Help me update intelligently

  rock__freek 22:42 09 Dec 08
Locked

I'm looking to upgrade. This is my computer now below. Where do i stand now in comparison to current standards? and what should be my best bet for performance. I am on a tight budget and want to get the most bang for my buck.



Operating System
Feature Details
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Patch Level Service Pack 2

PC Manufacturer MEDIONPC
Model AWRDACPI
Motherboard Manufacturer MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO., LTD
Product MS-6719
Processor Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 2.50GHz
Version x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9
Data Width 32bits
Approximate Clock Speed 2,489Mhz
BIOS Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6.00PG
Date 1/24/2003
Version AWARD - 42302e31
Memory Chip A0
Capacity 256Mb
Memory Chip A1
Capacity 256Mb
System Slot PCI0
Status Available
System Slot PCI1
Status Available
System Slot PCI2
Status In Use
System Slot AGP
Status Available
CD Drive PHILIPS CDD4801 CD-R/RW
Media Type CD-ROM
CD Drive HL-DT-ST RW/DVD GCC-4480B
Media Type CD-ROM
Hard Disk Model QUANTUM FIREBALLlct15 30
Interface IDE
Hard Disk Model ST380020A
Interface IDE
Hard Disk Model Medion Flash XL MMC/SD USB Device
Interface USB
Hard Disk Model Medion Flash XL CF USB Device
Interface USB
Hard Disk Model Medion Flash XL MS USB Device
Interface USB
Hard Disk Model Medion Flash XL SM USB Device
Interface USB
Network Adapter D-Link DFE-530TX+ PCI Fast Ethernet Adapter (rev.F)

Page File Size 720Mb
Page File Free 90%
Physical Memory Size 479Mb
Physical Memory Free 24%
Disk Type Fixed Disk
Disk ID C
Total Disk Space 29.2Gb
Free Disk Space 23.4Gb
Disk Type Fixed Disk
Disk ID D
Total Disk Space 45.2Gb
Free Disk Space 45.1Gb
Disk Type Fixed Disk
Disk ID K
Total Disk Space 25.2Gb
Free Disk Space 25.2Gb
Disk Type Fixed Disk
Disk ID L
Total Disk Space 2.71Gb
Free Disk Space 2.71Gb



Operating System
Feature Details
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Patch Level Service Pack 2

  Belatucadrus 00:03 10 Dec 08

"Physical Memory Size 479Mb"
As memory still tends to be in multiples of 256, this indicates you're probably running onboard graphics rather than a dedicated VGA card, this would seem to be confirmed by the comment
"System Slot AGP Status Available ".
So the two obvious suggestions are :-
1) Go to Crucial UK for a RAM upgrade click here .
2) Install a dedicated AGP graphics card, advice as to what to go for will no doubt come from the cognoscenti when you tell them what you want it to do and precisely how tight your budget is.

  DieSse 00:25 10 Dec 08

Cheap but effective graphics card like this

click here

Upgrade RAM to 1GB (that's the "sweet spot" for general purpose XP use.)

Use an anti-virus program with very low system overheads, such as NOD32

click here

  DieSse 00:35 10 Dec 08

Really depends what you want to spend. A new motherboard bundle may be more appropriate, but may need a new PSU too. It also depends on your case - which may be not quite standard.

Examples

click here

OR a "barebones system" - use your existing drives etc

click here

BEWARE that both the above may allow only two IDE interface drives, and your current drives may need 4 drive capability.

  GaT7 01:08 10 Dec 08

Apart from the RAM & graphics upgrades, you can also 'improve' performance by:
* Reinstalling XP afresh - before doing this remember to backup & have the product key & Windows CD to hand
* Defragmenting your hard drive - use the free JKDefrag click here once a week
* Keeping Windows up-to-date, updating to SP3 & beyond.

What do you plan to do on your PC? Anything different, or in particular - like playing 3D games for instance? If yes, think about getting another system altogether.

Remember there are many bargains to be had on eBay for example, but be careful about compatibility & bidding/buying over the odds.

If you're going to spend say £40 on upgrades you may as well buy a new motherboard+CPU+RAM bundle like this one from CCLonline click here for ~£70. Should be powerful enough w/o dedicated graphics (unless you plan to play 3D games), but you'll need to do a prior backup & reinstall Windows afresh. Btw, I've chosen a mATX motherboard (like your present MSI one) so it fits in the case. G

  rock__freek 01:11 10 Dec 08

I will definately get a video card, i didn't know it had that much of an impact on system performance.

I have 512Mb ddr right now, does upgrading to 2048MB make sense?.. ..or at this point, should i just invest in a new mother board? and when i go to do the switch of memory, will i need to tranfer any files from the original first?

  DieSse 09:11 10 Dec 08

"...does upgrading to 2048MB make sense?"

For the vast majority of users, no - 1GB is plenty for XP. But it depends what you want to do. If you want more power to play the latest games, for instance - then a faster processor is needed too.

Please heed my warnings on new motherboard bundles re Power Supply, and disk drive interfaces.

I think Medion PCs may have cases with different connections to the front panel - which may or may not suit a new motherboard.

Adding a graphics card and RAM is simple and straightforward - upgrading to a new motherboard is significantly more involved.

  DieSse 09:12 10 Dec 08

"upgrading to a new motherboard is significantly more involved."

And according to your XP license terms, you would need to buy a new copy of XP.

  Belatucadrus 09:42 10 Dec 08

To some extent it depends on what you're doing, but it'll reduce the load on the CPU and free up 33Mb RAM.

  DieSse 10:52 10 Dec 08

-
And a graphics card will be significantly higher performance than (frankly outdated) integrated graphics.

  rock__freek 00:40 11 Dec 08

Thanks! Can anyone tell me where i stand with this machine? Is it outdated? How would you rank the cpu?

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