Should I bother with a new motherboard?

I’m currently running a 1.6 ghz duron on a KT266A board. I can easily hit 1.9ghz, but around 1950 or so it starts to get unstable, and it’s either my motherboard (most likely) or RAM timings, not the proc. I’m looking into getting a kt600 so I could run my duron at 333 fsb, giving me 2ghz, plus I’m going to be getting 5.1 speakers down the line so I could definitely use the onboard 6-channel audio.

I guess my question is whether it’s worth it to get this motherboard now, or just buy a sound card. Does a kt600 offer better I/O, and will agp 8x really help (I’m only running a ti4200)? Basically will I see a performance increase beyond just 80 or so extra mhz? Thanks for your advice.

In real world performance the difference between AGP 4x and AGP 8x is roughly nothing, if i was you i’d get a new board and a new Proc, possibly a 2500+ Barton and an Nforce 2 board, major overclocking ability with that setup aslong as you get hold of atleast PC3200 Ram, just upgrading the board but keeping the same parts is going to make about a nats cock of difference im afaraid

I wouldn’t get a new mainboard without getting a new CPU, and I probably wouldn’t put a new CPU on the board you currently have. Instead of getting an Athlon XP 2500+ though, I’d go upward and get a socket 754 Athlon 64 2800+, which would give you a longer period of breathing room. I doubt your Duron can be pushed to 166MHz FSB without stability issues unless you take extreme cooling measures; even if it can, an Athlon XP 2500+ will likely beat it at that point due to better cache.

As someone else said, AGP 8x is worth nothing in the real world. Where you’ll see a big difference depends on what you’re doing. If you’re doing DVD work, you’ll see differences by using a processor with more cache, higher clockspeed, and (in the case of the Athlon 64) an onboard memory controller. If you’re playing games, a CPU will help, but a graphics card might help even more. What are you looking to do with your upgraded system?

You might also consider waiting, if your system currently does what you want, until Athlon 64 boards are available with PCIe support, which should happen in a few months. I’m planning on holding things off and saving to switch to a Socket 939 board with PCIe, to make mine a little more “future-resistant” (future proof does not exist).

Yeah, I think I’ll just wait for most of my upgrading. I figured I’d get a new mobo for 5.1 sound and serial ata support, as I’m getting new speakers and a new hard drive by christmas (the barracuda ata IV and cheap 2.1 isn’t cutting it anymore). I might still do that, as it makes more sense to just get a motherboard with these features than to buy pci cards which are more expensive. It’s about $30 or so for an nforce 2 or kt600 on sale or refurb, I wouldn’t be too heartbroken having to replace it in 6 months to a year.

You’re right, the best idea is probably to wait a while and upgrade everything, it’s pretty transitional right now and there’s no point in buying a 2500+ for $90 to get a whopping 10-20% increase in speed, if that, when they’re technically unsupported even now.

I use this system for pretty much everything, games, web, video, word processing, image editing. It’s enough power for me for now, but I definitely need a new HD and 5.1 sound would be nice.

I do think my duron will hit 166 fsb without problems though, I’ve had it at 165 without problems before I bought that crappy kingmax memory stick. For some reason my mobo won’t let latency go to 3.0, only 2.0 or 2.5. And maybe you were thinking of the older durons? These new ones run nice and cool, and I know many people have had them above 2.0 ghz easily.

I could be wrong on the newer Durons; I haven’t used a Duron since I had my 600MHz one overclocked to 1GHz at 133 bus; Athlon XP chips have been so cheap, there’s been no reason. Plus the fact that Athlon XP mobile chips overclock like banshees for under a hundred bones. I was going on 100MHz bus Durons; if the current crop is now 133, it may be possible, although the older Durons of course were much easier to unlock, so you could up the FSB and drop the multiplier to get what you want.