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Upgrade Advice Needed


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#1 bluesjunior

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:38 AM

I am a 60yr old who is looking for some advice from some of the forum members who know the pros and cons of upgrading a PC.

I bought my first and present PC in Feb 2003 from a company called Multivision (who incidently went bust later) and thereby voided the 6yr guarantee. Luckily I have never had a serious problem with it and therefore have never needed to claim. At the time I bought it I had researched a few of the PC mags in WH Smiths and this PC was voted the best VFM in What Computer at the time. It has certainly never given me any hardware problems in that time. I have noticed lately though that sometimes when I reboot the drivers for my Graphics card don’t load and I either have to reboot again which sometimes works or I have to reinstall the drivers. I also have to do the same with my Philips Sonic Edge Soundcard though it never happens to them both at the same time. This started me thinking that maybe after 5yrs my tried and trusty was about to need replacing.

I came across this forum and after reading some of the posts thought that like my stereo system maybe an upgrade of specific parts would be a better and most certainly a cheaper option. My problem is that I am not very PC technical minded and therefore thought that if I detailed my PC parts here someone could advise me on the right course of action. I use it mostly for internet use but also like to record myself playing guitar and singing. I also have a football management game I play a lot. The PC is more than adequate for my present and most likely future needs as well just that I feel due to age it is due a revision.

In the bill of sale it is described as a:

Vision GO 2400 XT System with :
AMD ATHLON XP 2400+ CPU
ATX Midi Tower
MSI KT 4 V-L Motherboard(KT400) 4x USB 2, LAN
1.44MB Floppy Disc Drive
256MB PC2100 DDR RAM
120GB 3.5” Hard Drive(5,400)
128MB ATI Radeon Graphics (7500 – TV Out) VGA128MO14

The RAM has been upgraded to 1024MB and I have replaced the onboard sound with a Philips Sonic Edge Sound Agent 2 sound card. I also replaced the CD rewriter with an LG GSA – H22N DVD rewriter.

I connect to the internet via a fast ethernet cable modem on a 4GB broadband connection.

With a view to compatibility what would you advise me to replace in order to have a reliable PC again. The operating system is Windows XP Home Edition SP 1 upgraded to SP2 and kept updated. Thanks in advance for any help advise offered.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3, CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Processor, Memory: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz,Graphics: PowerColor HD 5750 1GB GDDR5,
PSU: Corsair 430W CX PSU 4x SATA 1x PCI-E, Hard Drive:Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache.

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#2 Sneakycyber

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 11:56 AM

What kind of budget are you working with?

Chad Mockensturm 

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#3 bluesjunior

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:00 PM

Not sure Sneakycyber. If it gets too expensive I would probably be cheaper buying new. Lets say £200.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3, CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Processor, Memory: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz,Graphics: PowerColor HD 5750 1GB GDDR5,
PSU: Corsair 430W CX PSU 4x SATA 1x PCI-E, Hard Drive:Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache.

#4 DaChew

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:03 PM

The ram and the video card were the obvious upgrades and you are fine there

I would check and make sure the ram is running right, check my voltages also just in case the power supply is getting weak?

You could do a hard drive diagnostic also. You have to download a utility from the drive maker and run from dos(slow)

Everest home free has an overclock and sensor module under computer that would show your motherboard, the ram settings and voltage and temperatures.

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html

If everything checks out I would suggest just doing a clean install of windows, there's little else you can really get much benefit from trying to add new parts. A new power supply maybe?
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#5 bluesjunior

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 12:39 PM

Thanks for the reply Chewy. I forgot that I already had Everest Home so I just did a scan and everything seems ok, no warnings etc temps running between 45 and 53 degrees. My Pc was reformatted about a year ago. How often should one reformat?.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3, CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Processor, Memory: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz,Graphics: PowerColor HD 5750 1GB GDDR5,
PSU: Corsair 430W CX PSU 4x SATA 1x PCI-E, Hard Drive:Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache.

#6 Sneakycyber

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 01:31 PM

As I reread your post the computer is serving your needs. An upgrade is only necessary if your computer stops doing what you need it to. I am still using a single core Celeron processor and on board video. Your computer only needs to be reformatted if you are having problems removing unwanted programs or windows XP has a serious error that can not be repaired. One step to keep things neat and tidy is to partition your Hard drive so that the operating system is on one partition and all of the programs are on another. This way if you have to format you wont loose anything. If your computer seems to be running sluggish you can try the steps in this article.

Chad Mockensturm 

Systems and Network Engineer

Certified CompTia Network +, A +


#7 DaChew

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 01:42 PM

under overclock would you post this part?

CPU Speed:
CPU Clock 2249.91 MHz
CPU Multiplier 9.0x
CPU FSB 249.99 MHz (original: 200 MHz, overclock: 25%)
Memory Bus 249.99 MHz

CPU Cache:
L1 Code Cache 64 KB (Parity)
L1 Data Cache 64 KB (ECC)
L2 Cache 512 KB (On-Die, ECC, Full-Speed)

Motherboard Properties:
Motherboard ID 63-1408-000001-00101111-063005-K8T800P$A0036001_BIOS DATE: 06/30/05 17:34:14 VER: 08.00.09
Motherboard Name Asus A8V Deluxe (5 PCI, 1 AGP, 4 DDR DIMM, Audio, Gigabit LAN, IEEE-1394)

Chipset Properties:
Motherboard Chipset VIA K8T800Pro, AMD Hammer
Memory Timings 2.5-4-4-10 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)
Command Rate (CR) 1T

SPD Memory Modules:
DIMM1: Micron Tech. 256 MB PC4000 DDR SDRAM (2.5-4-4-10 @ 250 MHz) (2.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz)
DIMM2: Micron Tech. 256 MB PC4000 DDR SDRAM (2.5-4-4-10 @ 250 MHz) (2.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz)

BIOS Properties:
System BIOS Date 06/30/05


losing those drivers seems like something is wrong, mine have been fine for 2 years
Chewy

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#8 bluesjunior

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 02:28 PM

I s this correct Chewy,

Field Value
CPU Properties
CPU Type AMD Athlon XP 2400+
CPU Alias Thoroughbred-B
CPU Stepping B0
CPUID CPU Name AMD Athlon™ XP 2400+
CPUID Revision 00000681h

CPU Speed
CPU Clock 1999.82 MHz
CPU Multiplier 15.0x
CPU FSB 133.32 MHz
Memory Bus 99.99 MHz

CPU Cache
L1 Code Cache 64 KB
L1 Data Cache 64 KB
L2 Cache 256 KB (On-Die, Full-Speed)

Motherboard Properties
Motherboard ID 62-1021-009999-00101111-040201-VIA_K7$1AARK204_A6712VMS V1.C 102104
Motherboard Name MSI KT4V (MS-6712) (6 PCI, 1 AGP, 3 DIMM, Audio)

Chipset Properties
Motherboard Chipset VIA VT8377 Apollo KT400
Memory Timings 3-3-3-6 (CL-RCD-RP-RAS)
Command Rate (CR) 1T

SPD Memory Modules
DIMM1: Nanya M2U1G64DS8HB1G-5T 1 GB PC3200 DDR SDRAM (3.0-3-3-8 @ 200 MHz) (2.5-3-3-7 @ 166 MHz)

BIOS Properties
System BIOS Date 10/29/04
Video BIOS Date 02/06/13
DMI BIOS Version Version 07.00T

Graphics Processor Properties
Video Adapter ATI Radeon 7500 (RV200)
GPU Code Name RV200 (AGP 4x 1002 / 5157, Rev 00)
GPU Clock 250 MHz (original: 250 MHz)
Memory Clock 165 MHz (original: 166 MHz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3, CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Processor, Memory: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz,Graphics: PowerColor HD 5750 1GB GDDR5,
PSU: Corsair 430W CX PSU 4x SATA 1x PCI-E, Hard Drive:Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache.

#9 DaChew

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 02:35 PM

Does anyone see something wrong?

with the memory settings, that is a strange mobo identity

must have been an oem bios
Chewy

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#10 Sneakycyber

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 02:40 PM

The memory bus should match the FSB shouldn't it?

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#11 DaChew

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 02:52 PM

I think the auto settings are screwing up, that was probably too large a stick and too new a spd chip on it?

the fsb looks good(133/266) for that cpu

the ram being ddr 400 should have a mem bus of 200
mine is ddr 500 with membus of 250

reading these is as much an art as a science

his mem is probably running at half speed, but the 6 should change to an 8 and command rate to 2T

there's probably not another bios available for the mobo tho

cpu-z might confirm?

I ran my memory at half speed for a month or 2 till I looked at my everest

very embarassing, wondered why my latency was 75 instead of 45

Edited by DaChew, 11 February 2008 - 02:53 PM.

Chewy

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#12 bluesjunior

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 04:07 PM

I know very little technical about PC's but about two years ago when my son lived at home he reformatted my PC after something happened to Windows. After the reformat my System Properties entry read AMD Athlon 1800+ instead of 2400+. I tried to explain this to my son but as always he knew best.

I then posted it on these forums here and got a reply that something in the Bios settings had reset to 100 ( the factory default setting) when it should in fact be 133. It was explained to me in the reply post how to enter Bios and reset it to 133 and apply it. I did as told and the reading in System properties returned to show 2400+ as it did originally and I thought that was it fixed.

Maybe something else was changed to the default setting and needs correcting. This would possibly explain why you guys think something is out of sync with the memory bus.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3, CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Processor, Memory: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz,Graphics: PowerColor HD 5750 1GB GDDR5,
PSU: Corsair 430W CX PSU 4x SATA 1x PCI-E, Hard Drive:Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache.

#13 DaChew

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:17 PM

http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=pr...&cat3_no=89

looks like your bios is up to date
do you have the manual?

what's the ?
Configure sdram timing by
set for in bios?
Chewy

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#14 bluesjunior

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:34 PM

Yes I have the manuals for the whole PC from when I bought it.

In the section on "Configure SDRAM Timing by" it states:

Selects whether DRAM timing is controlled by the SPD(Serial Presence Detect) EEPROM on the DRAM module. Setting to SPD enables SDRAM Frequency, SDRAM CAS# Latency,Row Precharge Time,RAS Pulse Width,RAS to CAS delay and SDRAM Bank Interleave automatically to be determined by BIOS based on the configurations on the SPD. Selecting "User" allows users to configure these fields manually.

Underneath this it gives the variuos settings for the above eg.

SDRAM frequency
Use this item to configure the clock frequency of the installed SDRAM.
Settings options:200Mhz,266Mhz,333Mhz, Auto.

Hope this helps and many thanks for your trouble.
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3, CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 450 Processor, Memory: OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1333MHz,Graphics: PowerColor HD 5750 1GB GDDR5,
PSU: Corsair 430W CX PSU 4x SATA 1x PCI-E, Hard Drive:Samsung SpinPoint F3 500GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 16MB Cache.

#15 Sneakycyber

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Posted 11 February 2008 - 06:45 PM

Check your bios setting and see what its set at.

Chad Mockensturm 

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