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Need a bit o help

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johnhattan

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Okay, we've still got got a slack computer after doing all the machine upgrades and donations. It's quite a good machine, and I think I've got an idea for it. Our new kitchen's got an island with a cabinet big enough to hold the computer, so I'm thinking of spending my Best Buy credit on a 17" LCD monitor and a spillproof keyboard, making it a kitchen computer. I've got a slack license of Windows XP Media Center 2005, so it could also double as a DVD player.

It's still a pretty nice machine. It was top of the line when we bought it 3-4 years ago as CivilGrrl's "cornerstone" machine. I'm just wondering if there's anything I can do to punch up the machine a bit. . .

Memory: It's got RAMBUS, so upgrading the memory beyond the built-in 512mb would cost almost as much as a new machine. 512mb is still good enough for a kitchen computer, so I'm not worried about that.

Video: It's got an AGP Radeon 7500, which is good enough for my plans. It's not gonna run Doom 3, so that's not really a problem.

Hard drive: It's got a 30gb drive, which should be plenty for a machine that'll spend most of its time running a web browser.

So that leaves the CPU. What I'm wondering is:

1. Can I upgrade the CPU?
2. Would it be worth it?

Checking out dell.com (which allows you to look up detailed specs on any machine you bought from 'em, even four years ago, which is nice), this machine's got a 1.5 Ghz P4 with 423 pins, 8k L1 cache, 256k L2 cache, and 400FSB.

ebay shows 423-pin CPU's up to 1.9 Ghz for about $100. Would this really be enough of an improvement to justify the price, or should I just stick with what I've got?

Any opinions?
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If you're just doing web browsing and playing DVDs, then I don't see any reason to upgrade the processor. 1.5 to 1.9GHz isn't THAT noticable a difference, anyway. If you can find a 2.4 for $100, then it might be tempting.

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I'd stick with what you got. I'm using a 800MHz PIII machine as a DVR machine without problems. If you're really planning to use it as a media center PC what you probably want to look into is a good TV capture card.

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BTW, the Media Center version of Windows XP does not come with a DVD decoder because microsoft does not want to pay the license fee. You need to install something like PowerDVD then it will use its codec.

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In that case unless you are planning to use it view large VRML p0rn scenegraphs you'll be fine with that machine. Plenty of horsepower. Gonna make it wireless?

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