Tips on Upgrading My PC

  DANZIG 09:45 17 Feb 2004

Hi there.

I'm getting a bonus from work soon so am going to treat myself and upgrade my PC. At the moment it has a 40Gb Hard Drive, a 64Mb nVidia GeForce 2 MX400 graphics card, 384 Mb RAM and a P4 1.7 Ghz processor. It also runs Windows XP Home.

I'm planning on getting a new hard drive but can't work out whether to get another 40Gb one and run them together (if thats possible) or getting a brand new 80Gb one and transferring everything across (again if thats possible).

I'm also planning on getting a 128 Mb graphics card (which one????? and how do I install it???).

Will I need to upgrade the processor (how??) to see any effect and will I need to buy some more RAM?? I'd like to know before I pop dpwn to PC World and lok stupid :-). Also will these upgrades increase my PC's performance or is it a waste of time and money?

  Legolas 10:00 17 Feb 2004

Firstly I probably wouldn't buy from PC World as their components are over priced I would buy on-line from click here you will get more for your money.

Another 256 of ram would be useful although any more might be a waste unless you are doing memory hungry tasks such as video editing.

I would go for a 128 graphics card I just bought a radeon 92000 for £40.

If you are going to get a more powerful processor make sure your motherboard will take it.

You could go to your local computer store and get advice from someone who knows what they are talking about so that you get the proper components.

P.S. What m/b do you have on your system?

  DANZIG 10:03 17 Feb 2004

By m/b I assume you mean MotherBoard.

I have no idea what it is. How would I find out?

  DANZIG 10:06 17 Feb 2004

Also, the reason why I buy from PC World is that is where I got my PC from along with the various warranties.

The warranty includes that 'Annual PC Healthcheck' thing they do. Their blurb says that if you want something fitting for you they will do it for free if you buy it at the same time as the healthcheck so I thought I would take advantage of that.

  dan boy 11:47 17 Feb 2004

What are you using your pc mainly for? If you tell us that we could advise you on what area to concentrate on and which area's not to bother with. If you go to pc world they normally talk a load of rubbish. My mate went there to ask if he should buy a new graphics card to play games better (running a geforce 4 mx). They told him to upgrade his RAM to 512mb (from 256mb) he got home and couldn't tell the difference!!!!

So you see if you tell us what you use your pc mainly for we could tell you what to get.

PS - I would go for a 80gb HD as they are only about a fiver more than a 40gb one. Check click here (get a 7200rpm one, they are much faster)

  DANZIG 12:54 17 Feb 2004

I use my PC mainly for playing games (The FPS variety mainly) and work (inc. spreadsheets etc).

I also use it for browsing the internet as well, obviously :-).

  Indigo 1 14:25 17 Feb 2004

You can usaually put two haed drives into one PC quite easily but it depends on the motherboard. The easiest way to find out which motherboard (m/b or mobo) you hav, download a free program called Aida32 click here. Install it and run it, then click motherboard and motherboard again.

Then let us know which one.

  byfordr 14:56 17 Feb 2004

Hard drives have never been cheaper. £40 will get you 80gb £60 will get 120gb £100 will get 200gb. You should be able to connect both.

Depending what budget you've got, it may prove cheaper to buy a new base unit and keep your existing monitor.

For components (a lot cheaper than PC World!)

click here click here click here click here

You should be able to fit everything yourself. If you need advice, you already know the place to come!



  Indigo 1 17:13 17 Feb 2004

It's not "a waste of time and money" and if you are sensible and follow the advice given you will definitely notice an improvement in performance and ease of use.

All the items you mention could do with upgrading..

RAM should be at least 512 Meg,.. a very simple upgrade job 10 mins max. will give the best noticeable performance increase.

Grafix card can easily be replaced in about 10 mins, easy upgrade and you can make big improvements there.....

Run Aida32 and give us a clue to your motherboard so we can recommend which bits and pieces are best.

CPU, yes you can upgrgrade this but any improvements in speed etc will be less noticeable, this would be the most difficult upgrade as it is a bit fiddly but still possible to do in under 15 mins.

  Legolas 18:16 17 Feb 2004

As Indigo 1 says the least noticible upgrade will be your processor unless you plan to double the speed to a 2.8Ghz.

The upgrades you mention are not hard to do and you could probably find a guide on the Internet to help you.

  Legolas 18:21 17 Feb 2004

Have a look here for a guide to upgrading click here

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