Saturday, March 04, 2006

This is an Ex-Computer

My main PC crashed yesterday and it seems with catastrophic results. It won't even switch on now. All I get is part of the BIOS screen displayed then nothing. So I've now got to try and narrow down what's wrong.

I don't think it's the video card as the video BIOS is displayed fine before the system BIOS fails to display.

The means it's either the motherboard or the CPU..or the RAM, or a PCI card or the hard drives :-) I don't think it's the mouse or keyboard :-)

The problem with replacing components at this stage is that all the parts in my current PC were bought just before some new standards were released. The CPU is a Socket A Athlon XP3200+, they don't make socket A any more although they can still be found. New CPUs are Socket 939 or socket 754.

A new style CPU means a new style motherboard and this means a new graphics card too as all new motherboards use PCI Express for the video card bus rather than the older AGP bus.

I did a quick tot up of prices and if I have to get a new CPU then I will also need to get a new motherboard and RAM. I don't think I'd get much change from £400. So I need to ask a difficult question... Do I really need a fast PC any more with a powerful graphics card? Do I really play that many games? Do I need much processor power?

I'm hoping it's just the motherboard and I can pick up a Socket-A motherboard from somewhere that still has them in stock.

The other possibility is that it's just the BIOS on the motherboard that has packed up. I might be able to get a new one although I've never tried this before.

The main parts of my PC are nearly 2 years old so it is probably due for an upgrade and I could use this as an excuse to jump on the 64bit bandwagon and go for one of the latest Athlon 64 CPUs and try running Windows XP 64 bit.

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