I am looking to try to improve the performance of my ageing PC....
The specs are:
AMD Athlon XP2100 1.75Ghz 512 Ram XPSP2
Although it is not extremely slow, it struggles to sitch between applications when converting video. For example, it will take an age to open internet explorer while converting something while using PSPVideo9.
I am wondering id adding a gig of ram would help. I would be happy installing this myself, although have read there are loads of different types available.
From the info I have given, and the specs of my system, does this sound like a sensible option, and if so, how do I find out what Ram to go for (I have no manuals etc as it was built for me by someone else).
If you're converting video the CPU is the bottleneck and Intel processors have always been better at video conversion than the equivalent AMD. Having said that, increasing the memory won't hurt, but isn't going to result in any noticeable speed increase in that respect.
If you really want to keep this PC IE if it does all you want at the moment then add another 512mb assumming you have a free slot. Do not assume that memory from another location will work ok as theres a lot more to take into account that just type of memory and spees so buy from Crucial.
I don't consider it worthwhile going above adding 512mb as its not really cost effective, whatever you add will almost certainly be useless in a new PC so adding another 512 is what I would do but I wouldn't add more.
Graphics as well as pointed out, if its onboard then if you have an AGP slot would be an idea as fitting a graphics card would free some of the 512mb you already have for windows to use. This is because if it is onboard graphics you have then part of your existing memory is used to power the graphics.
I would not spend a great deal of money on upgrading due to the speed of your processor. As pointed out you can get a PC pretty cheap these days if you don't need a mega system.