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Considering an upgrade...not sure what to do first...

By Eternal
Dec 10, 2003
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  1. I assembled a computer about 18 months ago and the current kit includes:

    ASUS A7V266-E Socket A motherboard
    2 x 256MB PC2100 DDR RAM
    NVIDIA GEFORCE 2 MX-400 64MB AGP
    AMD ATHLON XP1800 (1.53GHZ)

    Along with a decent 7200 HD, CD rewriter etc.

    I'm using the computer more for video editing, Photoshop work, and some gaming. My initial instinct said upgrade the CPU. If so, should I go for the AMD XP 2700 (333mhz)? Does the 266 bit on my motherboard mean I can only run 266 speed processors? What would happen if I used 333mhz? Should I upgrade the MBoard?

    How about a memory upgrade? Maybe another 256 or 512MB? Should I go for the same PC2100 DDR ram, or mix it with something faster?

    I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks... I need to get my list off to Santa
  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    You will not be able to use a CPU with a faster FSB on that board, the same way getting faster Ram won't bring any noticeable performance gain ( unless you run it at PC2100 & apply lower Timings ). That board seems to have stability problems with the 2400+ which runs with a 133mhz FSB so it can only be worse with a 166mhz FSB CPU I'm afraid.

    If you choose to install that 2700+, either you will run it at a lower speed by applying that 133mhz FSB, or you run your PCI/AGP speeds out of specs by pushing the FSB to 166.

    More ram can always help, going to 1GB from 512mb could make a difference when doing some heavy work in Photoshop or if you happen ti be running another heavy program at the same time.

    PS. Welcome to TechSpot. Hope you enjoy your stay.:wave:
  3. Eternal

    Eternal TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    OK thanks, that is helpful. I'm beginning to think that perhaps an upgrade of Motherboard is in order.

    If I was budgeting around £100 - £150, could you advise anything suitable? I'd probably add a quicker CPU shortly after so upgrading that wouldn't be a problem.
  4. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 210

    i'd definetly suggest a mobo/processor combo upgrade if you're serious about upgrading, and think you might do more in the future. then way you're ready a better proc. will be supported as will faster memory. read all the reviews you can find, mobos are a tricky bunch ;)
  5. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 5,899

    There are some very nice & cheap boards based on the KT600.

    The A7V600 is very good ( if you want to stay with Asus ), so is the KV7 by Abit. They're feature full, stable & have a small performance disadvantage against their nForce2 opposition.
  6. Eternal

    Eternal TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Ok, looks like the motherboard is going on the Xmas list.
    One further question if I may. I have also been recommended the following: Gigabyte 7N400 Pro nForce2 Ultra

    It's slightly more (about £20) than the A7V600.

    Would I be able to use all my existing RAM and CPU on either of these boards until I upgrade? Would you recommend paying the extra £20 for the nForce2?
  7. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,268

    If you want slightly more performance, RAID and Firewire, then the Gigabyte board is the right choice, or else go with the A7v600.

    Yes you will be able to support the existing RAM and CPU if you upgrade to a newer motherboard.
  8. Eternal

    Eternal TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 17

    Thanks everyone for the advice, it really is very helpful.
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