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Upgrade motherboard or cpu?

I have a Dell P120 that I was thinking about upgrading and am looking for recommendations on whether to upgrade the motherboard or cpu.

According to Dell, I can only upgrade the cpu to a 166 MHz. (66 MHz clock x 2 freq jumper settings)

Would I be better off upgrading to a 233 or 333 MHz (or other) AT motherboard?

The machine currently has about 10 gig of disk space w/48 meg SIMM RAM.

I don't want to spend a lot of money on it since it's getting pretty old. It also sounds like I'd need to replace the RAM if I replace the motherboard.

Recommendations? Run it until it dies?
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jpas
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jpas
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heliopaixaoCommented:
The most economical solution to you is only add more memory to your system (maybe your slots are full and perhaps you will change the existent ones with anothers).


Which type of application do you run normally?


(excuse my english)
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jhanceCommented:
You most economical upgrade would be to the P166 CPU.  Since this is a Dell supported change, chances are good that it will work.  I'd suspect that it's also highly likely that a P200 CPU will also work just fine.  Today, the prices for a P166 and a P200 are not much different so it's probably worth it to just get a P200, try it at 200, it it doesn't work, fall back to 166 where it will work just fine.

If you decide to update further, a new motherboard is not that expensive at all.  You can get a "Super-7" motherboard that will support up to 450MHz AMD K6 chips for < US$100.  Since you can re-use almost everything (except your RAM probably) you almost get a new system for a cost of $200-$300.

Of course, you've raised the question of upgrade vs. buy a new one.  This is always tough.  You get more value with a new system and a new warranty, but sometimes there is just not enough total money in the pocket to go that far.  As always, real life requires a compromise.
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jpasAuthor Commented:
One of the reasons I wanted to upgrade to a faster cpu is because a lot of newer software and hardware is requiring at least a 133 MHz. If I can get a new motherboard w/64+ meg RAM for approx. $300, I might be willing to spring for that, if I can do it without messing up my hard drives. I currently don't have any way of restoring them if replacing the motherboard messes them up. RAM seems kind of expensive right now.

I'd like to stick with AMI or Phoenix BIOS. What is the difference between a Super-7 and AT style motherboard? The cpu socket?
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jhanceCommented:
If you want to keep your hard drives intact (i.e. no re-install of Windows) then don't get a new MB.  Stick with the CPU only upgrade.
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jpasAuthor Commented:
Why does Windows need to be installed if you upgrade to a new motherboard?
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jhanceCommented:
Because the hardware that was detected in your motherboard will not match up with that on a new motherboard.  It's almost impossible to get a stable Windows environment after changing the motherboard without a clean Windows install.  I've tried it many times and have always ended up with a fresh install.  
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