View Full Version : Some basic advice

03-02-2005, 12:33 PM
Hi all, im posting just for some basic advice, i am a novice/intermediate pc user, i know how to manage my pc and keep it running smoothly etc.When it comes to the errors warnigs etc {technical jargon} i havent really a clue.Although lately its been running a bit poorly, im pretty sure i dont have a virus etc, its just that ive been putting my system under a bit of pressure and my hdd is filling up rapidly due to some P2p program.

Im feel i need to upgrade my system and want to keep the price down as much as possible.

Right now i have, P3 666, 256 ram, 80gig Hdd.

Im into gaming,as well as other gerenraal use, cd burning, web use etc. so im after a 3.2 or an athlon 3200 {*Whats the differences, as i can save myself 35 with the athlon rather than the pentium}.

Id lke to get alot more ram as the P2p program i use give it a bit of a battering, i have 256 right now,how does RAM go together in the mainboard,how many slots are there, say i wanted 512, is it as simple as buying another 256 stick and slotting it in, so they would both make up 512 combined,or do i have to buy a 512 stick on its own? {* And is it possible to put in a stick of 512 and a stick of 256 giving me 768 of ram is that possible or does it jump to 1024?}

If i did go and buy a new processor with motherboard{*another part which i havent a clue about, all the pricelists ive seen which show mainboards is all just letters and numbers,very confusing, which one do i need !!! :@@: ???}... and bought more ram, would it be fairly staightforward to stick it all together and get it going or is this kind of thing STRICTLY for technicians etc? Do i have to go into BIOS and configure settings etc {which id aviod like a bullet in the head.}
Again im doing this to save myself some cash rather than paying money for someone to install it all.

Hmm, think thats all for now.

Thanks for any help & advice. Cheers !!

03-02-2005, 12:46 PM
Your comps performance won't have slowed down for no reason, What will be happening is that you have programs running that are using your resources.This will be listed in startup, If you need help on how to access that then post again.

And unless you run scans for adware and spyware its pretty certain your comp will be filthy with the buggers, especially if you have installed p2p software, Most of which carries with it many parasite programs.

Onto your upgrade,a new motherboard won't suport your existing stick of ram, and chances are new gear will over tax your Power Supply.

If i can give some advice it will be that you need to buy:

New Case
Ram (as much or as little as you want)

Then transfer in your cd-drives,harddrives,modem,video card etc etc.

Bear in mind that if your using an older OS then it isn't designed for modern hardware so factor in a copy of XP. If your current comp is XP but you don't have an install cd then again factor in a copy of XP.

If you do have a copy of XP on cd bear in mind that it will spit the dummy with new hardware and will at least need to be reloaded, I would suggest a format and install.

You also mentioned gaming, What Video Card do you have? Waste of time reusing an old video card if you can avoid it.

So your pretty much up for a new computer, At best you can save a few hundred by reusing your current HD,CD and monitor.

Its a good idea to have the shop you buy the gear off install the motherboard,cpu and ram into the new case,The charge should be pretty cheap.

Speedy Gonzales
03-02-2005, 12:50 PM
Depending on how old the motherboard is (and the brand and model), if u wanted to upgrade the memory in it, (the system u have now), you would have to go to the manufacturer's site, and download the manual, for your motherboard.

Some motherboards can only take so much ram. You could if the motherboard allows it put 2 sticks of 256mb of ram and a 512 or whatever. Just as long as it doesnt exceed the amount of ram the motherboard can handle.

Also, some versions of windows wont go beyond 512/768 without entering somethng in the startup files. If you wanted another processor/motherboard, it would depend on whether you wanted AMD or P4/Celeron. And what you want to use it for.

All might take the same ram, BUT they dont use the same CPU (P4 and celeron might). AMD dont. You would most probably have to replace the memory with a new system, since the ram u have now, may not fit the new motherboard.

And YES, you would have to go into the BIOS to configure it, otherwise nothing will work properly.

03-02-2005, 03:07 PM
Well you don't mention what OS you are using or if you checked for spyware.
Maybe a good defrag is in order..

Just throw error messages into google and see what turns up.

Yes you need a far better machine for gaming these days, but don't mention which graphics card (maybe you don't play any heavy 3D games).
If you do play some 3D games then getting a good graphics card is just as important as a CPU (in fact I'd tend to spend slightly less on a CPU and spend more on the video card).

Most motherboards have at least 2 slots, 3 or four is typical. You just have to read up on the motherboard specs for combinations etc. If you get a new motherboard you probably want to get the new ram to match.

As for motherboard selection, its all about getting the right type (i.e. Socket A, Socket Pentium 4 v.s AMD) and then look at the corresponding specs that match the CPU you want (and other features such as on-board video etc). Motherboard manuals usuallyl have all the info you need for putting it all together. It isn't strictly for technicians but you need to read up on how to do things right such as installing the CPU (and don't force bits in) and avoiding shorting out the motherboard.

Lots of place like only charge you $50 (or less) to throw the parts together for you (and if they screw up then they fix it). Find a friend who has done it before to help you out.