Budget Athlon XP Motherboard upgrade suggestions?


Jan 31, 2004
My wife's pc is aging, has been for quite sometime. She is at 950mhz currently, I would like to get her around 2ghz. Keep in mind she is still in an sdram machine so will need at least 512 of DDR as well. It will be for gaming. SO basically the first question is motherboard choices. Want a stable, good board but with cost in mind that I will need a cpu and DDR as well. I have always bought Intel but am going AMD, so need some guidance:)

Also, I have not upgraded DDR in quite some time, there are like 20 more options of DDR than there were when I purchased mine, lol. What DDR do you suggest that will be efficient but not too expensive considering I need a cpu and MB as well? I really need to try and keep this under $200.
I shop using pricewatch so if you give me some products I can search them myself. Thanks!


Elite Member
Oct 15, 1999
THE budget choice currently is the ECS L7S7A2. Takes you up to a 2400+ Athlon, uses up to DDR333 RAM, has USB 2.0, onboard six-channel sound and LAN, package includes a 6-in-1 card reader for 3.5" bay. Current retail price is 29 euros, should be around $30 in the US.
Mind you, you'll VERY probably also need a new power supply - best bought with a new case, since cases usually are cheaper than PSUs alone.

I just did such an upgrade for someone - new case (Foxconn TC5020, w/ 400W PSU), Athlon-XP 2400+, arctic CopperSilent2 cooler, said mainboard. Material totalled at 185 euros, this guy has the RAM already. 512 MByte DDR333 RAM set you back an additional ~$65 if you want halfway decent stuff (avoid noname RAM!).


Elite Member
May 1, 2001
Abit VA-10 or MSI KM4M ~ $57. includes video. Works fine on 250W PSU w/P4 Aux connector. That ECS mobo can't touch this for econ. performance as you will need a good 350-400W PSU for it.
- Duron 1600 (performs nearly as well as the XP-2100 w/o OCing - if you OC it, the 2100 is weedsville - only $39.) The 1600 loves to OC...
Thermal Integration V77L HSF - $9. Great design, one of the easiest to mount - no need for shim.
PC-2700 DDR leaves a little room for OCing ~$80.

You're welcome! ;)




Platinum Member
Nov 18, 2002
Don't shortchange future upgrades by getting a mobo that won't go up to Barton CPUs. If you pick up a Shuttle AN35N NForce2 mobo ($62 from Newegg), 512 MB of PC3200 DDR for $83, and an Athlon XP1800+ for $49, you are right at $200 and will have plenty of room for a CPU upgrade in the future that will give you an additional boost. Of course, if you do need a new PSU, you will have to pop for another $40 (for a Forton 350W), but IMO, this leaves the future open for another boost in a year or so. going from 950Mhz to the 1800+ will seem like flying to her.


Senior member
Apr 2, 2002
I personally have an xp2000, Shuttle AN35N Ultra with Corsair XMSpc3200. I got the setup for about $235. I think you could get a setup similar with lesser ram and be around $200. I have no complaints with this setup except that the sound on the board is buggy when using 5.1. If you get an xp1800 or even a Barton2500+ and 512 Crucial PC2700 and one of the AN35N ultra's you should be able to stay under $200 and have a great setup. just my opinion


Nov 11, 1999
Dunno what kind of vidcard you currently have, but the newer boards are not compatible with some of the older 5V or 3.3V agp vidcards- newer boards demand 1.5v cards...

Truth is, the nforce2 onboard video is often quite capable for gaming at 600x800, using two sticks of 256ddr. Yeh, some guys will claim that only the latest and greatest $400 vidcard will do- don't listen, you can't afford it... I wouldn't buy any new vidcard that won't handle dx9- that's a nvidia fx5200 at a minimum...

If your current box has a quality psu of 250w or greater, you should be OK, otherwise figure on a 300w Fortron from newegg, $27-

I mostly shop newegg at this point- they've done me right, and the few dollars saved elsewhere usually get eaten up in shipping charges, anyway... take your pick of the nforce2 boards from them, I like the looks of this one-


Add 2 sticks of their least expensive apacer pc2700 ddr for future upgrade compatiblity, and whatever xp athlon you can afford- check out their big &quiet speeze coolers, too, they beat the hell out of the stock models...