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Upgrading system


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#1 national1000

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 11:46 AM

Hello All,
I'm fairly new to the computer world and need help. My kids have an E-Machines
e-Monster 550. It has a Pentium III processor, 64mb Sync Dram(256 mb max),
512 kb L2 Cache (100mHz system bus) and a 15 GB Hard drive(ultra DMA/66).
Don't really know what all this means, but what i do know is that this computer
is verrry slow. What needs to be upgraded to speed things up? Can someone give
me part numbers or suggest what I need to upgrade/ I will definitely appreciate any help. My kids want me to buy them a whole new system.....HELLLLPPP!!!!
They only use it for school work, AOL Instant Messaging, and a little gaming, but
even trying to update Windows takes forever. Thanks for your ideas..
Steve

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#2 acklan

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Posted 31 January 2005 - 01:15 AM

Your big draw back is only being able to upgrade to 256 SDram. You need to find out if you have 1 or 2 ram slots in your computer (it will be the black slot with a white lever on each end). This will let you know what the max size SDram chip you can install ( 1-256mb or 2-128mb) . I am running XP on PIII 500mhz , but I pumped them up to 512mb of SDram first and it runs fine . Either way you should be able to buy 256MB on ebay for $50 + shipping. Be careful not to buy EDO ram . In the mean time if you have the restore disks back up your data and reinstall Windows . I take it you are running ME or 98SE . You should see a big difference in the speed from a fresh install . Once you have your memory upgrade I would upgrade to XP Home . That will cost you about $100 . You can go to PowerLeap and look into one of thier upgrade boards\chip combos . I have install them in several of my computers and they work fine . It will bring you up to 1.2ghz . That will cost you about $100 also . If you don't have an open AGP slot (or even if you do ) a video card upgrade will be about $50 for a 64mb PCI card . You can buy a new Dell for about $500 , but this way you can pay alittle as you go ( RAM this month , XP next and so on..) . YOU CAN INSTALL THESE ITEMS YOUSELF ! You will save big bucks doing these upgrades yourself ( With the proper precautions. Unplug the computer, ground yourself prior to touching the parts or computer) . If you feel uncomfortable have a tech install it . I know around Baton Rouge to have a shop install ram is about $50 plus the cost of the parts . As you install the parts rePost in this fourm for advise . I hope this helps.


acklan
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#3 JackTheHaack

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Posted 02 February 2005 - 12:53 AM

Have you ever Defrag'd the hard drive ??

This would go a long way to speeding things up. Then I would go down the RAM road and put the max amount in but if you are running Win98 or 98SE be careful 'cos it don't like too much RAM - I think the max it runs on is 128meg, it does strange things if you run it on more.
If you are running w2k or XP then you can max out the mother board and you won't have a problem as the more the merrier with these O/S's. You will be surprised at the difference just doing these two things makes. Then if you need more speed look at upgrading the processor or motherboard and processor combo. That'll fix it.

Good luck and post back. Let us know how you go.
JTH

#4 The Trip

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Posted 03 February 2005 - 06:39 PM

Or you could just go and buy one of the E-machines newer models, for about 300-400$ (I forget exactly) They are pretty reliable (now they are, lol), and you can do all of the things you would expect modern comps to do, except maybe play some of the newer graphically intensive games, I have a 2 year old E-machines and it still runs good, never had a prob with it, yea it is a little slow, but the newer E-machines, have faster stuff in it for the same price, and its not like they have a new OS, and a bunch of progs to bog it down, to the speed of mine.

Mine is:
20 GB 5200RPM Seagate
128 MB SDRAM, (125 to be exact)
1.10GHZ Celeron (S, I think--1.09Ghz to be exact)
And Emebed Intel, Audio, and Video.

It has done well, I think I have got my moneys worth out of it.

Basically what I am saying is instead of spending 100-200$ on upgrading your own
Which cant be very much if my newer model (T-1140), upgrades to a maximum of only 512, has no AGP Slot, and 3 PCI slots (non are PCI-E, i think). So you probably wont be able to upgrade much either except your HDD, which could very well end up in a bottleneck, and just slow you down.
Just buy a new E-machines for 300-400$ (500 if u upgrade)




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