I have about a 4 year old computer, which I haven't used for 4 months. Plan to use it again. Previously we had dial-up, but have moved and will have Cable internet connection.
The specs for it are(as far as I know)
pentium II 233
windows xp pro
256 ram
Matrox G400(?) video card
almost forgot, The motherboard is a TYAN S1854

My questions are: Would a CPU upgrade to a Pentium III be worthwhile?
And I want to increase my RAM. I took machine apart and there are 3 DIMM Ram slots.............

Please advice would be greatly appreciated.
Machine will be used mainly for internet and some word processing.
Thank you George
p.s. if processor upgrade is worthwhile.....how much.......where to buy.....is it complicated to install??sorry for all the questions but wanna do this soon.

Moving up to a PIII should be cheap and will greatly improve performance

I seem to remember that board will support it but I would have to recheck the docs to be sure...

I have seen decent AMD motherboards and CPU for $50 at Frys...
It would need newer Ram but since you are already buying some it might be a better move...

Yeah like thong inspector said make sure that the PIII can go into the same cpu slot as your old pII. Always make sure you find out the right equipment for your computer before buying it.

Here is some info on the board, but it means nothing to me.........if someone can help give me numbers as to what to upgrade to, I'd appreciate it alot. Thanks

Single Slot 1 connector
Single Socket 370 connector
Supports 66, 100 and 133MHz FSB
Supports Intel Celeron/Pentium II/Pentium III processors working at 233-600MHz and up (doesnot support older Intel Pentium II CPUs with 2.8V Vcore)
VIA Apollo Pro133A (VT82C694X+VT82C596B)
Winbond 83977EF I/O controller
System Memory
Supports from 32 to 768MB system memory
3 x 168-pin DIMM modules
Supports 100 and 133MHz SDRAM with SPD
Supports VCM SDRAM

depending on what budget you are on,
I would go ahead and buy a new motherboard, cpu and ram
If you have cable internet -- your current motherboard will not support the decent hardware that you will need to seamlessly surf the web and word process and do all that fun modern day wonders of multitaking.
I can imagine that running xp pro on a pII is already painstaking -- a pIII will be an improvement -- but right now -P4's are in the "sweet spot" -- that is -- you get the best performance for price ratio. I know that pIII's are old -- but in the computer industry -- antiquated equipment is not your best bet.
for example -- you would THINK that getting two 80 gig hard drives would be cheaper than getting one 160 gig hard drive -- but because sales on 80 gig's have gone down and 160 gig hd's are popular -- it's actually cheaper to buy the popular mainstream equipment.
Anyhow -- pending on what you can spend -- I would get one of the cheapest p4 processors you can find -- a mobo that can support it -- and another stick of ram.
If you are feeling adventurous -- you can find a mobo that will support dual channel RAM and then try to find another stick of the EXACT SAME ram you have now so that you can run them in dual channel -- this will greatly increase performance because doing so will double your memory bandwidth and greatly enhance performance.

good luck
-Soral 3.0

what what? buying 2 80 gig. hard drives would be cheaper than a 160 gig. hard drive. I mean your going against the laws of economics to say that. The more demand for a product the higher the price. the less demand for a product the lower the price. It is simple economics, the law of supply and demand, I know I just got through with taking economics class...not trying to be rude :cheesy:

If you're not a serious "gamer" or into video editing or movie downloads, and such, then an upgrade may work. That mean's you will use the PC just for surfing the Internet, maybe some word processing and a simple spreadsheet. But since you can buy a decent PC with P4 chips, 512 MB RAM and about a 60-80 MB HDD for less than $500, I'd seriously think about just getting a new box. There's basically a rule of repair (or upgrade if you like) that says you just don't want to spend more than 50% of what the item will sell for, on repairs. It just doesn't make economic sense to sink good money into something that may turn into a "money pit". Just my thoughts!!

But if wanna upgrade can I get some suggestions as to Mobo, CPU and how much ram(would I still use old ram, too???
I am mixed up now............

Select the motherboard you want FIRST. Then go to the specifications on the Mfr's site to determine compatible processor chips and RAM. You never said, but's just for fun, let's assume you want the biggest and badest gaming machine now available and you want to use an Intel motherboard and chip set.

You might want to start by selecting these:
Intel Motherboard D925XEBC2 and the Intel P4 570J processor.
You would go to the Mfr's web site and look up the spec's on the motherboard (http://www.intel.com/design/motherbd/bc2/) to be sure that it will support the various hardware you will want to install, including the RAM, HDD's, Optical Drives, and more....

This processor supports HT technology, has a 1MB L2 Cache, 800 MHz Front Side Bus, and a Clock Speed of 3.8 GHz and has a LGA775 architecture. It's Intel's biggest and fastest processor, well suited for gaming and any demanding operations.

This motherboard supports all LGA775 processors, both standard and Extreme editions and with 533/800/1066 system bus. It has four 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM DIMM sockets and supports DDR2 533 MHz and DDR2 400 MHz DIMMs. It can take up to 4 GB of memory. It's a great motherboard (but not cheap).

You can find similar (and cheaper) motherboards at:
http://usa.asus.com/index.htm and http://www.xfxforce.com/mb/index.php plus there are a lot more out there. Just do a "Google" search for motherboards.

The key is to select the motherboard, read the specs, and then select the processors and RAM that is compatible. Your limits are your in your wallet. Hope this helps.

Oh, and one more thing I should have said. Get the most RAM you can afford. If you used the motherboard in my example for instance, and you could afford it, I'd recommend maxing it out to 4 GB. You always get the most speed for the buck with a given processor by more RAM. And if you used the processor in my example with all this RAM, your machine would FLY!!!!

And another thing to consider...technology is changing. Intel is planning to introduce a new dual layered processor which will be faster. The hard drive Mfr's are working on faster and bigger HDD's and the prices will come down next year for 10,000 rpm HDD's (the faster the speed of the rpm's, the faster access to your data). Changes in RAM memory are also on the horizon. You might want to do some reading to see how far out these things are and decide whether or not you might want to wait a year or so.

calm down rogue ;)
I always dislike using comparisons using the biggest, baddest technology.
but anyhow -- your former advice is very applicable.
First -- choose a decent mobo -- and build off of that.
And sorry Geoff, you will have to do a lot of reading -- we cannot tell you everything...
And if you are dedicated to restoring this computer-- you will want to do alot of reading on the subject.

My recomendations-- again if you have the money is to get one of the cheapest p4 processors with hyperthreading -- a decent mobo -- and a gig of ram -- don't bother about stuff like "registered" and "ecc" just get ALMOST the cheaper end ram -- lower latency is better and despite what rogue said -- don't max out with 4 gig.
you won't notice any performance difference if you are not planning to do anything memory intensive with your computer.
You could manage with 512 -- but a gig will be very comfortable.
feel free to ask more questions.
On an econmic side note ---
moderate -- welcome to the real world. Computing has always twisted the laws of economics and always will.
Look at Moore's law.
look at modern day manufacturing
look up the prices of 2 80 gig and 1 160 gig yourself.
The computing industry moves so fast -- that it bends the rule of supply and demand.
it cost more for a company to hold 80 gig hard drives in surplus that you pay for the overhead cost of just keeping them in stock. whereas, the 160 gigs are popular and are flying off the shelves -- no need to pay for warehouse overheads-- the manufacturer can send them direct to market.
that is not the only explaination -- I'm sure you can consult a macroeconomic analyst with a specialization in the computing industy and get a better explaination -- but it's christmas. Happy holidays everybody.

I have found the biggest bang for your buck is state of the art... Last Year...

You get the best performance without paying the bleeding edge prices...

If you can afford $500 then just go with a new system and donate the old one to anyone that can use it...

I have seen decent AMD systems at Frys for $199...
It just does not make alot of sence to upgrade a seriously older machine unless you have an even bigger cash flow problem...

Even getting a new/used CPU and ram off of Ebay will run $100...

I've checked the net for motherboard/processor upgrades, and found a MachSpeed various ones. Now they seem to come with an integrated video card. Could someone please tell me if my G400 Matrox card would give me better picture quality than what they include in these motherboard(integrated video) packages........Here is a copy of what they include:

Video Interface AGP 4x

On Board Graphic Processor ProSavage8 3D

Installed Video Memory 32 MB

Video Out Ports 15 Pin D-Sub VGA port x 1

Integrated Graphic Card Integrated Graphic Card

Integrated Audio AC'97 Audio Codec

Audio Input Microphone Jack, 1 x Line In

Audio Output Line Out

Like I said before, I am not familiar with all the terminology. I know I bought the Matrox card because it was supposed to have very clear 2D picture quality..Thanks for un-confusing me............George

You will generally get better picture quality using a plug in card versus onboard video.
You will also get better performance out of the system...

I took off my cabinet side and took the fan off of the processor, and noticed something:
I was wrong about the size of the processor. Here is the new info on my processor..I believe it is a Pentium 3.

After I took the fan off, I saw a chip and on top it had:

Pentium !!!

So, I guess that I do have the Pentium 3 already on the system. I have 256 Ram, and 3 Dimm slots. Should I get 2 more of the 256Ram, and fill the slots in?
On the video card it said Matrox G45 MDHA-32D8

Now, for basically internet usage with cable, should this be enough.........
Can't thank everyone enough fopr your comments.

this situation of "satisfication" is relative...
there are government facilities in third world countries that would LOVE to have your setup -- they still run on typewriters.
However, I would not like your setup -- with dynamic and streaming media content expanding and evolving -- you will very hurting again soon.
however-- to answer your question -- yes, the memory upgrade with give you a significant performance boost.
Will it be enough for you?
only you can know that.

-Soral 3.0

I fully agree with the "relative" comment. What components would you suggest that would be reasonable and take me into the future(again, relative in computers)..............are we talking motherboard/cpu upgrade, new system????how about my Matrox G450 video card(as I said my stuff was bought aroound 2000-2001.
I do have a beautiful monitor, albeit not thin or LCD????????

What's a guy to do????

I still don't know quite enough about you to determine what would be "satisfactory"...
but tell you what...
go ahead and get that memory upgrade,
and then come back if you still aren't happy.

Right now, the memory boost will have the greatest affect on performance.

-Soral 3.0

That would be the cheapest route right now. As I said before this is for internet usage, basically surfing, maybe a bit of music download, but no major movie downloads, etc.
There are 3 Dimm slots, and there is an Infineon 256mb stick in slot 1. Do I buy two more new 256sticks, and put them in slots 1 and 2, and put the Infineon in slot 3.
Tyan says the max is 768mb.

That would be the cheapest route right now. As I said before this is for internet usage, basically surfing, maybe a bit of music download, but no major movie downloads, etc.
There are 3 Dimm slots, and there is an Infineon 256mb stick in slot 1. Do I buy two more new 256sticks, and put them in slots 1 and 2, and put the Infineon in slot 3.
Tyan says the max is 768mb.

Consider this before buying new sticks. ;)

I read the article-interesting................now would there be a significant difference between 512ram and 768ram in my case............actually I could buy 2 new and install all three, and if not working well, take out the original and keep the new 2 sticks................???Thanks

go ahead a buy a twin 256 pack. You seem to be able to afford it. I really don't know how much that extra 256 would affect the system... I am interested in knowing myself. Please tell us if there is a significant performance boost between 512 and 768.
good luck.

-Soral 3.0

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