View Full Version : think i made an upgrade decision - opinions?
Right now I have a P3-500E, a Voodoo3 3000, 2x256MB sticks of Crucial PC133, and a crappy performing Soyo Via Apollo 133 mobo. I just want to be able to play the latest games (MOH:AA, RtCW, JKII, Morrowind, Dungeon Seige) with all the details on with good framerates. Framerates DO NOT have to be blistering fast 200+ fps.
In order to take advantage of my memory investment (I spent $200 on the 2x256MB sticks last June), and since the future of high-end platforms seems uncertain to me right now (Rambus, DDR, P4, AthlonXP, Dual-channel DDR P4 in May....), I think I will get the following....
ASUS TUSL2-C ~$90
Celeron 1.3 ~$90
GF3 Ti200 ~$150
This seems like a nice, conservative upgrade that is cheap and will hold me over for a year or so, while allowing me to play new games with the detail setting high.
What do you guys think?
BTW, I chose Celeron over Duron because of stability of Via chipsets with WindowsXP, SBLive, etc. Is this a good idea?
Can I still use my Enlight 250W power supply with a GF3 Ti200? I have 2 maxtor hard drives and a Pioneer 10x DVD.
That's a decent upgrade for the price. You should still be able to use your 250W power supply. I have a cheapie 250W power supply that worked with: P4 1.7 (Willamette) @ 1.99GHz, a Celeron 1.0A @ 1.5GHz and now it's running a AthlonXP @ 1.64GHz. I have a fair amount of hardware on it, too: a few fans, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, HD, Ti200, network cards, TV card. I'll be adding a second hard drive for IDE RAID soon.
Some might question stability of the SBLive! with the 686B, but that worked fine for me. I had no WinXP problems with the KT266A boards I had (AK31 and Dragon Plus).
Ok then, would it be smart to go with a Duron 1.3 and a KT133A or KT266A mobo? Can you use SDR ram in a KT266A mobo?
I was looking at the TUSL2-C manual online and it doesn't look like you can set the the FSB to 100 and the Memory to 133 - although you can set the FSB to 133 and the Memory to 100. If the Tualatin Celeron runs at 100 fsb, this means I can only run the memory at 100 mhz. If so, are there any Tualatin mobos where I can run the fsb/memory at 100/133? If you can only do this with a Via mobo, then maybe I should go for a Duron/Via combo.
Damn, I thought I had this figured out! I'm going to end up debating myself into a Northwood.... :sad:
I'm going to end up debating myself into a Northwood....
Well, if you are seriously thinking about that then wait until the 2.4GHz Northwoods are available as the 2.0 and 2.2GHz will surely drop in price.
Nah, I thought about it a lot, and that is why I came to the conclusion above - well, sort of. I spent $200 on 512MB of SDR last summer and I still think I can use it. Rather than get a more expensive platform which would not reach its full potential using SDR (requiring me to buy more memory), I can go with a cheaper, more conservative, but still sufficient solution that will allow me to use the memory I already have, AND enjoy upcoming games with highest-detail and decent speed.
Unless you guys think that a Duron/Celeron platform is no good....
I think I should narrow my choices down to:
Celeron/815, Celeron/Via, or Duron/Via.
Celeron/i815EP is good and you can re-use your memory.
If you don't mind a little overclocking, get a 1.0A Celeron and just set the FSB and memory to 133MHz. That would be fast and very cheap.
I'm running an Athlon XP with SDR SDRAM and I really don't mind it. At stock speeds, I think the Tualatin core Celeron is about the same speed as a Duron (faster in some things, slower in others). I have gone though a lot of motherboards and CPUs (no, not by breaking them) in the last couple of months and the Tualatin core Celeron has surprised me as a good performer. At 133MHz FSB, it's a very good performer. That's why I would suggest a 1.0A GHz model if you want one. 1.33GHz from that chip with stock cooling is not a problem.
The plot thickens....
If I want to overclock a Celeron 1.0A to 1.33, I'm not sure if I should get a TUSL2-C. I heard that it doesn't support voltage adjustments for Tualatin CPUs. Is this true? If so, what other 815ep boards do you guys suggest?
The Shuttle AE25R supports voltage tweaking. Plus it has on-board Promise RAID, 6 PCI slots, CMedia 6 channel sound (you don't need it since you have a SBLive!, but it does support digital in and out) and is only around $90 on pricewatch.
But beware on the i815-based boards that 512MB is the max memory you can ever install.
I think you are better off with the Celeron
However consider the SIS735 e.g. ECS mobo
It has SDR and DDR for K7 and contrary to popular belief (people who only benchmark SiSoft Sandra) it is very fast.
Combine that with a Duron and you are ready to go...
The ECS motherboard is probably available online less than $65.
And Durons OC like mad, my 600 is running at 1050 (and has been for almost a year i think)
This Celeron (overclocked 1.0A) or the Celeron 1.2GHz options are very good :smile:
IIRC this Tusl2-c issue is just a BIOS version problem, but I am not sure.
The best way to know about it is ask people at www.asusboards.com intel chipset forum. They are nice people :smile:
Another very good mobo for overclock is Abit ST6 (maybe more Tualatin friendly and cheaper $82).
I dont overclock and my present configuration is:
- P3-S 1.13GHz (server Tualatin 512kb cache)
- mobo Supermicro P3TSSA (officially support P3-S)
- 2x128MB PC133 CAS2 Infineon
- GF3 Ti200 64MB
It is great with all games, smoth, cool and quiet :smile:
Maybe I will upgrade to P3-S 1.4GHz when the prices go down and I start to feel the need of more CPU.
How about this.... (from newegg)
Soltek SL-75KAV KT133A
Duron 1.3 OEM
Volcano 6cu HS/Fan
Black Evercase with Enhance 300W Power Supply
Microsof Keyboard/Mouse Combo
Gainward Geforce3 Ti200 128MB
~ $445 w/shipping
BTW, I have to migrate my current system over to my fiance since the AT power supply in her Socket 7 K6-300 just died. That is the reason for the case, power supply, and keyboard/mouse.
i have no experience with that soltek mobo, but the rst of your choices seem good, as does the mobo chipset (KT133A). Would it be worth the few extra bucks to get say an Asus or Abit mobo? or does the soltek have OC options in its bios?
Speaking of AMD compatible MOBOs, I'm thinking of buying a "Soyo K7V Dragon Plus"
Despite the silly name, it seems to have a good chipset (KT266a), as well as on board RAID, ethernet, sound, and the kitchen sink.
Has anyone had any experience with this board? The only tricky bit is that there seem to be only be two suppliers in the UK.
Simon, there's been a discussion about the Soyo motherboard in another thread on this board. I can't figure out how to link to it, so I'll just put quotes here.
I just built an Athlon XP 1700+ system around a Soyo Dragon Plus and so far it's been awesome. The on board NIC and sound work just fine (though if you're a gamer or looking for higher quality audio, you'll want a separate sound card of course), it's great having that much IDE expandability (already have all 4 basic devices filled with 2 HD's and a DVD and CD-RW), and it comes with some decent software and a great manual. It's been rock solid stable, driver installation is easy, and drivers and other support are great so far. It also has decent hardware monitoring features. Lastly, the Purple PCI slots are *rad*.
Hmm Reverend...while I have taken a look at the soyo flavor of the kt266a promise controllers aint the best...go with HPT preferably.
Abit kr7a, shuttles latest kt266a and epox seem to be killer and the shuttle and epox can be head cheaply with all the performance though the kr7a can oc...as for the msi...I dunno if ya need the usb2.0 really.
Good luck. I personally want a via board for my xp I want to get and unlock it so I can run at 166 fsb...that would be killer...ali's xp solution iwill xp doesnt seem to be the performance killer even at high fsb and mem speeds...plus a lot of them seem to be DOA.
Then again there also is the sis 740/5 coming up...good performance as well expected and definitely cheap...just find a trusty manufacturer...leadteks 735 is much better than the ecs and many have said ecs boards are oft DOA
Edit: Fixed tags.
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: bystander on 2002-03-09 13:32 ]</font>
I made the purchase.
Regarding the Soltek mobo....
It seems to have good performance according to whatever reviews I find, newegg customers had good comments about it, and it was a good deal at $65.
Hmm that second quote is mine. It seems the epox kt266a is out of spec with some videocards namely the newer gf4. A capacitor issue it being too tall.
Soyo and Soltek are much different. Though soyo are often cheap, soltek generally is cheaper and soyo had or has had a better name to its products than soltek.
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