PDA

View Full Version : Here's my current config --- what sucks?


teddyFBI
07-06-2005, 12:39 PM
My HP computer is painfully slow, despite the fact I bought it less than 8 months ago. Here are its specs -- I want suggestions on what I should upgrade to get noticeably improved performance:

HP Pavilion a710e customized PC

Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Home Edition with SP2
AMD Athlon(TM) XP 3000+ operating at 2.16GHz
256 MB DDR / PC2700 (1 DIMM)
FREE UPGRADE from 40GB to 80GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
48x max HP CD-Writer Drive (48x32x48x)
3 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 9-in-1 card reader + WinDVD
Integrated Via UniChrome Graphics
Integrated 5.1 Capable Sound w/ front audio ports
HP Internet Keyboard, HP Scroller Mouse
Microsoft(R) Works 7.0/Money 2004/MSN Encarta Plus
hpshopping in-box envelope

Obviously, I'm going to add another 512MB of RAM...will I notice improved performance right away solely from that?
How about the AMD chip speed...I don't know much about the AMD Athlon(TM) XP 3000+ operating at 2.16GHz -- is that a decent chip, or a dinosaur?

touchfaith
07-06-2005, 12:53 PM
[ QUOTE ]
will I notice improved performance right away solely from that?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, you will.

Also, if you have a full version of XP, rebuild it.

Out of the box, their are a ton of things running on that box that you most likely never use. This will of course be at the cost of all factory installed applications, most likely including anti-virus, but if you are behind a router, that shouldn't be much of an issue.

Depending on my activities, I reimage my PC's every 6 months or so.

teddyFBI
07-06-2005, 01:01 PM
Thanks for the quick reply; 2 follow-ups

1) What do you mean "rebuild it"?

2) As I go shopping for additional RAM, I notice there seems to be all sorts of different specifications and letters that come after the number (512, for example)...are they all compatible with DIFFERENT RAM slots that I should know about? For example, mine came with 256 MB DDR / PC2700 (1 DIMM) from the factory...does this indicate just what kind of RAM upgrade I'll need? For example, just browsing the listings at bensbargains.net, I see 3 different entries for RAM upgrades:
a) GeIL 1GB 184-Pin PC 3200 DDR SDRAM - $91
b) GigaRAM 512MB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 - $45
c) Viking VC Value Memory 512 MB PC2700 DDR Memory - $44

I know the MB number is the most important, but is all the tech jargon afterwards important to understand for my purposes? i.e. will some of them be compatible with my computer, and others not?

FouTight
07-06-2005, 01:02 PM
if you are looking to do stuff like games, then tehre is a lot wrong, but what are your daily activities that you find the comptuer being slow in?

That processor is fine, obvioulsy the ram will be a huge upgrade, but if you are looking for games, that video card has to go.

teddyFBI
07-06-2005, 01:06 PM
[ QUOTE ]
if you are looking to do stuff like games, then tehre is a lot wrong, but what are your daily activities that you find the comptuer being slow in?

That processor is fine, obvioulsy the ram will be a huge upgrade, but if you are looking for games, that video card has to go.

[/ QUOTE ]

Oh, I forgot to mention, I upgraded to a Matrox dual AGP DVI video card that I like. I don't game, just play poker and basic word processing and photoshopping...but i typically have 3 or 4 poker apps running at the same time, and even simple tasks like opening a web browser are painfully slow (i.e. 10 to 15 seconds, just to open the browser, while i have poker apps running).

mikeyp
07-06-2005, 02:24 PM
You need to get Ram that is "PC2700". Your motherboard will only work with this type of ram.

Caveman
07-06-2005, 03:27 PM
If you do decide to add memory add either a 256mb stick to get 512mb or buy two 512mb sticks for 1gb. To take full advantage of DDR memory in your system you want to run memory sticks that are twins so to speak. (i.e. 2 smaller sticks vs one larger amount of memory stick) Being an AMD based system you probably only have 2 memory slots so you might end up pulling out what is already in the system if you decide to go with two 512mb sticks.

Since your not sure what memory to buy you might want to go to crucial.com . They have a system scanner that supposedly will tell you exactly what memory you need plus they guarantee compatability.

Another poster was right pc2700 is the fastest your system will support, if you buy anything faster it will slow down to the same speed as a pc2700.(but it would still work)

bort411
07-06-2005, 04:12 PM
[ QUOTE ]
You need to get Ram that is "PC2700". Your motherboard will only work with this type of ram.

[/ QUOTE ]

This may not be correct. The OP didn't even state what type of motherboard his system has. Mine supports PC3200, PC2700, PC2100, and PC1600. The point is that his MB could possibly support something higher.

To the OP, I'd recommend finding the highest frequency your board can support (consult your documentation or HP's website), and get 2 512MB sticks, replacing your current one.

Edit: Corsair and Crucial aree the two companies I trust with memory; I'd go with either.

teddyFBI
07-06-2005, 04:28 PM
[ QUOTE ]
To the OP, I'd recommend finding the highest frequency your board can support (consult your documentation or HP's website), and get 2 512MB sticks, replacing your current one.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks for the feedback. I called up HP and their tech dude told me that I had to get PC2700 RAM. I found a sale at buy.com and picked up 2 Viking 512MB sticks for $30 each -- can't wait to try them out, b/c the 256 that came with my computer is unbearably slow.
The HP tech dude also told me that the fancy new dual-DVI Matrox video card that I installed a few months ago was probably using up the vast majority of the factory-installed 256MB anyway -- that confused me a bit...I had always thought that video cards (higher end ones, at least) came with onboard RAM of their own, so as NOT to run off the computer's RAM...am I right/wrong on that one??

EDIT:
Oh, for whatever it's worth, this is the graphics card I upgraded to:
http://www.pcmall.com/pcmall/shop/detail~dpno~974328.asp
somewhat ironically, it cost 33% of what the entire computer did.

TheTROLL
07-06-2005, 04:38 PM
[ QUOTE ]

The HP tech dude also told me that the fancy new dual-DVI Matrox video card that I installed a few months ago was probably using up the vast majority of the factory-installed 256MB anyway -- that confused me a bit...I had always thought that video cards (higher end ones, at least) came with onboard RAM of their own, so as NOT to run off the computer's RAM...am I right/wrong on that one??

[/ QUOTE ]

You're a lot better informed than the HP support guy, I assure you. Just increasing your system RAM is almost certainly all that needs doing here - but do ensure there's no superfluous software running on startup and scan for virus/spyware.

Maulik
07-08-2005, 02:28 PM
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
will I notice improved performance right away solely from that?

[/ QUOTE ]
Also, if you have a full version of XP, rebuild it.


[/ QUOTE ]

teddyFBI
07-08-2005, 03:05 PM
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
will I notice improved performance right away solely from that?

[/ QUOTE ]
Also, if you have a full version of XP, rebuild it.


[/ QUOTE ]

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks, but I still don't understand what 'rebuild it' means...do I even have this so-called 'full' version of XP?? It came pre-installed on the Dell that I bought...so I'd imagine it's "full"...I wouldn't know where to restart in rebuilding this thing...is there an online FAQ of some sort...? Or should i just find a tech geek friend?

smb394
07-08-2005, 09:10 PM
By "rebuilding" that means taking a Windows XP disk from Microsoft and not HP, Dell, etc. and doing a clean install. This gets rid of stuff like (on my machine) Musicmatch, Dell Picture Studio, and other stuff I don't need.

When doing this, BACK UP ALL FILES TO CD-R or outside disk first!!!!!

I'm guessing though that most people just don't have these laying around. My friend cracked mine /images/graemlins/mad.gif

Your system should be good for multitabling once the new RAM is in.

Dead
07-09-2005, 05:08 AM
You don't need a new computer.

Just clean out all the spyware and other junk that your HP box has accumulated.

Upgrading the ram is a good idea. You don't really need to upgrade anything else. I'd go the full 1 gig route and get two 512 sticks for a total of 1 gig of ram, or if your mobo has 3 ram slots then you'd have 1.23 gigs.