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View Full Version : PC Upgrade options - priorities



tbacon_nz
03-03-2004, 08:49 AM
I have a friend with a 800mhz/256mb PC running Windows ME. He has been muttering about upgrading the processor and/or memory. I told him that the best single thing he could do with that config was to change from ME to XP - then think about memory if he has cash left over.

Comments? - and please avoid the "he should change to Linux" posts! :D

Tony Bacon

roofus
03-03-2004, 09:17 AM
No the best upgrade would not be from ME to XP, as XP is more hungry for resources, and this is exactly what he is lacking.

another 256Mb of RAM, should bode well for faster performance, along with some configuring of his windows settings to make best of the new RAM he would install.


the other question is, what does he use his computer for?

tbacon_nz
03-03-2004, 09:31 AM
Despite ME being universally condemned as a total dog?

One of our home PCs is a 450mhz/384mb machine, and that runs XP Home quite satisfactorily. One of his complaints is unreliability - frequent BSOD. The machine is used for word processing, email, surfing, some use of an Access database and some light page layout/graphics. No heavy gaming (or it shouldn't be - it is supposed to be an office machine!)

I still tend to think he will get the most bang for his buck out of a OS upgrade, although if he has the money, some more memory certainly would help.

Susan B
03-03-2004, 10:10 AM
If your friend is considering updating to Win XP it might pay for him to check that his current hardware will run on it. Not sure about printers but scanners in particular are not all compatible.

If he does upgrade ensure that a fresh install is done for best results, ie format and install.

Either way get more RAM. :-)

tweak\'e
03-03-2004, 11:06 AM
Why does he want to upgrade?

if for more speed, what apps does he use that need the speed?

if going for speed then keep the software and upgrade to faster hardware.

>No the best upgrade would not be from ME to XP, as XP is more hungry for resources, and this is exactly what he is lacking.

explain please roofus. hardware has nothing to do with resources and XP dosn't have the limited resources problem that 9x/me has.

upgradeing to XP may make it more stable but may not make it any faster and may have problems getting drivers for his hardware.

tbacon_nz
03-03-2004, 11:36 AM
The upgrade urge has come from a wish for more stability rather than speed - although he does complain a bit about slowness when doing graphics stuff, which he doesn't do all that often.

We haven't got as far as checking for h/w compatibility - I'm just trying to get him to consider other options than a h/w upgrade to improve his "computing experience" :p when he is on a limited budget.

Barnabas
03-03-2004, 12:13 PM
I run XP on a P111 800 with 512 megs of ram and it hums along quite happily. If stability is what he is after then my 2cents is definitely on getting XP. At the moment he should be able to pick up an OEM copy quite cheaply eg $150 which should leave some money left over for some more ram. He'll just need to buy a small cable or something like that with the software. Some places don't even require that you do that.
I agree with the drivers comment though, especially for scanners.
All imho of course :-)
B.

roofus
03-03-2004, 12:41 PM
tweake: "resources" sorry i wasn't refering to the 16bit GDI's or USERS etc, i was more refering to resources such as the hardware that runs his computer ie, CPU, RAM, HD, Videocard. The problem is there is just to many acronyms and meaning in the IT world :-)

Given that stability is the goal here, then i would recommend an upgrade to XP, IMHO its considerably more stable than win9x

metla
03-03-2004, 12:49 PM
When im low on resources i simply instruct my villagers to mine some more gold and chop down more timber.....

tbacon_nz
03-03-2004, 01:23 PM
Why bother with villagers? I have a wife to do that... ;\

metla
03-03-2004, 04:09 PM
Villagers dont nag you when you spend all the grocery money on a messy weekend and have to spend a week eating cornflakes and potatoes....

Pheonix
03-03-2004, 04:31 PM
Not only give thought to hardware compatibility, but also existing program compatibility.
Had a client using a program (for his business) that would not run on XP, even in compatibility mode. He gave up XP and went back to 98 because of it. Suggested dualboot, but too complicated for him, just wanted one desktop to do everything.

Nigel Thomson
03-03-2004, 06:43 PM
>At the moment he should be able to pick up an OEM copy
> quite cheaply eg $150


Whereabouts would you get XP for this price? I have been looking but can't see it for less than $280 OEM for XP pro

Thanks

metla
03-03-2004, 09:53 PM
Thats about right for XP home,add another $110 for XP Pro

Elephant
03-03-2004, 10:57 PM
> If your friend is considering updating to Win XP it
> might pay for him to check that his current hardware
> will run on it. Not sure about printers but scanners
> in particular are not all compatible.

I agree 100%. Assuming you start with WinME as the O/S you have currently and assuming you have a WinXP Home or Pro O/S disk and assuming you have an Internet connection currently then I would do this:-

1. Shove the WinXP disk in the CD drive. Before you even think about this then do a backup of your Docs, Downloads, Favourites, Emails, Settings, etc etc... If you have more than one partition on the hard drive then copy the real important stuff to the other partition.

2. Don't install WinXP at this point!!!!

3. Test the current hardware and software for WinXP compatability.
The WinXP disk will allow you to do this.

4. While you still have a working system do NOT install WinXP yet.

5. You will have to use different drivers for Hardware but quite a few will be on the WinXP O/S disk anyway.

6. You just may have to change software as well. For example let's assume you have a CD Writer and this is used by running CD Creator 5. If this is the case then you will need to either use WinXP to copy to CD Writer by doing the drag and drop or change to Nero or do what you want. If you have a Mustek scanner then some of these are not supported any more and you won't get a driver full stop.

7. Post more info here as you find out these things. Motherboard make and model... Important I think.... Graphic card... PCI, AGP or on board?



>
> If he does upgrade ensure that a fresh install is
> done for best results, ie format and install.
8. Agreed once more. Use the above info to have a think. Use the currently working system to get drivers and don't forget to backup!!!!!!

>
> Either way get more RAM. :-)
9. Test the current RAM using Memtest. It just may be the problem anyway. But SusanB is correct. I would look at using 512 Meg ram if I wanted to run WinXP. Currently I use 1 Gig ram but that doesn't mean that your friend has to. In my case I am into Photo editing and my system works for me.

And YES.... I assumed a few things which I should not have done maybe.
Just trying to go on the info I have. I can't see your Friend's screen from here

Hope this helps.

Elephant
03-03-2004, 11:26 PM
And possibly dig a ditch even. With a shovel even.

How many villagers do you employ then?

Wanganui was never a Village when I left living there and it still isn't when I came back.

Keep going with an excavator and I will possiby come back with nothing.

Where is your Gold in Wanganui? Where is your timber in Wanganui?

Some people, ( including me earlier ) can't even afford a computer.

I get to do upgrades and make other computers on left over parts and hand these on for free to the likes of Womens Refuge, Children whom are interested in trying computer hardware learning, some Family members etc.

It's just possible you may call me a pedophile with this post but frankly I have got to the stage where I don't care what you think!

tbacon_nz
03-03-2004, 11:27 PM
Thanks everyone for the great and valid advice, but we are getting a bit ahead of ourselves - all I'm doing at the moment is trying to persuade him that if he is going to spend money, it is better spent on an OS upgrade to WinXP then RAM with any leftover money, rather than a processor and RAM upgrade and leave the OS as WinME. Of course once he has also u/g his other hardware and software, he may not have any money left...

>I would look at using 512 Meg ram
That will certainly be better than the 256meg he already has, and at about $100 for 256mb the u/g has to be a no-brainer, but as I said in an earlier post, I have a 450mhz beast with 384mb running XP Home quite satisfactorily.

Tony B

metla
03-03-2004, 11:36 PM
> And possibly dig a ditch even. With a shovel even.
>
> How many villagers do you employ then?
>
> Wanganui was never a Village when I left living there
> and it still isn't when I came back.
>
> Keep going with an excavator and I will possiby come
> back with nothing.
>
> Where is your Gold in Wanganui? Where is your timber
> in Wanganui?
>
> Some people, ( including me earlier ) can't even
> afford a computer.
>
> I get to do upgrades and make other computers on left
> over parts and hand these on for free to the likes of
> Womens Refuge, Children whom are interested in trying
> computer hardware learning, some Family members etc.
>
> It's just possible you may call me a pedophile with
> this post but frankly I have got to the stage where I
> don't care what you think!
>
>



heh?

I presume that rambling nonsence is some sort of a dig at me?
Care to explain wth your on about?

are you taking a turn and trying to start something?

Your one weird and wired chicken.

metla
03-03-2004, 11:46 PM
> And possibly dig a ditch even. With a shovel even.
>
> How many villagers do you employ then?
>
> Wanganui was never a Village when I left living there
> and it still isn't when I came back.
>
> Keep going with an excavator and I will possiby come
> back with nothing.
>
> Where is your Gold in Wanganui? Where is your timber
> in Wanganui?
>
> Some people, ( including me earlier ) can't even
> afford a computer.
>
> I get to do upgrades and make other computers on left
> over parts and hand these on for free to the likes of
> Womens Refuge, Children whom are interested in trying
> computer hardware learning, some Family members etc.
>
> It's just possible you may call me a pedophile with
> this post but frankly I have got to the stage where I
> don't care what you think!
>
>


hmmm....lets see if i can make sence of this rubbish.

The villagers and resources/gold/timber was a reference to real-time-stratergy games,such as age of empres and its multitude of copycat games.

I neither employ villagers or anyone else,even if i did it would be none of your business nor do i see how you would take offence,nor do i care.

as for demiloshing parts of wanganui?...its called redevolopment,something wangas has been deprived of for far too long.For whats its worth in the 15 years i done demolition 90 percent of it was done in other parts of the country.

Some people cant even afford a computer?

so?

Its not a necisisty,it isnt food or shelter,i was not able to afford one myself for the many years i spent breaking my body thru hard work to the point i am at now where im no longer physlicly able to do my prior job.Not bad for 30.As well as that all reduntent parts and computers that come my way get passed along to others who can't afford them any other way.That however is none of your business.

As to your last paragraph,plain an simple,your soft in the head.

Chilling_Silently
04-03-2004, 12:27 AM
Sounds like its a little past someones bed-time.... Take a chill pill and lay off the abuse to Metla dude.

Was that all _really_ neccesary?

On a more constructive note, I think that roofus hit the nail on the head with his post, and totally agree :-)


Chill.

Elephant
04-03-2004, 12:36 AM
> > And possibly dig a ditch even. With a shovel even.
> >
> > How many villagers do you employ then?
> >
> > Wanganui was never a Village when I left living
> there
> > and it still isn't when I came back.
> >
> > Keep going with an excavator and I will possiby
> come
> > back with nothing.
> >
> > Where is your Gold in Wanganui? Where is your
> timber
> > in Wanganui?
> >
> > Some people, ( including me earlier ) can't even
> > afford a computer.
> >
> > I get to do upgrades and make other computers on
> left
> > over parts and hand these on for free to the likes
> of
> > Womens Refuge, Children whom are interested in
> trying
> > computer hardware learning, some Family members
> etc.
> >
> > It's just possible you may call me a pedophile
> with
> > this post but frankly I have got to the stage where
> I
> > don't care what you think!

What I was replying to was this and I quote. This was in this thread and as far as I could see had nothing to do with upgrading from WinMe to WinXP so therefore I had my comment..

"When im low on resources i simply instruct my villagers to mine some more gold and chop down more timber....."

Your comment and not mine.

>
> hmmm....lets see if i can make sence of this
> rubbish.
>
> The villagers and resources/gold/timber was a
> reference to real-time-stratergy games,such as age of
> empres and its multitude of copycat games.
What has this to do with upgrading from WinME to WinXP or not as the case may be?

> I neither employ villagers or anyone else,even if i
> did it would be none of your business nor do i see
> how you would take offence,nor do i care.

Yes. I can understand that but why has this got anything to do with this thread? Why even mention villagers in this thread if the original post only mentioned a possible upgrade from WinME to WinXP? Can you see why I just may be confused?

> as for demiloshing parts of wanganui?...its called
> redevolopment,something wangas has been deprived of
> for far too long.For whats its worth in the 15 years
> i done demolition 90 percent of it was done in other
> parts of the country.
OK.. Fair enough... Wanganui.. I went back but can't see my old Primary School any more. ( Wanganui East ) for your information. Yes. Things change. Quite a bit of Wanganui has changed for the better even.

> Some people cant even afford a computer?
>
> so?
>
> Its not a necisisty,it isnt food or shelter,i was not
> able to afford one myself for the many years i spent
> breaking my body thru hard work to the point i am at
> now where im no longer physlicly able to do my prior
> job.Not bad for 30.As well as that all reduntent
> parts and computers that come my way get passed
> along to others who can't afford them any other
> way.That however is none of your business.
Well I am 62 years old and as I was educated at Wanganui East, Rongotai College in Wellington and Wellington Tech and learned to spell then I just may be better off than you are. I am lucky enough to not have too many physical ailments even at my age. These days I generally work 5 - 6 days per week at anywhere between 8 - 14 hours per day. I left school at 15yrs old. I was in the NZArmy Cadet school at age 16-17. I realise that your business is not my business.

> As to your last paragraph,plain an simple,your soft
> in the head.

So I am soft in the head and a wired chicken as well?
OK. Your opinion then.

As I mentioned earlier I was confused about why Villagers etc were posted by you in this thread.

Now if I have upset you then I apologise.

metla
04-03-2004, 12:38 AM
I don't care in the slightest old man.

Elephant
04-03-2004, 02:36 AM
OK Chill. Maybe I should just lay off and go off.

Oh.... I'm still up...

Should I go to bed now? OK then Dad. I've been a naughty bad boy.

I saw no reason for Metla to post in this thread talking about villagers, gold and whatever.

I see no reason for you to have a go at me either.

Just go finish your game then. Was your comment necessary then?

Does this help with the original post?

Susan B
04-03-2004, 10:20 AM
Ouch!! Sounds like a classic case of misinterpretation of another's humour here. :-(

I admit that I had to blink a couple of times before I understood what Metla was on about and then had to go wipe the coffee off my screen. Must try not to have a mouthful of drink whilst reading Metla's posts - it is the second time he has made me do that. :D

Elephant, your expertise is as our resident cow and wood chipper expert - it might pay to leave Metla in command of his villagers so that peace can befall us all once again. :-)


Tony: Got a verdict yet? :-)

tbacon_nz
04-03-2004, 11:33 AM
>Got a verdict yet?

My pick is still to go for an upgrade to XP then more RAM if money allows. I might be seeing the guy later today. I'll let y'all know what he decides.

Thanks again for all the advice.

Winston001
04-03-2004, 01:15 PM
> When im low on resources i simply instruct my
> villagers to mine some more gold and chop down more
> timber.....

Dear oh dear. Elephant, I have developed an affection for you over the past few months. You are a chap with a fine sense of humour.

So is Metla.

He was merely making a quick quip which was actually very funny.
But I appreciate it makes no sense to anyone who has not come across the Age of Empires game.

Not your fault. It's a misunderstanding. Lets all forget it.

And toss away the woodchipper. Get a Hogger which is what they use in the freezing works to put the cows (remains) into. Serious industrial spiflication. :D

Greg S
04-03-2004, 01:45 PM
> The upgrade urge has come from a wish for more
> stability rather than speed - although he does
> complain a bit about slowness when doing graphics
> stuff

In that case, yeah get xp, then if money left over, double the ram then get a better graphics card

PoWa
04-03-2004, 01:48 PM
Lol what a mess.

Tbacon, why doesn't your friend try Win2000 Pro, thats still much more reliable and isn't quite a bigger learning curve as WinMe to XP. Either that or I'd go XP Pro and get some more ram. Home edition is a waste of money,

tbacon_nz
04-03-2004, 04:46 PM
>Lol what a mess.
Yeah - who would have thought an innocent enquiry would have generated so much off-topic heat?

Why do you say XP home is a waste of money? As far as I can tell, for a single user or small network environment XP Pro is more than you need. I have used XP Home now on 2 networked machines for about 8 months and find it does everything I need. I would be interested to know what XP Pro has that would justify the big difference in price.

I think my objection to Win2000 Pro (instant opinion without ever having seriously used it) would be that it still clings to its Win NT roots and is not as administratively-friendly for the user with no IT experience.

whiskeytangofoxtrot
07-03-2004, 01:35 PM
Someone mentioned buying "OEM XP" cheaply.

You can't do that, OEM licences are shipped with the computer, and are "legally locked" to the motherboard on which they are installed.

You can not legally shift an OEM licence to another machine, regardless of the number of them on sale on Trade-Me. All you buy is a worthless piece of paper and install an illegal copy of the OS.

Not that I'm particularly stringent in this area, but for those of you who take owning an M$ licence seriously it is rather important.

metla
07-03-2004, 02:10 PM
Meh...i could sell you a boxed oem copy of xp home and an audio cable and its 100 percent legal.

Chilling_Silently
08-03-2004, 12:26 AM
> You can't do that, OEM licences are shipped with the
> computer, and are "legally locked" to the motherboard
> on which they are installed.
Not so! As far as Im aware, OEM = Origional Equipment Manufacturer. Basically its to be sold with hardware. As mentioned, an Audio cable (Or some say that an IDE Cable is the cheapest you can do) is enough to qualify. Basically its a cheaper lisence for Windows because its sold by the batch to pre-bundle with PC's... Usually....

> You can not legally shift an OEM licence to another
> machine, regardless of the number of them on sale on
> Trade-Me. All you buy is a worthless piece of paper
> and install an illegal copy of the OS.
Why not? I have.... From a Toshiba Laptop to a Compaq Presario. WinXP Pro OEM. Myself and my employer phoned up MS and they were happy to give us the relevant numbers to activate it!

> Not that I'm particularly stringent in this area, but
> for those of you who take owning an M$ licence
> seriously it is rather important.

I dont own any MS liscences and this house uses none of their software, so I couldnt really care less about it. OEM is legal though.


Chill.

whiskeytangofoxtrot
08-03-2004, 02:10 AM
I beg to differ.

I rang MS about 2 weeks ago to explore this as I am in the process of replacing 6 machines at work all running W2K OEM.

According to them, an OEM licence is legally locked to the machine it is sold with, you can change out any piece of hardware besides the motherboard. If you change the motherboard you will need to purchase a new licence.

The gospel according to their phone people ~2 weeks ago.

whiskeytangofoxtrot
08-03-2004, 02:24 AM
> Meh...i could sell you a boxed oem copy of xp home
> and an audio cable and its 100 percent legal.

Technically you could... where would you like me to send the congratulatory award?

The large majority of the time an OEM licence is sold with a preconfigured PC... a la Compaq/PC Company (RIP)/Dell etc etc

whiskeytangofoxtrot
08-03-2004, 02:36 AM
> Meh...i could sell you a boxed oem copy of xp home
> and an audio cable and its 100 percent legal.

Technically you could... but the large majority of OEM licences ship with a new PC.

whiskeytangofoxtrot
08-03-2004, 02:37 AM
http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/oslicensing/

From this page:

FACT

OEM licenses for Microsoft operating system software are not transferable from one machine to another, even if the PC on which it was originally installed is no longer in use. The OEM license is tied to the original PC on which it was installed.

tbacon_nz
21-03-2004, 06:58 PM
Just thought you all might like to know that my friend has gone for the XP home upgrade + more memory option. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

Tony Bacon

Susan B
21-03-2004, 09:57 PM
> Just thought you all might like to know that my friend has gone for the XP home upgrade

What?! Not Linux?

]:) :p :D


> + more memory option.

B-)


Thanks for letting us know, Tony. :-)