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Solved: advice on updating my system

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by skooterbum, Dec 12, 2011.

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  1. skooterbum

    skooterbum Thread Starter

    May 25, 2011
    Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version
    OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Service Pack 3, 32 bit
    Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 1.70GHz, x86 Family 15 Model 1 Stepping 3
    Processor Count: 1
    RAM: 2039 Mb
    Graphics Card: S3 Graphics ProSavageDDR, 8 Mb
    Hard Drives: C: Total - 152617 MB, Free - 137860 MB;
    Motherboard: ECS, P4VMM2
    Antivirus: avast! Antivirus, Updated: Yes, On-Demand Scanner: Enabled

    my system is old. i purchased it in 2003. it's time to start updating it / replacing parts.

    i plan on staying with my windows xp for a few more years.

    it would be nice to be able to update individual components now, with the hope that they should work with a windows upgrade a few years down the road.

    i use my PC for ebay, amazon, craigslist, banking, surfing for information, forums, youtube, working with and saving photo's, burning cd's.

    if i could improve the time it takes for my PC to load web pages, and video that would be a big plus.

    my question is, where should i start, and what would be a good replacement part ??

    i just replaced the hard drive, and added more memory to it.

    here's what i have now......

    Operating System
    MS Windows XP Home 32-bit SP3
    Intel Celeron
    Willamette 0.18um Technology
    2.00 GB DDR @ 133MHz (2.5-3-3-6)
    ECS P4VMM2 (FC-478) 38 °C
    Acer P215H ([email protected])
    S3 Graphics ProSavageDDR
    Hard Drives
    156GB Western Digital WDC WD1600AAJB-00J3A0 (PATA) 35 °C
    Optical Drives
    Vinyl AC'97 Codec Combo Driver (WDM)

  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

    Oct 2, 2003
    First Name:
    you probably need to upgrade the CPU and that will almost certainly mean a motherboard change , not an expert here , so other experts will confirm

    heres the motherboard

    have a look at task manager - performance tab - you will probably see the CPU at 100% , as 2GB of memory on XP should be more than enough - so the bottleneck will be the CPU

    monitor the performance tab as you do things and see what happens, to the memory and cpu
    heres how to monitor memory usage - which with 2gb I do not think will be any issues - http://www.edbott.com/weblog/2005/05/tip-of-the-day-use-task-manager-to-track-memory-usage/
    it will be CPU
  3. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

    May 12, 2002
    First Name:
    I've resurrected and upgraded a number of older desktops over the years, so I'll give you my 2 cents worth.

    Upgrade the S3 ProSavageDDR 8 MB integrated graphics to a video card that has 128 - 256 MB of dedicated memory.

    There are several versions of the ECS P4VMM2 motherboard, so I don't know if yours has an AGP or PCI Express slot for adding a video card.

    Considering what you use that computer for and that it's running Windows XP SP3, the rest of the hardware should be fine for you.

    If your intent in a few years is to move to Windows 7 or Windows 8, you'll be better off buying a new computer that has the hardware that can handle that system-hungry operating system.

  4. skooterbum

    skooterbum Thread Starter

    May 25, 2011
    thanks ETAF, i will do as suggested to see what i can learn from it.

    Flavalee, are you suggesting that i upgrade the graphics card on my system, and that's about as far as it's worth going with this system. then if i go with a newer version of windows in the future, that most of what i have now will be of no use.

    i'm just trying to get a clear understanding of what you posted.

    thanks to all for taking the time to help me understand this stuff !!!

  5. leroys1000

    leroys1000 Banned

    Aug 15, 2007
    Better to save up to buy or build a new system.
    Throwing money at that one would be a waste
    as it really isn't going to improve the performance
    that much.
  6. skooterbum

    skooterbum Thread Starter

    May 25, 2011
    hey Leroys1000, that's why i'm asking here, cause i don't know....

    i appologise if i'm asking dumb questions, but i'm trying to understand how these things work.

    with me not knowing the ins & outs of these things, it just makes for a lot of questions.

    there isn't a lot of components to these things. so if i build an up-to-date PC, what parts will i be needing ??

    here's my guess.....

    i'm thinking i can use my old tower, my new hard drive, and maybe my memory. i have a one year old power supply that hopfully will work. my card reader should work.

    so i am left with the obviouse, a new main board, a new video card, i'm guessing a new processor.

    what else will i need that i'm not aware of ??

  7. leroys1000

    leroys1000 Banned

    Aug 15, 2007
    They are only dumb questions if you don't ask. :)
    Pretty much everything but the drives.
    If you present computer is factory built,then maybe
    a case too,but you can probably use that one as
    that motherboard fits in it.
    It's pretty standard.
    You wnat to make sure the motherboard you get has the
    proper connectors for your drives.
    Newer boards don't have IDE or floppy connectors.
    A newer case can give you ESATA(external SATA) and USB3
    connectors but need a motherboard that supports it.
    Depending on the level of performance you are looking for,
    SATA 3 for drives and PCI express X16 version 3 are just
    now hitting the market to provide faster drive access and
    more video bandwith.
    There are also solid state hard drives which are still expensive.
    A lot of options available depend on what you want the computer
    to be able to do.
    Wether you can use your power supply depends on the power requirements
    of the new system.
  8. skooterbum

    skooterbum Thread Starter

    May 25, 2011
    ok, i checked out my system performance, and as predicted, my processor is running at 100% a good portion of the time. this is probably another part of my performance issues.

    also, i ran a test on my graphics card by typing "DXDIAG" into the run box, and those tests showed all is ok there, although it's obviouse my current graphics hardware is under powered and out dated.

    current Processor: Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 1.70GHz, x86 Family 15 Model 1 Stepping 3
    Processor Count: 1

    current Graphics Card: S3 Graphics ProSavageDDR, 8 Mb

    motherboard supports a graphic or video card = AGP 4X 1GB/s data rate at 266MHz

    has = Socket 478 for Intel Pentium 4 processor

    so my finall question's to this is, what would be a good replacement for these items ?? i will check on the pricing of the new hardware, and if it's not worth fixing this system to get me by for a few more years, then i will start on a new system.

  9. rosiesdad


    Jul 13, 2010
    What type and speed RAM does the MOBO support?
    You can put lipstick on a pig and its still a pig.
  10. skooterbum

    skooterbum Thread Starter

    May 25, 2011
    here's the specs on the motherboard.....

    CPU º Socket 478 for latest Intel Pentium 4 / Celeron processor
    º FSB 533/400 MHz
    º Support Hyper-Threading Technology CPU
    CHIPSET º VIA® P4M266A & VT8235
    º North Bridge: VIA® P4M266A
    º South Bridge: VIA® VT8235
    GRAPHICS º Integrated S3 ProSavage8 2D/3D Graphics
    º Share Memory : 8/16/32MB
    MEMORY º 2 x 184-pin DDR DIMM socket support up to 2 GB
    º Support DDR266/200 DDR SDRAM
    Due to the operating system limitation, the actual memory size may be less than 4GB for the reservation for system usage under Windows® 32-bit OS.
    For Windows® 64-bit OS with 64-bit CPU, there is no such limitation

    EXPANSION SLOT º 1 x AGP 4X slot
    º 3 x PCI slots
    º 1 x CNR slot
    STORAGE º Support by VIA® VT8235
    • 4 x Ultra DMA133/100/66 devices
    AUDIO º Realtek ALC655 6-Channel audio CODEC
    º Compliant with AC'97 2.3 specification
    LAN º VIA® VT6103 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet PHY
    REAR PANEL I/O º 1 x PS/2 keyboard & PS/2 mouse connectors
    º 4 x USB ports
    º 1 x RJ45 LAN connector
    º 1 x VGA port
    º 1 x Parallel port (LPT)
    º 1 x Serial port (COM1)
    º 1 x Audio port (Line-in, Line-out, Mic-in)
    INTERNAL I/O CONNECTORS & HEADERS º 1 x 20-pin ATX Power Supply Connector & 4-pin 12V Connector
    º 1 x FDD connector supports one 360K~2.88MB FDD
    º 2 x IDE connectors
    º 1 x IrDA for SIR header
    º 1 x SPDIF out header
    º 1 x USB 2.0 header support additional 2 USB ports
    º 1 x Front panel switch/LED header
    º 1 x Front panel audio header
    º CD in/ AUX in headers
    º CPUFAN/CASFAN connectors
    SYSTEM BIOS º Award BIOS with 2Mb Flash ROM
    º Supports Plug and Play 1.0A, APM 1.2, Multi Boot, DMI
    º Supports ACPI revision 1.0 specification
    FORM FACTOR & LAYERS º Micro-ATX Size (244mm*244mm), 4 Layers
  11. skooterbum

    skooterbum Thread Starter

    May 25, 2011

    anyone have reccomendations on hardware specifics to update my PC ??
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    TechSocial TSG Facebook/Twitter/Social Media

    Dec 20, 2011
  13. flavallee

    flavallee Trusted Advisor

    May 12, 2002
    First Name:
    What's the description and wattage of the power supply.

    I've already given you my advice and opinion.

  14. MrGeekedUp


    Dec 1, 2011
  15. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Dec 9, 2004
    I don't see where you could use any of the components. The power supply isn't likely going to have connectors for a new board. The memory is incompatible with anything new. The hard drive is PATA, and few boards have PATA ports.

    Start saving for a new system.
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