Ideal upgrades for a P3 system?
Hi everyone. I recently put together a nice Pentium III based system (I will list the specs below), and I am wondering what upgrades would be good for it. I'm looking for general upgrade ideas, as it will be a while until I am able to upgrade it. I am also looking for suggestions for software, and I will start another thread about that. The system will mainly be used to play older games, but will also be used as a software test machine. Thanks for any ideas.
The specs are as follows:
Motherboard: ECS P6S5AT ATX (Socket 370, PC133/DDR, AGP, PCI)
Case: Generic ATX case (nothing special)
Power Supply: Salvaged Dell 200W (probably will be replaced, it has a couple slightly bulging caps)
Hard Drive: 320GB Hitachi Deskstar
Hard Drive Controller: Adaptec ASH-1233 PCI
Memory: 1GB DDR400 (unsure of current speed, max memory of board)
Video Card: Nvidia TNT2 M64 32MB
USB: VIA PCI USB 2.0/FW400/FW800 Card
Ethernet: TP-Link 10/100 PCI Card
Current OS: Windows XP Professional with SP4 (Subject to change, may become a dual boot setup with Windows 2000 and a fresh XP install)
Another thing I am wondering about is the sound card. I currently have a few different cards I can use, but I'm not sure which would be the best. I have a Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 Digital (Dell OEM card, but I'm not worried about FP audio), a Sound Blaster Live! 5.1, and possibly a few others.
You didn't mention the RAM. I'm using a Pentium M laptop as a daily driver, and it still feels pretty good. The only thing I wish I had was more RAM as I find myself swapping quite often browsing the web at 512 MB, so try to get up to the max 1 GB.
As long as that HDD is 7200 rpm, you should be good to go.
I forgot to put that in. The RAM is currently 1GB of DDR400 (although I'm not certain what speed it is running at currently). The HDD is 7200 RPM.
I should mention that the CPU is a 1.26GHz Pentium III.
Personally, I have an unhealthy obsession with Pentium Ms. I have three Pentium M 5.25" SBCs, each dedicated to something. I think I posted this little guy on vogons a bit ago.
Beautiful little guy. 1gb ram, FX5500, Pentium M 780. I ran Vista on it. It was pretty awful, I laughed when DWM actually boosted performance. Because of my dumb powering method, the GPU had to be grounded or else the the VGA out would have interference. And then I switched to DVI, but I left it grounded anyways just in case.
You plan to run old games as well as software test. Since your board has an abundance of conventional PCIs, I'd sacrifice one for a PCI video card. I'd suggest the Nvidia FX5500. The PCI version is not the best, but it offers a wide range of OS compatibility, and is also fairly compatible with older games. If you're willing to ditch the TNT, the FX5900 is superior and just as worthy for old games. You could stuff it in the AGP 4x slot (your board only has 4x) but it'd be choked on bandwidth. Still will be superior to the PCI card if you go that route.
That sounds like a good idea, I like that board you have. I will investigate the cost of these and may get one.