New PC or upgrade?

RogerM

Established member
752 6
It is often said that there is more fishing tackle designed to catch fishermen than fish. Is it the same with PC's? I outlined my PC problems in the "memory trouble" thread, and got many helpful replies. Immediate answer seems to be to replace W98 with WXP Pro or W2000 Pro, which will have to wait until my son is home from uni. But still undecided as to whether to just upgrade what I have and buy some TFT screens, or to buy a new PC.

I would be interested to know what other people are using to trade. My current spec is P3 - 667Mhz, 576Mb RAM, 2 x 15 Gb hdd's, Appian Geronimo 8MB twin head graphics card running 2 CRT monitors. If I upgrade, I plan to add a further twin head card so I can run 4 monitors.

Do others running a similar spec, but with XP pro or W2000 as their OS find it satisfactory? Will this spec run 4 monitors plus the usual range of applications - i.e. eSignal, IB, 3 or 4 IE windows plus Excel? Or must I buy a new PC.

Have received the following from Kustom PC's of Ayr about who I have heard good things. Initial response to my requests have been prompt and helpful :-

***********


I have produced a spec as follows,

.............................................................................................Inc VAT

Asus P4T533-R (P4 Socket 478, PC4200 RIMM)...................£150.00

Intel Pentium 4 2400 OEM 512k (478) 533FSB....................£145.00

ATX Antec SX-630II White 300w...........................................£75.00

512mb PC4200 32bit RIMM Samsung..................................£224.00

UDMA100 40gb 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda-IV...................£66.00

UDMA100 40gb 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda-IV...................£66.00

Sony 1.44mb Floppy Drive.....................................................£10.00

Samsung 32x10x40 CD-RW/16x DVD....................................£65.00

PNY Quadro200 Dual Head PCI 64mb.................................£145.00

BT ISDN TA PCI Internal........................................................£43.00

Dynamode Internal 56k PCI..................................................£23.00

Windows XP Professional OEM............................................£118.00

System Build and Test.........................................................£100.00

Total inc Delivery..............................................................£1,230.00

Should fit the bill nicely ! I’ve used the Asus P4T533 board and RAMBUS memory as it is the most stable platform available just now. If you need to shave money off we could change it to a DDR based setup.

The motherboard also has a RAID facility – with this we can configure the system so that the data on the first drive is automatically backed up to the second drive without any user intervention required.

For graphics cards – best bet is to use the PNY PCI 64mb Dual Head card, as it’s possible to install multiples of this card. There is a four monitor version, but it’s £470 and doesn’t really offer any benefits for your intended application. The graphics card has dual DVI connections, but includes adapters so that standard VGA screens can be connected – meaning your existing monitors will work fine, and when you add 18” TFTs you can remove the adapters to get the best picture quality for the units.

*********************

Should do the job nicely - but could buy 4 x TFT's for existing set up with same number of beer vouchers.

So upgrade and buy TFT's, or new PC? Would be very grateful for comment.
 
Last edited:

Trader333

Moderator
8,591 922
Hi RogerM,

Personally I would buy new as I have found that I can always get a better deal when I have bought new as opposed to upgrading and I have done both in the past.


Paul
 

Mayfly

Established member
514 28
Hello Roger,

Its the fly patterns that catch the flyfishers and sometimes the fish, in much the same way that the patterns catch the eye of the chartists I guess.

There are some good deals to be had on TFT screens if you know where to look http://www.refreshcomputers.com/acatalog/Main_TFT_156.html and check out the AOC LM720A - although out of stock at the moment.

There's no good time to buy a PC, and AMD will be introducing the clawhammer by end of the second quarter and some say by end of May. This event should have quite a considerable impact on the pricing of the existing machines - which means that they can only become cheaper in the next few months - as the "dealers" will be trying to move the end of line stocks.

But this is only my personal view - I know this doesn't help you much, but it might help to frame the discussion and add another perspective in your own mind.

Rgds

SB
 

Guesty

Member
55 1
Roger,
Go for a new one. You can upgrade your software all day long but you've still got the old hardware slowing it all down.

Built myself a similar spec 2 months ago with Athlon xp 2.4, it really doesn't compare to my old system.

One thing i did notice with your system is the ATX 300w psu, with all these modern "bells and whistles" computer systems available today, a 300w psu will possible be pushed to the limit, i know because I've recently killed one, replaced it with 400w and now running very cool. Also i would suggest fitting a system fan to keep everything else cool.
 

Uncle

Established member
671 2
Upgrading

Roger

Be careful before you change from Windows 98. Recently I was experiencing some problems with my P C and at the behest of so called "good advice" upgraded to Windows XP...........The PC was then so slow it was driving me nuts!!!! I have now reverted to W98 and the PC is running like a dream.

Get the PC checked........it may not be the operating system at all!

Best wishes

John
 

madasafish

Well-known member
470 5
well I'm running XP Pro 2 screens on Duron 1200, 375MB of PC100 Ram and 30 MB 7200rpm disk.

IRT,2x Sbetters, CMC,MIRC,Paltalk all open and NTL broadband 128kb.

Comments:
CPU usage averages 20%
RAm is slow and I should upgrade but why bother?

It runs very well and despite high speed fast disk that is the limiting factor.. if I were to upgrade I would have 1GB RAM .

CPU speed now far outstrips the software needs..


IMO PC power now makes the software look to be what it is: not very useful funtionally .. does not use PC capabilities..

Remember desktop PCs today are more powerful than mainframes of 10 years ago.

And what is the software like?

not that different...
 

zambuck

Experienced member
1,608 102
Re: Upgrading

Uncle said:
Roger

Be careful before you change from Windows 98. Recently I was experiencing some problems with my P C and at the behest of so called "good advice" upgraded to Windows XP...........The PC was then so slow it was driving me nuts!!!! I have now reverted to W98 and the PC is running like a dream.

Get the PC checked........it may not be the operating system at all!

Best wishes

John
...beg to differ on pc front....

simple by upgrading from 98 to XP does not guarantee higher or better speeds or operation....XP is very hardware specific and therefore any old 'not listed' hardware will buckle....any hardware more than 2 years old will most probably will have problems...

but on a new machine XP Pro in many quarters is even better than 2000 Pro...try setting up networking with, it is a joy with XP...not so woth 2000 Pro...

I have had no shutdowns etc at all ever since I have been using XP Pro on a brand new machine...I use 2000 pro as well by the way...

Important thing is to keep XP updated VERY RUGULARLY on line....as all patcheds are released almost on daily basis....

On another matter few years ago i used to read your posts on another site...and your comments and charts were the main reason why i bought Metastock...so very grateful for that...I haven't regretted buying that package...
 

RogerM

Established member
752 6
Thanks for comments guys - keep them coming. I actually have a W2000 Pro disk, so would just need a new Hdd to install. But as that is the equivalent of setting up a new pc, and the hassles are huge, I just want to be sure that it is worth it. So the real question is whether others are operating a similar set up at acceptable speeds and reliability. Not expecting it to match the P4 set up shown - that would undoubtedly be better - but would love to be able to use the budget to buy 4 x TFT's rather than a new PC if the existing one (plus new hdd and 2nd graphics card) would do the job for another 12 months.

Zambuck - thanks for those kind words. But not sure that I have ever recommended Metastock (usually wax lyrical over AIQ eod), but hey, happy to accept plaudits if due! :D
 

Uncle

Established member
671 2
Hello Zambuck

Yep I agree with your comments re P.C.'s although my current P.C. is less than 12 months old. But never mind so long as we all have a O S to suit our needs, we can trade without delay.

It wasn't on another site you read my posts, except perhaps the forerunner to T2W prior to Sharky grabbing the reins and developing it to its present successful format. This is the only board i ever contributed to..........my absence in no way means I ever had a problem with the Moderators and/or subscribers...........just that I got out of the market for a while, actively trading, and therefore just dipping a toe in the water occasionally.

Glad to hear you found Metastock of value, and trust you are enjoying succesful trading.

John
 

JonnyT

Senior member
2,560 22
You have to be stark raving bonkers to trade on a Windows 98 Platform.

The reliability just isn't there. Win2K is an excellent product and will probably be rock solid with all the trading software out there. XP may still have a few problems though I am yet to find any...

JonnyT
 

RogerM

Established member
752 6
Jonny - that's what was available in July 2000, and that's why I'm changing. It's just a case of which of the 2 courses of action outlined above I go for. Win 2000 pro on existing PC, or XP Pro on the new machine.
 

JonnyT

Senior member
2,560 22
Hi Roger,

The replacement for XP is out in a few months so I would seriously try out XP rather than Win2K as Win2K active support will likely be dropped next year by MS.

JonnyT
 

ChartMan

Legendary member
5,580 46
Here's my unbiased advise..... Get a 2 gig athlon and 512 DDR memory- dirt cheap right now and that doesn't mean nasty! Raid boards can be a pain.... Get a cheap motherboard- I use only Jetway 266B for my systems. Get a case with 400watt PSU ( for later). Get XP Pro. Get a Jetway 315 dual head and 2 Wonder 5000 PCI 32M cards for your 4 video setup. Guaranteed to work. Forget 4 head cards at £400+. Win 98 ungraded to XP is nothing short of a recipie for disaster.Get XP pro and a fresh install.
All this saving will buy you a "free" 17" LCD!!!!! The rest is unimportant. I run a similar setup to this, but with 256M sdram and Athlon 1700. Needless to say it's 100%
 

DaveJB

Experienced member
1,159 42
I second Chartman here, 'bang for bucks' is Athlon and 512Mb DDR RAM, although I'd go for a 'decent' motherboard - ie £80-90 range, although I'm happy with the ASUS board I lashed £130 out on when I built this PC a few months ago. For Athlon find the price gap - all chip prices tend to start off reasonable, and then at some speed point the price jumps loads for a tiny speed step... buy the most expensive CPU below that gap. (Currently I'd guess about a 22-2400 XP+) RAM - 512Mb DDR, that RIMM price is criminal, you pay a packet for a difference you won't be able to spot.
15" TFTs are now £200 region, stick as many on as you want... personally I'm running a single 17" swivelling job from Philiips, my 15" is going on a second PC elsewhere rather than a 2nd screen on here - I'm EOD and the screen area is fine on this one. Note that Personl Comp World mag (march issue) gave 'editor's choice' to an AOC LM720A... a 17" TFT screen for £269 inc VAT!
I think your quoted system would be a lot cheaper, with almost undetectable (and certainly unimportant) speed difference using Athlon, standard DDR RAM, the video cards outlined above, leaving plenty of cash over for TFT screens. I also concur re Win XP Pro, the authorisation bit is a minor drag if (like me) you swap bits a lot, but a clean install on a new system of XP Pro makes Win 98/Se/Me look like DOS 4.3.... it's a LOT better.
Dave
 

zambuck

Experienced member
1,608 102
RogerM said:


Zambuck - thanks for those kind words. But not sure that I have ever recommended Metastock (usually wax lyrical over AIQ eod), but hey, happy to accept plaudits if due! :D
RogerM

It was for Uncle actually...but you can take credit for pointing me towards 'Jiler' book....that was the best suggestion for book...like you I keep re reading that book and yes 200 MA is best article in TA.....
 
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