hardware update

I’ve taken the plunge, and ordered the ASRock mobo I mentioned earlier, as well as a Dual Core chip (E7400). I went with the E7400 instead of an E5200 (about $40 cheaper) or an E8400 ($50 more expensive) because it was matched to the FSB speed of the mobo, at 1066 MHz. The board does support the slower FSB (800 MHz) for the cheaper CPU but i want to broaden my upgrade path. The more expensive chips run at 1333 MHz so that (or higher) will have to wait for my next upgrade cycle which is not going to be for a long time.

As I mentioned earlier I bought some DDR 400 RAM to upgrade the pc earlier which I can still use with this new board. In fact I have a plan; this PC is the second kids pc, which I have now outfitted for gaming and processing, but the original kids PC (whose temporary death motivated me to start this whole journey) is a really ancient dell that originally came shipped with Windows Me. So, what I can do is take the mobo and present P4 chip from the PC i am using now and use those to give it a boost as well. I can wait on this for a year or so, at which point i will also transfer over the old DDR 400 ram and the AGP graphics card too, and buy new DDR2 ram and a PCI-e graphics card for the more powerful machine. so, I will have have upgraded two PCs and not wasted anything. I’ll put Vista on that one too – its running Win 2K at present. at that point ill have two systems:

  1. kids PC alpha – ASUS P4s533-e mobo, P4, 2 GB DDR 400 ram, AGP 4x
  2. kids PC beta, gaming rig – Asrock 4CoreDual-SATA2, DC2, 2 GB DDR2 667 ram, PCI-e

its a little less than optimal but i think it worked out well, especially since i dont need to upgrade both systems right this minute but can wait on it a year or so, by which time the DDR2 and the PCI-e card should be even cheaper, and I’ll probably spring for a new hard drive for system 2 and transfer its IDE hard drive to system 1.

system rebuild, need mobo advice

my upgrade of the kids’ pc went well – especially since the older kids PC started working again too, so now I have two extra PCs. I am going to take over the newer system (newer being a highly relative term) and want to upgrade it even further. Earlier I just added an AG video card and some more RAM, but what I’d like to do is move away from the P4 platform and go dual-core. So my dilemma is that I need a mobo which:

– supports dual-core processors (Intel, my preference)
– supports AGP, not PCI Express
– uses PC 3200 RAM (DDR)

in other words, a board which supports modern processors but last-generation video cards and memory. Is this possible? Anyone have any suggestions? I am overwhelmed by the choices on newegg thus far and need some help here. I did find this board by ASRock which seems promising, but was hoping for a few more choices.

oh, all right

My daughter’s first PC is an old Dell that, when new, was pre-installed with Windows Me. It’s got a Socket 370 motherboard, probably some aging celeron inside. I’ve upgraded its RAM and stuck my valid license of W2K on it. A few weeks ago, it mysteriously stopped working, so I took another old PC from my father, this one with a P4 CPU and an AGP slot ((ASUS mobo P4s533-e, to be exact)). I had a valid license of Vista so I decided to install it, even though the integrated graphics chipset means it won’t do any fancy Aero tricks. And all was good. (Though I did need to order a DVD drive from NewEgg so I could actually do a clean Vista install).

Strangely, after all of this, suddenly the old kids’ PC started working again. Dunno what happened there, but oookay. So now, might as well let my daughter have that one back, and spruce up the other one. So I am ordering some PC 3200 RAM to bring it up to 2GB, and am trying to sort through the various AGP video card options. I’ve decided that this is as good an opportunity as any to test the World of Warcraft waters, so I need an AGP card that is compatible with the board, will run WoW or similar games with enough juice, and ideally cost under $100 (actually, hitting the $50 mark would be even better).

I spent/wasted an hour on newegg and I am hopelessly confused. ATI or nvidia? 256 or 512? how many vertex shaders do I need? so far I’m somewhat tentatively interested in a radeon x1650pro manufactured by Sapphire (100175L). it’s about 50 bucks. is this too much? nowhere near enough? Ive no clue. Help!

UPDATE – anyone have any WoW guest passes?