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The Motherboard and CPU

So, you want to upgrade? Okay. Here's point number one: Don't bother upgrading just your CPU without upgrading the motherboard, too. I know lots of CPU upgrade kits are available, but you're not going to experience much in the way of improvement with them. Your money is better spent by upgrading the whole motherboard, possibly with a new generation of CPU along with it. Motherboard improvements roll down the pike every few months, and adding a new CPU to an old design isn't going to net you much. Motherboards are pretty cheap—typically under $100 even for a good one, such as an Intel, Supermicro, or ASUS (this number is sans CPU). Don't get a motherboard from a company that doesn't put its name on the board, doesn't have a good Web site for technical support, or doesn't have a phone number. It's not worth saving a few bucks. Also, check the Microsoft HCL, of course, to see whether it's been tested. You should get one with the memory cache and the latest system memory (as of this writing, it was 100MHz memory) and the chipset that was designed to make it work optimally with the CPU you selected. (See the next section to learn about the importance of chipsets.)

#20

If Windows NT 4 SP4 is successfully running on your current computer, you should have no trouble using the same machine for Windows 2000 Professional. You should not require a hardware upgrade, even though you might enjoy the increased performance by doing it, or you want access to newer hardware standards such as OnNow, USB, Firewire, and so on that your current computer doesn't sport.



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