Upgrading motherboard

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeH1, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I have a friend that wants to upgrade his motherbord. He currently has a motherboard that runs a AMD Athlon processor 1.4 Ghz. socket A. He runs SD ram. So his question is what make of motherboard to buy in the $50.00 - $100.00 range? Any good expierences with a particular brand? And how about for upgrading?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    For a low priced basic AMD mobo, i STRONGLY recommend the ECS K7S5A.

    Some people have had some problems with it, but my experiences with it have been awesome (except for the crappy onboard sound). I know two other people who use the board too, its a great board. I got it for about $80 Canadian.

    The ECS is compatible with AMD processors from its Athlon Tbirds to the XPs. So if he wants to upgrade to an XP processor and it'd be fine. I recently did a CPU swap from a 1.333GHz Athlon Tbird to an XP1700+ and had absolutely no problems at all.
     
  3. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    It really will not do your friend a lot of good to just upgrade the motherboard. If he is really going to do any good he would need to get a new motherboard that supports the faster Socket A chips which will be running on DDR Ram which would mean he would need to replace the Ram as well. Tell him to wait until he is ready to replace the motherboard, RAM, & Processor because who know what could change 6 months to even a year from now in computer parts and pricing.

    KyleS
     
  4. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  5. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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  6. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  7. KyleS

    KyleS Screenwriter

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    John first off you seem to think that when someone replies to you or has a different view they are in some way attacking you. You really need to ease up on the attitude and take criticism and differing opinions for what they are.

     
  8. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  9. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I'm going to take the side of not buying a new motherboard, you recieve no major performance gains by upgrading the motherboard alone and if what he has right now is working perfectly then the new motherboard can only make things worse by inviting in the issues of incompatability.

    so mike, unless there is a good reason to buy a new motherboard (like the old one is toast) then tell him to hold onto his money and save up for a complete new system later.
     
  10. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  11. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the responses guys. I thank you for the various opinions but please lets not get personal with each other. I'm trying to get my online gamer friends into HTF and its going to be a tough sell with this kind of negativity.

    First off he figures his motherboard is the problem as to why his mouse freezes and his pc crashes. He has a cheap generic MB so he is basicly looking for something that will offer some stability and perhaps a BIT upgradable for the future. Hes not thinking 3 years down the road or anything...but something that might still be good a year from now. He doesn't want to change his ram, although a board that supports SD and DDR is enticing for if he changes his mind down the road.

    So yes, there is good reason to upgrade for his pc isn't running too well. Like I said, I think stability is key. Hes not worried about "top notch" performance and such so much. [​IMG]
     
  12. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Mouse freezing and PC crashing could be software related. It happened on my friend's PC and it was solved by a few reinstalls/updates.
     
  13. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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  14. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    I thought that this might be interesting to some considering the previous ... er ... discussion.

    The AMD Athlon XP 2.8 GHz processor is socket A and it is available right now. It's expensive as hell, but AMD has already gone beyond 2.6 GHz and they're still socket A.

    Info (and sticker shock) here.
     
  15. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Mike, there is no guarantee that replacing the motherboard will fix his problems. It could be an improperly cooled CPU, flaky RAM, or a bad power supply.

    If it is any of the above, a new motherboard won't help very much. I strongly suggest that your friend takes measures to troubleshoot the problem.

    Reinstall windows would be a good start. Run a virus scan and a spyware scan. If those don't work, even with the latest drivers and windoze patches, then it is likely a hardware problem.

    If he is very resourceful and ambitious (and is receptive to the handyman approach!), you could delay a windows reinstall, and try swapping out the RAM. If there are two sticks of RAM, remove one of them. If that doesn't help, swap the remaining RAM with the one you had just taken out. Failing that, find someone who is willing to loan out some old SDRAM for more testing.

    Make sure the mouse isn't flaking out. I had an issue with a USB mouse constantly attaching and detaching itself from the USB interface, causing random freezes and temporary lockups. Applying pressure to the cable end feeding into the mouse fixed it.

    Be sure to monitor the CPU temperature and voltages too. You may be overheating, or have a bad powersupply. The fans could be clogged with lint and dust, causing it to overheat and inducing instability.

    If none of the above helps, reinstall windows, and try the above procedure again. You'll learn a lot about computers that way, and will be in a better position to evaluate computer upgrades in the future. [​IMG]

    Personally I'd just save up the $$$ and get a new system, otherwise I'd just diagnose and fix the problem first. This may mean replacing the motherboard with a different one but with similar features.

    BTW, I find DDR-SDRAM very good in a multitasking multimedia environment, but only because of the new memory controllers such as those found in the nvidia nForce chipsets. Too bad there is no SDRAM version of it, which would make a nice cheap HTPC solution. Memory performance boils down to how good your chipset is. The new 3D videocards all use DDR-SDRAM with gigantic (256bit!) memory pipelines. The best we got is nvidia's 64bit (or is it 128bit?) memory controller. Sucks in comparison.
     
  16. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    I don't think I can still reccomend an upgrade of the motherboard only, unless he can get it for dirt cheap there's just nothing there for him. I am going to default to troubleshooting elsewhere like trying out a new mouse and the format and reinstall of the computer is a great idea (slowdown and flaking can often be attributed to background programs).

    as far as memory speeds, your cpu doesn't need anything more than a 64bit interface and that is easily proven with the new nForce2 motherboards, in dual channel the memory is running at 128bit which Doublesthe effective bandwidth and the system performance gain is roughly 2%. Video cards on the otherhand make great use of the massive bandwidth, gpu's will stores a good 60+mbs of tecture information that needs to be recalled for display at blazing speeds.

    just tell him to live with his problem and look into buying a completly new system. It will do him better in the long run.
     
  17. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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  18. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    nobody likes living with a bad pc, but solving the problem by getting something that you'll be unhappy with won't help at all. I know, I've been there and done that, had a crap computer so I upgraded the cpu, then upgraded the motherboard, then did this and that. A year later that computer is sitting in my closet because the upgrades weren't getting the computer anywhere and I eventually had to give in to the fact that it just costs too much to continually upgrade it a piece at a time. In the span of about a year to keep upgrading like it cost me about as much as my new computer I'm currently on; and that computer id less then half as good of a performer then what my current computer is.

    see I know that after he does the motherboard, he will still find problems in his computer and will look towards upgrading other parts of it. half the problems in a computer stem from dissatisfaction. That's why everyone always says to buy somethng better then what you currently want becuase you'll never be happy with sub-par performance.

    anyway, just a scpheel, no real sense to it all. . .
     
  19. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Rob your quite right but spending $50.00 - 100.00 on a MB isn't a bad price to pay to figure out your pc is junked. I mean, if the MB works than great, problem solved. If not, then he has bigger problems than he thought. But it sure makes fiscal sense trying this out first than buying a new pc that you cannot afford. [​IMG]

    BTW I love your sig [​IMG]
     
  20. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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    heh, yeah if you call it quits on the comp after one or two upgrades then your fine. . . but once you start upgrading it's hard to stop! [​IMG]

    thanks [​IMG] picked up the pic from a friend and I've been dishing out that quote for so long that I don't remember where I got it from :p
     

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