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My computer is long overdue for an upgrade


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#1
Walker

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I had gotten my computer a few years back, and it was great at the time. As I get new games to play (such as SWAT4, Brothers In Arms etc.), I noticed that the play is choppy, I realize my computer just cannot handle it. As far as I know here are basic specs of my computer, I am only 17 and I am working on a very small budget.

1000mhz AMD Athlon
256MB SDRAM (I believe it's SD)
nVidia GeForce2 32mb Video Card (It used to be badass)


So with about $100-200, is there anyway I can get my computer running better? I have it running adware/virus free, and it runs no programs on startup. I have done all I can without actually upgrading some hardware here, so what's the most important thing to upgrade? Thanks for your time!

(P.S.) To make my money go farther I am looking to get used parts (somewhere in Tucson), with a warranty. Is this a good route to take?
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#2
audioboy

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the two things that will help the most are more RAM, and newer video card.

first I would suggest you run everest, which will give you the specs of your whole system. the reason I say this is mostly for the ram, it will tell you exactly what speed, etc. you have now, so you can get another stick to match that.

if you can get another 256 stick, that will help overall performance quite a bit.

for video, look for at least a 64 MB card.

used parts from a local retailer can be fine, especially if they offer guarantees. otherwise, check out things like amazon.com, and ebay. you can find some stuff pretty cheap there.

upgrading those two things will help, and given your budget, are your best options. hope that helps!
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#3
Walker

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Ok sounds great, how much do you think that will cost me? Just to make sure that everyone gets a good idea of my computer here is what Everest let me know, just incase it changes anyones reccomendations. Also, what exact memory do I ask for? Just a 256MB SDRAM? I wasn't too sure.

Motherboard
CPU Type AMD Athlon XP, 1010 MHz (10 x 101)
Motherboard Name Tyan S2390 Trinity KT (1 ISA, 6 PCI, 1 AGP, 3 DIMM)
Motherboard Chipset VIA VT8363 Apollo KT133
System Memory 256 MB (SDRAM)
BIOS Type Award Modular (09/14/00)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM1)
Communication Port Communications Port (COM2)
Communication Port Printer Port (LPT1)

Display
Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400 (32 MB)
3D Accelerator nVIDIA GeForce2 MX/MX 400
Monitor Princeton Ultra 78 [17" CRT] (SPAA3500845)

Multimedia
Audio Adapter Creative SB Live! 5.1 Sound Card

Storage
IDE Controller VIA Bus Master IDE Controller
SCSI/RAID Controller A347SCSI SCSI Controller
SCSI/RAID Controller D347PRT SCSI Controller
Floppy Drive Floppy disk drive
Disk Drive MAXTOR 6L040J2 (40 GB, 7200 RPM, Ultra-ATA/133)
Optical Drive AOpen DVD-1640 PRO (16x/40x DVD-ROM)
Optical Drive AXV CD/DVD-ROM SCSI CdRom Device (Virtual DVD-ROM)
Optical Drive Generic DVD-ROM SCSI CdRom Device
Optical Drive PLEXTOR CD-R PX-W8432T (8x/4x/32x CD-RW)
SMART Hard Disks Status OK


Input
Keyboard Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
Mouse Microsoft USB IntelliMouse Web

Network
Network Adapter Wireless-B PCI Adapter (192.168.1.100)
Modem Creative DI5630 Data Fax Modem

Peripherals
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB1 Controller VIA VT83C572 PCI-USB Controller
USB Device Creative WebCam NX #2
USB Device Microsoft USB IntelliMouse Web
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#4
audioboy

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was there an entry in the everest log on the ram? I am looking to see if your running PC100 or PC133 sdram.

I'll do a quick search for some pricing...

edit- I searched around on newegg.com, so heres some ideas.
I looked at PC133 for RAM. you will want to match the speed of what you have now, so if its PC100, get that instead. still, heres an idea of prices, around $40 for a decent stick new. they have some refurbished for cheaper as well.

video card wise, here is the search results, opened to where you start seeing pretty good cards that can support all todays games. I think this FX5500 256MB card is a great deal for $76! good specs, directX9, open GL 1.5, etc.

older models with 64 MB onboard start around $30-40.

Edited by audioboy, 29 May 2005 - 03:29 PM.

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#5
audioboy

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also check out this in our for sale section. hard to beat that price for a video card.
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#6
Walker

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This would be PC100, correct?

Memory Bus Properties
Bus Type SDR SDRAM
Bus Width 64-bit
Real Clock 101 MHz
Effective Clock 101 MHz
Bandwidth 808 MB/s
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#7
Walker

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I am going to go to the store as soon as I find out which kind of memory to get. I should pick up a PC100 256 MB stick, based on the info above.. right? Thanks!
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#8
audioboy

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that info doesnt tell us what speed your memory is. if you can, open the case up, look at the label on your ram. it should tell you if its pc100 or 133.
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#9
Walker

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Ok, I went and picked up one 256 mb ram and a geforce 256mb video card. The card installation went smoothy, the memory installation did not.

I have 3 slots for memory, the first two were taken by 133 128 sticks. I can always get any of the sticks to work in conjuction with each other, in either of the first two slots. The third slot seems to be inactive, or disabled. So, right now I just have a 128 mb stick of ram in the third slot. It is not being detected at all apparently. Is there anyway to fix this?
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#10
audioboy

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Im having a look at your motherboard manual now. is the ram you bought registered on unregistered?

you may want the manual yourself. gohere, then scroll down to socket 462//A. it will be the bottom choice in that section, trinity KT.

save that file, its always good to have the book on your mobo.

EDIT- look at page 20 in the manual, looks like it will only run two slots together at a time. bummer. load up the 256 and a 128.

curious- what did the RAM cost you?

Edited by audioboy, 29 May 2005 - 08:38 PM.

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#11
Walker

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The ram was 65, but i got a 20 dollar mail in rebate. So, I think I will just trade those two 128s in. I'll probably replace it with either a 512 or 256. Just wondering, why would there be three slots? I mean it makes no sense to me. Thanks for all your help audio.
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#12
audioboy

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OK, glad to hear you will be able to trade in the old stuff.
looks like the 3 slots are for a special type of ram it refers to in the manual (I cant remember what it was). this was no doubt the expensive new stuff of the time, and could run in all three slots because of its registered properties, etc.

happy gaming!
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