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Wanting Info On Upgrading My Computer


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#1 AwesomeTrent

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 01:00 PM

Hello, I'm a value minded person wanting to upgrade my computer into a better gamer.

I have Compaq presario with an amd semperon 2800+ 2.00 GHz, 512MB of ram with an NVIDIA GeFroce FX5500 graphics driver.

What kind of upgrades are recommended for my machine, I'm not trying to make this an alien ware or anything just want it to preform better, I'd like all the upgrades to total an low under $200 as possible.

I had heard something where someone was talking about taking 2 graphics cards and using them both to create an even better one? I don't remember the terminology used but if this is true that sounds like a pretty good deal and I'd like to know how to do it, and if so do they have to be the same type/model of graphics cards?


any Info would be very welcome.

Thanks,
Trent

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#2 blueandgold04

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 01:21 PM

Well, for your budget, I would recommend maxing out your RAM. You can use this tool from Crucial to find out what you have installed and what upgrades would be compatible. A 1GB stick to go with your 512 would make a huge improvement. If your mobo supports it, 2 GB of RAM would probably be the best investment.

As far as you gfx card, we need to know what type of interface you have. AGP? PCI-E? Then we can steer you in the right direction.

I had heard something where someone was talking about taking 2 graphics cards and using them both to create an even better one?


This is referring to SLI (nVidia) or Crossfire (ATI). This is usually not the best option. The power demands might be more than your PSU can handle, and you need two gfx slots. You would be better served by getting a good, middle class graphics card.

Regards,
bg04

Edited by blueandgold04, 09 May 2007 - 01:22 PM.

"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." -Albert Camus
"Chance favors the prepared mind." -Louis Pasteur
"If a man does his best, what else is there?" -George S. Patton

#3 AwesomeTrent

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 01:30 PM

I believe my graphics card is a agp, (its in the offset brown slot

for info's sake I have 2 additional open pci slots

#4 blueandgold04

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 01:59 PM

OK, so here are two cards that are within your budget and will provide nice graphics.

nVidia

ATI

I have read good things about both. In terms of speeds and memory, the ATI card looks a little stronger. However, the 7600GS has been rock solid for quite a while.

Again, upgrading your RAM will do the most for your system. You will notice an immediate boost in all computing and games.

2 open PCI slots is good, because you have to remember that heat is generated in a computer, and you have to give that heat somewhere to go. I would recommend an intake fan at least, in order to keep things nice and cool in there. After an intake, you can look into a PCI Slot Fan, like this one or this one, to keep air flowing.

Cheers,
bg04
"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." -Albert Camus
"Chance favors the prepared mind." -Louis Pasteur
"If a man does his best, what else is there?" -George S. Patton

#5 AwesomeTrent

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 04:16 PM

Thanks,
one more question, I have 2 sticks of memory in my computer which (unless there is another slot I don't see) is all the space I have for memory, should I remove one and replace it with a 1gig or are there other options.

#6 blueandgold04

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 04:24 PM

So that means you have 2 x 256MB modules. Well, I guess it depends on your budget and how much RAM is supported by your mobo. Did you go to Crucial and test your system? Also, what model# is your Compaq?

Yes, you can remove one and replace it. Or you can replace both. As with many things, it's all about the Benjamins! :thumbsup:

First, find your maximum memory supported and it's maximum clock speed, i.e. 533MHz, 667MHz, etc. We will go from there.

Regards,
bg04
"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." -Albert Camus
"Chance favors the prepared mind." -Louis Pasteur
"If a man does his best, what else is there?" -George S. Patton

#7 AwesomeTrent

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 04:58 PM

here's what the crucial thing said

Maximum Memory Capacity: 2048MB
Currently Installed Memory: 512MB
Available Memory Slots: 0
Number of Banks: 2
Dual Channel Support: No
CPU Manufacturer: AuthenticAMD
CPU Family: AMD Sempron™ 2800+ Model 8, Stepping 1
CPU Speed: 1999 MHz

Each memory slot can hold DDR PC2700,DDR PC3200 with a maximum of 1GB per slot.*

my model# is sr1200nx

how do you find the max clock speed? is it the same as cpu speed?

oh and I was looking around at the graphics cards you pointed out and similar ones and am cuirious what (in the specifications area of the cards) does "memory size", "memory clock", and "core clock" mean, in terms of numbers (is higher better?)

Edited by AwesomeTrent, 10 May 2007 - 10:15 AM.


#8 blueandgold04

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 09:50 AM

how do you find the max clock speed? is it the same as cpu speed?



The clock speed is related to the PCxxxx number. So PC2700 has a speed of 333Mhz, PC3200 has a speed of 400MHz. Hz (Hertz) is just a measurement of cycles per second.

OK, so your mobo supports PC3200 @ 2GB. If you really want to maximize the computer you have, then I would suggest getting a 1GB module for each slot.

PC2700_Kingston RAM, good brand; but for that much money you can take it up to PC3200.

PC3200 Kingston_This is the RAM I would go with. Kingston is a good brand, and the heat spreaders will help keep your system stable.

PC3200 Crucial_Another good brand. Since their tool read your system, you can be fairly confident that this RAM will work.

It looks like the RAM alone will take up most of your budget. So if you had to choose between it or a gfx card, I would choose the RAM. I hope this helps. :thumbsup:

Regards,
bg04
"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." -Albert Camus
"Chance favors the prepared mind." -Louis Pasteur
"If a man does his best, what else is there?" -George S. Patton

#9 AwesomeTrent

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:06 AM

looking on newegg.com I found 1gb (single cards) for about $40 with good reviews, If I bought 2 of those I'm looking at 80$ which seems like a better deal, and that also gives me the ability to get a graphics card as well.

what do you think?

#10 blueandgold04

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:20 AM

Sounds good, what brand are they? Can you post a link to them?
"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." -Albert Camus
"Chance favors the prepared mind." -Louis Pasteur
"If a man does his best, what else is there?" -George S. Patton

#11 AwesomeTrent

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 11:33 AM

sure,

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231043

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820161675

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820134045

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820161638

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820146571

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820145525

Edited by AwesomeTrent, 10 May 2007 - 11:33 AM.


#12 blueandgold04

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 01:13 PM

Sorry, but none of those RAM will work in your computer. Your mobo supports up to PC3200. Anything with a higher speed, like PC4200, is not compatible. Computer parts can be funny, sometimes the older they get, the more expensive they get. :huh:

Again, I would suggest maxing out your RAM, however, you could go with this RAM from Kingston. It is 2 x 512MB, so it equals 1GB. This route would allow you to get both more RAM and a better gfx card. I think this would satisfy your 3 issues; RAM, gfx card, and $$. :thumbsup:

Let me know what you think.

Regards,
bg04
"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." -Albert Camus
"Chance favors the prepared mind." -Louis Pasteur
"If a man does his best, what else is there?" -George S. Patton

#13 AwesomeTrent

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 01:32 PM

interesting, I don't mean to keep dragging this on but I did a search on memory at that speed and under and found a few 1gb's around the 60-70$ range, what do you think?

sorry there is so many...

3200
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820141198
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820609049
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820161626
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820231036
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820159108
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820340002

2700
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820220058
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820340001
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820141166

2100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820141172

oh and taking your advice, I found several graphics cards like the ones you pointed out, is there any my computer won't be able to handle? I can post them if you like.

Edited by AwesomeTrent, 10 May 2007 - 01:34 PM.


#14 blueandgold04

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 02:19 PM

Not a problem at all AwesomeTrent, I am happy to be of help. On second thought, going with 1GB stick of RAM will be the best option for you, that way down the road you could always upgrade your other stick if you feel the urge. :huh: I wouldn't go with anything less than PC3200. Check out this G.Skill, it looks to be in your price range, and it has heat spreaders and a lower CAS Latency.

As far as gfx cards go, the two options I linked are going to be the best options for your price range and interface. But yeah, go ahead and link to the cards you found and we will take a look at them. :thumbsup:


Regards,
bg04
"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal." -Albert Camus
"Chance favors the prepared mind." -Louis Pasteur
"If a man does his best, what else is there?" -George S. Patton

#15 AwesomeTrent

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Posted 10 May 2007 - 02:27 PM

thanks, I'll probably order that one. :thumbsup:



This one is what you showed me and I like it.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814102073

I think I'll go with it actually, I started looking as I posted it and this one seems the best


my total (with shipping included) was $191.92 that's under $200 wooo hooo! :huh:



I really appreciate all your help, I couldn't have made any smart decisions about this on my own about this since this is not my field. :huh:

I've got to say joining this website was one of the best decitions I've ever made in the area of computers, because of people like you B)


Thank you.

Edited by AwesomeTrent, 10 May 2007 - 02:37 PM.





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