Solved: advice on updating my system

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skooterbum

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May 25, 2011
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99
Tech Support Guy System Info Utility version 1.0.0.2
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
CPU
Intel Celeron
Willamette 0.18um Technology
RAM
2.00 GB DDR @ 133MHz (2.5-3-3-6)
Motherboard
ECS P4VMM2 (FC-478) 38 °C
Graphics
Acer P215H ([email protected])
S3 Graphics ProSavageDDR
Hard Drives
156GB Western Digital WDC WD1600AAJB-00J3A0 (PATA) 35 °C
Optical Drives
LITE-ON CD-RW SOHR-5239V
Audio
Vinyl AC'97 Codec Combo Driver (WDM)

thanks,
RON
 

etaf

Wayne
Moderator
Joined
Oct 2, 2003
Messages
65,487
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
http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Pr...ilID=436&DetailName=Feature&MenuID=24&LanID=0

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
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
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May 12, 2002
Messages
83,308
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.

-----------------------------------------------------------
 

skooterbum

Thread Starter
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
99
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 !!!

ron
 

leroys1000

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Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
6,319
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.
 

skooterbum

Thread Starter
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
99
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 ??


ron
 

leroys1000

Banned
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Aug 15, 2007
Messages
6,319
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.
 

skooterbum

Thread Starter
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
99
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.

thanks.....
ron
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
269
What type and speed RAM does the MOBO support?
You can put lipstick on a pig and its still a pig.
 

skooterbum

Thread Starter
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
99
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
 

skooterbum

Thread Starter
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
99
bump......

anyone have reccomendations on hardware specifics to update my PC ??
 

flavallee

Frank
Trusted Advisor
Joined
May 12, 2002
Messages
83,308
What's the description and wattage of the power supply.

I've already given you my advice and opinion.

------------------------------------------------------------
 

DoubleHelix

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Dec 9, 2004
Messages
24,388
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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