What you should know before upgrading.....
Possibly the worst thing that anyone can do when
upgrading a PC is to rush in without knowing what exactly the hardware of their PC is.
Knowing what is inside your PC will determine the decision as to what upgrade you will
make. Before you start you should at least know what CPU is inside your PC. What we are
referring to is knowing the make and speed of your chip, i.e., Intel Pentium at 133 MHz.
Luckily, most people wanting to upgrade would already know this, but there are those who
don't know and we can't stress its importance mare highly.
Intel. If your computer uses an Intel processor, you may not even have to
open the case to determine what kind of processor you have. Look for the Intel
Inside sticker on your PC. It may list the core speed. It should at least say
whether the chip uses MMX technology. Another alternative is to go directly to Intel's
support pages were you will find Intels CPU ID utility: http://www.intel.com This will tell you the family and
model of your current processor. You also can open the case and read the inscription
printed on the processor. (NOTE: Turn off and unplug your computer before opening the
Cyrix. If you are using a computer with a Cyrix processor, you can find
out what it is by opening the case. The label on the M II and 6x86 Cyrix processors
will list the core and bus speeds, for example 225/66. The MediaGX processor lists the
core speed only.
AMD. The tops of AMDs processors have lots of information,
including the product name, the core speed, the voltage, and the ordering part number. You
can see a diagram of this layout on AMDs World Wide Web site, at http://www.amd.com
The process of changing a CPU will either be simple
or impossible. Which category your PC falls into depends on how old it is and what new
processor you want to put into it.
The most basic difficulty is that older
motherboards frequently don't support the latest chips. For instance , a Pentium II
motherboard is unlikely to support a PIII processor. You will also find that your Intel
chip can't be replaced by an AMD one (or vice versa, unless they pre-date Socket7
For the different types of Slots and Sockets (click here)
Before deciding which processor you need you may
want ask yourself the following question...
What do I use my computer for???
Answer - "I mostly just use it for
word processing, email and surfing the web."
You can live very happily with a low cost socket7
CPU from any of the chip makers out there. All of them are capable of providing
excellent service in most word processing, spreadsheet, and small database programs. (Even
on the low end, today's processors are faster than you think and are more than adequate
for these kinds of applications)
Answer - "Yes, I use those applications but the kids like to play those
horribly violent arcade games as well."
Well now, this calls for a little more thought...
The quality and intensity of the computer gaming software available is growing at an
enormous speed. However, look for the minimum system requirements on the last game
you purchased. Does the game run on a 486 MHz based computer? (Many still
do.) So, maybe you'll want a middle of the road MMX capable processor.
(It may be worth investing in a better graphics accelerator card.)
Answer - "Games, games, games and more games!!!"
Our suggestion - Make sure you have a good job,
you'll need one to keep up with the cost of maintaining the fastest 3D gaming technology
that grows by leaps and bounds everyday, plus you will need a fast processor. You
will definitely want MMX and if you are adventurous we suggest that you look into 3D Now
Answer - "I mostly use extremely sophisticated graphics and 3D modeling programs
or heavy floating point statistical analysis tools."
You probably already know what you need.
These applications require speed and excellent floating point performance. find the
latest Intel and AMD products.