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I'm going to seriously upgrade my mother-in-law's PC. She now has a P200MMX with a paltry 64 MB RAM an Win98SE.

Upgrades are

-256 MB RAM

-better vidcard to replace an antique SiS thing

-disk is an ok Maxtor 5400 rpm (less than 2 years old)

-Windows XP Pro or Windows 2000 Pro (if NT4 was still supported I'd use that)

I'm a bit stuck as to what would be the best mobo/CPU upgrade. I've got a PII 350 on a BX board and a K6-2 350 on a SiS 530 board. It used to be said that K6-2's used to outperform PII's of the same clock frequency in business apps. All she does is use Word, Excel and Internet Explorer and collect virii with Outlook Express. You might say "why bother?". Her old machine is unstable which I blame on Win98. I don't want to install NT4 on it due to lack of support and 2k or XP on a P200MMX seems sadistic. On a PII 350 it runs ok and most importantly stably. I just haven't tried it on a K6-2 350.

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I haven't had problems with either processor under XP or 2k.

Non-intel chipsets has fewer issues on xp than 2k. For stability don't install drivers over the ones ms ships.

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dont get me wrong, i am an amd fan, but i'd take a p2-350 on a bx board over a k6-2 350 on a sis 530 any day of the week.

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I agree with the others (P2 on BX), and recommend 2K over XP as it'll run better on the older machines, (running XP on anything less than 600MHz is sadistic in my book).

NT4 would be better, but it's EOL, and a few nasty bugs have appeared in NT4 since EOL, that IIRC haven't been fixed properly (ie DCOM RPC for one).

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I also agree that the BX chipset was the tops. Anyone remember the ABIT BH6 Celeron 300A days?

I would not discount the K6-2's though, they are good processors. I agree that the VIA chipsets you will likely find with them suck though. You should look for a motherboard bases on SIS like tha ASUS P5A or the P5AB (ATX - AT/ATX form factors) I run a couple of these K62 500 systems for MP3 players in vehicles and they are trouble free.

Good news is these things are cheap as dirt. If you want I have a K62 500 and a dead VIA chipset motherboard (needs caps replaced) I could donate.

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I agree with everybody else. Go the PII BX route. That is a great setup. BX boards are really nice and give you the flexibility to go 1ghz or higher..

I had a K62 system as well but, at least for me, the quality of the motherboards that supported that CPU just sucked.

C

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I just haven't tried it on a K6-2 350.

I've used XP on a K6-2 300 system on an old PC chips motherboard (with most of the graphical effects and other stuff switched off). I'm sure either system would be fine, with enough ram and a fast enough drive (you may not be able to use a recent drive to it's full capacity on those old boards, but I would still want to choose a slightly more recent drive ).

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I also agree that the BX chipset was the tops. Anyone remember the ABIT BH6 Celeron 300A days?

I would not discount the K6-2's though, they are good processors. I agree that the VIA chipsets you will likely find with them suck though. You should look for a motherboard bases on SIS like tha ASUS P5A or the P5AB (ATX - AT/ATX form factors) I run a couple of these K62 500 systems for MP3 players in vehicles and they are trouble free.

Good news is these things are cheap as dirt. If you want I have a K62 500 and a dead VIA chipset motherboard (needs caps replaced) I could donate.

Asus P5A is an ALi Alladin 5 chipset, NOT SiS. (I should know my K6-3 is running on one, sometimes overclocked to 125MHz FSB).

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If you do go with a K6/old non-Intel chipset DO NOT USE A RETAIL BOXED VERSION OF WINDOWS 2K/XP. I had nothing but problems trying to get the store bought version of Win2K to work with it, but the OEM version that came with a friends Dell worked with no problems other than the crap drivers it has for my ISA SoundBlaster AWE 32 and completely non-existant support for my original Voodoo card in Win2K (98 it works great). The SoundBlaster drivers essentially freeze the rest of the system when any sound is playing. You are better off using PC speaker sound than the 2K/XP drivers for any ISA Creative labs card.

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I had been using an Asus P3BF motherboard with a pentium 2 400Mhz for 3 years till december 2002 and never had a problem with it using Windows 98SE.

I am now using an Asus TUSL2-C with a pentium 3 1Gig and have the same performance (faster) and no problems with my new OS Windows 2000 Pro.

The memory on both has been Crucial 256MB (100Mhz on the P3BF and 133Mhz on the TUSL2-C).

Hope this helps.

GOOD LUCK!

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While the CPU's would be about equal, saddling the K6/2 to that SiS chipset gives the nod to the BX. It'll run 2K or XP fine, and you could probably pop in a 100MHz PII or PIII at some point for little to no money if you find that 350MHz is too slow.

If, as was mentioned you could lay hands on a P5A or P5A-B for an AT case, the K6/2 350 would probably be what I'd go with. I have a P5A with a K6/2-450 that's been on more or less 24/7 for the past few years, First as my PDC with NT 4 Server, now as my email machine with XP Pro. Runs FAH all the time with nary a hiccup.

For email & surfing, either one will be fast enough, particularly if she's on dialup.

I think you'd actually notice a bigger speed difference with broadband in this instance.

It seems odd, but I think I'd go with XP on that machine. Once you turn off all the PlaySkool stuff, it should be a little smoother running that 2K Pro on a system with those specs.

If you're really curious though, and have enough spare parts, go ahead and setup each combo and see if you can tell which one feels faster. Give her the winner, and some good AntiVirus software.

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The "problem" with the BX I have is that it's in a Siemens PC. I won't run any PIII without errors so 450 MHz is the absolute max it'll support. Possibly upgrading to ~1 GHz is out of the question (I've got a P3B-F but that on's mine, mine I tell ya!!). Onboard vid is something ATI with 4 MB of RAM and no AGP slot. I've got a decent Number9 vidcard with 8 MB RAM though and I'd like to give her a decent 17" screen which should be a magnificent upgrade from a hazy 14".

Perhaps you have noticed that I'm building from parts I have around - it's the idea that I don't have to spend any money on this thing.

MaxBurn

If you want I have a K62 500 and a dead VIA chipset motherboard (needs caps replaced) I could donate

You're welcome but would you ship it to Belgium? :)

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I tried Win 2K-Pro on a PentimPro 200/256KB and a K6-2 400 (both with 128MB EDO RAM).

2k-Pro felt smoother on the PentiumPro. K6-2 is good for Win95/98, but sux on NT/2K/XP. Thats what i mean anyways :)

So go for the PII setup.

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What I remember most about my K6-2 500MHz days:

- Flash & Shockwave are sloooooow...

- Viewing PDF files with a reasonable amount of images (like product folders) is slooooow...

- Using JBuilder is slooooooow...

- Don't try to play Grand Prix 2

I'm pretty sure your mother-in-law won't be running JBuilder, but Flash & PDF files are certainly faster on that Pentium II.

Currently I'm using it for testing. Two weeks ago I did a stage 1 install of Gentoo Linux ( = compiles everything from source, even the compiler and GNU C library). Bootstrapping took 6 to 8 hours, compiling the rest of the base system 5 hours, compiling the kernel: 2 hours... :)

I'll be throwing in a Promise controller, a bunch of drives and Tivoli Storage Manager and use it for backup instead. Otherwise, its useful life has ended.

JD

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The poor ol' k6-2 was always hampered by the fact that the L2 cache was on the motherboard and this L2 was typically quite slow. This generally made the k6-2 performance much more dependant on the characterisitics of the motherboard than was the case with other CPU's that had on-die L2.

I've still got a running k6-3 box here and for typical office work I definitly wouldn't trade it for a PII. When comparing the k6-2 with the PII however I think I'd go with the PII, even if predominately for office apps.

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K6/3 > P2 > K6/2

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glug, perhaps your problem was related to the retail box being version 1.0 and the oem one being a service pack

Both were pre-SP1, I suppose the OEM one may have had hotfixes slipstreamed in?

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Taken alone, the K6-2 will cream the P-II so comprehensively you won't even see the dust.

Alas, the SiS Socket 7 boards were ... well, I suppose the word "dreadful" gets overused a fair bit, but it seems to fit here. Some of the SiS-based Super 7 boards were OK (just OK, no better than that), and others were crudsville. The SiS, remember, was the cheapest chipset on the market, and usually (but not always) ended up going into the cheapest and crappiest motherboards around.

If you had a motherboard on a decent chipset for it - i.e., a VIA MVP-3 - the K6-2 would be the hands-down winner. I well remember my most vivid example of this, when I replaced the slug-like BX and P-II/350 combo in the main workshop computer with an MVP-3 and K6-2/300, keeping all other components the same. Despite dropping 50MHz, it was vastly improved. On the SiS boards, though, it's hard to say which chip would go better.

Essentially, there are two things you can do

(a) If you desire reasonable performance: Stick the SiS board in and hope that it's both stable enough and performs more-or-less as a K-6 ought to. If it crashes, fall back on the old faithful BX.

(B) If you desire a quiet life: Stick the P-III in and hope that it's not too sluggish for your taste. If it's too slow, replace with the SiS and hope for the best.

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glug, perhaps your problem was related to the retail box being version 1.0 and the oem one being a service pack

Both were pre-SP1, I suppose the OEM one may have had hotfixes slipstreamed in?

Yes, OEM can slipstream in as many fixes and possibly drivers as they see fit.

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