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Subject: upgrade or UPGRADE?


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Original Message 1/12             13-May-04  @  01:31 AM   -   upgrade or UPGRADE?

brad

Posts: 154

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My DAW is a few years old but still kickin- 1.5ghz Athlon thuderbird on an Iwill
KK266 mobo- based on the old ProRec "roll yer own" specs, remember those?
Anyway, I was about to get some more PC133 ram but then noticed that the faster
ram was actually cheaper! But you can't use DDR PC2100 ram w/ PC133 so...it
occured to me...why not get a whole new mobo along with some new fast ram?

Well that's a lot more money! But perhaps it's worth it? What do y'all think? Will I
see a GIANT HUGE difference in performance from my current system compared
to a newer mobo w/ faster RAM? I'd probably also talk myself into getting a new
CPU while I'm at it...

Opinions, please.
thanks,
bradelectro



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Message 2/12             13-May-04  @  01:44 AM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

influx

Posts: 7627

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go to www.newegg.com

check out the Epox boards. The 8k9ai or whatever it is. like $60

a 2ghz processor...athlon 2400+ will probably be $100

512mb of PC2700 will probably be $80

yes, you will see a noticeable difference

plus, you can sell your current config for...dunno..$100 for all of it? something to offset the new expense?



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Message 3/12             13-May-04  @  02:38 AM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

brad

Posts: 154

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$60 for a motherboard?!
holy crap things have gotten cheap...
OK I'm gonna check it all out- thanks bro.



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Message 4/12             13-May-04  @  03:30 AM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

brad

Posts: 154

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Here are the specs on the epox board you mentioned:

EPoX "EP-8K9A7I" KT400A Chipset Motherboard for AMD Socket A CPU -
RETAIL 

- Specifications -

Supported CPU: AMD Athlon/Athlon XP/Duron Processors
Chipset: VIA KT400A + VT8237
FSB: 333/266/200MHz
RAM: 3x DIMM for DDR400 Max 3GB
IDE: 2x ATA 133 up to 4 Devices
Slots: 1x AGP 8X/4X, 5x PCI 32-bit
Ports: 2xPS/2,1xLPT,2xCOM,1xLAN,8xUSB2.0(Rear 4),Audio Ports
Onboard Audio: Realtek ALC655 6-Channel Codec
Onboard LAN: VIA VT6103 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet
Onboard SATA: VIA VT6420, 2x Serial ATA
Form Factor: ATX

Model#: EP-8K9A7I
Item#: N82E16813123207

Impressive, yeah! $52!



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Message 5/12             13-May-04  @  07:24 AM     Edit: 13-May-04  |  07:24 AM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

psylichon

Posts: 4573

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Yeah that'll suit ya nice. But probably an even bigger performance boost would be to throwin a new SATA drive for audio with that new mobo. Using them on the G5's at work and they SCREAM at data throughput. Faster than our wide SCSI's.



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Message 6/12             13-May-04  @  02:16 PM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

craig

Posts: 2704

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ECS K7S5A. About $35. I've got two.



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Message 7/12             14-May-04  @  02:13 AM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

k

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yes you will see a GIANT HUFGE idfference - the added bus speed and faster ram combined with the faster cpu - even a step from a 2ghz athlon (1667mhz) to a 2.4ghz athlon (2000hz) is quite big actualy cos you jump up buss speed too

i am building a client machine now - 310 quid for the core parts, 27 for the case - this is not a 'quiet' pc, but has everything you need to run a powerful studio setup - he can always upgrade the 'quiet' stuff if reequired later for 100 pounds max for quiet cooler and p/s unit

anyways, his budget package (310 pounds) is amazing for what it can do powerwise and jobs.

2.4 athlon cpu (keep cost LOW, last pre-barton chip, but the board can take upgrades when they get cheap (3ghz size), very nice but cheap Gigabyte board - Gigabyte boards have great install & setup guides on huge pull-out A2 sheets, really clear instructions if need basicaly - you get Free Norton Antivirus with em i find mostly (this one has Norton 'Internet Security' included - that's gonna start him off with 512mb of 3200 ram which'll also serve any cpu upgrade fine - an 80gb 7200 drive, a 64mb DDR dual head AGP card (so again, he can upgrade if required to 2-screen option - you can pickup GOOD s/h 17" crt's now for like 20 quid so why not!.... also in the price a LITE-ON cd-burner/rom -they work ok with wavelab and i rate 'em - + mouse, keys, cooler/fan unit, floppy-drive - the case is ok looking with a 350 watt supply.

trust me that machine can run a TON of shit!!... it's ALOT of power, i think he wont beleive it - anyways add-in on top a hoontech card (or any other card in that bracket, they are all 100 quid-ish in price)

add OS & proggies

you might as well just build a whole new one and network 'em up - no need to go online with the music PC therefore

you can get a switcher box & cables to save having two mice, keyboards & screen - 20 quid for the box and 10 or so for cables - run the two PC's sharing mouse keys & screen if required - network should be onboard the gigabyte (i didnt open to check yet) but if not two cards & a cable is a MAX of 16-20 quid ) it's easy to setup.

the power you can get now is really silly stuff for peanuts - a machine like that will run tons of top end VSTi's, lots of fx and plenty of audio tracks, video editing in realtime, etc.



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Message 8/12             14-May-04  @  02:59 AM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

influx

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yeah but craig that ECS is kinda old now. FSB, ram slots etc....


SATA is faster than standard IDE? mmm and those cables! neat!



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Message 9/12             14-May-04  @  06:18 AM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

brad

Posts: 154

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aw yeah I'm so glad I'm doing this- thanks for all the feedback. Well, I finally went
with:
MB VIA KT400A EP-8K9A7I EPOX/ATX 1 (the mobo Influx suggested)
19-103-380 CPU AMD|3000 /333 ATHLON XP BARTON% (my new CPU)
and then 2 sticks of  Micron 512MB (32Mx8 DRAM Type) DDR PC3200 400MHz
184-Pin DIMM Memory + FREE Memory Heatsink ($7 Value) *100% Tested +
Lifetime Warranty*

Heh, cut'n'pasted from the receipt obviously. So all that w/ shipping and tax came
to a little under $400. I sold the old system for $100 plus free installation by yours
truly. I'm happy with that



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Message 10/12             14-May-04  @  02:12 PM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

craig

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Yeah, it's old technology. That doesn't stop it from swallowing a 40 track mix with appropriate plugins without a hiccup. It's amazing the what you can do with a $400 box.

My line of rationale is that I firmly believe in 64-bit computing for our purposes. I don't know how many of you hang at the Cakewalk forum but they've done some testing of various machines and the new Opterons work at silly latencies and offer immense amounts of power. I believe right now it's best to do a cheaper, stopgap upgrade and wait a year or so until 64-bit is really rolling - all the boards have been sorted out, hardware compatibility, the 64-bit version of XP will be sorted out, etc. There are a lot of architecture advantages for us - multiple PCI busses, dual-channel memory controllers... It's going to be good.

I'm running that board with an Athlon 2000XP and I'm not wanting for more horsepower.

I do admit though if you're going to be piling on VSTi's and DXi's then you'll want a ballsier box now.


Besides, if you can upgrade to a 2400+ with that ECS board and keep your memory and everything else for like $125 shipped, what do you have to complain about?!?

-Craig



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Message 11/12             14-May-04  @  04:54 PM     Edit: 14-May-04  |  04:55 PM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

psylichon

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Congrats on the new system Brad.

For others reading this thread who wanna save a buck, though, I second the K7S5A. Been running mine (it's on my secondary system right now) for many years now and it's been a consistently great performer and exceedingly reliable. Fastest booting board I've found, too. Even with only an 1800/512 in it, it still holds its own next to my newer 2800/1GB/Epox system. Now, I'm still convinced I might have some sort of bottleneck in the newer system, but it's still quite impressive to see such an old system hold its own nowadays



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Message 12/12             07-Jun-04  @  06:59 PM   -   RE: upgrade or UPGRADE?

panama

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influx, what would you reccomend for a power supply in that setup? least noise? voltage?



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