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Major PC upgrade - your advice needed please

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Stuart Wright, Aug 13, 2004.

  1. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Hi Folks,
    I use my PC for business and gaming. It's a P4 2.22, 233 Mhz FSB, 1 Gig DDR, 180 Gig 8K HDD half full.
    I think it's time to upgrade to an Athlon 3200 with 400 MHz FSB.
    What new MB would you recommend? Also 2x512 400 DDR?
    I want to have 2 hard drives set up with raid 1. Is SATA so much better than normal IDE that it's worth upgrading?
    And lastly how would you go about setting up the raid? Bearing in mind having the new motherboard will likely give me the blue screen of death in Win XP Pro?
    Thanks
     
  2. mephistopheles

    mephistopheles
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    If you're settled on an Athlon (personally, I'd get a mobile Athlon, which has the multiplier unlocked), an nForce2 board would be my choice over any of the VIA/SIS alternatives. I have an ASUS A7N8X D/L (now the A7N8X-E D/L) with an overclocked Athlon 1800XP @ 2GHz and 512MB (2x256) Corsair TwinX PC3200 DDR400 running at 200FSB. Specs here - http://usa.asus.com/products/mb/socketa/a7n8x-e-d/overview.htm) There are MSI & Abit alternatives also worthy of consideration, all of which would give you 6 channel sound, SATA RAID etc etc.

    SATA is currently no faster than ATA but the cables are much smaller and tidier, which helps with airflow/cooling. Setting up RAID is a doddle. Configure the array from the RAID BIOS (a screen will appear at boot). Then put the relevant drivers on a floppy and press F6 (I think, but it's prompted at the very beginning of setup anyway) when your XP installation starts and setup will ask for the floppy when it's ready for them.

    I would go for GEIL 2x512MB DDR400 or faster memory.

    You would probably get more bang for buck from a 2.4+ Northwood P4 system, although the m/b will cost more. Either ASUS P4C800-E D/L or Abit IC7G-Max2 or IC7-Max3 will take PC4400 DDR550 and let you o/clock up to 3.2+GHz with stable power easily. Alternatively, there's Athlon64 to consider and the delights of DDR2!

    Hope this helps.............
     
  3. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Yes, thanks. Do you find Tom's Hardware a good guide?
     
  4. HMHB

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  5. Lostinapc

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    www.overclockers.co.uk is the best site to buy from, they narrow down your choice of components to the high end stuff (though still cheap). I bought my system from there and haven't had one complaint.
    My SATA drive is about twice as fast as my IDE (same rpm) according to Nero's test.
    I think it is supposed to be 150MB/s or something. compared to 100? but i think the rates are also more sustainable
     

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