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Upgradeing - where to start?


jdsdad

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I have a 5 year old computer running on XP with 80GB and 1GB RAM. There is no way I can afford a new computer, so I am looking to upgrade with more memory, extra RAM and possibly add a Graphics Card. Looking to spend as liitle as possible. That is the extent of my knowledge though. I do not know what power supply i have or what type of RAM (DDR, DDR2 or DDR3), or if a GC will even go in. It is a family computer, so basic word processing, web surfing and some very light gaming. Can anyone help me with where to start?? How can i find out what will work with my current "box"??

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jdsdad

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Thanks eddie.

HDD is currently 95% full (only 80GB), so think a reletively cheap purchase of a 250 or 500GB drive would be good idea because there is not much scope for future at the moment. I have previously bought an External drive (USB) to use as a back up for my photos and important stuff, but everything else is generally used monthly or more.

Have contacted Crucial in regards to RAM.

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jdsdad

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Thanks gengiscant.

Been looking around at options for new HDD and see that Seagate has a program called DiscWizard which seems very simple to use and does what you say about cloning. I do have all the original disks so could re-install XP, but if i dont need to...

You are right about Crucial and their prices, simple glance at Currys and PC World show that I can get the same thing far cheaper. (Thanks for the tip wee eddie, but might give them a miss)

Thank you for all of the help and tips, I am happy now to investigate prices properly and know that I am buying something that will work!! New HDD, 2GB RAM (PC3200) and GPU with AGP connection.

Couldn't have done it without your help.

THANKS!!!

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wee eddie

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Sorry gengiscant, I was relying on jdsdad's posting from Yesterday at 11.40

"Motherboard: eSys P4M800/775 CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.66Ghz 64bit RAM: 1GB (Max 4GB) DDR currently with PC2100 512mb and PC2300 512mb No dedicated Graphics Card at the moment."

Re-reading it I see that it is, potentially anyway, 64bit. So my 3.5GB limit goes out the window unless, of course, you are running Windows XP ~ 32bit, in which case it stands

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wee eddie

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Don't bother Cloning the Drive.

Just add another Drive and move your Folders to it, leaving Windows and all you Software on the old Drive.

Drives don't really come that small any longer but you should be able to pick up a 320GB Drive for about £40, or so. Smaller drives are likely to be more expensive as they are no longer in regular production.

Fitting a second drive is likely to be quite simple as the necessary Cabling may already be in your Case. There are plenty of Instructional Videos on YouTube. Just Search for "Fitting 2nd Hard Drive"

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wee eddie

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RAM Sticks ~ Crucial will send you the stuff it's Software tells them that you need, and if it does not work, it will replace it. No quibble.

If you use the RAM Definition, that Crucial says you need, to buy RAM elsewhere it may not work.

I sometimes think that Crucial may not be putting a totally accurate RAM Definition on its Checker Read-out, so that if you use the Checker and then buy elsewhere, it will likely not work! I wouldn't blame them if that is what they are doing. The Parity, or lack of it, is the most likely candidate for misinformation.

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Purple Sue

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Just to add my thanks to the helpful tips - my pc is positively ancient at 7 years old, probably amazing it works at all. But after scanning with the free Crucial software, and also working out the SIW I was able to pop to maplin for advice - but have bought online from pc world who were the cheapest (I am only able to get 2x 1GB but should help). Even for beginners like me! Hopefully I can plug the things in now when they come!

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Terry Brown

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For your machine the best option would be to get an AGP graphics card, as these have on-board memory and will also free some of the processing power to run your machine.

Just an idea of prices

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=agp+graphic+cards&tag=mh0a9-21&index=electronics&hvadid=21899977&ref=pdsl2q5j7lj2cb_b

Terry

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jdsdad

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Hi,

I have been looking at GPUs with AGP, but they all say DDR2 under Memory Type, which would not be compatable with my PC as it is only DDR1. (unless the RAM and GPU slot could be different, as DDR1 RAM i have now bought fits and works fine)

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gengiscant

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Yes they are different,go ahead and buy a DDR2 GPU,two don't interface with each other and work independently.

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