TechSpot

PC upgrade help

By towhatben
Jun 21, 2008
  1. Hi guys,

    When i got my PC (2 years ago) i ordered it in parts and a friend put it together for me. Its never quite worked smoothly, lots of crashes and performs slowly and stuff. Basically its got to the point where i need to either upgrade it or decide whether its a better option just to but a new one. But i don't have a clue about these things and don't really have anyone else to ask. So if anyone from here can help i'd really appreciate it...

    From my ebuyer receipt these are the main bits i have:
    Processor: Intel Pentium D 805 (2x2.66GHz) 64Bit Socket 775 Dual Core 2MB (1MB per Core) Cache Retail Boxed Processor
    Motherboard:Abit AL8 SKT775 PCI-E FSB1066 7.1audio retail bo
    Memory:Kingston 1GB DDR2 533MHz/PC2-4200 Non-ECC CL4 1.8V Unbuffered Dimm 240 pin
    Harddrive:Seagate 120GB ST3120827AS Barracuda 7200RPM SATA/150 8MB Cache - OEM

    I want to use my PC for music software mainly, not arsed about getting the gaming specs up there.
    So i was considering sticking in 2 new slots of Ram and doing away with whats in there, and possibly adding another harddrive to run alongside my current one, maybe use my current one solely for installing software onto and then using the new one for saving any files etc.

    I'm a little uncertain about which RAM is compatible and which is not, same goes for the harddrive. If anyone can offer advice i'd really appreciate it. Also opinions on whether it is worth upgrading or if i should jsut save for a new one?

    Also my case seems to collect an extraordinary amount of dust in there, a few times i've opened the case to find the CPU fan completely covered, which i think has led to a few crashes before it was cleaned, could a new case sort this out, is that worth doing? Are my other parts well out of date now or are they okay to upgrade with?

    Thanks in advance if anyone can help, really appreciate it. Also sorry if this is in the wrong place, seemed the most appropriate though.
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 21,065   +169

    You must live in a hot dry place... We are pretty dusty here too. It's not the cases fault that it is a dust magnet. Old worn out carpet and animal fur could contribute to dust and debris in a room. Of course you can purchase a better quality case that has a removeable filter in the front. Your ABIT motherboard shouldn't be too picky on what RAM you choose. Just look at the ABIT specs online. They will tell you exactly what memory should be used
     
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,506   +238

    Download the manual from this Abit website page: Click here. This what the manual says about RAM:

    Memory
    • Four 240-pin DIMM slots (Un-buffered Non-ECC DIMM)
    • Supports Dual channel DDR2 667/533 (Max. 4GB)

    I noticed the RAM you originally bought was slower than what the motherboard supports.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 21,065   +169

    Thanks mailpup,
    sometimes we have to do a little "hand-holding" don't we. I didn't have enough time today to post the link. Glad you did ;)
     
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    If your case has no fans, then dust will accumulate in there very fast. Adding some fans to your current case, or buying a new case with some fans and a removable filter, as Tmagic650 suggested, will work wonders.
     
  6. towhatben

    towhatben TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the help guys, i do really appreciate it.
    I went with
    Crucial 2GB kit (2x1GB) DDR2 667MHz/PC2-5300 Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL5 Lifetime Warranty
    to replace what i already have as opposed to running alongside it.

    Then i was thinking if i need to upgrade again i can always buy a pair of the same to put in alongside it, in theory should having 4x1GB sticks be as good performance-wise as having 2x2GB or even 1x4GB?

    Hopefully it should do the trick. My case has a couple of fans they just seem to get clogged up still, the fan over the heatsink still lets dust clogup on it, i'm not sure if that is a design fault in my PC or whether its something that can't be avoided. i think i'll just have to make sure i clean it fairly often. Then maybe when i have a bit more spare money buy a new case.

    Thanks again.
     
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,291   +25

    A 2x2GB kit is easier on the memory controller, and better for expandability compared to a 4x1GB kit. But performance differences between both configurations will be negligible.
     
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