"Upgrades Not A Problem".. Sure About That?

Published on: Author: Mike Hall Leave a comment

I have a computer powered by a slot 939 AMD 64 3500+. Three years ago, it wasn’t too bad and, in truth, it still does a reasonable job. However, I want a little more than it can reasonably give, so I looked around for a replacement. An AMD 64 X2 4800+ would be nice, but there is a problem.


AMD discontinued the 939 slot back in 2006, and there don’t appear to be any dual core 939 processors around anymore. They have been replaced by a new socket called ‘AM2′. Not surprisingly, the two types are anything but compatible.


Maybe more memory would give my computer a little more oomph. Presently, it has two x 1gb DDR modules installed. I can get DDR2 modules for as little as $20 a piece, but DDR are $80 each.


I give up!! I will change out the motherboard, memory and processor. Now, lets see what the specs are of new motherboards. There is a reasonable choice out there, and all was looking good. I reckoned on about $400 to complete the job.


I was wrong of course, because I had overlooked something. New motherboards have more SATA connections than IDE ports, and I have a CDRW, DVDRW, 2 x 80gb PATA and 1 x 160gb SATA Western Digitals. All of the new motherboards have only one IDE port.


I can get around this one maybe by buying a PCI IDE card. It can take up one of the two PCI slots, sitting alongside my D-Link G520 wireless PCI card. My only hope is that the PCI IDE card is not full height because if it is, either this or the D-Link card are going to seriously block the airflow to and from the fan on my MSI NX6600 video card.


OK, OK. Press Del for BIOS and lets play with the old motherboards native over-clocking features.


When I bought the equipment mentioned above, I knew what the score would be in time. Unfortunately, many who buy computers are told that they will be able to upgrade the hardware easily, that the computer can ‘grow’ with the user.


The simple truth is that hardware in no more than a child, and that is what it will always be, its growth stunted by time, sometimes a period as short as six months..

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