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Thinking of Upgrading to a "Bare-bones" System....

Posted on 1998-04-20
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Hello.

I am, yes I am. contemplating yet another upgrade to my PC. I believe from what I've read
that the Intel Pentium is somewhat 'over-rated'. AMD, Cyrix and even Motorola are producing
some high-quality, high-speed processors. Food for thought.

Currently, I own a desktop PC which has been upgraded many, many times.
It has:

an AMD 486 processor
a Graphics Pro Turbo (ATI) VLB graphics card
16 Mb of RAM( I think some of that is still 30-pin) 70 ns
a 4.1 Gb Western Digital HD and a 1.2 Gb Seagate HD (I also have in the closet
   a 500 Mb Seagate HD )
a Sound Blaster Pro
a TEAC 4-speed CD-ROM drive
a 3 1/2" floppy drive

I would like to be able to use most of this stuff,  with the likely exceptions being
I would like to toss the RAM in favor of newer, faster RAM, toss the G.P.T. video
in favor of a newer, faster PCI-based video card, and of course, toss the processor
in favor of a newer, faster, better processor. This upgrade would also allow me to
toss the power supply, about the only thing on this system which is "original equipment."

This is a fairly complex system in that it runs DOS 6.22/Windows 3.11 OR Windows95
OR WindowsNT(eventually) OR Linux(eventually).

Finally, the question:

Can someone please offer me a suggestion as to what I should buy without spending
another small fortune?

Jim N.


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Question by:jnowlin
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by:
jlove1 earned 200 total points
ID: 1134526
I'm a computer Technitian and I've built SEVERAL pentium class systems. I DEFINATELY reccomend an INTEL processor. I've used the other CPU's (AMD k5/k6 and Cyrix variety)
and found that they are flaky with certain motherboards and hardware. They don't work at all with some motherboards. This isn't one of those things where most of everything works.. It's one of those where it's LIKELY TO FAIL whenever building a new system, not knowing if it's compatible or not.
I'd reccomend getting an intel pentium 200 mmx -- I found a decent deal at
http://www.pcram.com/sys.htm

I could sale you one a little cheaper, but you'd be pre-paying.

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Expert Comment

by:MorFF
ID: 1134527
jnowlin,
If you're looking down the road, I'd stay away from the wannabe's and get a PII board.  Pick the CPU to match your budget, as you can change it easily later.
Don't know the capacity of your power supply, but there are some boards available with AT and ATX connectors on them.
You'll obviously have to get a new video card.
Go with SDRAM and you're ready for the next round of software.
Regards,
Ralph


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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1134528
Hi jlove1 -

Could you please make a recommendation as to what brands of PCI video cards I should
get also and what types of "on-board" video RAM I should look for?

Jim

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Author Comment

by:jnowlin
ID: 1134529
Jim,

Sorry to jump in again, video cards - aaaah another dilemma.  What do you want to do, you need to think 2D or 2D/3D.  As for 2D, I've got a Matrox Mystique220 w/4Mb and it runs very nicely thank you.  There are various camps on 3D cards tho', being a Quake fan, I favour the Voodoo or Voodoo2 route, but probably a good idea to hang off a couple of months for Voodoo2 boards to come down in price.

Seriously, try Tom's Hardware Page - http://www.tomshardware.com.  He has benchmarks for video cards too.

Cheers - MorFF
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Expert Comment

by:MorFF
ID: 1134530
Ahem, afraid to receive stone shower, but anyway: if you want 2D
card that cheaper than Matrox get ATI Xpert@ (Work or Play). ATI
has perfect picture clarity on high resolutions and medium-to-high
2D perfomance. Their 3D suck tho'. ;-) Also VERY stable card and
stable drivers. I own 3D Expression+ (on 3DRage II chip) and
never got any conflict caused by video driver. For me stability
have more priority than perfomance.
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Expert Comment

by:busuka
ID: 1134531
jnowlin, what have you decided on?
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1134532
Hello ALL,

I appologize to jlove1, to whom this question received the proposed answer.

To rmarotta,

Is SDRAM the "latest and greatest" video RAM out now?

I desire speed, although I'm not one of many in this world who wants or needs a 'status symbol'.

I shall check out:

http://www.tomshardware.com/

My(Jim's) bottom line:

I want, what I want. I am here and I am getting "great" advice. It's what I am here to seek.

Can someone recommend an older woman who has money to burn?     ;)

Jim
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