Athlon upgrade option.

  tag1_uk 10:37 13 Oct 03
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I've got a VIA KT133A chipset motherboard, currently installed with a 1.2GHz Athlon (thunderbird, 266FSB), 384Mb PC133 SDRAM and a Geforce 2MX 4x AGP card. This motherboard can take up to the Athlon XP2400 (Thouroughbred B, 266FSB). I was thinking of upgrading to this to improve Windows XP performance (I'm writing a PhD thesis so need to handle large documents, complex graphics etc.).

How much is the performance going to be hampered by the slow memory/graphics? Would I see a big performance boost in going to say a KT600 motherboard, Athlon XP2500 (Barton, 333FSB), 400 DDR memory and Geforce FX graphics? Would this performance boost difference only be noticeable in games or in general Windows performance as well? I'd be willing to find the extra money if the peformance differnce of the two upgrade paths was very different

  Gongoozler 10:51 13 Oct 03

Hi tag1_uk. This is my opinion - others with more experience may differ. I don't think changing your graphics card will make any difference for your requirements, the new super powerful cards are aimed at gamers who want high speed rendering of moving 3D images. Changing your processor from a 1.2G to 2.4G (effective) will give some improvement if you are manipulating large graphics files, and increasing your RAM from 384M to something like 1G will help with complex tasks under Windows XP. If you get a new powerful motherboard you will almost certainly have to get DDR RAM anyway. I don't think any of the changes will make much difference for large text documents. In my experience what will help most there will be to break the large text documents into a number of smaller documents. Also make sure that you have plenty of spare hard drive space and keep the hard drive defragged. Also make sure that all your vital files are securely backed up (preferably with 2 copies of each file on cd - just in case).

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