Just before I left on vacation, my computer died - started spewing garbage all over the startup screen. I didn\'t have time to diagnose before I left, but I suspect a new mobo and/or CPU will be in my future - near future.
Currently I have an AMD K6-II 500 mhz. If you were in my place, would you:
1) keep CPU, replace mobo (about $90 - $100)
2) replace mobo and CPU with P3 800 mhz (maybe $500 - $600)
3) replace mobo and CPU with Athlon 800 mhz (maybe $400, considering I\'d probably have to get a new case - maybe more, since my RAM isn\'t name-brand so the Athlon might not like it - or would this be a problem for the P3 also?)
My goal is to end up with a system that can get the 160 voices running 1 NFX, without spending more than I need to. Of course option 1) won\'t get me there, but if I wait a bit maybe prices will come down so it won\'t be a total waste to get a temporary mobo for the K6.
Replace your MB and CPU. A K6-2 500 will get you ~120 or so voices max without any NFX. Don\'t get an Athlon right now, the latest motherboards still have some problems with certain audio cards. Your best bet is either an overclocked Celeron II (533 at 800MHz or 566 at 850MHz) or a non-overclocked Pentium III Coppermine 700E or 750E (the 800E is still a little too expensive for my tastes).
Something like an ASUS CUBX (BX chipset) or CUXV4 (VIA chipset) or an Abit SE6 (i815E chipset) would work well with an overclocked Celeron. Check out http://www.overclockers.com for a recent survey of overclocked motherboards.
For the price, I would have the Athlon Combo, like Athlon 800Mhz + VIA Appolo x133 Chipset + ATX-Case+PwrSply (which is cerficated by AMD). The drawback of this is might not works with some soundcard which is designed with the Motorola-DSP like Aarkvark for example, otherwise they should be good combo (Giga is very happy with Athlon, I guess). Anyone?
Hope this helps
You may want to wait a month or two for the new motherboards that are coming out which accept the new socketed AMD Duron and Thunderbird-Athlon CPU\'s, (not the slot Athlon). The new socketed CPU\'s are just showing up on the the market. Per some of the overclocker board chatter, a $150 Duron 700 Mhz can be overclocked to 950 Mhz. This may give you the most bang for the buck. Since you were already using a AMD compatible soundcard in your old setup, using the same soundcard will probably be low risk of non-compatibility.
Thanks, all, for your input! I\'m still pretty far from knowing what I\'ll end up deciding, but now I have more info. I hadn\'t really considered the overclocked-Celeron option, but now that I\'ve looked into overclockers.com, it seems a *little* less scary. Anyway, I\'ll be back tomorrow night so I can do a proper autopsy on the old \'pewter - who knows, maybe it needed a vacation too, so it\'ll just start right up again first try. (Har...)
No replacements needed - turned out to be a corrupted track 0, which I restored with the WD diagnostic software. Back in business - so now I have the luxury of waiting a couple of months for better prices (and probably even more options to confuse me!).