How & what to upgrade

I know little about how comp parts interact with each other and what each does.  My comp is a Gateway tower 100MhZ with 1.01 GB,  2 X 8 MB EDO RAM,  4X CDR, Vibra SB16 Sound, S3 Trio 64V+, 56k modem, with a Gateway Vivitron15 monitor.  The whole thing is about 4 yrs old but the modem is only 1 yr.

What is worth replacing or would a whole new system be my ONLY option.  What can I replace, what should I replace, can I keep some of the things I already have, how far before my tower can't take it(115v, ? Amp), can I keep my monitor.

What would be recommended keeping in mind I don't have $10k to spend and don't need mr. super 600MhZ, 30 GB, 128 MB RAM.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

dobry2Author Commented:
Edited text of question.
Long story short, buy a new system, keep your monitor if it is good for you.

The hardware of four years ago may well still be useable, but for 1/2 to 1/3 of what you paid four years ago, you can buy a new system, with all the latest technologies, OS, and be ready for the next couple of years.

Yes there are mainboards to fit your older case, your power supply probable has enough uuumph to drive the newer products................ unless you just feel like making the system a hobby (and ending up costing more than a whole new one), relegate it to the corner where you can mess with it when its raining.

I agree with  the oldgreyguy, if you keep your monitor you can find a system like 400-500 mhz with kick a-- stuff inside for about 800 bucks. IF you like to mess with computer parts and put them together and to spend lots of time configuring and posting troubleshooting questions 8-), then you could upgrade by getting:
motherboard and processor
new comp. case (same price as a power supply)
new hard drive (8.4gb is good)
new memory (64mb is the usual standard config)
you could keep your sound, video, and cdrom drive.
Installing the new motherboard and setting up the bios would be the most difficult part.
the stuff you would have to buy would cost about 500-600 bucks so for 200 more you would get a lot more bang for the buck.
also depending on what your primary use is for the comp. then you would want to spend more on some components and less on others.
The Ultimate Tool Kit for Technolgy Solution Provi

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy for valuable how-to assets including sample agreements, checklists, flowcharts, and more!

I will have to agree with the above comments but you can speed your current system up alot by adding memory (64MB is a good start)
If it was me I would get a new moniter too (17") and keep your old computer as a backup or use it to cruise the net or see it intact to a friend (for $250 to $400) maybe get a little for down payment on new system
that was supposed to read "sell it intact"
rayt333 is right about the memory, it will add speed to your system in loading porgrams and make those programs run faster, but overall your processor is fast becoming "obsolete" when you consider the minimum requirements for most new software.
I deal with a lot of Gateways.

CPU upg (200MHz) - $200
memory (2x32M) - $150 (may vary)
CD ROM - good for a couple more years
hard drive (6G) - $165
Monitor (17") - $200
Video Card (do you pleay games?) - $100


You might get $100 for the old parts.  A new stripped down PC will run you a little more ($850?) but you'll have more power.  It's your call.  Remember:  if you buy new, you can sell the old (get $250?) and probably come out a little ahead as if you were to upgrade the old.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Sell it. The motherboard now is the limiting factor with the new technology. Yours is 60 mhz the new ones are 100. Thus what ever you do, you are still limited.
And Ram.  EDO Ram is expensive.  If you try to upgrade the ram in that machine you'll pay a lot more then if you could use PC100.

I recently(May had a similar system) maybe about 8 months newer. P133 64megs 1.6 gig. etc etc.  I sold this system for $400 Canadian and bought myself a new case, motherboard, celeron processor, and ram.  Got new keyboard mouse and floppy.

Pulled the sound card from old system as well as Hard drive and cdrom.  This all cost me about 650can.  So a 250can upgarde and I ended up woith a PII450(cel) 128megs ram small drive, sound card, cdrom etc etc etc.  But With the money I saved I could still go out and get a bigger drive and it's pretty much new.

The point is I pretty much replaced my entire system.  Your current system would need too many upgrades in too many places to make it up to date.

I agree with Gordon. With technology runing ahead of people who even just bought, makes their system obsolete in 6 months. I would just settle down, go to a PC maker, take your PC, and he can then install a new board, 64 meg memory, power supply, AMD or Intel chip 400 + Mhz, any maybe a new case.

I am doing this for a friend. I told him not to buy a PC (oh, Packard Bells will not be sold in the US anymore, PC World, Jan . pg 57), well he bought an old 486 machine that the previous owner loaded Win 95,had a 9600 Internet card with dip switches exposed, etc. Well anyway with about 300 dollars, using his basic componants, he can get a case. power supply, memory, 100mhz ISA motherboard 400 mhz CPU. This is really the best shot. This way you will have the latest buss speed,  be able to add or change componants as you wish. If you buy a propriatary PC like Compac, IBM, or HP, then you run into conflicts with generic parts. Also you might look a step up at dell since they seem to be great on their units( although if one is not careful one can buy 20 units and have twenty different computers), cot about 1800 dollars.
dobry2Author Commented:
I would probably need too much research into the matter of upgrading this fairly old maching but yours was the best out of all the answers I recieved at answering my question.  Actually what you named there would be just what I need considering I don't play 3D games just the SimCity, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Command & Conquer type games.  To find out anymore info I would have to talk to someone at a comp store.  I will probably end up getting a stripped down new comp again considering I don't need mr. super, answer cosmic questions of the universe, computer.

It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.