.8GHz. That's the catch. That's where the mobile crap came from. It runs at less voltage and cooler temps, so it is capable of overclocking very far. It will overclock to 2.4GHz on a good HSF, no question, but that 2.8GHz is possible by doing this:
    http://forums.sudhian.com/messagevie...threadid=54505
    http://www.geocities.com/trats102002/nf7sFsbsense.html
    I doubt any non-Mobile can do that as it has an unlocked multiplier and requires less voltage.

    Basically: NF7-S2G, Mobile Athlon XP 2500, dual 256MB sicks of PC3500 (PC3200 if it really comes down to money, but that'll limit your OC).

    $280 U.S.
    $374 Canadian
    You can also go with a Mobile 2400 if it comes down to a few dollars.
    Last edited by Yawgm0th; 07-29-2004 at 05:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Upgrading Motherboard and CPU/Ram

    Well I read more reviews for the NF7-S and it seems too close in the benchmarks to go out and order one, it's just not worth it to me. I refuse to order anything from the internet, last few times I did the package was cut open with an exacto knife and was stuffed with wood blocks and resealed.

    I did notice the NF7-S is $10.88 cheaper... at least on www.ncix.com
    I'm pretty sure I will get the A7N8X-X Deluxe because I don't wanna order it and then fnd out the place wants more for it because they only ordered one.

    I read some of the user reviews for both boards here is what I found. (As for cons)

    A7N8X-E Deluxe: Low CPU and VDMM Vcore | Cannot undervolt the CPU so it runs cooler | Ugly ass mofo PCB (Like I care about PCB, you can't see it in my case)

    NF7-S: A good chance it will arrive DOA (Dead batteries and or corrupted BIOS) | Undervolts the cpu at stock | 10/10.5 Multipliers do not work properly (Have to get a BETA BIOS, Eww) | NB Fan dies quick | Large Capacitors around the CPU socket

    Even if the NF7-S is faster... I'd rather have a working board the first time, I don't like taking chances like that.

    But they both sound like very great boards once you wor around all the faults. It's probably better for me to get the A7N8X-E Deluxe, I know 2 people who have the board and they have had no problems with it.

    Oh and as for your currency conversion, go here http://www.xe.com/ucc/
    Last edited by Juggalo_Dan; 07-30-2004 at 03:45 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Upgrading Motherboard and CPU/Ram

    Well you can usually just RMA something if it comes damaged or doesn't work, but that depends on where you get it... In any case the A7N8X-E or A7N8X-X are both good motherboards and there's nothing wrong with them if that's what's available too you at wherever you're buying this stuff.

    If you're unwilling to order a Mobile 2500 may be hard to find, so I'd say stick with a 2800 or somewhere around there if you can't get a Mobile.

    I use the Bank of Canada currency converter. The issue is that hardware is much cheaper over here. It actually doesn't make sense considering that manufacturing is almost always done in Asia anyway, and ATI is a Canadian company in the case of the 9800 Pro. But it's a simple fact that hardware tends to be cheaper here.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Upgrading Motherboard and CPU/Ram

    It's because 75% of the kids my age (15) are all outside playing games and being too stereotypical.
    And the United States has a much much higher population, everything is cheaper in the States.

    I was thinking of just sticking with my current RAM for a bit and getting the A7N8X-E Deluxe and getting a 3200+ and then saving up to buy some nice RAM later.

    But would it be better to upgrade the RAM or CPU? Since RAM is overlooked alot in systems, and this 1800+ is always running cool only using a Volcano 9 and it's only running on half of it's total fan power. I'm sure I can get alot more than 1.66ghz out of it on the A7N8X-E Deluxe. If I get that board I can get a stick of Kingston 512MB Non-ECC, CL3 PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory ($130 ea. Later on get another one) and with the $90 left over save up for another stick, and after that a new CPU or HDD.
    Last edited by Juggalo_Dan; 07-31-2004 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Addition of information

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