upgrade -vs- new system

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  #1  
Old 10-08-02, 11:12 AM
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upgrade -vs- new system

My Pentium II 400 with a 20 gig HD, 256 RAM is OK but the drive is getting a little full and I can't play some of the newer games that I want. It is a Gateway system that I bought about 4 years ago and I have been quite happpy with it. The question is whether it is cheaper/better to get a whole new tower or to just upgrade the processor and the hard drive. Do I need a new motherboard (whatever that is)? I have been looking and the actual parts seem pretty reasonable but I figure I could save the DVD-CD, and the burner and other goodies I have on the current system. Also I see all of these cookin' systems on E-bay but I have never heard of these brand names. Is there a big difference between the generic and the big name systems?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-08-02, 12:11 PM
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Upgrading the CPU is not something I'd recommend. If you really want to upgrade then you need to get a new MB, CPU, probably RAM, HD, case and video card. You could probably reuse the video card for a while, and the old hard drive, but you're out of space now, and you need a larger one anyway. You probably have SDRAM. Few motherboards support both SDRAM and DDR, so you'll probalby need new RAM also. It will be less expensive right now to simply buy a new hard drive and use your old sytem. When you're ready to "move up", you can always transfer the drives into the new system. If you do decide to upgrade, I would probably buy a "kit", that includes the CPU, RAM, MB and case already installed. You can then transfer the rest of your components.
 
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Old 10-08-02, 09:15 PM
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What about name brand vs generic brand computers? I know that the support is better with the bigger brands but what about the performance?
 
  #4  
Old 10-09-02, 07:18 AM
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Right now you could probably get a Dell or Gateway computer cheaper then any other brand, either brand name or generic. The problem is that you really can't choose what goes inside the box, and they are fairly difficult to upgrade later on. I know with Dells at least that you can't reuse the case or power supply because it's just a tiny bit different. With a generic system you can choose exactly what goes in, and you can reuse some of your old parts. I've been building my own computers for 7 years now, and I had no problems. But if you don't really know how to "keep a computer happy", it may be better to buy a prebuilt unit from Dell or Gateway and have their warranty. Although it's been very rare that I had to deal with warranty issues, computers just don't break down these days. It's mostly software issues.
 
  #5  
Old 10-09-02, 09:37 AM
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forget the upgrade

Forget the upgrade...
I went thru that process with a Gateway P-II last summer.

P-IIs are not upgradeable in that you simply replace the CPU. You will need a new mb and a cpu. Unless you already upgraded the graphics and sound cards, they are integrated on the mb so you will need them.

You will also need a new case and power supply. The connections to the mb from the case are different (Thanks for that Gateway!!). Your old power supply is 200W? You'll need at least 250W, better to go with 300W.

What s/b $100 or so turns out to be $400 or so. The only thing you can save are the drives.
 
  #6  
Old 10-09-02, 01:03 PM
gstephens
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I have done both. Most recently I bought a new generic PC and used the monitor, keyboard, and mouse from the old system that I had upgraded from a P-90 to a P-233 saving around $400. I then purchased a device that allows me to operate both PCs using one monitor, mouse, and keyboard. I also bought a router so now I have two PCs networked which allows both to access the internet and I can move files back and forth for backup and storage.

The first time I upgraded I saved around $250. The second time a little more. In the end I concluded that if I had spent the extra money I would have had two fully functional PCs instead of one which is why I bought a new one the last time instead of upgrading again. So evaluate your needs and decide whether or not having two PCs instead of one is something you would like. An old PC makes a good place for storage and backups. Won't protect against fire or flood but it will save you if your HD crashes.

As for brand names I have never owned a brand name PC. In over 20 years of computing I have built my own and purchased generic where I could specify exactly what went into the box. I had bad experiences with Gateways in my work environment. We bought five for the office and ended up replacing them all after about nine months. We also had some Dells that worked well. I personally bought two generics for the office which are still humming along after four years.

Good luck whichever way you decide.

Gary
 
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