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Upgrading in $100 -- what do you think?

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Sep 19, 2001
Well, my birthday is coming up and I'm getting $100 that I have absolutely no idea what to do with. I could be responsible and pay my bills, but no... I must spend it on my computer.

I want to get a case, motherboard, and processor that I can do some over clocking with.

I can steal the hard drive, sound card, and all that other good stuff from my current machine and eventually replace those parts with substandard parts and just let it be a monitorless cruncher... (but thats in the future).

Anyway, the current machine is a P3 600 - Its a Socket 1, Katmai (its a Dell too, btw). My original thought was to keep the processor and just upgrade the board, but... I'm thinking since I want to do some overclocking (and get a decent speed increase) I should work with AMD.. to be fair, I'm clueless, but from what I've heard this is the route to go.

Lets see, I've got an AGP vid card, no SCSI devices.. and well, I can't think of anything else to really tell you.

Also, I can "borrow" a heatsink for a socket setup from my gracious roomate Thelemac. (Who, I hope to con into aiding my overclocking with a flock of chickens. :D)


I'm looking for processor/mobo combos, what I can expect from them performance wise, and in general any comments you might have about what I'd like to do. In addition, any comments on cheap cases to go with the combo, would be nice. :)

Thanks in advance..


Sep 24, 2001
Currently Nowhere
Hmmmm-- a PIII 600...

That's not such a slow CPU, though I can understand why you might want a little bit more--but for $100...?

You might be able to get a mobo (alone) that would allow you to get a fair amount more out of your PIII, depending on its stepping and the amount of cooling in your case and HSF.

I'm looking for a CPU/mobo combo myself in that range and I am set to get a 1GHz Duron (Morgan core) with an ECS K7S5A mobo--both items are running around $50 each. But, the ECS mobo is not a great overclocker, but you can up the FSB a bit for some moderate O/C joy.

There may be a problem in that the ECS mobo uses SDRAM (cheaper) or DDR (faster, but pricier)--and you may or may not be able to use your current memory (I don't know what your current board uses).

BTW--the ECS K7S5A has onboard AC97 sound and a built-in NIC, so you won't have to spend much extra there.

Is there any reason you can't use your Dull case? Is it so proprietary that it won't fit standard sized mobos?

Let us know how the chickens work out...


Senior Member
Nov 25, 2001
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Hmm maybe you might find a Slot 1 PIII of 933 or so. $100 isn't really a lot to work with. I'd go looking through the used items at www.newegg.com , or see what comes up at www.compgeeks.com

A case that will do you any good in the future is going to be probably a $30-50 investment, don't leave a lot for anything else. Motherboard maybe, but thinking to the future a slot one motherboard is not really something to put money into.

As far as "starting over" goes, you might well find it hard to equal what you have now for $100.

If you do some fly trading, then you might find another $50 by trading down the PIII 600 for an old 300 or 266 to keep the dell box going as a second machine.

Road Warrior


3D God
Nov 20, 2001
Fort Wayne, Indiana
You can easily find some good deals on a motherboard somewhere on the net...

possibly in our classifieds

Then get yourself a 1 GHz duron. They're listed on pricewatch.com for $38. You should be able to oc VERY well with that.

Really all you need to do is keep your eye out for good deals... they pop up all the time. I got an MSI K7T Turbo Limited Edition w/RAID (red pcb) with an Athlon XP 1600+ for $170 shipped ($190 actually cause I had the person next day it to me :D). That allowed me to keep my sdram and wait to find a good deal on some ddr for the 8kha+ I'm on now. Perhaps if you can add a little to that $100 and get yourself something that won't need upgraded for a while ;)


Dec 23, 2001
or u can do what i know at least one person is doing and buy ur stuff off this board..


New Member
Dec 13, 2001
RoadWarrior said:
Howabout you just bet Thelemac $100 that he can't get a gig out of your PC. :D

Lose and you've paid $100 for a Ghz,
Win, you've got $200 to buy new toys with. :D

Road Warrior
very good idea indeed. The chickens will be called upon that day:)


Administratively Deficient
Mar 15, 2001
Well, see, the main problem with overclocking what he has is the whole OEM thing. Which means that mobo/memory suck for it. And cooling, since I don't have squat for slot one cooling. ;)

I might end up having to keep an eye out for some good stuff in the classifieds for him. :D


Dec 1, 2001
New Jersey
You could get a nice video card. The Radeon 7500 would be in that price range (you might have to shell out a couple of more dollars to pay shipping).


Computational Oncologist / Biomathematician / Mode
Apr 3, 2002
Bloomington, IN
Try getting a socket 370 motherboard with tualatin support and a cheap celeron at a computer rennaisance. Then, you'll be poised for future upgrades. If you count on selling your used PIII, you may be able to finance getting a celeron II 1.2 GHz, which overclocks quite well, from what I can tell. They have a multiplier of 12 and finally have a L2 cache of 256KB, just like the PIII's; the only difference is FSB speed.

Look on ebay. You might find something nice.

Another route would be to get the new motherboard (I still think that tualatin support is the way to go) and see if you can find an adapter that would let you use your current PIII on the new motherboard. Then, wait it out until you get more cash and get your new processor.

Just my 2 cents. Have fun!!


Senior Citizen (aka old fart)
Nov 24, 2001
Dallas, Georgia
See if you can pick up a used/refurb Kt7a or shuttle ak31. The duron 750 will just pick up 1.0 Ghz on an overvolt with air.