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[Resolved] Processor Upgrade

4507 Views 17 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  John Sparkman
I'm looking for a little advice.

I presently have a Gateway ES450 machine. It has an Intel PIII 450Mhz processor, 192MB SDRAM PC100 with a front buss speed of 100Mgz. I'm running Win 98SE. The system also has two 20 Gig Maxtor hard drives, a CDROM, and a TDK 16/10/40 CDRW.
Now heres the thing, I want to upgrade to Windows XP Home but to be honest I'm not sure this 4 year old machine will work well with it. I also like the way I have things set up on this machine. All I'm looking for is an upgrade that will last me another 3-4 years.
I know a young guy that owns his own computer repair and custom built computer shop. He did a good job for me last year when he built a computer I needed for my own company.
For my machine he has suggested upgrading the Motherboard and putting in an AMD Duron 1.2 Ghz processor with 256MB DDR Ram. He knows that I don't do much gaming or video.

I was wondering what kind of advice I could get from you people here at TSG.

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you didn't REALLY give any reasons for your question, it an upgrade just for the sake of the 'upgrade'?,
..HOW/WHAT do you use your present system for?,
..are you trying to use software or do something your present system can't handle?, much do you want to SPEND?, FAR do you want to go?, it just a query for opinions?,

there are any number of WAYS to 'upgrade',
so you really first have to ask yourself some important questions,
if you're just reading the NUMBERS of the new stuff compared to your present system, IMHO, you're going to be awfully disappointed,
[and yes, bigger numbers ARE better, BBUUTT],
it also depends upon the purpose of applications used,

probably do some CLEAN-UP, TUNE-UP, TWEAKING,
on yor present system and be suprised at just how fast it USED to run and how fast it COULD run now,

and for anyone to even 'think' of xp, well, we each have our own opinions,

anyway, let me know, whatever, i'm interested in what you figue,

hope this helped,
have a good day,
w/enlight en-8902 w/[email protected] w/[email protected] w/[email protected] w/[email protected],
epox D3VA w/[email protected] w/2.0GB kingston SDRAM,
R.A.I.D. 0+1 w/[email protected]@7200,
w/trios w/98SE & W2KPro triple/single-booting,
sb live x-gamer w/klipsch pro-media 5.1,
ati 4xAGP rage fury pro w/dual sony E500,
3com 3c905c 10/100,
acer 50x cd-rom,
acer cd-rw.................
(yeah, i'm BRAGGIN'!!!!!!!)


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Thanks for your reply daniel_b2380.
Sorry that I wasn't a little clearer. I was wanting to upgrade the operating system to Win XP but the upgrade advisor that comes with the program says that my system BIOS might have troubles with XP and it suggested an upgrade. I had already upgraded the BIOS through the Gateway website so I'm out of luck. I even contacted the BIOS maker but they said they were unable to supply me with an upgrade because when they sold it to Gateway Gateway made modifications to it for their systems.
Therefor the only thing I could think of was to replace the MOBO and processor. So the main question here is, what do you think of the AMD Duron 1.2 Ghz processor?
Don't get me wrong I'm not unhappy at all with the system I have, but there are alot of new things coming out on the market that are made for XP and the faster systems and I just don't want to be left in the dust just yet.
Hey, thought I'd butt in and see if I couldn't offer a little too. (Hope I'm not a bother)

Anyways, the Duron will get the job done, but if you ever did get into gaming or video you'd be SOL. (so out of luck;)) Unless I'm mistaken the Duron is a down graded Athlon with the high memory cut off. So it will work fine for certain things, but for other things, (like you refered too) gaming, video, and such, it's just not going to cut it. So as long as you know for sure that it's not going to get in the way of anythin you plan to do, you should be fine and can even save a few bucks going with a Duron. Yet at the same time if you end up needing the extra power and again have to upgade then it'll just cost you more.

Ok I'm done, I hoped that helped a little, if not, sorry to waste your time.
I'll back up Chris. The AMD Duron 1.2 is not the way to go. A (1) or (1.2) Athlon with maybe a ASUS A7VE, 133 bus and 256 PC133 SDRAM would be a better choice even if you're not a gamer.

This is not an expensive upgrade. That package is sold at stores such as Comp USA and others (possibly with slightly altered models due to availability or discontinuence) all the time. Sometimes at huge discounts to get you in.

The real question is as said above, stick with 98 or go to XP? If everything's running fine now you might want to consider just the hardware upgrade. I guarentee the above will be a very noticable improvement and even if you're not a gamer (I'm not either) you will never regret the jump.

My 5 cent worth.
If you do any shopping via the internet a good site to check out would be This is where I do most of my shopping when I'm building myself or someone else a computer. Let me know waht you think.
Thank you all for your input. I'll go with your recomendations and stay away from the Duron processor. I will though be upgrading to XP after a few other things are done, like a new printer, but for now I'll just do the MOBO and Processor.

BTW: What do you think of this Board and chip.

Thanks Again
I haven't owned a Shuttle but I like this site. They may have yours reviewed. Either way there's a lot here I'm sure for you to look at. I have this site in my favorites, tech folder.
1. I don't recommend upgrading at all. You're only upgrading to be able to use Windows XP. It's a waste of money. If you were upgrading because your computer is slow, etc., that's fine. But upgrading just to use XP, that's a waste of money.

2. If you're going to upgrade, then consider this carefully. And since you're going to be changing the motherboard, you have unlimited options now. Like, you can get yourself a P4, faster RAM, like PC2100, etc. Not just the cheapest crap. I'm talking from my own experience. If you were to purchase a Duron, and PC100, it's basically the same thing. You're not really improving much. It's just a waste of money. That's why if you're GOING TO spend money, get something better. Even PC 133 isn't much better than PC100. Since you're going to be changing the motherboard, you can do this. If you were not going to change the motherboard, then you would be limited by what the motherboard can handle.

3. If you're going to be putting in a slow processor, like 1Ghz, ask the dealer if you can put in your OLD RAM. This way you won't be wasting money. You'll only be saving $50, but still money.

4. Before he does anything, ask him how much everything will cost. How much will labor cost and how much will each part cost, so you don't get screwed. Then check the parts' prices on the net. So you know how much they really cost. I like, they're the cheapest, I think. Tell him to buy there or at, so he doesn't waste money either, maybe he'll give you a lower price. I have a friend (dumb [email protected]#ker) who paid someone $350 ($350!) to put in an AMD Athlon 1800 (1.47 Ghz) and replace the case (case is worth no more than $50), some cheap case. I think he got ripped off. I told him, why de [email protected] didn't you ask me for advice, or to do it, I would have done it for free. Blyat'!

5. Think about doing everything yourself, an option? You could buy a "bare bone kit" from, which includes the mobo, RAM, Case, etc. And all you'd have to add is the Hard Drive, CD-ROMs, Processor, etc. This way you'd have exactly what you want, you would save a ton of money, and plenty of experience.
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Someone delete the second message, it's a copy.
Note to ilusha2,

The profanity and negative remarks don't seem to me to be very helpful to John. I don't mean to start a flame war but lighten up a little.

I think from the tone of John's post he just wanted some friendly advice for a comparison with his shop's recommendation. From the first it seemed that he was going for an inexpensive upgrade, which is not a bad thing, and that's where I and others concentrated.

I also disagree with your apparent opinion that a cheaper upgrade won't be noticable. Yes, it won't fly like a $2500 screamer but with his needs, a 1 or 1.2 Athlon with 256 MB of pc133 RAM will float XP just fine.
I didn't mean to scare anyone with the profanity, it wasn't directed at anyone here. I'm not telling him to get a 3Ghz processor, but whatever processor he does get, if he's getting PC133 when he has PC100 now, it's a waste of money.

He should just get a mobo that supports the RAM he has NOW, and just put his old RAM in there. This way he's not wasting money on RAM that isn't much better. I did mention this, buddy :)

So, either he should keep his old RAM, or buy RAM that's a lot better, since PC133 isn't much better and is a waste of money because of it. Do you understand my point?

Everything that was said above did not have any anger, just so you don't think I said it in an angry way. Like "Do you understand my point" was not meant to be angry. I may sound angry, but I'm not :) -- see the smilies? They are just to make sure you understand this :) -- there they are again :)
John, what do you think? Do you think I was wrong? Or was my info helpful?

I think you made a point on the use if money and what you get in return.

You can get a PC so cheap now that the added 100.00 you spend can be something very good and your be so happy in the end.

I paid the added bucks to have DDR memory but let me tell you it is so very nice. It cost less now then it did when I got mine but I am happy all the same.
Thank you all for your suggestions.

To ilusha2: While I don't think the use of profanity is a good measure of a man, it's use can make you seam small. However you do have a point. I will not be staying with PC100 or 133 RAM and I plan to be doing this upgrade myself:rolleyes: so you will probably be seeing posts in the near future in the hardware forum. Be around because I'll be needing help.

To hewee & griffinspc: Thanks guy for the help and suggestions. I am working on a budget here after all and I can't afford a real barn burner. I'll be going for more of a middle of the road system. For now I plan to keep all my drives, cards, and case.

To ChrisJ: Thanks for the link. I'll be doing my shopping there. I can get alot more for my money at tiger direct then from my friend.

Thank you all again
Welcome and good luck. I enjoyed doing my first upgrade, headaches and all, and have enjoyed building from scratch since. You don't need to spend a lot to make something worthwhile.

Who said hobbies are dead! :D
And John you have the right idea, Windows XP is the way to go. You'll get better performance from the hardware and the operating system is very stable and nothing like W95/98/ME. The applications and services run independent of the operating systems so if you have a problem with an application, it's easy to end it and continue on. The operating system doesn't freeze if an application freezes because XP is a true multitasking environment unlike W95/98/ME where multitasking is really just an illusion to the eyes.
Thanks Bryan. I've started a new thread in hardware here and I would like your input.

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