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New MB/CPU/Memory recs

Old 04-22-02, 05:24 PM
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New MB/CPU/Memory recs

I'm buying some components to replace a fried motherboard and upgrade my system's speed. The components I'm leaning towards are:

ePox 8KHA+ with the KT266A chipset - $89 at newegg
Athlon XP 1800+ - $110 at newegg
256MB PC2100 DDR-SDRAM - $85 at crucial

Anyone have any other ideas in this price range or lower? Any hints, warnings, etc. on the install? I've never installed a MB or CPU before, but I'm installed a hard drive, video card, CD-ROM, sound card, and memory before. Can I use my 128MB of PC133 until I want to upgrade my memory? What additional cooling gear should I get?
Old 04-23-02, 11:33 AM
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I don't think you can use your PC133 memory with the motherboard that you chose. There are other motherboards that will let you use either PC133 or DDR memory though if you want to go that route.

Make sure your power supply is at least 300W (the more, the better)....Athlon CPUs and DDR memory are power hogs.

Are you going to overclock? If so, be sure to get a good CPU fan/Heatsink and additional case fans (Athlon CPUs really get hot). You might consider getting PC2700 memory too for extreme overclocking :-).

By the way, you could pick up that Crucial PC2100 memory from newegg for $73+shipping instead of from Crucial.

Last edited by fantasia; 04-23-02 at 11:37 AM.
Old 04-24-02, 06:37 PM
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Thanks fantasia.

Probably won't overclock at least for a while. I think my PS is 250W. I hoping to keep it. What happens when your system gets underpowered?
Old 04-24-02, 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by skar
. What happens when your system gets underpowered?
possible shorts, which could cause damage to any of the components
Old 04-24-02, 06:58 PM
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Originally posted by skar
What happens when your system gets underpowered?
Burn out the PS, random crashes/data corruption.

There's only one 250W PS that I ever heard of capable of handling an Athlon. It was an Antec. I know the 300W Antec that I have has much higher amp ratings than a friend's noname one. But I would not use the 250W as you are planning.
Old 05-13-02, 05:43 PM
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Alright. New idea.

New case and power supply.

I'm thinking about an Allied 400W ATX400P4 PS from newegg for $40. Also a black Ever Case for $26. Any comments?

Now can someone recommend a decent, inexpensive motherboard for a XP 1800+ that supports both PC100/133 and DDR RAM? Do they exist?
Old 05-13-02, 07:58 PM
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Not that it matters a whole lot in a desktop system, but DDR-SDRAM actually draws less power than regular SDRAM.

AFAIK, there've been only two Athlon chipsets that support both SDRAM and DDR-SDRAM. The first was ALi's Magik 1 chipset. It was a poor performer initially, but subsequent chip and BIOS revs have made it a respectable performer. I've never paid much attention to this chipset, so I can't comment on its stability/compatibility.

The other chipset is the SiS 735. SiS has had something of a mixed reputation prior to the release of this chipset which really hindered its adoption by the rest of the industry. As such, initially only ECS delivered a board using this chipset. The K7S5A is fairly inexpensive (~$50-70), performs very well, and packs a lot of features so it's become quite popular. There are several known issues with the board regarding compatibility, but being as it's so popular, it's usually not hard finding a solution/workaround to any problems.

I've personally never worked with either of these chipsets since I like to stick with Intel, AMD, or Via (when I have to). However, if you want to continue using your existing SDRAM now and allow for the possibility of swapping that memory for DDR-SDRAM at some time in the future, these are pretty much your only choices.

As for the power supply, I'd recommend getting a good one. The total wattage isn't necessarily as important so long as it's adequate and 300W should be fine for a typical Athlon 1800+ desktop. What's more important is that you stay away from the super cheapo, no-name units. Ideally, we'd all go out and get a PC Power & Cooling unit, but since they charge a ridiculous amount for their power supplies, many of us have looked elsewhere.

Enermax has become quite popular lately and as such they're also easily available. While I don't think they're anything special, they're decent. The units that Antec sell are also good, as are Sparkles. Zalman makes a 300W unit that's got exceptional build quality, though they're sort of hard to find.

In general, a loose gauge of the quality of a PS is its weight. The super cheapo units tend to skimp on everything from caps to heatsinks, to the sheeting used for the enclosure. As such, they tend to be remarkably light. Older power supplies built back when price wasn't the primary design consideration tended to be much heavier.
Old 05-13-02, 08:34 PM
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just to point out.. the price of ddr ram has been dropping quite a bit lately..
really not worth it to buy a lesser motherboard to keep your 128mb or sdram.. when you could pick up 128mb ddr 2100 for 16$ plus s&h
www.pricewatch.com
although its definitly worth the extra $9 to get a 256mb chip
Old 05-13-02, 09:39 PM
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CHIEFTEC Server Chasis (Workstation Tower) Model DX-01WD-420W; AMD Approved Power Supply or in Black
CHIEFTEC Server Chasis (Workstation Tower) Model DX-01BD-420W Charcoal Black Color; AMD Approved Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProduc...ry=1502&DEPA=1

has a 420 watt power supply and you get it for $94 shipped vs $41 shipped for the Ever case and then $47 for the PS or $88. I think the case alone is worth the extra $6 bucks.

I might also go for a KT333 chipset. however if money is an issue then go for a KT266a chipset. I prefer ASUS since I think that they are worth the extra money and they have always worked well for me.

Good Luck
Old 05-13-02, 10:36 PM
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This is the case I have. 400W PS, exhaust fan, and a screwless case. Running an 1800+ with no problems for $40.

Also, if you're going to order everything at the same place, www.tcwo.com has pretty good prices on Gigabyte boards and XP OEM chips with shipping a fixed $6.95 per order.

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