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Old 08-10-2005, 08:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Memory Upgrade Question!

Hi there, I currently have a P4, 512MB RAM Memory Desktop PC and I'm mainly looking to increase it's speed for certain software programs such as Adobe Photoshop CS2, and to keep a smoothly operating computer whilst running memory hungry applications!

My memory is currently made up of 2x256 DDR DDR-SDRAM modules and I wish to upgrade this to at least 1GB. Now, I'm looking to get the best performance out of this and I've been made aware that memory should be made up in pairs for optimal performance. So for such performance, would it be better to purchase another 2x256MB modules or would it be better to replace the current modules and simply purchase 2x512MB modules?

Preferably I would like to increase the memory to over 1GB (such as 2GB). Would there be any noticable difference in doing this and how would I achieve this (ie. would I require 4x512MB)?

One last question - each of my currently installed modules are stated as 256 DDR-SDRAM PC2700 (166MHz bus). Would the bus speed be equivalent to 333Mhz? Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to tell me in the BIOS so this is why I ask. I tried finding out via the CPU-Z program which only states the 166Mhz and other information such as the frequency being 159.7Mhz.

If anybody could help me out with this, I'd be extremely greatful. I've been trying to find out all this information for over a week, so I'm hoping you guys can help!

Thanks, Mark
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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On the other hand, you could get a pair of 512s and slap 'em in to have 1.5GB.

PC2700 ain't the best, but it should do for Photoshop and the like, as PS isn't a speed-intensive application.

What CPU are you using? Your CPU will be another limiting factor with Photoshop. Upgrading it could be a good avenue to pursue as well.
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Old 08-10-2005, 10:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's a P4 HT 3.0Ghz machine (sorry for not mentioning that in my post) with an Intel i865PE chipset. The PC is actually an eMachines 8210 of which hardware details can be found at the following: http://www.pcservicecall.co.uk/layout.aspx?CatID={5f0363a5-d787-4519-abc7-6b731a263855}&ID={6ba0ed2a-c01f-4acc-93b8-f93424d6b151}

If you can recommend a better type of memory for this type of machine, then that would be very, very helpful. All I know is that the current modules are 2700 as I stated and I thought to avoid compatibility issues I would need the same type of memory. I haven't a clue about upgrading memory and what kind of memory I would need to optain optimal performance. If you're confident that buying a couple of 512 sticks to add to the current 512 is worth it then that's what I'll do. I just need to know what type to get

I also plan on purchasing a graphics card in the ATI x700 range... although, again I don't know whether this will affect performance for better or for worse when using apps such as Photshop. The graphics card is mainly so I can play Pro Evo Soccer 4 without it jumping, but if it's going to effect those general applications for worse, then I will do without. Can the later graphics card slow system like mine down?

Thanks for your help, it's very much appreciated. And sorry for the long questions

Cheers
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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According to the specs listed on the site you gave:
http://www.pcservicecall.co.uk/layou...-aa317e11824c}
Your mobo (FIC VL33) can handle up to a 800FSB CPU. It also can use up to DDR400 RAM. Your graphics port is an AGP.

Since you can use PC3200, you might want to go with that. If you mix different speeds, your computer will default to the slowest speed RAM. Here's a link to some decent RAM. It is value RAM, but you can't overclock your computer anyway:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145440

According to NewEgg, the best you could pump up your CPU is to go to a 3.4E. It's $285.99 w/shipping:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819116173

A newer vid card won't slow your comp down, don't worry. Since you have ATI already, going back with one will be really easy.

Here's a few general pointers to help you get the most from your system:

1) Go to the System Configuration Utility (START- RUN- MSCONFIG) and choose the startup tab. Uncheck everything but what you absolutely have to have (anti-virus, firewall, graphics drivers, broadband, whatever). hit APPLY, then RESTART. Whne your comp restarts, it'll pop up a grey box. Check the 'Don't run at startup' box and OK.

2) Unistall any used apps that are cluttering up your hard drive.

3) Download Spybot (http://www.majorgeeks.com/SpyBot-Sea...roy_d2471.html) and run it. Download AdAware (http://www.majorgeeks.com/Ad-Aware_S...onal_d506.html) and run it. Download Microsoft AntiSpyware ( http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en) and run it.

4) Download TweakNow (http://www.majorgeeks.com/TweakNow_R...ner_d4134.html) and run it to clean up your registry. Then download Registry Defragmentation (http://www.majorgeeks.com/Registry_D...ion_d4004.html, 21-day trial) and defrag your registry.

5) Defrag your hard drive (START- ALL PROGRAMS- ACCESSORIES- SYSTEM TOOLS- DISK DEFRAGMENTER).

Simple, I know. But they really help. If you're on dial-up, it could take a day or two.
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Old 08-11-2005, 08:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Trotter, you've been a great help!

Now, with regard to upgrading the memory. When you say the memory will default to the slowest RAM, if I were to add 2 x 3200 (DDR400) 512MB RAM, would these run at 2700? If so, would it be worth removing the current 512MB (2x256) and replacing them with 2 new 512MB modules or would I be better leaving the current RAM in to make 1.5GB, and how would this affect performance?

As for the CPU, that's another thing I've been wanting to do. If I were to buy the 3.4E, would I need to install an additional cooling system, and is this easy enough to do? Also, how hard is it to replace my old CPU with a new one like you suggested.. is it quite straight forward?

Thanks again Trotter, can't thank you enough for such thorough advice!
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Old 08-11-2005, 09:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by MarkPW
Now, with regard to upgrading the memory. When you say the memory will default to the slowest RAM, if I were to add 2 x 3200 (DDR400) 512MB RAM, would these run at 2700? If so, would it be worth removing the current 512MB (2x256) and replacing them with 2 new 512MB modules or would I be better leaving the current RAM in to make 1.5GB, and how would this affect performance?
it depends on the program you run. some programs are more memory intensive instead of speed intensive. some programs are more speed intensive.
like Trotter said, Photoshop is more of a memory intensive program.
I personally would have just the 2x512 PC3200
Quote:
Originally posted by MarkPW
As for the CPU, that's another thing I've been wanting to do. If I were to buy the 3.4E, would I need to install an additional cooling system, and is this easy enough to do? Also, how hard is it to replace my old CPU with a new one like you suggested.. is it quite straight forward?
if you get a new CPU, unless it's an OEM CPU, you will normally get a (pretty standard) cooler with it.
to replace your CPU, you need to:
open up the case, ground yourself on the metal parts of the case (just touch it once. this prevents static electricity zapping the parts), take the heatsink off the CPU (it'll be above the expansion slots, it's really hard to miss) and at the side of the socket, pull the lever up. then you can take out the current CPU. then, put in the new one (making sure it is in the same way as the old one. the socket design should prevent someone putting it in the wrong way anyway) and then clip the heatsink on. use the heatsink that comes with the new CPU.
also make sure the heatsink is properly fitted. then plug the fan into where the old one was, close the case, and it should work.
you might need to change the front side bus manually.
first, check that it works, then see if the CPU is running at the right speed. if not, then reboot.
on boot, it should say "press [some key] to enter setup"
press that key.
then you should find all sorts of options. don't change anything unless you absolutely know what it'll do. try and find something along the lines of "frequency setup"
and if you can find "bus speed" or "front side bus" or something to that effect, up it from 166 to 200.
then, save and exit.
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Old 08-11-2005, 04:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks apokalipse, I may just go for the 2x512 PC3200, however, if it were to increase performance, would it be better to get 2x1GB PC3200? As I'm in the UK I will be purchasing this stuff from Overclockers UK and I found the Corsair valueselect modules @ http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatal...e_Select.html. Now I noticed on the 1GB sticks they only offer them as CAS 3.0 (whatever that's supposed to mean). Do I specifically need 2.5 or would 3.0 work ok?

I'm sorry for so many questions, but again, if you could help it would be much appreciated. I just need to be sure that what I'm going to buy gives me that optimal performance. I'm not too bothered if it costs me £100 or £200 as long as my system improves and allows me to run things like Adobe Photoshop (CS2), the Macromedia programs and all those background programs like Norton, vertrigoserv (apache/php/mysql) etc at same time. I'm more interested in getting my PC to perform better with memory intensive applications.

Thanks again for your help!

PS. On the overclockers site, they have the Crucial 1GB (2x512MB) DDR PC3200 Ballistix Dual Channel Kit - how would this compare to 2GB of Corsair valueselect memory. And again, would it work with my system? Link: http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatal...stix_Kits.html
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If somebody could just answer my last couple of questions, I'll be out of your way. I just need clarification on what I should or should not get.

PS. The reason I was thinking in the 2GB range was because I also do video editing.

Thank you
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