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  • new set up?

    this is my first post hope somebody else didn't ask the same thing.
    I want to speed up my computer. I have a Gateway 550 PIII with 256 mgs of memory a CD/dvd and a cd burner.
    I'm considering upgrading the mother board and processor but I have no idea what to get. I would love to get a new computer but for personal reasons I must upgrade and put the new components in the old Gateway case. This is where my question comes in. I've been told that the new motherboard may not fit into the case because the slots could be in Gateway spacific positions. I can't see that as being true as my motherboard is an intel (well I think it is) and wouldn't they all be standard and not made for Gateway only? I can't contact Gateway as they have discontinued Gateway in Australia. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Oh and I forgot to ask. What would you suggest as a new motherboarad and cpu? I'm not very good with all this technical stuff.


    • #3
      Hi Susan,

      I'm probably no better than you about the technical stuff, so I'll just take this chance to say welcome to RetouchPro. I'm sure you'll get some help from others who know about those things. Good to have you aboard.



      • #4

        First and foremost, welcome aboard! Now onto your upgrade situation. Your Gateway box should not be a proprietary one, meaning you can add another motherboard to it and have it fit without any trouble. The thing you need to determine is what kind of board you have in there. Chances are that it is a standard ATX size board. You are going to be limited to staying with a PIII chip since going up to a P4 would require changing power supplies.

        If you are going to make the jump, I would suggest moving to a P3 933Mhz or above and I personally prefer ASUS motherboards for their stability. What you may consider trying before making this jump is to increase your RAM to at least 512 megs. You should notice a considerable boost in performance. If your computer can handle it, you may even want to move up to 768 megs of RAM. I have a feeling that your problems do not stem from a lack of processor speed as opposed to a lack of memory to utilize in executing and running your programs.

        The RAM upgrade is a fairly inexpensive fix to see if that resolves your issues. If it doesn’t, then you have all the RAM you’ll need for your new upgrade.

        Good Luck!



        • #5
          I would just reiterate what Randy said...putting a new motherboard in is not an easy task if you have never done it before. Even though the existing board may be a standard form can still run into a host of problems. For example, my Sony Vaio has a standard mother board but the power supply is of a very odd design...only made for Sony and not available to the public. This is why many people opt to build their own computers.

          I would go with the less expensive upgrades and see how those work...more Ram, a faster hard drive, better video cards, etc... much cheaper and less chance of potential headache.


          • #6
            Thanks for the kind welcomes.
            I've hear that about the power supplies. I don't mind how much I replace inside the computer as long as it will go in the case I have. I just want more performance.
            I put a new hard drive in a few months ago but since then the computer seems to have slowed down. I'm not sure if it's just my perception of it or if has actually slowed down.
            I have a Nvidia Riva Ultra TNT2 video card at the moment do you think this is good enough or should I replace it? I have two teenage sons who like to play games on my computer too and I though maybe a new video card would improve their games.
            Sorry to ask so many silly questions but I'm really not a tech person.


            • #7
              No silly questions here Susan.
              Randy and Greg have given you some very good information.
              Power supplies in the US run about $30-$40.

              If you have money concerns you may want to do your upgrade in steps. Go with the Plll and ram that Randy suggested and see how your system runs. It's possible that the existing video card is good enough with the newer system.


              • #8
                Susan, I'd also go for a step by step upgrade. The first thing to do would be a memory upgrade. Depending on your OS of course. As your boys enjoy games, I'm assuming Win98 which means you could go up to 448MB (256+128+64) with no trouble. Once you go beyond that you have to start editing system files. Win2000 or XP start wanting bigger CPUs.

                The TnT2 should still be Ok for most apps. (I'll bet those boys are nagging for a GeForce4!)

                BTW, the case is probably the cheapest part of the computer


                • #9
                  Hi Susan,
                  Good to see another Aussie here. I have a Gateway as well and just added some more memory and it did improve performance.


                  • #10
                    Thank you everybody.
                    I went to my local cpmputer shop yesterday and couldn't help myself. I've ordered a new motherboard, cpu, more ram and a video card. It's all getting installed today so hopefully by tonight I'll have a working faster computer.


                    • #11
                      Uhhh Oohhhh, I think we've created a monster! Next will be the new dual monitor setup, the DVD Burner, the Wacom tablet, etc. etc.

                      Congrats on your new investment.



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