Upgrading my computer, need to know some things...

Basically, I need to know what I need to know about. Right now I have a win98 machine 600mhz. I am thinking of trying to find a local tech person to upgrade my machine. I am thinking 3ghz, a new harddrive, dvd/cdr, a new video card (that can handle sims2), a lot of ram for audio recording and picture editing and a better sound card. Can I take my old hd and make it a slave to the new one? Can I then run executables from it? Or only transfer files? I guess I will have to update to xp to take advantage of lots of ram? I heard that xp is a resource hog, is there a way to trim this down? I am partial to intel a nvdia because I have had good luck with them. Is this a good mb: IC7-MAX3? How many pci slots do I need? How many usb slots are standard? I heard that the northwood chip is better than the prescott, is this true? Is there something new around the corner that I should wait for that is significant? How much should I be thinking to spend on all this? Any useful information or sites you could lay on me would be very appreciated! Thanks.

It sounds like you should just buy a new computer altogether if you do all of that. You can add your current hard drive to your upgrade or to a new machine as a slave. The old hard drive can run any applications and do pretty much anything else you want except serve as the boot drive for Windows. You will need to have a clean install of Windows done on the new drive. Everything else can be moved or left at your discretion although old applications may be mapped to the C: drive and will need to point to the D: drive. Rgular files can be left as is.

You will need a new motherboard to support your new processor. That means that your old RAM is almost certainly not compatible anymore. You may be able to keep your sound card if you want.

4 USB ports are pretty common but the motherboard will probably support 2 more that many new cases have on the front.

You only “need” as many PCI slots as you are planning to fill but 5 is a common and safe number. I can’t see how you would need more than that.

AMD just came out with the 64 bit Athlon XP and some people are flocking to that. Intel will do the same in the near future. However, there is always something just around the corner so just buy when you need it or feel like it.

I just built my “new” computer replacing as many parts as you are planning to. I can’t decide if it is a new computer or not. I still have my old HD as a slave, my sound card, monitor, and keyboard but everything else is new.

I’ll echo Shagnasty: simply buy yourself a new computer. You can then network the two to copy data etc.

I agree with Shagnasty. If you’re going to go that far, and without the benefit of economy of scale that manufacturers enjoy, you’ll probably save money (and nosebleed factor) by re-purposing your monitor, mouse and keyboard and replacing the tower altogether.



Maybe. If it’s a simple executable, you can run it from your second hard drive with no problem. However, most Windows programs require that you run a setup program, which copies supplemental files to specific locations, and makes entries in your registry. These programs will need to be re-installed on your new system.

Thanks for you replies! In light of them I suppose the next question would be where on the internet is a good place to buy a tower? Right now I am looking at : http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/quietp4.html
Do their prices seem reasonable?

This is all IMO here for the record. If you really need an ultra-quiet PC, I’m not sure how their prices compare. But if regular PC noise is fine, those prices seem high, for the relatively lower-end hardware that is being offered. I will be purchasing a new computer within the next month or so, so I’ve been looking around as well. Dell is decent IMO (I currently have a Dell) for basic users who are not into specialized things (hardcore gaming, video editing, etc.) and are pretty cheap. Personally I’m going with Alienware for my next one as I need a more specialized one for gaming, and they seem to be among the cheapest for the custom PC makers that I have seen for similar configurations (they are pricey compared to the mass market companies like Dell though). I think Dell does provide a good price/performance ratio though (in my own opinion that is, I have never had a problem with mine in 3 years, but I’m aware that I seem to be the exception).