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Dad's computer needs help...

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R0CK3TM4NN

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
Location
Columbus, OH - GO BUCKS!
Ok, his is an old Micron 450 MHz PIII, with 128 MB of SDRAM (not sure which, guessing PC133) and a decent 12 GB harddrive. Its gotta a lot of crap on it that just needs to go (well, ok, most of that was MY crap that I never got around to deleting after I built my first comp...)

I'm thinking if I want this thing running nice and quick so he can do work with no problems, I'd:

1) re-format the harddrive, reinstall Windows 98
2) get a cheap soundcard, disable onboard sound
3) clean up the case, rewire the insides, add another fan (it only has one exhaust fan)
4) get more RAM, like another 128 MB stick
5) replace the ol' TNT2 with a GF2 mx or something...

What else should I do? Is there anything more pertinent that I need to address before starting? I was planning on spending around $100 with this upgrade/cleanout. How do I determine what kind of ram is in the system? Also, should I reinstall Windows 98, or can this system handle something a little more demanding (read: better), like ME, 2000, or even XP Pro, which I have on my comp.

Thanks for you help in advance.
 

[email protected]

Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Location
Ontario, Canada
i'll go in order that you listed
1) sounds good, but get winodws xp installed cause I find it much more stable, i dont know about u
2)does your father listen to a lot of music? if so , a soundcard is be good, if he listens to the occasional song, then the onboard should be fine
3)Sounds great, clean it up, clear the dust etc....
4)This is probably the most crucial, and 256 mb total sounds good.
5) Does your father play any games? if so then get the gf 2 mx, if not then the tnt2 is plenty. Even for some games the tnt2 is fine.
 

Kid Payne

Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2002
Location
Big Apple
Getting a soundcard will help a bit, but the RAM and a faster vid card will increase performance noticeably. Even if your father's RAM is PC100, get PC 133. They're way cheap now and it will run on a system with PC100.
 

Beavis

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2002
Location
Austin, Texas
Probably just reinstalling Win 98 and cleaning up the wires would be enough. It wouldn't cost any money to do this and the problem is probably that the hard drive is clutered with unnecessary files. Adding ram would be the next step if you want to increase speed.
 

TimDgsr

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Location
Atlanta, GA
yeah, if he doesn't listen to much music on his computer, then replacing the sound card isn't worth the $$

i'm with beavis, just try re-installing win98 first. cleaning it up is a good idea to prolong the life of it, but shouldn't have anything to do with computer performance. your money will best be spent on RAM, the gf2mx isn't going to be much faster than the tnt2 either i don't think.
 

ThePerfectCore

Red Raccoon Dojo
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Location
Texas
1) sounds good, but get winodws xp installed cause I find it much more stable, i dont know about u

AARRRGG STOP SPREADING THE CRAP THAT IS XP! :mad:

Reinstall 98SE first. (It is 98*SE*, isn't it?) If he doesn't like that, then go with 2kPro. My sister's machine never did like running *anything*, even 95 clunked around (it's got the exact same specs), so don't push the thing any harder than it has to be pushed.

That TNT2 is crap, but it's common crap. I doubt he does much gaming anyway, so don't worry about upgrading it. I would add a little more RAM and *maybe* a faster HDD, though.
 

CrystalMethod

Senior Band Wagon Jumper
Joined
Jun 9, 2001
Location
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Only thing I would do is to add more ram. Format and re-install Win98SE. Then if sound is an issue, upgrade to a soundcard rather than the onboard. Installing XP would be probably the worse thing you could do. It is designed for systems running 800Mhz or above, and really performs poorly with less than 256megs of ram.
 

kaltag

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2002
Location
Boise Idaho
whatever you do DO NOT INSTALL ME!!!! one thing to try is see if the mobo has any fsb or multi adjustments my mom's did i got it from 166 to a whopping 200mhz!! (board maximum) if it can't then just put in some ram, try to get it to 256 at least iy helped my dad's 350 by a large margin. and use 98 SE as the OS.
 

kaltag

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2002
Location
Boise Idaho
i'd also liike to point out that not all pc133 will work at 100mhz. at work we have seen this with the pny memory. it has something to do with the actual chips they use on the stick being 256 megabits (not bytes) versus the older 128 chips. the 128 chips at pc133 will work at 100/66 but not the 256. i'm not sure if megabits is the correct word but something along those lines. we got this info from PNY themselves.
 

Yodums

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 5, 2001
Location
Ottawa, Canada
CrystalMethod said:
Only thing I would do is to add more ram. Format and re-install Win98SE. Then if sound is an issue, upgrade to a soundcard rather than the onboard. Installing XP would be probably the worse thing you could do. It is designed for systems running 800Mhz or above, and really performs poorly with less than 256megs of ram.

Ditto! SDR is cheap right now - 50 bucks for 512MB. If you can install Win2K. It's faster, stable, and more safe than 98. If your dad listens to music, upgrade to a PCI Sound Card to take some load off the CPU. XP takes alot of resources and it will make your computer seem sluggish if you load XP. Format itself will make it a heck of a lot faster.
 
OP
R0CK3TM4NN

R0CK3TM4NN

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2002
Location
Columbus, OH - GO BUCKS!
Thanks for the help...

I wasn't even intending to install XP pro on the other machine, I figured it wouldn't work anyway. The current OS is 98 SE, and I think he would rather stick w/ the same OS.

For my purposes (mostly games, but some sound editing, Photoshop work, school work, etc.) XP Pro is very solid. I haven't had any problems with it. I'm thinking of adding another 512 MB of PC2100 RAM to get a good 764 MB in, but I figured I was building a new system come June 2003, and keep on thinking its not worth the money. Here's another question for you guys:

Would it substantially increase my FPS's when going from 256 MB to 754 MB and be worth my money? I'm running a 1.2 GHz Athlon T-Bird w/ an Asus A7A266 (ALiMagik chipset) w/ the original GF3. I've pretty much tried everything, outside of getting a new motherboard (yeah, I know, should have gone w/ a KT266, but c'mon, it's my first rig), to get my speeds up.
 

Captain Slug

Helpful Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2001
Location
Asteroid B-612
Before deciding on anything I recommend checking your voltages. When an old machine needs an upgrade it's best to inspect the PSU because generic models have a pretty short life span.

win98se is the best OS for older systems. I personally hate XP because it's a bloatware that tries too hard to live up to the prettyness factor of Macintosh operating systems that are horribly inflexible.

If your Dad doesn't do ANY gaming then Win2K is the best option. It's a very well-rounded productivity OS (from my experience). My local community college just wasted a couple thousand dollars upgrading from win2k to winXP and half of the machines now have frequent down time or technical issues of one form or another.

And depending on the chipset of your motherboard (and what BIOS revisions are available), you may be able to upgrade the processor to 800mhz with a slocket. That would make a cost effective upgrade.
But since this won't be a system for gaming, there's really no need to upgrade anything other than the RAM.


Upgrades depend on the primary usage of a system. Just because it isn't extremely fast, doesn't mean that it no longer does tasks efficiently.