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Old 10-27-2003, 02:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Upgrading PC

Hello all, new here :-)

I have a question about upgrading 2 pc's in my work office. Both of them are Dell, P II, 400mhz. Both currently running Win 98. One pc has 64mb, the other 128mb. We are upgrading an application that only one pc currently uses, we are going to have to network the 2 pc's b/c the app. will need to be accessed from both pc's. B/c of this, the server upgrade of the app. will have to be installed ( b/c we plan on networking) The sys. requirements for the upgrade of the app call for P III, 750mhz or higher, and 512mb or greater.

My question is, does it make sense to upgrade the memory and processor (pricewise) or will it be more cost effective to buy a new pc (or 2)?

Also, we are upgrading to Win 2000 (whose requirements are not as stringent as this app we are installing) which I find a little strange but that's another matter.

t-i-a
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Old 10-27-2003, 04:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You probably won't be able to upgrade your P2's to P3's. Your talking a whole generation different.

Your best bet is to strip the systems of:

Floppy drive
CD Rom
Hard drives (depending on size)

Once you do this, get a barebones kit off of tigerdirect.com or a comparable site. Make sure they are sans the above equipment. Just a cpu, case, mobo and memory. Then add your parts, install a new OS (Win 98 won't be supported my MS much longer, time to get WinMe or 2k).

It's cheaper and you'll get a longer life from your systems.
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Old 11-02-2003, 08:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thank guys. My follow up question is should we go with a wireless or wired network? Speed of network isn't really important for our office as it's only 2 people that access the computers. It is a small office so we are not worried about working from anywhere and we probably wont be expanding (adding other comps). But at the same time we want to be progressive so I'm wondering if going wireless makes sense b/c that is the way of the future?
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Old 11-02-2003, 11:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks MicroBell. As far as getting a bare bones kit, I have never built a computer before, let alone 2 and though I'm sure it is not terribly hard, I don't want to risk messing up and needing help with all of these parts. If we were to buy 2 new computers, what is the cheapest model to buy? I looked on tigerdirect.com as well as Best Buy and Circuit City but there are a lot of options and I am looking for advice on the cheapest, well built system?
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Old 11-02-2003, 11:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with MB on a couple of issues,,,

1. Wired Network- cost is cheap,, most new pc's come with a NIC either installed or onboard so that cost would be included in the purchase,, then you would possibly wish to purchase a Switch to allow for future growth,, be cost effective to start,, but plan to save for a greater purchase in the future,, Good Hardware saves a lot of $$$ in service calls,,

Further,, If you go wireless ,, how sensitive is your Data? Any one within frequency range is able to "tap" in with the given know-how,,, so think security when investing..

Additionally,, Are you going to outsource your Network Support,, in other words,, seeing as you have little knowledge with Building Pc,, how are you going to correct the Multiple issues that will arise??

2. Purchasing new machines is a $$$ driven affair,, if you have a few grand put aside as opposed to one grand,, money is key here,, however, Check into your Warranties, and support, and replacement policies when dealing with a Best Buy or Circuit City vendor, sometimes Less does NOT equal More!,,,

Buyer Beware,,,

This will take a bit of roadwork ,,planning, cost assesment, and future visions to make this transition positive,,

Take your time and draw this out as a business plan,, usually piece-mealing and willy-nilly equals severe downtime and loss of revenue!

So,,

Buy New PCs- take advantage of warranties and support covered for some period by the vendor,,

Get wired to save $$$ and stay secure ( if that is an issue)

Look to purchase a switch ,, if you plan to expand in the future,, this makes subsequent additions to the network relatively simple,,

The windows 2000 server will do you well,, we have a number of them in our corporation.. however,, I would suggest that you have a consultant come in for the configuration to take full advantage of the system,,, this is COSTLY.. but necessary,,

Get YOUR people trained in computer repair, OS repair, and basic troubleshooting,,, you will save $$$ later,,

PLAN PLAN PLAN!

cheers,,
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Old 11-02-2003, 11:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh,, and for business purchases,,

these costs are tax deductions at tax time,, so write 'em off!

cheers,
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Old 11-03-2003, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Crash,
So if we buy 2 new pc's does brand matter? Since we are looking not to spend too much, will we be safe with a no name brand PC? Also, do we need to use Win 2000 server or can we use Win 2000 Professional to network? I am trying to make this transition as simple as possible but I know that we have to factor a lot of things in. It seems like from the advice I have gotten from you helpful individuals so far, the first thing is to get my computer systems together so I am trying to decide on the cheapest + best machine. (This is the first step correct?) The machines that we have now are second hand so perhaps we can purchase yet another set of second hand computers.
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Old 11-03-2003, 12:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Dear Cocoa,
First of all you have to understand that cheap isn't always great. Otherwise we all would be buying OEM's.
As long as brand goes i don't know if you mean a branded PC or buying parts of different brands and assembling.
I always felt that branded pc's are a waste of money if you know a thing or two about hardware. But if are a beginner it depends entirely on your gut feeling.
As far as i'm concerned the best bet would be to buy good parts whose prices have come down (i.e. usually 6 months after the launch) and assemble it yourself.
Good brands of Motherboards are Abit, MSI and ASUS.
Good brands of Memory are Corsair, Crucial & Kingston.
Good brands of Hard drives are Seagate (one's w/ serila ATA).
Good brands of Monitors are Viewsonic, Sony & Samsung.
Good brands of CD-RW are Plextor and Yamaha.
The choice of processor depends entirely on your requirement. Cost-effective ones are surely AMD Barton core processor. Please don't buy outdated 266 FSB Thoroughbred processors. They are not worth it.

If your networking requirements aren't heavy you can go in for windows 2000 professional but i suggest you check in with a software guy before you make a choice.

Also in reply to your or someone's question (relating to the name of the thread) i suggest cost-effective users to go for GeForce FX graphics cards. Therez no question that for now ATI cards are much powerful but there are too expensive at the moment. And the time by the prices come down the technology seems too outdated. You might have a compulsion to buy another card withing a year and a half. But if you don't play games it doesn't matter at all. You should then go in for low cost Geforce4 ti series.

Always remember a pc's brand name is never the yardstick for performance and reliability. It's the components that count at the end of the day!
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Old 11-18-2003, 11:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone, I am back with more questions. I guess I don't understand the difference between the processor speed, cpu and bus speed? ( I know that cpu is the brains of the computer but the corresponding mhz confuses me) Both computers are P2, 400 mhz ( I know that P4 is the current fastest (I think) but is 400mhz slow?) , is it possible to upgrade the processor to a P3 or P4 and if so does the corresponding mhz (400) change with the new processor? (i.e, what is the definition of P2, 400mhz and does upgrading one upgrade the other, or are they one in the same)

Depending on that answer...

From the specs of the office computers that I listed in my first post, say I am going to upgrade and purchase specific parts for the computers and have someone install it...I will buy the new processor, memory, hard drive, etc but will I need a new case or can we use the existing one?

Thanks so much for your responses and patience with my questions!
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Old 11-20-2003, 10:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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any help out there?
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