Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?

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Hi All,

Firstly, this is not strictly a hardware question but it certainly involves

 I would like to upgrade my motherboard, CPU, RAM  and GPU but don't want to
have to rebuild my server. It's Win2k AS running as a DC and is used for
development. It has a lot of stuff on it and I'd love not to have to rebuild
it. I guess I am wondering how far I can go before Win2k will not like it
and starts to barf? I realise this is probably not a black and white issue
but I'm sure many on the planet earth have tried this before and may be able
to offer me some advice.

I am willing to stay with the same chipset if that helps but want to upgrade
to a mobo that can handle a faster CPU utilise faster ram and a faster AGP
speed.  I would also like to be able to boot from USB (external HD).

My current hardware includes:

Mobo: Asus P4PE
CPU: P4 Northwood 2.4 (running at 2.8)
RAM: 2 x 512 Kingston PC2700
GPU: Asus v9180
HDD: 2 Western Digital 7200 rpm, 8mb cache (80GB + 120GB) + 1 external (USB)
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 200GB

Also, any suggestions for a mobo/cpu/gpu/ram combinations would be

Thanks in advance.


Re: Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?

It would help to know which version of the MOBO you have, but I will assume
you have this one:


You can go from a 2.4ghz cpu to a 3.0 and you can take your memory from
pc2700 to pc3200. That would increase performance for you, but you would
need to do both to really notice it. I went from a 2.4 to a 3.0 cpu once
because my cpu went bad, but I hardly noticed any difference.

If this is your right MOBO above, you already have a pretty fast bus speed.
The next step up would be a 1ghz, but the fact of the matter is that this
MOBO is still very good and you have more than what most people have. But if
you are going to buy a new MOBO, you ought to go ahead and get the next
higher chip set too and get one with pci express instead of agp.

I would post your USB question under a separate post if I were you.

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Re: Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?

Ooops. When I said next higher chip set, I meant a higher socket. Socket
478, which you have, is about 3 generations behind the times.

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Re: Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?


It is a P4PE/LAN which I've had for 2+ years. It's running the latest bios
(1.07) but according to the manual it came with, supports only DDR333. Can I
overclock it to run DDR400 RAM?

Thanks for your help.


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Re: Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?

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As it is a server, I would:

1) Purchase a new case and power supply.
2) Clone the boot disk. Then, if there is trouble during the new
   build, you can go back to the original computer and clone
   (sector by sector copy) the boot disk again.
3) Build your new system and do a "repair install" from
   the Microsoft CD. You can find web pages that give details on
   how to do that. A repair install keeps your settings, your
   installed software should not be touched, but it will revert
   your OS Service Pack, so that will need to be reinstalled,
   and possibly install a later IE. Then you redo all security
   updates and the like.

You can also use the original CD plus the latest service pack
and "slipstream" the two into a new CD disk. I tried that
when upgrading one of my machines, but didn't find a big time
saving at install time. It still repair installed like a pig...

By building this up separate from the existing server, you
can take your time with the build. The repair install method
will allow you to move forward technologically, and use whatever
hardware you want.

As an alternative, if you have a big work table, you can build
the entire new system on a table top. Place a thick phone book
with cardboard cover, underneath the new motherboard. That
will leave room for the faceplates of add-in cards, to protrude
below the plane of the motherboard. The only risk of building
up the components plus a PSU on the table top, is pulling on
the video card with the monitor cable. By building the system
on a table top, you can completely test the hardware, before
installing it in a computer case. There is still the danger
of some downtime, if the movement of the tested hardware into the
computer case goes wrong, and making the new build independent
of the old build is the way to go if you cannot afford downtime.

Even for home builds, I use a new case. Buying a new case allows
you to find a case with the best cooling properties available
at the time.

If the new server is sitting in a server room, it won't matter
what family of processor you use. If the box sits next to you,
an Athlon64 X2 dual core with Cool N' Quiet power saving feature,
might not need quite as many fans as a similar Intel machine.


Re: Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?

Hi Paul,

I have recently purchased Norton Ghost 2003 so that's good! It sounds like a
good idea to build a new machine separately so as to iron out problems. I
have an old 2d video card I can use to do this.

With the Win2k repair install, are you suggesting that I _should_ be able to
get away with a totally new mobo/socket/chipset? Because that would be

Thanks for your suggestions.


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want to
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Re: Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?

If you change the motherboard in a computer that has Win 2K (or any Windows)
installed on the computer's harddrive, then you HAVE to reformat the
harddrive and do a fresh install of the OS after the new motherboard is
installed.  Otherwise you will experience ongoing Registry errors  and data


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Re: Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?

On Wed, 14 Dec 2005 16:11:25 -0800, "DaveW"

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Well now, you keep reposting this even after others have
repeatedly told you they'd done it without ANY of these
registry errors or data corruption.

Mightn't it be a bit more useful to find out WHY you had the
errors so you can have better results like many others have?

Re: Upgrade mobo, CPU, RAM GPU - how much can my OS take?

Hey thanks for all your responses. There's a bit to think about but it may
be easiest to stay with my mobo or mobo family (which is the P4PE-X) and go
for a HT P4 maybe, or at least the highest clock speed I can go. The
parallel build also sounds like a good idea but I'll need a new, or spare at
least, HDD. I've got that external Maxtor so maybe I can use that.

Again thanks for your help.

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