August 15th, 2006

zap

Which is really better?

OK. I've gone on about the system I lust after (newegg.com has the AMD Athlon X2 3800+ for just $149, drool, drool), but I'm not going to get that for a while at least. Darn it.

So... in the meantime, I have two fairly decent boxes. One I'm using at work, and one is at home.

The newer system has an ECS KT600A motherboard and a Sempron 2300, which I think runs at 1.6 GHz, in it. 512 MB of RAM. (The KT600 is running with FSB at 333 MHz, given the RAM I'm using, but can be run at 400.) All well and good, but the Gentle Reader will recall

1. The ghastly problems I've had with graphics cards in the [expletive] thing.
2. The flaky behavior of the USB 2.0 ports on it...I ended up having to buy a USB 2.0 card for it to get an external hard drive to work with it.

The older system, which I have at work, has the (in)famous ECS K7S5A motherboard, with the SiS 735 chipset. 512 MB of RAM (1 GB max), 266 MHz FSB, no USB 2.0 on the mobo. I have an Athlon XP 2200+ (1.8 GHz) on it.

The K7S5A was, I think, the motherboard that improved the reputation of ECS. My wife's computer has one also. Aside from sheer insanity the first time I tried to set it up (the K7S5A for some reason I do not know, utterly refuses to even POST if you plug a Netgear FA311 NIC into it), it's worked like a charm, and is perfectly happy with the nVidia MX4000 AGP card that refused to work in the KT600A.

Now...the older system seems more responsive than the newer one, so I'm wondering whether I should swap the positions of each (swapping hard drives and some other peripherals--they're in the same model of Antec case, so it will be easy.

Of course, it may just be the way I have Dapper Drake set up at home versus at work...

OTOH, if I'm going to do sound stuff, the folks at ardour.org warn against VIA chipsets for serious audio... and there is the video issue.

Maybe the KT600A is defective, and I should get a replacement... make that should have gotten a replacement a couple of years ago, because they're old technology. Upgrading them would consist of removing the motherboard and CPU and replacing them—Socket A has bitten the dust.

So... I'm still waffling, but leaning towards doing the switch. Am I fooling myself, and wasting my time?

UPDATE: D'oh! It's a Sempron 2400+, and hence runs at 1.66 GHz. So the clock difference isn't all that much; also, I believe they match in L2 cache as well (256K).
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    "Should I Stay or Should I Go," the Clash