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Upgrading video card and RAM questions

By Jwalker188
Jan 13, 2012
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  1. Hey everyone,

    First time poster here looking for some help!

    My PC is about 3 years old now and I'm at the point where it's ready for some upgrades. I poured a good 900 into the tower, but cheaped out on the video card and RAM because I didn't have the demand for it at the time.

    I've got a list of all my specs and I have a decent knowledge of components and their roles but I can't seem to find any help on what my power supply can handle.

    So my question is, when I'm taking apart my tower, what kind of information do I need to take from it before I can decide how much ram I can handle and what kind of video card I can upgrade to. As for the actual installation I can figure that out.

    Thanks a ton!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    With that many hours, just purchase and install a new power supply, paying close attention to the output of the +12V rail, which should be 18A or greater, and the unit shoujld be 80 Plus Certified.. Power output should be 500 Watt or greater, but the +12V is actually more important. Quality units such as PC Power and Cooling, OCZ, Cooler Master, Corsair (my choice) Enermax, ThermalTake, Antec, Blind Sentey, ESP Group, Eneermax, Ampaq, or ASUS.

    Use the information on your existing memory to determine if it is DDR, DDR2, or DDR3, then order 1 GB modules... Windows XP will handle 2 GB, sometimes 2.5GB, Windows 7 should handle 4 GB.

    What you should also consider is whether to replace the hard drive... after 3 years, your existing hard drive may have only another year, or less, to go before it fails. Use it as a backup now, and get a new hard drive... Western Digital Black or Seagate would be my choices.

    Then buy the best video card that you can afford, based on what your motherboard website will suggest.

    If you have an HP, Gateway, eMachines, Sony, Compaq, or Dell, it may be time to just replace it all by building your own.

    Good luck.
  3. Jwalker188

    Jwalker188 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey, thanks for the reply.

    I discovered my PSU has 12v+ and 650 watts on it. I've also located a good video card and ram combination that is relatively cheap that will fit perfectly into my rig.

    I figured if I drop a few hundred itll last me another 1-2 years at which point I'm going to have to switch to quad core and make other adjustments anyways, so I'll wait until then to put in the big boy parts.

    Appreciate the feedback.


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