Ram upgrade or new MB and CPU

January 22, 2010 at 13:00:01
Specs: Windows 7, athon 64 2800+
Running an athlon 64 2800+ with 768mb single ddr ram pc3200. Ive been checking out( a few different) some mobo/cpu combos lately on tigerdirect. I can get get a mobo cpu combo for under 100 bucks that would be a significant upgrade to my current system. I am a light gamer and dont have the extra cash for a video card so I was looking at some descent rated onboard until the extra cash comes along. My current system is lagging due to low memory. I purchased some memory from Ebay that was labled pc3200 in hopes that it would work. 2g for 15.00 bucks. Thought I did good on that buy. turns out it was mislabled and I got 2g of samsung pc6400 which still seems to be a good buy. I just cant use it now. My question is this....If I keep the pc2 memory, would it be better to buy a mobo/cpu combo and just install it with my other hardware or would I run into conflicts.

Other option is to sell the pc2 for profit and buy 2g DDR pc-3200 for around 50 bucks.


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January 22, 2010 at 13:54:11
I recommend you spending the extra bucks for a graphics card, if you don't already have one, or you have and you could install in a newer mboard.

The video on a mboard with a video card installed (in a slot), and the system in general, performs better than a mboard with onboard video (which is NOT a card), even when the video chipset is the same, because sharing the ram with onboard video greatly reduces the ram's bandwidth - it's max data transfer rate - it as much as halves it. When a video card is installed in a slot, if the mboard has onboard video that's usually automatically disabled and if it is, the ram is no longer shared - the ram is then able to run at it's full rated bandwidth. You notice the difference the most when you are using something that benefilts from the increased bandwidth, such as a recent game.

You should be able to use the Samsung modules with most if not all mboards that use Athlon 64 X2 or Phenom cpus (although Phenoms perform a lot better with faster ram), because the memory controller is built into the cpu and that's what it has to be compatible with, but to make sure, look up the mboards you were thinking of buying on the Samsung web site and make sure you can use the particular model - part number - in that mboard, especially if you don't get a mboard that uses Athlon or Phenom cpus.

In any case, DDR2 ram is cheap, and there's often new ram on sale on the web somewhere, or even locally. Just make sure you look up which ram modules are specified for a mboard before you buy them, on the ram manufacturer's web site. It's easier to find ram listed for more mboard models on other major sites - e.g. Kingston, Crucial, Corsair, etc.

Your other hardware, if you're transferring it, should present no problems, except possibly the power supply.

It must have enough capacity to support at least an average system with the mboard, cpu, and ram you choose, and...

Your power supply must have at least the minumum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD!)
You can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements. Some power supplies have two or more +12v ratings - in that case, add those ratings to determine the total +12v current capacity.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:

You won't see much difference in performance by you having 2gb of ram on your present system. There are lots of things than can cause your system to be slower, and your bottleneck is probably not the amount of ram you presently have, which is quite decent for your system. If you are using onboard video, you would see more of a difference if you bought yourself a decent but relatively inexpensive video card, or you could upgrade your cpu to a new or used one that is a lot faster if you can find one for a decent price, but other than that, there are lots of things than can cause your system to be slower, and if you fixed that it won't cost you anything but your time. .

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January 22, 2010 at 14:07:31
I think you would regret buying that combo. It's not all that great. There are much better combos for an xtra $50, but if you're strapped for money right now, and who isn't, I would just spring for the xtra ram right now and sit tight. I don't know what you have in your slots right now, but if your mobo supports dual channel memory, you might want to consider a dual channel kit. You will see performance gain with more ram, but maybe that's not what's lagging your system. see what the others say and good luck.

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January 22, 2010 at 14:18:06
"I think you would regret buying that combo"

I agree. The board is based on an old nForce 430 chipset that was developed for S939 CPUs. Don't waste your money.

Did you change your name from 'haulinballs'?

See response #3:


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January 22, 2010 at 14:22:11
Running W7 taskmanager without any programs running at at 43% memory usage. Opening AOL alone jumps it up to 63%. I can hear the hard drive compensating for the lack of ram when playing my games. My current video is an AGP 512mb Radeon 2400. My board does not support dual channel memory. The compatibility test for windows advised that I should upgrade to at least 1g of RAM. I think I will go that route and see if that helps. That is probably the cheapest solution at the moment.

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January 22, 2010 at 14:24:08
lol, no sir, (Jam) but thats funny. Doing google search for same issues brought me here.

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January 22, 2010 at 16:21:20
"768mb single ddr ram pc3200"
If that is a 512 & 256, you could replace the 256, with a 1GB. That would up you to 1.5 GB, for about $30.


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January 22, 2010 at 16:29:23
When you do decide to buy hardware have a look at newegg.com instead of Tiger direct.

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January 23, 2010 at 13:40:31
"My current video is an AGP 512mb Radeon 2400"

So you do have a card. That's a decent chipset for an economy card - it supports DirectX 9, runs most recent games well - but almost all newer mboards do not have AGP slots.
I have the PCI version.

"Running W7 taskmanager without any programs running at at 43% memory usage."

I neglected to notice, or forgot, you are running W 7 - so you could probably see a benefit from more ram.

However, "....without any programs running ...."

That's without YOU running any extra programs, but that doesn't necessarily mean you don't have programs that load automatically that you do NOT need to have running.

- anti-malware programs, especially anti-virus programs, are often already set up to scan your whole computer automatically at some set time during the day when you install them - depending on which one, that can bog down your system a lot while that's running. If you start up your computer after the set time on a particular day, that runs automatically when you first start up the computer. A full anti-virus scan, e.g., can take a half hour or longer. Take a look at settings in those. I recommend you disable that, unless you're paranoid about malware, and only run a full scan when you suspect you might have malware. They're often running in the background in any case otherwise to check for suspicious activity (they have (a) resident module(s)).

- if you have Microsoft's AutoUpdate set to default settings, it checks for update downloads periodically automatically, and if updates are available, it downloads them in the background immediately. There is a load on your computer while those are being downloaded - for a slower system like yours that can be quite significant. I recommend you set your AutoUpdate settings to check for updates, but don't download them - have it notify you that updates are available - then you can install the updates when you choose.

- Windows Search (Windows Desktop Search) is an add on that can be installed in XP and 2000, but in Vista, and I assume Windows 7, it's built in.
Windows Search is supposed to make indexes of the files on your computer to make searches faster. You can either take the time to have it do that by deliberately telling it to do that - it takes quite a while - or by default it does that in the background when you're supposedly not actively using the computer. The problem with it is once it starts making the indexes automatically, it often does not stop itself automatically for quite a while when you resume actively using the computer. It uses considerable cpu time while running.
I recommend you either
- take the time to have it make the indexes by telling it to do that - it takes quite a while
- or - disable Windows Search in the Services list. It only makes searches a small amount of time faster once the indexes have been made in any case.

- Startup Programs
When you install programs, they often install one or more components that are added to the startup progams that run when the computer first loads Windows - some load and then unload, which only adds an extra load for a short while when you first start up the computer, but many of them run all the time. Most of those programs DO NOT need to be loaded - whatever feature they enable can be loaded elsewhere when you choose to, the only difference being it will take a small bit of extra time to load them.
Click on the Windows 7 icon bottom left (Start) - type: msconfig in the Search box.
Click on the Startup tab.
De-select the programs you don't need to load when the computer starts up. You can always re-enable them if you find you need them.
Click on OK - you are prompted to reboot - you can do that then or later.

Glitch - entries for programs that are disabled from loading are not removed from the Startup list when you un-install the program. Try to remember to re-enable those before you un-install the program package that installed them.

Some entries will re-appear automatically because they are actually loaded elsewhere, either after a short time, or after you reboot. No point in disabling those.

If you end up with one or more entry(ies) that has(have) been disabled and an identical one that that has been enabled, or more than one disabled identical entry, if you enable all of them, after you reboot only one enabled entry will be listed.

How do you know when there are programs running in the background that don't need to run (unless you chose to run them)?
Of course, the hdd activity led is flashing when you're not actively doing anything, and at the same time, the programs that are running are showing activity in Task Manager.
When you first load Windows, especially for the first time that day, when you do nothing actively, it takes at least several minutes for the hdd activity led to stop flashing, rather than that stopping in a short time. If e.g. a full anti-virus scan is running, it may take a half an hour or more for it to stop flashing.

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