Hardware

Upgrade dilemma: Simple slotket or the whole mother(board) lode?

Have you been debating whether you should upgrade a machine by using a slotket device instead of a complete motherboard overhaul? If so, we want to hear your thoughts in this week's Member Debate.


Thankfully there are a number of ways to upgrade your machine. But with options come choices—and this is where our Member Debate comes into play. My review on Evergreen’s Performa series of upgrade processors received a number of member responses discussing whether a simple slotket processor upgrade is better than the standard motherboard replacement. For this week’s Member Debate, I want to know your opinion as to which is better: a processor upgrade or total system overhaul.

In my Performa review, I said that while I was pleased with the speed results of the slotket upgrade, I felt that for the price of an upgrade kit, a computer technician could easily go out and purchase a new motherboard and processor to upgrade the machine.

Many readers’ comments mirrored my assessment. In one case, TechRepublic member Mlman stated that he often prefers to replace a motherboard when he’s upgrading a CPU. He added that when it comes to the old components he’s removed, he usually ends up giving the old parts to a friend or relative.

Vertex said that he also replaces the motherboard whenever he upgrades his processor. In his post, he questioned if a slotket upgrade would be able to “fully utilize” the technology available on an older motherboard.

However, not everyone agreed with my opinion. TechRepublic member RealGem pointed out that sometimes you get more than you bargain for when you completely upgrade your machine.
“Purchasing a motherboard may seem cheaper, but it will only work as long as your existing components work with the new board. Otherwise, you'll find yourself buying new RAM, etc. Installing a new motherboard is a lot more work than installing the upgrade. You trade off effort against value.”
Do you believe that people should upgrade their motherboards along with the processor, or do you think that the speed and effortless install of an upgrade processor is the right way to go? Let your voice be heard. Leave a post below or send us a note with your thoughts on the subject.
Another TechRepublic member, James, pointed out the difficulty of upgrading a machine from a proprietary vendor:
”Many models of PCs [that are] designed for corporate use, such as IBM and Compaq, don't have the ability to simply swap motherboards because they use nonstandard form factors.”

Other members simply pointed out the cost-effectiveness of a processor upgrade over a complete motherboard overhaul. TechRepublic member Bluewig noted, “Upgrading the processor with the Evergreen board is effective if you are on a tight budget and need a faster computer. It gives people who can’t afford new machines every year [the ability] to keep up with new technology.”

TechRepublic member Russ posted a comment similar to Bluewig’s, saying that “Evergreen [processors] are for the person who wants to improve performance instead of buying a new system. They are not for anyone who would install a new motherboard.”

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