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Combo Board+Memory=$350 Options/Opinions?

Old 06-02-03, 12:45 PM
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Combo Board+Memory=$350 Options/Opinions?

I've got about $350 to spend, upgrading my Pentium II 450.

I've installed hard drives & CD burners before, and know about IDE cables, but that's about it.

So far, the plan is to get a $240ish combo board from this price watch page:

6/2/2003 - Motherboard Combos Athlon XP 2800 333 with cpu, fan

...and a pair of $45ish 512Ms from this page:

6/2/2003 - System Memory PC2700 DDR 512MB

If you think that's a bad move for any reason, let me know, but that's really my price range...


Otherwise -- which of the cheapie motherboards is best? How do I choose between them features-wise?

If anyone can tell from a quick glance at that list which mfg & model is probably best, it'll save me another weeks worth of research... Anybody already knowledgeable on these things?
Old 06-02-03, 11:12 PM
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Just glancing at the list, the motherboards included in those bundles look to be of questionable quality.

Generally, I put system compatibility and stability far above performance in terms of importance. As such, I try to stick with well proven manufacturers and brands.

So, with your budget, I'd probably get something like an Asus A7N8X Deluxe board for $130 or so. I find Asus boards to be very well designed and built. The nForce2 chipset has been pretty solid in my experience and it performs very well. Couple that with the fact that I've never met a Via chipset that I didn't eventually come to hate and there's pretty much no other choice.

For memory, you can get a pair of Corsair Micro 512MB sticks for a total of $120 or so. Kingston wouldn't be a bad choice either.

That leaves about $100 for the CPU, which puts the XP2600 in your budget. You're giving up a couple speed grades for the better motherboard and memory, but IMO, it's well worth it. You'll end up with a system that's less likely to cause you headaches and you won't even notice the slightly slower CPU without a benchmark program.

One caveat. If you're planning on using the same case and power supply as your existing system, your power supply may not be up to delivering the higher power draw of modern CPUs. Depending on what you have right now, it may be worth trying it and seeing if you have any problems, but there's a chance you'll need to upgrade the PS.
Old 06-03-03, 12:11 AM
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I agree. pass on the cheap stuff and step down a bit in speed to get a better quality and more stable system.

I also like ASUS motherboards and the A7N8X seems like a good board.

I also would get quality ram from companies like Crucial and corsair.

I agree that the odds of your power supply being able to power the new cpu and be stable is not too likely.

What video card are you going to use?

what is the purpose for the new upgrade? are you doing Gaming?

It is possible that you could get a new dell for close to that price.

Last edited by gcribbs; 06-03-03 at 12:15 AM.
Old 06-03-03, 12:24 AM
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Hot! DellSB - Dimension 2350 2.2Ghz P4 Desktop w/DVD-Rom, CD-RW, 60GB HD, 16MB USB Memory Key, H/K Speakers, & 17" CRT Monitor for $499 after Rebate (Posted by: Apex)
This time, Dell has a whole bunch of free upgrades they`re giving you on their desktops. The great thing about it is their "As Seen on TV" advertised specials includes some other promotions. Because they don`t overlap, and can both be applied, you get quite a bit. This time you get a Pentium 4 2.2Ghz processor, system with 128MB of DDR SDRAM. With the advertised special, you get a 17" E772 monitor, Harman Kardon HK-206 speakers, and a large $150 rebate (no rebates on the normal 2350 desktop). Right now, there`s a free upgrade to a 60GB 7200RPM Ultra/ATA100 hard drive, a free 16mb Dell USB Memory Key (use this instead of floppy disks!), a free 16x DVD-Rom in the primary bay, and a 48x24x48 CD-RW in the secondary bay. Here`s how we put it all together:

Start here at Dell Small Business As Seen on TV Desktops. DELLSB
Click on Customize It under Dimension 2350 $499
Here are all of the freebies that should be selected. You can also add any other options you may want at this time:
FREE UPGRADE! 60GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive Special Offer
FREE!! 16MB Dell USB Memory Key Special Offer
Free Upgrade! 16X Max Variable DVD-Rom Drive
Scroll to the bottom and click on Continue
Scroll to the bottom and click on Continue
Scroll to the bottom and click on Add to cart
There`s free shipping. Send in the $150 mail in rebate (Expires 6/15/03). REBATE
Remember, if you don`t have a business, you can use your own name as the business name. In fact, that`s a good idea, since the rebate is made out to the company name.

from gotapex.com

direct link to Dell SB tv deal http://www.dell.com/us/en/bsd/offers...seen_on_tv.htm

not sure if the 15% off coupon for the 2350 will work or not. I have one I can email you if you want to try it.

Last edited by gcribbs; 06-03-03 at 12:26 AM.
Old 06-03-03, 03:16 AM
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Anandtech Forums - same question with a slight overclocking tone - you can spend a bit less if you don't want to OC but still get a kick-butt system.

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