Athlon XP 2000+ Bundle


If anyone like myself is looking for an inexpensive upgrade for their PC, they might do well to look at who are currently offering a bundle of Athlon XP 2000+ CPU, motherboard and heatsink for £129.97 inc. vat, which they claim is a saving of £83. Although I think if you shopped around you could possible get the CPU and motherboard cheaper than there original quoted price. It's still very good value for money IMHO - I placed my order today, to replace my ageing Celeron 300 (thats faired extremely well over the years, and happily ran overclocked at 450). I like the fact with the maplin motherboard (ECS K7S5A) you have the option of using your old SDRAM rather then the newser and faster DDRAM, which also should save you a bob or two.

It's a bargain, BUT you will need PC133 spec memory and your old celeron may only have at best PC100 spec. Does it come with a heatsink/Fan? If so it's an even better bargain.
No.1 Warning, you must have a 300 WATT power unit or it will fall over as soon as it gets past it's POST :)
Hi Chartman,

Yes it comes with a great big heatsink and fan. I just had to buy the thermal grease to attach it properly to the cpu. My only problem now is putting it all together and hoping that WinXP doesn't fall over when I power it up, as is often the case when upgrading the motherboard.

I've got a 300WATT power unit, bought it from - it's lovely and quiet, in fact the hard-drive is noiser than it.
Chartman - you seem to know a thing or two about PC's. I have a PC that has occasionally freezes up. i.e locks up completely and I have to power down and reboot. (recently it is getting worse - 4 times today) Two things - it only does it (as far as I am aware) when i am online. Secondly i have noticed that it has an Athlon 1400 processor but the BIOS is for 1600. There appears to be no option in the BIOS to set it at 1400? Can I download the correct BIOS from somewhere or should I buy a 1600 processor and see if it clears up? What do you think? My machine is running on Windows XP Pro. Cheers
Firstly, is the processor an XP 1600? If so, I think your outdated( maybe) BIOS will incorrectly identfy the CPU. An upgrade should fix taht. Going to the motherboard's website BIOS pages should show you what problems each BIOS revision fixes.It'll probably say something like "correct Athlon XP ID"
As far as I know, there are no Athlon motherboards that allow you to incorrectly set the BIOS CPU speed by such a large amount. The best you can get ,is being able to up the clock speed from 133 to 140Mhz etc.- that's 5% or so .
So, is the physical CPU a 1400 or 1600? I can't quite decide from what you say.....
Finally , for a win XP Pro machine to lock up and require a shutdown is most unusual- almost unheard of. Is the CPU overheating maybe? That will kill it stone dead on it's feet.A lot of motherboards show you the CPU temperature just after the POST on the bottom of the display. If it does, then when the PC dies next time, watch for the temp as you restart the PC. Over 55 C is bad news. 50 C is on the edge, 45C is a normal "tops". I've seen lots of 1400's that run very hot- ie between 45 and 50.......

The PC has been on since 08.00hrs today. The CPU temp is 43 and the system temp is 32. The POST on startup says I have an XP 1600+ and when I go into BIOS setup it says I have an XP 1600+ When I look at My Computer/System it says I have an XP 1600+ but below it it says it is running at 1.39 Ghz. When I open the PC the processor is definitely an XP 1400+

Ok. The temperature is spot on. To be more precise, you need to look at the difference between "room temp" and CPU temp and +11 C is running "cool". The BIOS is well up to date if it says 1600+, XP is reporting it correctly, and it should be running at 1.39 Ghz.
I can't figure out where the XP1400+ comes from.......bizarre.
One possibility. As a spin off from manufacturing yeilds. Intel and AMD do the following.:-
Let's say they set out to make a batch of CPU's. They are all made the same, but due to tiny, tiny manufacturing imperfections, they all get "downgraded" during rigourous testing time ......however, if they suddenly get their "yeilds up, they suddenly end up with excess stocks of top end CPU's..... but they still have BIG demand for lower end processors. Solution? They stamp 1400 on the case, but it is actually a 1600.... This is how overclockers used to get huge results overclocking Celeron chips. There was a point where intel made a quantum leap in production yields and this is what happened. Having said that, I would have expected AMD to "link" the CPU jumpers that are bonded to the chip to make it a 1400. I don't know the answer- this is just some anorak background info :)

So if it is indeed a 1600+ with 1400+ stamped on it, this is not why my system is locking up then? I will try and run it with the bare minimum of programs etc and see if it is a software problem and not hardware that is freezing it. Will keep you posted. Thanks for your help!
One way to eliminate a processor type speed problem is to set the clock speed in the BIOS to 100 Mhz and so run the CPU much slower.
Goto and download their free memory tester. It installs onto a floppy and you have to boot your pc to the floppy. Run it in soak test mode over night. You should get several hundred cycles and NO failures. This is an excellent piece of memory test software.

I too had problems with XP locking up, so much so that I had to reload everything. I installed Norton Utilities which checks all your Windows and system files and then repairs them. The first time I ran it it found 163 errors! Since I've done this I have not had so many problems except sometimes it takes ages to shut down.
Hope this helps.

I had initial XP problems as well.

Sorted ALL by a reload from scratch - disk format etc.. Since then XP Pro has been 100% stable - 6 months..

And yes I used Norton Utilities to clean all the links up and run it weekly to check...

As far as CPU hangups it sounds like overheating - yes I know the temperatures are OK.. so it may be a motherboard fault.. or dust contamination. Is the interior of your PC dusty? If so vacuum it out.. very carefully Dust can cause minute current leakges which can reset some somponents..
Latest on my PC Freezing

I have removed a piece of software called Freeram XP Pro and since then it has not frozen once. Early days but I hope I have cracked it.

Many thanks for your feedback. If this has not solved the problem permanently, then I will try your suggestions.

OMG don'y use any of these memory boost type programs- it's asking for trouble........least of all on win XP . Memory is so cheap , just buy more. Remember , no more than 512M on win98.More than that on W98 and sooner or later it'll die on you.
Looks like I have cracked it! Not a single lock up or freeze since I removed the offending piece of software. Anyone else who is suffering similar problems (and is using memory boost software) should try uninstalling it as your first port of call.

Martin - I see you say no more than 512MB with Win98. I have 2 x 256MB self installed plus the original 64MB. Should I remove the 64MB?
If everything works ok, leave it in. Strange things happen above 512M ,but may not show up on every computer.... Old addage- if it works, leave well alone!