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Old 09-20-2009, 08:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ram/upgrade question

A friend asked me to help his computer run faster because he knows that I'm interested in hardware. I'm still rather new at it, but I figured it would be good practice being that he isn't that worried about it, and its a little old.

the computer is HP Pavilion 540n with:
Intel P4 1.60GHz
AsusTek P4S-LA
256MB DDR PC2100
256MB DDR PC2700
Microsoft XP SP3

I found that the MOBO can handle an Intel P4 2.53GHz and 2GB of ram (2 slots). MOBO only supports PC2100 and PC1600 RAM though. Is the MOBO recognizing the PC2700 ram or just slowing it down? also is this potentially damaging his system?

I found a 2.53GHz P4 for roughly $60 after shipping, and I'm assuming that the ram will be relatively cheap. And being that his computer may not recognize the 2nd stick of ram, maybe it just needs some compatible ram to speed up a bit.
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ram/upgrade question

No sense in buying an outdated processor and RAM. Would be best to figure out the max budget on the upgrade, and see if you can get something newer. You could buy the 2.5Ghz P4 for $60, or get the newest generation Athlon II X2 for $60. Of course with the Athlon II, you'd also have to get a new motherboard, and ram. DDR isn't actually cheap anymore. The prices have risen since the new standard DDR2, and the soon to be standard DDR3. You can pick up a 2 x 1GB kit of DDR for around $70 shipped. With a new motherboard and processor, you'd be able to get a 2 x 1GB kit of DDR2 for around $30.

Would your friend rather spend roughly $130 to keep him just passing along, or would he rather have something that's more up to date, and way more powerful for around the same price?

Newegg.com - JetWay JM26GT4-LF AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

Newegg.com - PNY 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model MD2048KD2-667 - Desktop Memory

Newegg.com - AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

This a little over $130, or the amount it would cost to update to outdated equipment...
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ram/upgrade question

before we get to that point, i need to know if the MOBO recognizes the PC2700 ram, because if it doesn't then i could buy 2 512MB sticks for relatively cheap, and that would probably do his computer wonders would it not? if the computer recognizes both sticks of ram, (the 2700 running at 2100 speeds) then I could still double the ram, and that would probably be a significant performance increase would it not? He isn't looking for anything special, just a bit of a speed boost.

Another way to phrase this would be when does it become pointless to buy more ram when running a 1.6GHz P4? would it bottleneck at 512MB or 1GB?
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ram/upgrade question

Quote:
Originally Posted by apsoul View Post
before we get to that point, i need to know if the MOBO recognizes the PC2700 ram, because if it doesn't then i could buy 2 512MB sticks for relatively cheap, and that would probably do his computer wonders would it not? if the computer recognizes both sticks of ram, (the 2700 running at 2100 speeds) then I could still double the ram, and that would probably be a significant performance increase would it not? He isn't looking for anything special, just a bit of a speed boost.

Another way to phrase this would be when does it become pointless to buy more ram when running a 1.6GHz P4? would it bottleneck at 512MB or 1GB?
No it won't use PC2700... It should just automatically down clock the ram from 2700 to 2100 though. Best way to tell is by the BIOS, or System Properties. (Right click my computer)
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Old 09-21-2009, 12:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ram/upgrade question

Sounds good... well I almost forgot that I had acquired a decommissioned laptop which just happens to have a 2.4Ghz P4 in it. that should make for a decent swap right? If so, all my friend will need to buy is some ram and he will be set.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ram/upgrade question

laptop cpu's are different than desktop cpu's. They use a different socket type so they aren't compatible. I'd just buy some ram, 1gb will be amazing for xp, and call it quits. If he wants/needs more power then step up and get a nice little upgrade for under 250.
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Old 09-21-2009, 01:39 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ram/upgrade question

it is the same socket... i looked in the laptop, took P4 out, and on the plastic mount it said pga478. thats same socket as the desktop, so it should work correct?
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