The upgrade Question?



New Member
I have been reading in the discussion site and it seems to be the majority opinion that upgrading to the new speed standards is to expensive compared to the cost of a new machine. It is recommended by MOLE to spend a greater precentage on a monitor than normal because that can be used on a new
"upgaded" computer. That is if expansion is part of your concerns. My question is what other hardware devices will have a long life before they are considered to slow? Could my money be better spent if instead of a $500 cpu and a $200 hard drive I went with a $200 cpu and a $500 hard drive? I am considering buying the Seagate Cheetah one of the quickest hard drives made. Would this choice make sense considering that I could take the adapter card and install it into another motherboard or even a new adapter card that is backward compatible? Consider also the long 5 year warrenty.
What if any other items could also be consider to have a long use life?


New Member
The monitor is probably the best investment you can make. A quality monitor will last for yonks. An example is our old 386-33 monitor (VGA) which is still in frequent use (although not by me). That monitor is actually better made than the one I use (I added a screen filter to make this one bearable, I use this one because it works in 800 X 600 mode). Basically the CPU, motherboard, sound card and video card are the components that change the fastest. Personally I think a Cheetah is much to expensive for the effort, unless you do a lot of disk-intensive things. A garden variety 5,400RPM UDMA drive will be great. These are actually getting faster all the time because the density of data is increasing, hence 1 revolution will read more data than it used to. The average user spends very little time using the disk, most time is spent either typing things in or waiting for the CPU to complete a task. Hence the $500 CPU and $200 hard disk is probably a better option.

Basically the monitor, and to a lesser extent the hard disk, are the main components that have a longer life. The trick to getting the best performance as much as possible is to buy one step behind the technology curve. By this I mean spend as little as possible getting quite good performance (eg K6-2 300, 6.4GB 5,400RPM drive etc) and be ready to junk your computer every couple of years for a new one when the price of faster products comes down.

Of course, if you have the money, buy the latest and whenever anything newer comes out, buy it too. I doubt many people have the money to do that though!!


New Member
Another component that has had a long run in my computer(s) is the sound card. I bought a SoundBlaster 16 ASP (Advanced Signal Processing) in 1993 (in my 386/40), and has served me extreemely well, up until last month (1998 - Pentium II). To this day, it is still a decent performer. Once I got my Pentium II, I upgraded only because I got an offer I couldn't refuse:
SoundBlaster 64 AWE for only $49!
My old SB16 card now resides in my old Pentium 90, and is still performing at its peak, with no performance problems.