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PC upgrade


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#1 Norm

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 11:15 PM

Greetings --

This soul needs advice in upgrading a Dell 8100 operating on Windows ME with a Pentum IV --main problem appears to be with having only 128 mb of rambus ram memory. Dell will upgrade to 512 but cost is approx. $300. At this point I am considering a new tower but need guidance as I am not a techie.

Dell tells me this machine is better than their 3000 or 4700 ($500 and & $700) and that I should be looking at their 8400 ($1200). Need advice on what parameters should be guiding my decision

Norm

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#2 tg1911

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 11:43 PM

You don't have to buy your ram from Dell.

I would buy ram from one of these three companys:
(just plug in your specs, they'll give you options, and it's cheaper than Dell)

Crucial

Kingston

Corsair

These are reputable companys that stand behind their products. Also,check out the info on
their sites. There's a lot of good info about ram, definitely worth the read.

Some additional info on ram:

There are such things as cheap , ninety day , or generic RAM, which is actually sold,
and doesn't meet the minimum standards of the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council), for use in computers. But it is still sold, and un-informed people, still buy it.

RAM can generally be divided into a few classes:
(Excepting Performance or Overclockers RAM, which is made to the highest tolerances)

Premium or Lifetime Warranty: This RAM is made from Identical chips, all tested
and meeting the assemblers standards, all from the same chip manufacturer and lot.
The capacitors and resistors are of the highest standard, and exceed the JEDEC
standard, and all are installed on a circuit board which is thicker than required . The
final product is tested to confirm that it is stable at the rated speed.

One Year Warranty: Very close, but may include memory chips from different batches,
although still the same manufacturer. The circuit board tends to be at least one ply
thinner, and the resistors and capacitors may have more variance. These still meet the
JEDEC standards, and are tested to make sure they are stable at the specified speed.

OEM: These are intended for sale to a manufacturer, not for resale, although they
often are sold retail. Often if you buy two sticks, you will find that they have memory
chips from different manufacturers. They still meet standards (the chips are certified to
meet the manufacturers specifications), but are often yet another ply thinner, and once
again, may have more variance in the tolerance of resistors and capacitors, and may
use fewer, than on higher quality RAM.

Generic or 90 Day RAM: This is the lowest quality you will generally encounter.
Often these are made of leftover chips; ones salvaged from returned and failed RAM,
RAM designed to run at a higher speed which failed and became unstable. They are
put on really thin boards, which do not meet the JEDEC standard. They rarely have
even the minimum number, and quality of resistors and capacitors, recomended by the
JEDEC .

Also, if you touch the RAM anywhere except the edges, you should know that the oils
and salts in your skin are corrosive, and will eventually damage the ram. And if you
touch it without observing anti-static precautions, you can cause damage, which may
show up immediately, or somewhere down the line.

This is why I always reccomend that you spend the extra money to buy Quality Name
Brand RAM
with a lifetime warranty. I also prefer to buy all RAM at one time when
possible, and at a minimum, make sure it has identical specifications (easiest method,
make sure it is same manufacturer and model).
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#3 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 11:50 PM

Advice dell will rip you off along with any other pc company when installing ram.

Save money buy it and add it yourself.

Im kinda confused in your post are you getting a new pc from dell or want to updagrade your old pc?

Ram is easy to upgrade and cheap no where near 300.00! Maybe 35.00 or less.........

I just re-read your post you are thinking of getting a new pc if ram costs that much right?

Installing ram is very easy. Plug and play. If you want to add more ram to your pc just buy a chip and add it.

But you need to find out what type of ram chip you have. Are you able to do that?

Thanks

#4 Norm

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 09:06 AM

Greetings again --

Appreciate your response. I did check with crucial.com and they do not offer the ram memory I need and referred me back to Dell and /or Viking components. Viking does have the memory but will not sell to the public and listed several outlets for me to try (PC Connections, etc.) Which I will do.

However, it seems the Rambus type memory is going the way of the conestoga wagon which is why it is so expensive. My goal is to improve my current machine but by the time I install the additional memory and upgrade to Windows XP I might be better off to just purchase a new tower.

I apologize for my lack of knowledge in this stuff -- I always relied on the techies at work to help solve my PC problems and never paid much attention to how they did it (dumb!!) Now that I am retired I no longer have access to their expertise and am woefully lacking in this area.

Norm

#5 jgweed

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 09:25 AM

Certainly if you want to use XP, you will need additional memory---156MB is barely enough just for the OS. What tower you purchase, as it seems you are leaning in that direction, will depend primarily on what you want to use the computer for. High end, and expensive computers, may be overkill if all you do is surf the Net, use Emails, and do some simple office type stuff, might be necessary if you want to do pictured editing or gaming. Were you to tell us how you want to use your computer, our advice might be more helpful.
Regards,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#6 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 31 December 2004 - 12:09 PM

Yeah I second that. But ughhhhh on thing. You said xp requires 156mb lol little off there.

Maybe not off but cutting it shy would be to have 256mb. Most new XP pcs come with 256mb but they are so very slow. I upgraded mine to 512mb and it is so much better.

If you buy a new tower look in the adds in the paper. I would say get a new one but if you want to save money go for the one's in the paper.

#7 Norm

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Posted 01 January 2005 - 11:19 AM

More questions from a non-techie. What is RIMM SDRAM versus other types. According to Dell I need this type of memory. If I upgrade to Windows XP can I substitute some other type?

Happy New Year from Norm and thanks for the help -- I can use all I can get!




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