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Mom Needs an upgrade.....help me.

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May 15, 2001
Hello.......it's been a while my brethren, but I am back, and knowledge I do seek once again.

My mother needs a small upgrade. She needs a new mobo, and chip.

she's runnin' a PII 300mhz now. She has winXP OS and it's choking. (she thinks it's great)

She needs a mobo that will handle a AMD duron chip.

She DOES NOT need to overclock. She doesn't need a fancy bios, with lots of options.

She DOES need a mobo that will recognize AMD's (durons), AND the mobo must be proven, and stable.

I love my KT7a mobo, but my mother doesnt need that.

Is there a "generic" mobo out there that is a "solid" no frills board?

I am looking to spend $50 or less, (if possible).
(hell, I'd love to get out at under $30.00 hehe)

Please post your recomendations. Will probably go with the 800mhz duron for the chip. Cheap, and plenty powerful nuff' for mom.

Well, I would definitely not go past the bigger brands, even if you are on a budget. My recommendation would be the ECS K7S5A (lists for around $50.00 on pricegrabber.com), or the ECS K7AMA which uses an ALi chipset, though it does accept either DDR or SDRAM which might save you some $ there. I think the K7AMA goes for a little more though.

But, why don't you just buy a good slotket and a cheap Celeron 600~900 or something? It'd be far cheaper than a new mobo and Duron.
A slotket is essencially a Slot 1 to Socket 370 adapter. It has the long end to plug in the processor slot, but it has a socket on one side. It will automatically make up for the difference in VCores between the processors either on it's own or through jumpers. The Abit Slotket III is good... Iwill and Asus slotkets are also nice. Here's a review done by Ed some time ago on an older Abit Slotket... it gives you a basic idea on what a slotket is, though doesn't include some of the more recent features like the Abit Slotket III.
Before you get in too deep you might want to check the power supply. For a Pee II 300 you may only have a 150W PS,and that won't be enough for a Duron.
The slotket might not help him in this case; even if it does make up for voltage disparity between what a board will support, and what the CPU needs, some boards will just not run with Coppermine-derived CPUs, no matter what kind of voodoo you apply. This is especially true for boards built specifically for the Pentium II/Mendocino Celeron CPUs. It's a gamble with all of these; just because you can get it to fit in a slot-1 connector doesn't mean it will work. A friend's mom had an old Gateway with a Celeron 400. A stock Slot1 Pentium III would not work in this motherboard, even with the latest BIOS, and a Celeron 633 with a silly Asus slotket sure didn't work either. The board just lacked the ability to run CPUs newer than a PII 450 or Celeron 533 (the old slot-style ones) IMHO, this board is probably too old for this to be a feasible option.

I'm with FullTower; check to see if the PSU will be sufficient first. If you don't mind not having an AGP slot, there are plenty of fully-integrated boards for under $60 for Duron and Celeron that would probably do just fine. What else do you need to run in this machine, and what don't you need, besides OC options?
Flyingrat makes a good point, slotkets are kinda like voodoo magic... lol, I had an Asus P2B-B that did not support Coppermines (did support Katmai PIII's with BIOS update) that I used one on and it worked beautifully, but that's no guarantee. If you were adventurious (dunno if that's spelled right, I'm tired and sleep-deprived), you could find out the mobo name and do some research... but upon thinking about it, I think he may be right. I'd say the ECS options were somewhat feasible (offering some SDRAM options, with a name and enough power for mom, but not too many bells-and-whistles). Something with integrated video/sound would be nice unless you already have a stellar graphics/sound card or whatever in there. The K7AMA and K7S5A both have integrated sound/LAN but no graphics... :( . Sorry I wasn't much help to ya and kinda led you down what could be a wrong path....
if i was you i won't go cheap on mobo. a 800 Duron's performance is par with a 1000 Duron in most cases, but a $50 mobo just can't come close when compared to a $100 mobo.

but after all, its still you call:D
Don't knock cheap motherboards until you see their reviews. The Shuttle AK31 is only about $70 :) It's one of the most popular and best overclocking boards on here. Honestly, it would be a good choice even if you weren't trying to overclock.
The ECS K7S5A is only $52 at newegg and its an excelent board even for overclocking. It supports DDR and SDR ram and includes onboard lan and sound. For $115 at newegg you can get a 1000 MHz morgan duron, an ECS K7S5A, and a 6CU copper base heatsink. I think the only thing the ECS is lacking is multiplier support which isn't a big dea. The board has enough FSB adjustments to keep your CPU going as fast as it can go.
Like a lot of other people said go with the ecs k7s5a. Its a decent mobo and for around $50 its a very good deal with a lot of options. Since it has ddr and sdr you would probably want to go with sdram since it doesn't sound like this is going to be a gaming system or anything like that.
I think the point is that some of the best cheap boards happen to be good overclockers. Whether you intend to overclock or not, overclockers sites are awesome places to get reviews of motherboards. Do some good nonoverclockable boards slip past right under our noses? Yes. Then again, so do some good overclocking boards. Check the reviews. Check the forums.
I'll still promote the Shuttle AK31 as a good board for non-overclockers. It has the KT266A chipset, which is better at handling DDR than KT266, and it should support thoroughbreds in the future. It has lots of space for memory, an AGP slot, 6PCI slots!!!, AC97 onboard sound, (good enough for most users,) and support for SIX usb ports. Additionally, it is only around $65. There are plenty of better boards, but they cost a lot more. There are plenty of cheaper boards, but most of them suck.
The K7S5A is not a bad board. If I remember correctly, though, you can only use two slots for memory, and they have to be the same type. (SDRAM or DDR, but not both.)