|Hello. I have an HP Pavilion a61421n PC that I would like to upgrade.|
I recently purchased Windows 7 for use on it and two other household computers and thought now might be a good time to upgrade a bit. I am also in the process of installing Photoshop C5 (and learning to use it) so I wanted to beef up for that too. In terms of skill I'm in between a novice and expert. Currently running the latest version of Vista.
There are 3 things I want to upgrade:
MEMORY - I currently have 4 Gb (2x2) and want to go to 8 GB to be able to install Win7 as a 64 bit system (all 3 computers are capable of that). I currently have GSkill F2-6400CL5 2GBNT in the pc and have planned to add the same thing when upgrading but have some questions:
1. to add the same exact memory would be $50. To add identical memory with heat spreaders would be $65, or $15 more. Is that worth it or necessary.
2. I read that for a higher memory system buffered and registered are better but my motherboard ECS MCP61PM-HM will not support that. Is that really that big of a deal?
POWER SUPPLY - the HP came with a Bestech ATX250-12V power supply. I did some research on it and consider myself lucky I have not had issues with it but do want to upgrade due to the poor reliability of this PS and the fact that I plan to upgrade the video card.
1. Are there any specs, other than physical size, that I need to be aware of when buying a power supply? Is there any motherboard specs or CPU specs I have to match up with the PS or be concerned about? I plan to buy a Corsair either the 650TX or the 750TX. Both are probably a bit more than I need but the price is good at NE right now.
2. This Corsair PS I am looking at has the fan on the bottom as opposed to venting out the back like I think most do. Should I be concerned with that? It is the highest rated power supply on NE out of all manufacturers so it must be dependable.
3. As mentioned, I'm amazed the PS that came with the HP is still working, mostly because I rarely shut the pc off. It sits in a cabined built into my desk (no out in the open) so that probable adds to the heat. Years ago I was told it was better to leave the pc on than to turn it off and on daily (not to mention it saves time in the morning). Is that good advice or should I shut the pc off daily?
VIDEO CARD: the HP did not come with an external card. It runs with an on board video card that I know will benefit from an upgrade. One thing to note is that I have never been a gamer so that is not a consideration. I will be streaming much more audio/video in the future and doing graphics work with Photoshop (though I read PS is more dependent on multiple processors than the video card) This is an area I really am clueless about.
1. I have room for a PCIe card in the HP. I have looked at both 512 models and 1Gb models. Right now NE has a EVGA GeForce 210 1Gb, 64 bit, DDR3, HDCP low profile card for $20 which sounds good. Would this be compatible with my MB? I think I read that system ram is independent of video ram (the MB only supports DDR2).
2. There are a ton of terms I am not familiar with while looking at video cards: core clock (520Mhz), shader clock (1238MHz), stream processors (16), DDR (DDR3) and GDDR (???), DirectX (10.1) open GL (has it) and HDMI (one I do know and it does have it). Are these decent specs for my use? Anything I should be concerned with?
3. I have read that Photoshop gains by using NVIDIA, who makes the chip set in the model I listed above.
Thanks very much for your help and advice.