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a little help on system upgrade please

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by Kerry Pierce, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Kerry Pierce

    Kerry Pierce

    Jan 7, 2006
    :Waldo: I'm looking to upgrade my aging Asus A7NX MB with an old ~2.8ghz (don't remember the exact speed) AMD processor to something a little faster. I'm running XP Home and have no plans to run Vista anytime soon.

    I don't see any need to buy new drives and go through the hassle of new installs on everything. So, I'm not planning on doing anything other than just plugging in the new MB, CPU, RAM and if necessary a graphics card.

    I'm looking at Newegg.com, the Asus M2N+ SLI Vista MB and the AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Windsor 2.6GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache. Not real sure that I need that level of performance. CS2 seems to run fairly well on the system that I have, but I'd like to at least triple the performance. I'm guessing that the above MB/CPU is probably at least 10 times faster than my current system. :) 

    But, the MB doesn't have an AGP slot, which means I'd have to buy another video card. Any decent cards out there to run dual monitor with my old Nokia 445Xpro CRT monster plus an AOC LCD? I don't care about game performance, just a good, solid graphics card for CS2 is fine.

    I'm thinking of getting 3gigs of memory. The MB has 4 slots. I see some new brands, like Wintec, OCZ, and Patriot, along with Corsair, Kingston, PNY, etc. Any brands to avoid?

    My main concern is system stability. No plans to overclock. I just want a good, solid performer. So, any advice on a combo to stick in my tower would be appreciated.

    I've done some preliminary research on this stuff, mainly on the XP/CS2/memory issue. One of the things that stuck out was that Tiger Direct was thought to be a poor vendor and that Newegg was much better.

    Any thoughts on other vendors or if you think I'm goofing up, would also be appreciated.

  2. I hope you are planning on reformatting and re-installing Windows and all of your software, am I correct? If not, you are making serious changes to the hardware layer that Windows already knows about. It may be possible to do this, but I would expect major issues ... it's going to be looking for device drivers, processor drivers, new interrupts ... bunches of stuff. What may make this particularly difficult is installing "stuff" that is newer than Windows driver database. All of the new items are on the Windows hardware list, right?

    Even if it does boot up and find everything that's "new" I would expect stability problems down the road.

    I'm not enough of a hardware "guru" to say it will NOT work ... but I would seriously consider reformatting and reinstalling once the new hardware is in place. It will definately make everything run significantly faster.

    Just my $.02!!


  3. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    I don't want to rain on your parade, but since you asked, I'll contribute my opinion:

    You can expect a nice improvement with your proposed mods, but nothing like 3x improvement. That does not correlate, since there are so many interrelated factors. One seldom considered item is the limiting factor that your spyware / anti virus programs will have, and their affect on system resources. Is your power supply adequate? FSB speed on the new MB?

    NewEgg is an awesome vendor - great choice. As long as you buy the correct Ram clock speed, I cannot recommend one over another. I would, however, MAXIMIZE the Ram, as it will give you the most bang for your buck.

    I finally threw in the towel over unsuccessful attempts to edit HD video with a 3.2GHZ 2GB Ram, 800Mhz FSB using Adobe Premiere Pro. I custom configured a Mac Pro based on many recommendations from Cafe members. I am highly impressed with every aspect of this machine. Just another avenue to look at. All the best with your project!
  4. Kerry Pierce

    Kerry Pierce

    Jan 7, 2006
    Hi Ken,

    No, as I said, I'm not planning on reinstalling all of the software. I've not done this with an XP machine, but I've done this several times with previous windows versions. The only real issue, that I can foresee, is if I change the video card. I should be able to boot to safe mode and install any new drivers that it needs.

    Huh? A problem with a windows machine? No way. :biggrin: Seriously, dunno why it would be a problem down the road, if I can get it to work now.

    Formatting and installing new would be a BIG hassle. I've got stuff that's been loaded for several years, like NC4 with all of the updates that were installed over time.
  5. Kerry Pierce

    Kerry Pierce

    Jan 7, 2006
    Thanks, John, it's appreciated. :biggrin:

    Well, dunno exactly what to expect for an improvement, but the main factors for RAM, FSB and CPU are huge increases, easily 6x for the slowest of those things.

    What do you mean by MAXIMIZE the RAM? XP will only address 4gigs and very few programs will use more than 2gigs. XP supposedly needs about a gig of RAM for itself, so 3gigs would seem to be sufficient.

    I'd like to go to a MAC, but it's just not cost effective for me to do so. :frown:
  6. I use to do the same with older versions of windows, couldn't do it with XP, wouldn't even boot into a safe mode. I believe it was because I swapped MOBO/CPU.
  7. Kerry Pierce

    Kerry Pierce

    Jan 7, 2006
    Well, that's not good news....:frown: Blast! :Ouch: You're supposed to be able to make those kinds of changes with XP, without even having to go through the %^(&$%&(*& re-activation, let alone having to do a full re-install.

    I suppose I should be talking to MS, to find out what the deal is, before I buy new hardware. I'll prolly die of old age before I get a reasonable response.:rolleyes:  It's no wonder that MS is the company that people love to hate.....
  8. Kerry Pierce

    Kerry Pierce

    Jan 7, 2006
    FYI, doing a little checking on the MB upgrade and found this article that describes what needs to be done to get XP to work with a new MB. So, it seems that it should be possible. :smile:

    It's a long article, directed at novice users, but this is the significant page.


    And another article here that is pretty much what I've done in the past, if you scroll down to the bottom of the page where it talks about changing all of the drivers to the windows defaults before removing the old MB.


    Lastly, here's an MS KB article on how to replace the old MB without doing a new XP install.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2007
  9. ChrisA

    ChrisA Guest

    If you are spending the $$$ on a new M/B, processor, video card and RAM you could have bought a mac Mini. They start at $599 OK the "Mini" is the bottom of the line Mac but still its an Intel Core Dual it's going to be much faster then an older Pentuim. I bet you spend more to upgrade the PC then to buy a Mini
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