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Aug 26, 2004
Am learning a lot from the forum--really good stuff here.

I am new. As a way of introduction, I have an MCSE, worked at INTEL for a few years, have a degree in Music, put in as team lead at INTEL (even with my degree in Music), enjoy all kinds of art/music things & computers. Spent a bit of time at NASA. Have 7 children, but still have my hair & it isn't gray. Am living at the home of Novell, Powerquest, others, the old WordPerfect.
If you're older than 25, even with a great deal of experience and ability to quickly adapt to the steepest of learning curves, it's nearly impossible to find work, so I'm retired--I guess.

I help a little with PC magazine and try to help people get viruses and spyware/hijacking off their computer. Or just help on different forums with computer/networking, MS related, questions.

I've always built my own systems, except for this last one, which I got off ebay, a few years ago--real cheapy--ECS mobo, but did have Crucial memory and an AMD Athlon (Thunderbird) 1.2 gig CPU. So it wasn't all bad.

But alas, it toasted itself, last week.

It had been blowing PSUs, every couple of months.
It would start by going into a power off/up cycle. Then finally, nothing--no POST, although the mobo showed it was getting power, the fans were running, but no video.

A check of all hardware, cables, etc., with the exception of the CPU and Mobo, showed everything ok. I beleve the cycling put too much stress on something on the motherboard and blew something there. The BIOS is up-to-date.

While trying to get it to POST last week, I just happened to glance at the Operating temps. They showed a System temp of 84 C, and CPU of 62 C! With no more than 1% load on the CPU! The ambient air temp is around 70F.

I had the system open and immediately started a house fan blowing in it. That knocked the System temp down to 32 C fand 38 C for the CPU.

After a couple of hours, everything seemed stable. I went outside for 1 hour.
Only to come back in to smoke!

The system was on verge of melt down or catching on fire.

I couldn't tell the temp, since everything had locked up, but the board is very obviously discolored (away from the CPU) and appears to be litteraly "toast." Just hope the CPU & HDD didn't fry too. The CPU was set to shut down at 65 C.

There was still video, but mouse was frozen, and then I pulled the plug.

Now, I'm in the market to build a new system and need your help and suggestions.

This won't be a gaming system, but a good OCd, AMD. Would love to do a 64 bit sys., but can't afford it. That leaves, building an OCd AMD at a cost of around $400.

The emergency system (out of mothballs) that I'm running right now is a Pentium (that's right Pentium) overclocked to 233 mhz! That's a CPU probably before most of yours' time. But hey, it's better than my Commodore 64! (That worked on the Internet too--at a blazing 300 baud modem, which is somewhat slower than my 3.2 meghz. connection.)

I need advice and suggestions on a moderate (low) cost system--that will be using cheap video, but the rest should be quality--good enough to be a server. I have even thought of using integrated video, but don't like the idea too much. Would like to stay with the least expensive vidoe card but still good, AGP 3 standard, 128megs, 8x. (no more than $100.)

The only thing planned so far is PC3200 512 megs DDR 400 RAM, which can be modified at your suggestions. And a new Antec case with two quality, 120 mm fans, one in front, other in rear.

So, that leaves me open for suggestions as to

1) mobo
nothing too fancy, would like Raid1, and SATA, but not necessary. Can do ok without them. Want to keep the cost down around $100 or so for the mobo.

In order, have thought about Asus, Abit, Shuttle, MSI. --I've built systems with all but the latter.

2) RAM: 512 megs. PC3200 DDR 400 -- probably no need for dual channel since I'm not into gaming. Crucial, Kingston, Corsair, around $100 or even some cheapy that's half the price, that might work.

3) new AMD XP CPU & CPU Fan.

For the CPU, I had settled on the XP2500+ desktop--having read, up until now that it was unlocked, and those above it were locked.

Now I read that all desktops' are locked. & some "superlocked," but don't know which ones.

I read that the mobile XP2500+ is the way to go, but somewhere I read that it too is now locked, as far as multiplier. I wonder if there is even any use to go with it? I saw it at newegg for less than $100.

If it's multiplier is locked, then it's just like the desktops; and might as well stay with the XP2500+ desktop?

All I'm really after is a 2.2 gig speed (XP3200) at a 2500+ or 2600+ cost.

If that's the case, can I just up the FSB and maybe a little power (if needed) and OC that way, instead of trying to go through the multiplier that's locked?

I'd really like opinions on what you would do, from "semi" scratch, with the exception of PC3200 400 DDR (hasn't been bought yet), a 120 gig HDD and ANTEC case, with two, large fans. (will two 120 mm fans be sufficent to let me run a Retail CPU, with stock heat sink/fan?)

My system is used mainly for business, music editing/writing, surfing, lots of reading, email, hardly any--if any, games--so the video card will be the cheapest part of the system.

But the system should be snappy, and give me plenty of room to tweak and tweak. --not only the system, but my Windows 2000 Pro and be stable, as stable as any MS product can be, and also act as a server in a LAN environment.

So, there you have it. Budget around $400. have everything except:CPU, memory, CPU/memory fans/heatsinks and video.

I can really use what you'd do.

Please, don't forget to let me know if I can still partially OC a desktop or mobile XP2500+ to an XP3200, by just raising the FSB. And what FSB will it take to do that?


--it was set to shut down at 65 C

ok here goes
On that processor you will want a mobile athlon so
AMD Athlon XP-M 2400+ $77 at newegg
Abit NF7-S $95 at newegg
Corsair 512mb (256mb x2) $85-100 at newegg
FX5200 $65 at newegg
antec SLK3700AMB $75 at newegg
total = 397
that sounds about right doesnt it?

BTW where in utah do you live? just wondering, i live in tremonton