Birthday will be in a week; need more advice on upgrade.

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axeman61

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Mar 19, 2003
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I plan to get a hard drive and 2 RAM chips (my computer has 4 slots with "banks of 2"). I'll have $500 to get this with, but only want to spend $400.

I've already made picks, but I want to run my decision by you guys for any "snags." Let me know if you need some diagnostic information of my computer besides what I'm about to give you now.

-I don't know how much GB of storage space my computer can handle. The drive I plan to get is 320 GB in size. I won't need that much, but it's a freaking sale and the cheapskate in me has roared up. Also, it's Western Digital like the drive already in my computer. The only downside is that it comes with no SATA Cables or screws. Anyway, I'm on Windows XP Home Edition with SP2. If there are limits or something, please let me know. Also, do you think it's a good idea to have the 320 GB drive hooked up as a slave to the 40 GB drive I have right now? I wanted to make it the master, but I would jam so much stuff on it, I wouldn't have anything to back it up with.

-My comp takes 240-pin RAM in "banks of 2" as mentioned earlier. It can handle 4 GB. The 2 chips I'm getting are 1 GB in size and, I think, run at a faster speed than my current RAM (Current- DDR2-400 DDR2 SDRAM. Proposed- DDR2-533 DDR2 SDRAM). I was thinking of replacing my current RAM chips with the bigger ones, since I'm assuming they can't co-exist with those different speeds. If I'm wrong about the different speeds, then let me know. I'll be happy to have 2.5 GB. These chips are also the brand currently in my computer: Samsung.

Newegg says this would cost $310.30 with shipping and without extended warranties and the SATA cables. I think it's good. If there are any extra concerns I should have about my purchases or things I should add to the list, please tell me. It would be gladly appreciated.
 

etaf

Wayne
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what applications are you planning on running on the PC - 2GB of memory is lot....
Is your PC currenlty suffering with memory issues?
whats the PC Spec.
If you post details of motherboard that may help advice
also Bios make and Bios version
 

crjdriver

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Jan 2, 2001
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If you are installing a sata drive, you do not slave it to anything. There is only one device per channel with sata. Does your system support sata? BTW you can pickup the sata cable at any computer store. You will need a power cable as well since sata does not use the same molex connector as an ide drive. Note SOME WD drives can use either power connector. If this is the case, DO NOT plug in both connectors you will damage the drive doing so.
 

axeman61

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Mar 19, 2003
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418
Field Value
Computer
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
OS Service Pack Service Pack 2
DirectX 4.09.00.0904 (DirectX 9.0c)
Computer Name 8X2MC61


Motherboard
CPU Type Intel Pentium 4 530J, 3000 MHz (15 x 200)
Motherboard Name Dell Dimension 4700
Motherboard Chipset Intel Grantsdale-G i915G
System Memory 502 MB (DDR2-400 DDR2 SDRAM)
BIOS Type Phoenix (11/23/04)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port ECP Printer Port (LPT1)

Display
Video Adapter Intel(R) 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family (128 MB)
Video Adapter Intel(R) 82915G/GV/910GL Express Chipset Family (128 MB)
3D Accelerator Intel GMA 900
Monitor Hansol 710A(+)/710E [17" CRT]
Monitor Hansol 710A(+)/710E [17" CRT]

Multimedia
Audio Adapter Intel 82801FB ICH6 - AC'97 Audio Controller [B-1]

Storage
IDE Controller Intel(R) 82801FB Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 2651
IDE Controller Intel(R) 82801FB/FBM Ultra ATA Storage Controllers - 266F
Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive WDC WD400BD-75JMA0 (37 GB, IDE)
Optical Drive PHILIPS DVD+-RW DVD8631 (DVD+R9:2.4x, DVD+RW:16x/4x, DVD-RW:8x/4x, DVD-ROM:16x, CD:40x/24x/40x DVD+RW/DVD-RW)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK

Partitions
C: (NTFS) 35055 MB (804 MB free)

Input
Keyboard Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse PS/2 Compatible Mouse

Network
Network Adapter Intel(R) PRO/100 VE Network Connection (169.254.210.71)
Network Adapter WAN (PPP/SLIP) Interface (69.212.58.2)
Modem Conexant D850 56K V.9x DFVc Modem

Peripherals
Printer Dell Photo AIO Printer 922
Printer Fax
Printer Microsoft Office Document Image Writer
USB1 Controller Intel 82801FB ICH6 - USB Universal Host Controller [B-1]
USB1 Controller Intel 82801FB ICH6 - USB Universal Host Controller [B-1]
USB1 Controller Intel 82801FB ICH6 - USB Universal Host Controller [B-1]
USB1 Controller Intel 82801FB ICH6 - USB Universal Host Controller [B-1]
USB2 Controller Intel 82801FB ICH6 - Enhanced USB2 Controller [B-1]
USB Device Dell Photo AIO Printer 922
USB Device USB Composite Device
USB Device USB Human Interface Device
USB Device USB Printing Support



I THOUGHT that what I was looking at was a SATA cable; It has four circles in the top and hooks to the back of the harddrive and the 4 wires in it go to another similar style connector from hard drive to the computer. It turns out that the SATA cable was the blue cord going from the hard drive to a port on the motherboard; it had a much smaller connector, and there was another "end port" right next to it on the motherboard. Through Google image search, that cable had to be the SATA, and the one I thought was the SATA was the power cable. If I'm wrong let me know.
It's a little weird. Everest says that I have an IDE drive, but I dont' see an IDE Ribbon anywhere. Just what I'm assuming to be the power cable and SATA cable. Anyway, the drive I'm looking at says IDE too, and it's Ultra ATA like the one in my computer.
 

etaf

Wayne
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C: (NTFS) 35055 MB (804 MB free)
This is a problem you dont have much free space at all.
if you start paging and swapping you should be getting virtual memory errors....

what applications are you planning on running on the PC - 2GB of memory is lot....
Is your PC currenlty suffering with memory issues?
 

axeman61

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
418
What do you mean paging and swapping? I plan to get RAM that's 4 times as much as what I have now. Doesn't inter-program computer performance rely almost solely on RAM? What's wrong with getting these chips?

Also, yeah, it was only 804 MB free when I copied that. Now, it might be a little more, but it might be less. I freed some stuff with CC cleaner, but I've also been on a downloading spree for more than a day. I'll be getting rid of stuff.

I really want to know if there's anything wrong with my current selection of additions to the computer before I buy them.
 
Joined
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Messages
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whole lot of problems I could see. Save your memory. Buy a new motherboard, video card and that 320 HD. Toss the 40 in the trash or ebay. Just use the 320 with your new mobo and vid card. That's what I would do with 5 smakaroos. One more thing get yourself a power supply that costs more than $90 too.
 

axeman61

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Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
418
There's a short, but still boring story behind that Newbie, and since this is hardware discussion, I won't bore you.

whole lot of problems I could see. Save your memory. Buy a new motherboard, video card and that 320 HD. Toss the 40 in the trash or ebay. Just use the 320 with your new mobo and vid card. That's what I would do with 5 smakaroos. One more thing get yourself a power supply that costs more than $90 too.

I'm sorry, but I need you to elaborate. My only problems are with current storage space and RAM sometimes. I really want to know why what warrants a whole new motherboard. My current motherboard isn't capable of handling the upgrades? If so, I can get smaller storage and smaller RAM for less money. I don't need the 320 gigs; it's just a hell of a sale from where I'm sitting.
Also, I forgot about power supplies. How do I find out which is best for my system after the upgrades?
 
Joined
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The PSU in your Dell wouldn't handle a decent video card. Your Dell might not even handle a decent PSU. If your case is a standard ATX case you should be able to slide a good one in. I'm not knocking Dell here, if you had a HP, I'de say the same thing. The problem with the main computer companies is they are not built for real performance, they build them to last forever doing normal home computing and office-work. What you will spend $400 in upgrades for the Dell would really go a long way in building a solid machine if you invested your dough right.

RAM will give you some performance but nothing worth the money you're going to spend. If you had a good motherboard and video card you would think, damn this computer kicks... You add some memory and a new hard drive you'll think, yeah I see the difference, it opens and closes my apps faster. Not as big of a deal compared to knocking you're socks off with solid power and really good graphics. A new motherboard will have better video and CPU chipsets. There's no substitute for that kind of upgrade. A new motherboard will have RAID drivers built in. You can setup all kinds of arrays without buying hard drive controllers. The benifits of upgrading your board, video card and PSU goes on and on. I can go all-day telling you what will be upgraded and run better. I can just say this for what you want to do. You will notice a little performance boost and you're going to have a tough time using a SATA and IDE hard drive together on a 915 chipset.

If a new board is beyond what you feel compotable with then I would suggest. At least buy a new IDE 120 GB Hard drive or two 80s, a new video card and PSU. This will cost you around $300 + shipping I checked newegg that price is right. Get an Antec PSU. 550 on sale $85 nice. I saw a ega 6600 GT video card $160 and a Maxtor IDE Ultra/133 120 GB for $68 you'll have roughly $70 left over from your proposed $400. Hey you could always get some RAM for $170. I saw GIEL DDR2 Value series 2GB (2x1GB) Dual Channel kit for 170 on their site. www.geil-usa.com

OK, that's my suggestion. You do what you feel is right. I went down the road you're about to take before. I wish I had somebody there saying don't go there dude. I converted from Apple computers to building PCs for pricing reasons. I built a $4000 computer for $1000 using ebay and newegg. I'm sure you can do better than what you want to your computer for $400.
 

axeman61

Thread Starter
Joined
Mar 19, 2003
Messages
418
Well, first let's get it straight. I'm not playing games or doing any top flight stuff on this computer. I'm just watching music and movies, along with roaming the internet. In between, I'm doing homework. In those regards, my computer works fine. I just want to make it faster and I want to put more stuff on it.

With the original upgrades I mentioned, would I still need a better PSU?

Oh, yeah. The drive I was looking at had Ultra ATA (I'm assuming that's SATA), but it still said IDE.

The one in my computer shows up as IDE on Everest, but I don't see any IDE ribbon cables coming from it.
 
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