what do i need?

  Jule 19:57 03 Jan 2008

my seven year old desktop has become too slow and won't allow me to do more than one thing at once!
i want to surf the net, occasionally download stuff (mostly music) play small puzzle games, whilst listening to music stored on my pc.
i do a little word processing and watch occasional video clips, i download and store some photographs but not that many.
after looking around myself i am totally bewildered about what i do or don't need.
i have a budget of around £500 only and need good back up in case of problems. Tesco have an Acer AS5610 for £449 which looks good to me?
any advice much appreciated.

  recap 20:03 03 Jan 2008

Wish I hadn't spent up over Christmas I'd have one myself.

To answer your question Jule, the Acer will do what you want and more.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:26 03 Jan 2008

i want to surf the net, occasionally download stuff (mostly music) play small puzzle games, whilst listening to music stored on my pc.
i do a little word processing and watch occasional video clips, i download and store some photographs but not that many.

Assumming you old PC used to do this ok then all you need is to find what is slowing it down.

When did you last give it a good clean out?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:26 03 Jan 2008

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporay files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :-
Adaware click here
Spybot S&D click here
Spywareblaster click here
a2 click here
Windows Defender click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubXP click here
Regseeker click here
TweakNow RegCleaner 1.3.2 click here
Easycleaner click here ( Use with care, It advises you to back up the registry first, this is a good idea as it cleans rather aggressively. )

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Rght click MY Computer - select propeties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a differnt drive (if you have one), click custom size and set Initial size to one and a half times the amount of memory you have fitted i.e. 512MB memory = set to 768MB, set maximum to double your memory amount i.e. 512MB memory = 1024MB click ok.
If your hard drive is full and there is not enough room for the pagefile this can slow down, freeze or even cause the PC to crash (restart).

e) Cut down on the programs that load at startup -- Start - Run type msconfig - startup tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:26 03 Jan 2008

2. Hardware

a) Hard drives / IDE Channels:

i) Check the transfer rate, you need to have the transfer mode set to DMA not PIO.
Right click My Computer - Properties - Hardware - Device Manager - Expand (click the + ) IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers right click Primary Channel - Advanced Settings Tab -
If transfer Mode is PIO then follow the instructions at click here to change.

ii) Check for errors and defrag your hard drives -- My Computer - select drive - properties - tool tab - Error checking / Defragmentation.

ii) If you are using Windows XP, it's a good idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system if you have not already. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32 (the file system of choice for Windows 9x/ME and XP Home) it can also speed up your system slightly.

In fact, the only real reason for sticking with the FAT32 file system for any of your data is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions (as would be the case with Windows 98, for example, which is incapable of reading NTFS data).

To convert your drives to NTFS:
Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'
From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.'
Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information.
Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd'
To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'
So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

b) Divers
Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware
This may seem a bit obvious, but keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates especially often, and these can often give "significant boosts" to gaming performance as video card in question is "optimized."

Don't neglect the other components of your system either. Your motherboard manufacturer may have released newer versions of its Input/output drivers for your board, and sound cards and other peripherals can also benefit from newer software.

c) Memory
Add more physical memory, this of course means opening the "box" and fitting a memory module, make sure you buy one that is suitable for your PC. Crucial .com click here will guide you through the process of slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:27 03 Jan 2008

Or is this just the excuse you need to buy a new machine?


  Jule 11:49 04 Jan 2008

yes fruit bat, i just want a new faster computer. unfortunately i was too late for the Tesco deal, does anyone know of anything similar?

  MAJ 12:22 04 Jan 2008

click here A mate of mine just bought this one. I installed it and networked it with his old Win 2000 PC yesterday. It looks pretty good.

  MAJ 12:24 04 Jan 2008

The screen is excellent, but the PC doesn't come with speakers.

  Jule 11:41 05 Jan 2008

thanks maj i went for this & so far, so good, only problem is that my modem won't work with vista, so now will try & find best isp deal.

  Toliver 16:08 10 Jan 2008

bought an acer AS5610 from Tesco. It will not load Vista. What am I doing wrong? Monitor is live

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