Strategy for Upgrading

Discussion in 'Computers' started by John*K, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in the process of upgrading my computer, but I have limited funds for the moment. I think that I may choose to go into two stages: motherboard, CPU, case and fans First; then new HD, sound card, graphics card, DVD-RW Second. Or vice versa. Not sure of the order yet.

    Anyway, with regard to motherboard upgrade, I want to go Intel. There is a gigabyte board that I like, but I have read that they aren't that great of a company. I want an Intel 875 chipset, with built-in SATA and/or SCSI, and am willing to spend money to get that. Any suggestions?

    The motherboard.org site always seems to rate every new board highly. It's hard to say what's what.
     
  2. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    the asus p4p800 is my current choice of p4 boards, if you want scsi I'm afraid you will pay for it as that tends to be more common on server class boards. . . Tyan is a good manufacturer of server boards (read as: stable as a rock in sand)

    for motherboard information this forum is fairly good at keeping tabs on current trends:
    http://hardforum.com/forumdisplay.php?forumid=4

    upgrading is kinda becoming easier as a cpu upgrade is now starting to require a new motherboard and new ram all together. the A64's require a new motherboard and registered ddr ram which isn't as common atm. Then video cards are so expensive for the top line ones that they are pretty much by themselves.

    typically I upgrade in three sections:

    1. video card
    2. motherboard, cpu, ram
    3. hard-drive and optical drives

    any extras like cases, fans etc, are just bought on whim's they typically are inexpensive and upgraded less frequently
     
  3. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow Rob. Thanks so much for that post! [​IMG]
     
  4. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    hey, it's no trouble at all [​IMG]

    post back in the comp section if you have any other questions or concerns!
     
  5. MikeFR

    MikeFR Supporting Actor

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    One thing to consider is there are a handful of boards out there that let you use sdram or ddr, meaning you can use your old ram on the board until you can afford to get ddr.

    Also, I know you said you want intel but since you mentioned you have limited funds I would seriously consider getting an amd.
     
  6. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

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    I actually thought about AMD for awhile, but I remember reading somewhere (Can't remember) that they no longer hold the speed crown and are a little less reliable. True, it was only one opinion. I may need to re-think.
     
  7. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    AMD processors are just as reliable as intels, the problem comes in with the software you run. . . the more garbage you put on the more garbage you have to deal with.

    currently the AMD 64bit processors are the fastest consumer grade processors on the market, they even bested intels p4 extreme edition processors which boast a rather large level 2 cache. though the prices don't really make you feel all warm and fuzzy when you buy one, buy they are still quite the deal in comparison to an intel solution.

    no, I've nothing against intel, I just deal in numbers and right now AMD has all the numbers in their favour.

    also, I can never recommend running single data rate ram with a current processor; if you feel that you must go this route, I would suggest hanging onto your cash until you can afford the complete solution.
     
  8. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

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    In reviewing my strategy, I've decided that it might be best to purchase a new hard drive (as odd as that may seem). It is just that the case, power supply, motherboard, and CPU I am eyeing will be more than I want to spend right now.

    My problem is in determining whether SCSI is still the way to go. I have read the reviews on the Western Digital SATA drive, and at that price point, I cannot find a comparable SCSI solution.

    I really want to go with SCSI, because I have already committed some funds to it. I purchased the Adaptec 2940 U2W LVD, a Plextor CD-RW drive, and a Jazz 2GB drive with a SCSI upgrade path in mind. I want SCSI largely because I want multitasking among components to be smooth. But now, the choice is not clear.

    The price difference is too large to ignore. Has anyone got one of these SATA drives and a SCSI drive?

    The 2940 has 68 pin, and the drives I am looking at are 80 pin. Will there be an issue with adapters?
     
  9. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I find that hardrive perforamnce isn't as crucial nowadays primarly due to the large amount of RAM that is present in the average persons computer. with such large amounts of RAM there is far less file swapping performed on the hardrive.

    there really isn't anything currently available that can stress a hardrive, even file transfers acrossed a network will saturate your PCI bus before pressuring the hardrive.

    I am afraid SCSI is not a realm I am highly familar with, so i cannot say if an adapter would work well enough for your application.

    if I were in your position I would purchase a sata drive and a SCSI card for the other devices.I would be content with a much larger, less expensive sata hardrive versus a smaller, much more expensive SCSI drive.
     
  10. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    80 pin SCSI drives have the power connector as part of the connector, 68 pin has a separate power connector. There is no way to make them interchangeable.

    The ATA133 8MB cache drives are darn good performers from my experience, and would be a much cheaper solution.

    SATA needs the motherboard to support it, a different connector is used, so might not be able to do use them now.
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    You can also buy a SATA adapter PCI card if you want to run SATA hard drives on a motherboard that doesn't have native SATA support. Same idea as a SCSI adapter card.
     
  12. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    The newer faster drive will work on the 33Mhz bus, but you will not get the full benefits from it until you upgrade the motherboard. IE, the 133 drive will run at 33 Mhz.

    The SATA will be faster than a ATA133, but the cost is much higher for the potential benefits.

    For speed, there is also the 10000 RPM Raptor drives from Western Digital, but they have a smaller capacity, 36GB I think.
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    Yes, at this point, your old motherboard will be the bottleneck for your PC.
     
  15. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    hrm. . . 33mhz bus implies a fairly old computer; perhaps a 486 or a pentium system. if so, you might consider pooling your money for a few months and buying an entirely new computer. even I, through my many upgrades, finds that sometimes a full step is needed every few years.
     
  16. John*K

    John*K Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, no, it is a PII-450. Got it from Dell. It is about six years old.

    Actually, what I think I want to know is, are built-in interfaces any faster than the host cards? e.g., built-in ATA-133 versus host ATA-133 card?
     
  17. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    ATA133 is is related to the bus speed of the motherboard. The only reason you want a PCI card for IDE drives is to get around the 140GB-ish hard drive limit.

    I had a P3-500 that had a 33Mhz bus, 5 yrs old I think.
     

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