PC upgrade.

  antony.dandrea 10:28 17 Jul 2008

Hi everyone.
I've had my computer for nearky 5 years. And i have noticed, that it runs a lot slower than it once did. Which is understandable. But im a very sentmental guy with a very light wallet so i dont want to buy a new computer, but upgrade this one.

The thing is, i dont know if it is better to upgrade the RAM or the processor to make it run faster, cos people are telling me different things.
I currently have Windows XP (SP2) on emachines 420.
There is 256mb RAM and the processor is a 2.60GHz Intel Celeron Processor.
So wat do you think, processor or RAM.
Thanks for you help.

PS. i often hear the phrase DDR. Is that the same as RAM? What does it stand for?


  antony.dandrea 10:32 17 Jul 2008

I forgot to add. My computer also strains itself to multitask. It can just about to the Internet and play music at the same time. :s

  johndrew 10:41 17 Jul 2008

The answer to your `PS` click here

As for upgrading, I should think a RAM increase would be the cheapest/easiest route. I think the maximum your PC will take is 2GB but you could use the Crucial Memory tool click here or similar click here to provide a definitive answer.

Replacing the CPU may provide a boost, but would be more expensive, difficult and may require more RAM anyway.

  johndrew 10:45 17 Jul 2008

If it strains to multitask - which it will will low RAM and a Celeron CPU - additional RAM will help but the only really valid way forward is a full upgrade to a Pentium (probably requiring a new motherboard) or Athlon 64+ CPU which sensibly means a new PC.

  woodchip 10:50 17 Jul 2008

If you put another 256mb in you have enough, I have XP on Four Computers and only one of my Laptops as 0ne gig in it, all others just 512mb I can Edit Video or photos etc.

You need to see about removing junk of the computer that you do not use. As space on the Hard Drive is vital.

  woodchip 11:06 17 Jul 2008

Spyware can also slow your computer

  katkins 18:06 17 Jul 2008

One of my PCs is 5.5 years old which was new when I bought it. Earlier this year, I though about upgrading the CPU and Motherboard, but decided against it on account of its age.

Instead, I went for an ram module upgrade of 512mb which made a significant difference to the startup and general net access speed.

These older PCs are not all dual channel which means you don't need to buy in pairs of modules of the same speed. I decided to buy two 512mbs anyway and remove the existing 256mb module.

It will take 1gb in all but not two, although Offtex advise against the full 1gb due to the extra heat generated which could burn out some of the innards.

I installed the full 1gb and afterwards had to remove one of the 512mbs because it was indeed generating overheating warnings. Right on, Offtex.

I simply put the original 256mb back in and kept just one of the 512mbs which cut down the warnings in that respect. I would only be likely to get them now if I ran a scan while surfing.

  katkins 18:41 17 Jul 2008

Constant defrags of the HDD and to a lesser extent, the Registry, works wonders for the speed of any computer whatever its age besides the usual spyware and virus scans.

Regseeker is an excellent tool all round. It can also remove old registry link files left over from software that's been removed, Quicksys Registry Defrag which will close up any gaps as well and UltimateDefrag for the HDD, all of them free.

Also, it's worth installing PageDefrag, a Microsoft tool obtainable from their website, for defragging the Virtual Memory (Page File) section.

  nosharpe 18:49 17 Jul 2008

You'd probably be better off buying a used PC with a Pentium 4 3Ghz CPU - check Gumtree or eBay.
You should be able to pick one up quite cheap c£100.
512Mb RAM would be sufficient and a mid range Nvidia Series 6 or 7 Graphics card.
Check Wikipedia on Nvidia or ATI cards

  ronalddonald 18:53 17 Jul 2008

have a look at my previous thread and click on the links:

click here

it's regarding giving a spring clean of pc fans other components

  katkins 13:23 18 Jul 2008

I unscrewed both the PC's fans and disassembled them so as to clean them properly. I was amazed at how much white fluff had collected, but then that was the first time I'd taken them apart. I did this on both my base units.

However, unless one feels confident about doing this, it's best not to.

I read somewhere that recommended cleaning the fans once a year at the very least.

The air sprays tend to scatter the dust somewhere else as I have one for my cameras, but unlike fans, you can't take the components of a camera apart so have to rely on the air sprays for them.

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