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Upgrading my system - Recommendations

I now have a PIII system with 800MHz CPU, 384MB SD-RAM on a MSI6309 mobo. I have upgraded my system in the past (more RAM, better vidcard, better soundcard, lancard, ...), but I have reached it's limit. So it's time to buy at least a new mobo, CPU and RAM.
A local computer shop has the following in offer:
  • AMD Athlon XP 2600 @ 333MHz FSB/512 KB L2 with boxed cooler. (99 euros)
  • AsRock K7VT4A+ motherboard with support for 333 FSB CPUs, DDR400 RAM, AGP8x, onboard sound and 10/100 ethernet. (39 euros)
  • Take-MS DDR400 512 MB RAM stick. (95 euros)
I have a videocard (Gefore 3 ti200), soundcard (SB Live! Platinum) and PCI firewire card. I am going to upgrade the videocard at a later stage (maybe something for Christmas ;)).

Will this be a good system? I am looking for at least 2-3 years of computing pleasure, my current system is now over 4 years old. Money is an issue, so I am not looking for a top of the notch system. I don't need SATA (I don't care if loading times for games/Windows are a little higher), nor Dual Channel DDR, you pay a lot for only a little performance.
What am I gonna do with it?
  • Well, I do a lot in console emulation, so it needs to be fast. Although my current system is more than sufficient in most tasks, some games (especially PSX games) run slow, so I need the extra computing power.
  • PC gaming, I want to be able to play the newest games, not extra fancy dandy nice and the best graphics there are, just that I can play it in a 1024 res, and medium detail level. Say I am gonna fit in a Geforce FX5700 with 256 MB ram, will that be good?
  • Fast enough to cope with new games/apps for at least 2 years.

Thanks for your opinions!

Oh and please no Intel vs AMD war here, thanks ;)


Dabba Dooba
Political User
From the looks of it I think it would be great. No problem what so ever :). Hope u have a fun time building it. What do u plan on doing with the old stuff?
TittleBitties said:
From the looks of it I think it would be great. No problem what so ever :). Hope u have a fun time building it. What do u plan on doing with the old stuff?
Great :)

The old stuff will probably be used in a new old computer, which will most likely be sold or used as a third machine in this house.
Sempron processors are much cheaper and (as i've read) are just updated Athlon XP chips. so you could get a Sempron 2600 ($80) for cheaper than the Athlon XP 2600 ($96). your motherboard also supports it.

you could also get 2x 256 DDR Ramsticks instead of 1x512 DDR Ramstick which could cut some costs, and if you ever changed your mind in the future and got a different motherboard, you could take advantage of the dual-channel ram. just a suggestion.

dont forget your PSU.. its always good to get an updated one. you dont seem like a "power-user" so a 350watt should suffice.

goodluck with the new rig!


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
PSU and Processor ideas

dubstar said:
...dont forget your PSU..
I'll second that and go further to commend to you the (admittedly expensive) tagan 480 W psu (TG480-U01 480W Silent PSU) - I just ordered one for myself and expect it to stay with me for its natural lifetime (which I hope to be considerable). I am not sure how much you value "quietness" in your machines, but this will offer it alongside a nice heavy duty supply that will cope with thatever you throw at it, and do remember if that Christmas wish brings you an Ultra card, they surely need the extra wattage - I believe specify 480W as required :eek:

ShepsCrook said:
Spend the money and get an Athlon XP Mobile 2500 or preferably 2600 and THEN overclock it. Because the 2600 on that board will overclock beautifully. I have an Asus A7N8X Deluxe Rev. 2.0 board and an Athlon XP Mobile 2600 with a Zalman 7000AlCu heatsink and fan and I am at 2.4ghrz (400FSB), and floating around 38 celcius. Think about it
This I am quoting from another thread, but it is common knowledge and why not take advantage of it given you are looking at this processor range anyway, why not get one with a little overclockability as a little future proofing for you to squeeze extra juice out of it if you need it? I have not looked into how overclock friendly that board is though - I'm trusting you may know about that. [EDIT] Checked your link to mobo - that will overclock a mobile chip nicely! ;) Remember you need not get expensive cooler straight off if you want to save money - that could come later whenever you require overclocking?[/EDIT]

Hope this input helps, cannot recommend the PSU too highly (but try to buy from supplier with good RMA policy or one who will power it up in shop for you, apparently the occasional "bad" one has a "clicking" sound that might be annoying).


F@H - Is it in you?
Staff member
Political User
with the advent of all these "I am thinking of building a new system threads" I am going to make a general guide to upgrading :)

keep an eye out for a sticky in the cpu/hardware section... will take a bit of time lol...


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Sazar said:
... I am going to make a general guide to upgrading :)...
Excellent idea I am sure, but it would really have to be something to replace the threads - the fact is everyone will tend to have quite individual requirements and tastes and each build will actually be quite individual. So the guide can only really be that, a general guide - I guess.

Maybe you could consider a way to formulate your objectives too though, like a kind of checklist with Process power, Graphics, Budget, Size, Quietness, future -proofing ..... not sure how it would work, just know there are many different angles to come at with a build. For myself quietness has become something of an issue now - but it was not always so, I used to want low profile or SFF also for their compact size (and still find myself attracted to the quieter of these, although they are a fiddle and have their limits!)

Anyway - just some input for you that I thought I would air in public, since your post was on this thread ;)

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