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Which Operating system


Which Operating system

I hope someone can help
I might have to change my operating system as plus net say that windows 98 first edition may well not be compatible with their modem. I have lost my windows CD so I really should get one anyway. The question is which ?
I have a pentium II 400 256 ram and 10GB hard drive.
My applications seem to use a lot of resources I frequently get low resource messages and have to shut something down, so I suspect that windows XP might make this worse.
If so that leaves win 98SE or win ME
Is there much difference between them
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Which Operating system

The Binatone ADSL 500 supplied with the easy-start package will not install on Win98. It now only supports Win98SE.

Win XP does not suffer from low resources like Win9x/Me as it has a totally different and much faster memory architecture. The low resources being GDI and USER space which is only 64K on Win9x/Me does not exist on WinXP as such.

The PC spec is just about OK for XP but you should try and invest in another 256Megs of memory as that will really help things along. You may need to tweak XP a bit and turn off some background services to run better on your slow processor but it should be usable. With the extra memory it may actually be faster than Win98.

How much freespace do you have on the hard disk? XP does need a lot more so you need quite a bit free before you can upgrade. If you can, do a full install of XP which would be better.

Note: some apps are not compatible with XP so you may not get all your programs working. The XP compatibility mode solves most problems but not all.


Very interesting
I do not understand this bit "The low resources being GDI and USER space which is only 64K on Win9x/Me does not exist on WinXP as such."
Am I right to think that with XP, I would be able to have more applications running but my PC might run a bit slower.
Would I notice it running slower?? I typically run a spreadsheet ( lotus ) Metastock which is a share price charting program(this seem to need a lot of resources) and several explorer windows which "stream" data.

When I increased my ram from 128 to 256 I did not notice any difference !
My motherboard takes 384 MB max in 3 slots, which are full now , to get to 384 I would have to discard 2 lots of 64mb and buy two 128mb (any idea how much this is these days)
As to disc space in total I have plenty of space but C drive (2GB) is quite full I think I would have to resize it. How big do you suggest
I have a program called Acronis OS Selector which claims to do this - never tried though.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Which Operating system

WInXP has better memory management and has less OS overhead so you should be able to run more apps but it will run slower due to swap space usage if your physical memory runs out - which it probably will. The processor may run out of steam as well, there is a limit to what you can do with a P2 400MHz processor. The more memory you can have the better XP will perform.

2GB free disk space may not be enough for a WInXP upgrade. Ideally you need 3Gigs to be safe. M$ recommend a min of 1.5Gigs but that will be for a fresh install not an upgrade. How big is your C drive in total? XP can be disk hungry if you install all the packages and the existing OS is saved in case you need to go back to the old setup so the more the better.

I assume you are using 168 pin PC100 or PC133 ram. Does the mobo limit you to only 128Megs/memory slot? 128Megs PC100 should be around £25 or less (shop around online, you can get it cheaper).

Never heard of Acronis OS Selector so can't comment. I use Partition Magic to adjust mine. Use yours with caustion and try and backup any important files before any upgrade or partition adjustments.

P.S. if you don't upgrade to XP, forget about Me, it's one of the worst M$ OSs released. Just upgrade to 98SE.

Which Operating system

I switched to Win2k for work a couple of years ago and find it very good. I'm running with 256MB RAM on a 7.7GB partition and surprised myself when I looked just now to see my system (small, Open Office not MS Office) is using only 2.6GB.

Win2k is basically XP without the fancy graphical stuff. Might make better use of your existing hardware, it doesn't need activation, and upgrade prices seem comparable to XP.

Agree with Peter about avoiding ME.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,469
Registered: 30-07-2007

Which Operating system

If you plan to run games then Win2K is not very games friendly so XP would be a better choice. If you just run business type apps then Win2K would be an option although I'm not sure if there is an upgrade path from Win98 to Win2K so it may involve a fresh install.

Additonal RAM

Just a note as I upgraded to XP last year with a simliar motherboard (i've got the 440BX Chipset). The lastest 128Mb of (i think SD) Ram is a higher density than older motherboards can handle (or were designed for). The board therefore only sees half of it. I.E. if u buy 128Mb it can only see 64Mb of it!!

In order to get the full 384Mb in the PC I had to go to computer fairs (and friends with slightly newer boards) to get the older 128Mb Ram.

Just something to be aware of when upgrading.

(Oh and if u do have a computer fair/auction near you, it is worth going. I was running a PII Slot 1 Processor. For £20 I picked up a PIII 500 Slot 1)

Which Operating system

Which XP is the best home or pro and what is the difference ?

Interesting what you said about upgrading
I have a SLOT-1 PII I did not know that I could fit a PIII as you say it sounds a very cost effective upgrade. So I have just found my board on the internet and this is what I found listed in the specs

"SECC2 Pentium III up to 600MHz(100MHz FSB),
Pentium II
Celeron PPGA up to 533MHz"

What does SECC2 and (1000MHZ FSB) mean
I am unclear as to whether a PIII 600 or a PIII 1G is my max permitted.
I assume the pentium option is better than the Celeron

I increased my Ram 2 years ago and my PC recognised the extra -I have not noticed an increase in performance though. I too have the 440BX
chipset. (Its a ECS P6BX-A board). Acording to my board manual the max Ram permitted is 384 MB The web site has it at 768 MB !

Which Operating system

I wud try and upgrade ur pc as things r geting better every year. Mine is slow and its 1 year and 2 month old

Which Operating system

in response to davidkelly's last post

1.Always try to go for XP Pro if you can. Better security and user managment/networking options, take your pick really :lol: .

2. By the looks of things the highest PIII u could put in easily would be the PIII 600. Anything above this and it involves jiggery pokery to try and get the newer PIII's to work (without a huge increase in performance)

3. SECC2 is just a version of the Slot 1system. how the processor attaches to the motherboard is slightly different tho most motherboards (including mine) can cater for both versions of Slot 1. 100Mhz is the speed at which data flows from the memory to processor or vice versa. The newer PIII chips upped the FSB speed to 133Mhz and above. Thats why it is difficult to get newer chips to talk to older boards

4. This is the rub with the BX chipset. using standard (i.e. cheap) RAM the maximum is 384Mb. However if u use the more expensive registered RAM then you can put (depending on the BIOS) either 512 or 768Mb in

Which Operating system

XP Pro does have better security and networking options, but you pay for it.
If you are not going to run a home network, XP Home will suffice and save some cash.
Currently, XP home costs the same as 98se, in most shops. 2K and ME are no longer available (unless old stock). Micro$oft will stop support for 98se soon.
However, be sure to look at compatability of your hardware with XP. Some older chipsets, soundcards, graphics cards etc are not supported by XP and do not have drivers that work correctly.

Which Operating system

XP Home works perfectly well on my home network.

I've only come across two practical differences - I'm sure there must be more but I haven't noticed them -

1. You can't join a domain.
2. You can't log on as admin except in safe mode.

Neither of these is relevant to me as I don't take my personal laptop to work, but my two PC/Laptop/Print Server (2 printers) home network is just fine on XP Home.

Spec for new PC

I t looks as if it I might be better buying a new PC rather than upgrading existing!!

But what spec? £700 just for the main box

AT this price the cpu offered seems to be either a P4 2.8 /3 or AMD Athlon XP 2800 / 3000
Is the Athlon as good as a Pentium are the speeds roughly equivalent. Ie is a P4 3000 similar to AMD XP 3000

One PC I am looking at has a ATi All in wonder Radeon 9800SE (128MB DDR) graphics card, I don't play games but was interested in being able to watch TV on PC and also converting analogue camcorder to DVD , which I think is possible with this card.

Another system has a 128 MB DDR ATI Radeon 9800 Pro, I think this is a more expensive card, would I be wasting the extra money if not using it for games?
I could not find any refference to the 9800SE on the ATi web site!

What is the difference between serial ATA/150 and Ultra ATA/133 for the drive interface

Which Operating system

The ATI All in wonder cards are good for TV and TV capture and DV editing. However, they are not the in the same league as a proper video editing card such as the Pinacle and ones from Matrox.
As for speed, the non All in Wonder Pro is faster for games, but you would have to be a real games buff to know it.
AMD vrs Intel, depends on what you're after. There are fans of both - I use AMD. Number crunching tends to be better on Intel, while raw data handling is better in AMD. At 3Ghz, both will run anything you want to chuck at them.

Which Operating system

I've got one PC with Hauppauge WinTV and an ATI graphics card with analogue capture capability. Another one with Matrox e450TV graphics card and a Pinnacle AV/DV analogue/dv input. None of the options is up to creating acceptable dvd. I just stick with 320x240 mpeg1.

I'm currently looking at buying a Philips DVD recorder to do analogue to DVD recording - about £270 'ish whereas the dedicated hardware for a PC would be around £600-£800.