I have a pentium 2 celeron A 333mhz, 96 ram, and a fair motherboard and a voodoo 3 3000agp card. I want to upgrade to a p3 900mhz or amd t-bird 900mhz, should i just upgrade the cpu and the motherboard or do i have to upgrade other things like ram, video card etc?
The answer depends on your existing system. If you have PC-100 RAM, you may want to upgrade it to PC-133 or a lot of the better chips won't be available to you. If your old computer has a lot of ISA equipment, you may need to swap some cards for PCI ones to fit the new board. If your old board, case, and keyboard are AT style, those are gonna need changing as well.
Many techs recommend reinstalling Windows when changing mobos, so this would be a good time to upgrade your OS if you are considering it. (I don't recommend anything more recent than 98SE personally, but there are other people here who might suggest it.)
First option is to upgrade your existing box using the parts you've got.
Second option is to build a new PC with all new parts.
The reason I'm suggesting this is that by the time you're done, it may be worth it to build an entirely new computer and keep the one you have intact, rather than ending up with a frankenstein computer made up of parts from all over. If you go with an AMD proc for example, you may need a new power supply because they are more sensitive to power supply fluctuations. Your old case may not suit the new mobo or cooling requirements. If you move to a newer OS, your older hardware may become obsolete because of a lack of drivers, etc... Obviously if you don't have a use for a second computer, then this option is less attractive. But something to consider.
I would probably go the AMD route, using a mainboard based on the VIA KT133A (PC-133) chipset or the AMD 760 (DDR). If you do much gaming, which since you own a Voodoo card, it might be a safe guess to say you do, I'd replace that too. Its getting a bit on the antiquated side. Pick up something cheap and decent like the Guilmot/Hercules GeForce2 MX based card, or for a bit more but still a great deal, a 64MB ATI Radeon, they are about $200 retail now. Just my 2c.
Oh, and if you do WinME, make sure its a clean install! I would really recomend staying with 98se or going with 2K pro though.
My brain went into standby mode and I can't get it to wake up, is there a BIOS patch for this?
Allow me to butt in. If you have at least a 250W power supply inside that tower case, you should be fine, IF you decide to stay with Intel. Just be sure, as mentioned above, that the tower is an ATX form factor. If you do go with an AMD processor, then check their website for any questions you may have regarding compatible/recommended hardware. They have a pretty good list of motherboards, power supplies, and even heat sinks that are almost sure to work with the Athlon 900.
Stay away from AMD unless you have alot of experience building computers. I have build about 150 machines in my life and have had nothing but problems with the new AMD. Not only that but you will have to replace less things (like case, chances are yours will work in a new pentium system but not with an AMD). I can put a PIII system together in about 30min and start loading software with out any problems. I have been working on an AMD 850 now for 52 hrs and it still doesn't work. It is very unstable.
I usually recommend a whole new box if you're going to go with a new CPU and Motherboard. With a PIII you can get one with a 100FSB if your current RAM is even that but then your HD is probably an older, slower model and would become a bottleneck that would limit the gains you make with the new processor. Plus, I've seen many an HD that failed shortly after upgrading the rest of the system to faster components (replaced one this morning). If you leave your old box in tact you might be able to get some $$$ out of it to offset the cost of some of the new components. Or, if your tax bracket is up there enough to matter, donate the old box and take a charitable deduction...
Originally posted by sennister: Stay away from AMD unless you have alot of experience building computers. I have build about 150 machines in my life and have had nothing but problems with the new AMD. Not only that but you will have to replace less things (like case, chances are yours will work in a new pentium system but not with an AMD). I can put a PIII system together in about 30min and start loading software with out any problems. I have been working on an AMD 850 now for 52 hrs and it still doesn't work. It is very unstable.
I would have to disagree with this one, I built my first system with AMD and had no problems with it. Second, about the video card, I really recommend the voodoo5, it is around $100 and packs a nice punch, the only downside is that they are out of business and hence you get no support, but I have had no problems with mine. As for DDR, from what I hear the speed dif is not really noticeable and therefore not worth the extra cash.
The AMD is also good because it is cheaper and faster than an equivilent clocked Intel. (Note I am not bashing intel, They are a good company and I still have a P3, just saying that bang for buck, AMD is better)
Down side to the AMD is that they run pretty hot so you may want to look into cooling.
Make sure that when you select your parts if you are going the AMD route that you get what they recommend.
Get at least a 300 watt power supply, so you have room for future upgrades.
You could probably keep the HDD in your current machine unless you want a bigger/faster one.
Newer RAM is good, PC-133. Dont buy cheap as I have found that it is noticeably slower. Crucial ahs great prices, and great RAM.
If anyone disagrees with anything, just let him/her know so they can get both sides of the story. I am just giving my recommendations.
heehee. Guess this'll learn ya to ask this kind of question of a computer geek site.
Here's what I'd do. Buy a new box. I did the 80% upgrade thing with new MoBo, CPU, box, etc. That was o.k. for a while. But now I'm itching to drop new stuff left in my old box to add yet ANOTHER computer to my home network. It's like a couple of people have said, if you get past the 50% parts upgrade....just drop a little more change and get a whole new machine.
Oh...and you better be careful or you'll end up with a bedroom or basement dedicated totally to your 10 computer network, all running different OSes! it's an addiction.
I usually tend to do the hand-me-down thing. I have one ubercomputer, that gets all the new top-end super-duper stuff, and its replaced parts get installed into machine #2, and the parts replaced in #2 go to #3, etc. So #1 gets the Kenwood 72x, the old 40x goes into #2, #2's old 24x goes into #3, and I give away the 6x that was in #3.