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Need computer building advice

By Mortimer ยท 16 replies
Feb 10, 2008
  1. Hello all, I am new here, and new to tinkering with the insides of computers. I need some advice on how to improve on the machine I have. (emachines T3958, Intel celeron D 340, 512mb ram originally). So far I've replaced the 512 with 1g of ram and also installed a 256mb graphics card. I would like to increase the ram past the 2g limit that the machine's specs tell me I can install. What components will I need to replace to accomplish this? (processor, motherboard etc.) And what would be compatible with my machine? Thank you very much for the help.
  2. What OS are you running?

    If it's XP then without add-ons you will need a 64-bit version.

    The rest of the components are fine I guess.

    The Processor is not that great, and you can't just be generic with a 256MB GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). What's the name of it?
  3. Mortimer

    Mortimer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    graphics card

    The card I put in was the Nvidia 5500 series I believe. I'm actually running XP at the moment. I'd like to bump my ram up to 4G if possible but I've read my current setup will only support 2.

    AYTRIX-TEC TS Rookie Posts: 30

    firstly i would replace the RAM and the CPU if you want to have 4 gb in there. What you using it for anyway? sounds like u need it either extreme graphic design OR gaming lol.

    do u know what motherboard u have in there?

  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    No, AYTRIX and Elvrage are both incorrect.

    The motherboard is what is limiting you to 2GB of RAM. You'll have to replace that to go higher, and it is not worth it at all. Various reasons for that:
    1 - The motherboard houses everything, so it would require a complete rebuild/reinstallation of Windows.
    2 - you are still using a low end processor
    3 - you would still have a low end video card
    4 - you aren't going to be using the full 4 gigs in 32bit Windows anyway, at least not using in the way you expect you would. Search here or google for 32bit Windows 4GB RAM and you'll see.

    5 - If you are going to replace the motherboard you might as well just buy entirely new components for everything and just keep your existing system intact.

    So my advice, buy 2 1 gig sticks of RAM and call it good.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I'd like to confirm SNGX's comment. You can't just pop in 4GB if the motherboard doesn't support it - and it certainly doesn't.

    There is also little need for 4GB of RAM. It's fashionable these days because it is cheap, but 2GB for your average user and casual gamer is a HUGE amount. To your average professional and more serious gamer, 2GB is adequate. Obviously it all depends on what you are doing, but if you're like most people, 2GB will keep you satisfied for a long time.

    AYTRIX-TEC TS Rookie Posts: 30

    yikes wot was thinking!!!!! an error on my part there Mortimor. i should have said you will need to replace the MOTHERBOARD and CPU sorry!!!

  8. Acclamator

    Acclamator TS Rookie Posts: 261

    It may be a better investment to just get a new computer.
  9. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    hey mortimer just a suggestion here instead of investing in these components why dont u jsut upgrade the pc u can get a fairly good spec for well very good price these days. instead of buying more ram and a new os. it will eventually add up to a new pc anyway.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +419

    He can't just 'upgrade' very easily. Upgrading would amount to a new PC just as fast. Infact what are you even suggesting he upgrade if its not the RAM?

    Its an emachine, meaning if he was to upgrade say the video card, he'd likely have to replace the power supply. Adding a new hard drive won't do much for speed unless you get something like a Raptor. CPU options are probably limited by the motherboard but that is a possibility, but then again if you are getting a new CPU you might as well get a motherboard that can handle more than 2 gigs of RAM.

    I still stand by my suggestion above of just getting 2 gigs of RAM and calling it good. Then building an entirely new PC later and having 2.
  11. Mortimer

    Mortimer TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, that sounds logical. What should I be looking for in terms of building a computer from the ground up? Any particular brand of component I should steer clear of? Thanks again for the input it's much appreciated.
  12. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    well u dont need to build a pc from scratch if u dont want to u can just buy a pc online form like dell with a custom spec which will suit ur needs. it will cost a little more but they will do everything for u which saves u the hassle!!!
  13. gnrspecialties

    gnrspecialties TS Rookie

    I need help too am building a monster computer

    I need help in finding the right motherboard for what i want anyone help?
  14. Bruce2

    Bruce2 TS Rookie

    What's your budget? What level of PC are you aiming to make? (High end gaming, mid-range work/gaming or budget PC) What kind of games?

    The best thing I can recommend is to check out and follow the guides on sites like www.tomshardware.com or www.anandtech.com or from gaming magazines. All of those do their "best gaming PC", often in different price brackets.

    Look at the brands and chipsets that they recommend. You tend to see the same brands and configurations, so this is the best way for a newbie to dip their feet in.

    Alternatively - look at the configurations of some online vendors (NOT big names like Dell etc that use their own components, but ones that use off-the-shelf components) and use those as a guide.

    The reason I'm not recommending anything specific for the moment is that people have a lot of their own personal favourites. These may not necessarily the best components for your budget or needs.
  15. porsche911r

    porsche911r TS Rookie Posts: 37

    lol bruce u r right man every1 has there best options for everything so yeh its true.
  16. Jonno 92

    Jonno 92 TS Rookie

    you'll need a new motherboard that supports more RAM, as your motherboard probably only taes a maximum of 2gb
  17. Jonno 92

    Jonno 92 TS Rookie

    you'll need a new motherboard that supports more RAM, as your motherboard probably only taes a maximum of 2gb.
    Also, newer motherboards usually take faster speeds of ram, so you might even gain a bit of speed. Hope this helps.
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