buying RAM for an old PC

  Boy Zone 19:03 06 Mar 2005

A friend of mine has an old Compaq Desk Pro EN 6400 (350MhZ) pc. He curently has 128MB of RAM and would like to upgrade to Win XP, therefore the need fo more RAM.
The problem is that looking on Crucial website the 256MB RAM is £50, whereas on Ebuyer its only £21 for 256MB.
details on Crucial is SDRAM PC100CL=2 Non parity
details on Ebuyer is PC100 168 pin SdRAM DIMM.

He wants to buy two of 256 MB RAM. Are the items above the same?

  LastChip 19:05 06 Mar 2005

A 350MHz CPU will be like working in treacle, if it works at all.

  TomJerry 19:20 06 Mar 2005

it is not the best way to spend £42+

£105 will get him new motherboard, new fast CPU and faster DDR memory

Sempron 2400 / 256Mb DDR / Motherboard Kit click here

Celeron 2.4GHz / 256Mb / Motherboard Kit click here

It is not difficult to install.

  Belatucadrus 19:26 06 Mar 2005

Not a good return on investment, buying new memory for vintage PCs it's really not cost effective. If you really want to try it and as LastChip says it'll be SLOW, check out ebay for some second hand kit. Also before buying eBuyer value RAM, check out some of the reviews, there are a lot of unhappy people who've tried that stuff.

  great1 19:29 06 Mar 2005

Does your friend know for sure that his m/board will support this amount of ram? i was caught out with this some time ago, had 128mb of pc100 unbuffered non ecc installed, had a spare dimm slot, added 256mb, at boot up all that showed was 256mb,after a lengthy search online for my m/board manual found out that it only supported 128mb of ram

  great1 19:31 06 Mar 2005

SHOULD READ after a lengthy search online for my m/board manual found out that it only supported 256mb of ram G1

  Gongoozler 20:16 06 Mar 2005

Also have a look at the customer reviews on Ebuyer. A lot of customers have had problems with the "Extra Value" memory. Even the Product Information note for this memory says :-

"Please Note This memory is only compatible with certain motherboards. Systems that are older than 2 years old may have some compatibility issues with this memory. Also it is not recommended to mix this memory with other memory as further compatibility issues may arise"

When buying memory it's best to buy reputable branded memory. The cheap stuff can give unpredictable errors, and they may not even show up immediately.

  bremner 20:19 06 Mar 2005

Listen to Lastchips advice.

  Never again 20:30 06 Mar 2005

for those of us with very limited resources it can be a way of boosting performance and enjoyment - we don't all need to drive ferraris - I'm quite happy with my souped up banger.

It's possible to buy 256 ram on ebay for about £15, but as you say above you have to be careful of what you buy as it might not be compatible. use a seller with a good rating who will be able to answer your questions.

Also a cpu upgrade can be done at a similar cost, but as you say - make sure that you check out your motherboard capabilities.

my own pc was originally a p3 450 with 64mb ram and now I'm running dual 700mz p3's with a gb ram, and it works fine for me as I don't play the latest games or run processor hungry programs.

Don't be shy and examine all avenues.

Best of luck.

  Never again 20:40 06 Mar 2005
  LastChip 20:53 06 Mar 2005

But Boy Zone's friend wants to run XP on a 350 and it 'aint gonna happen! At least not as a pleasurable experience.

These are Microsoft's own minimum requirements;

"PC with 300 megahertz or higher processor clock speed recommended; 233 MHz minimum required (single or dual processor system);* Intel Pentium/Celeron family, or AMD K6/Athlon/Duron family, or compatible processor recommended

128 megabytes (MB) of RAM or higher recommended (64 MB minimum supported; may limit performance and some features)

1.5 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space*

Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor

CD-ROM or DVD drive

Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device"

Note the asterisk and 233MHz minimum, 300MHz recommended.

Here is the overrider, that is Microsoft's get-out clause:

"* Actual requirements will vary based on your system configuration and the applications and features you choose to install. Additional available hard disk space may be required if you are installing over a network."

These are absolute minimums that will barely let the system run. I can assure you, it's quicker to watch paint dry! Add to that the likelihood of incompatible drivers for an older system, and your asking for trouble.

His system as it stands would certainly run '98se or even Windows ME, but forget Win2K or XP.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Best Amazon Echo: What’s the best Alexa speaker?

Kano Computer Kit Complete review: A fun DIY 'laptop' that teaches kids to code

Best pro photo editors for Mac 2018

TV & streaming : comment regarder les Jeux olympiques d’hiver 2018 ?