Upgrading Graphics Cards and RAM

By Alexyboy123 · 24 replies
Mar 17, 2006
  1. My computers become a 'little' outdated for playing modern games and I am planning to upgrade the amount of RAM and upgrade the Graphics card to improve gaming performance; however I am unsure what components will work with my current Motherboard and PSU.

    Here are my current specs

    Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. K8V
    PSU: 360 watts
    Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3000+ 792 MHz
    Graphics Card: GeForce FX 5900 XT
    RAM: 2 x 256MB (thats all the information have)
    Sound Card: Auidgy 2 ZS
    (Do you need any more information??? Its a MESH PC)

    Can anyone recommend a better card or extra RAM that will be compatible with my system?


  2. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 993

    According to the ASUS official site, your mobo can support memory speeds of up to PC3200 (400)DDR and a 8X AGP Video card.

    You'll need to specify your approximate budget so it will be easier for us to recommend the best value option.
  3. Alexyboy123

    Alexyboy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    I was thinking up to £200, maybe £250 at the very most
  4. anonymous2004

    anonymous2004 TS Rookie

    a better card would a geforce 6600 gt, if you want to play modern games. 1GB Ram will be more than enough.
  5. Alexyboy123

    Alexyboy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    Thanks, apart from the speed of the RAM is there anything else I need to consider such as number of pins???
  6. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Yes, you need 184pin ddr pc3200 ram, be sure to NOT get ddr2 ram.
    For example, you already have 512MB in two of your slots, so if you want 1gb, then you would need a 512mb stick, like this one.

    (go to 8th one down, which is "Corsair 512MB DDR Value Select PC3200 CAS2.5 (VS512MB400) (MY-042-CS)")

    The Ram would be about 28 after VAT, so you could still get a 7800gs agp card, which is about 223 after VAT, like the ones on this page.
    If the 7800gs is too much, consider a 6800gs, like the ones at the top of this page.
  7. Alexyboy123

    Alexyboy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    Thanks People, you've really helped
  8. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    I can send you instructions on how to install everything, if you dont know how to.
  9. Alexyboy123

    Alexyboy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    I think I know, but it couldn't hurt to have extra instructions as I'm not that confident.
  10. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    OK for your video card:

    1. Remove your video card from the box.
    2. Take your new video card and place it the correct way into the motherboard's AGP or PCI slot, whichever is appropiate.
    3. Plug your monitor into the new card and you should see your windows desktop.
    4. Install drivers from CD or manufacturer website.

    For your RAM:

    1. Make sure there is an extra upgrade slot for RAM.
    2. Unlock the latches so you can insert your RAm stick.
    3. Insert the RAM and close the latches. Your RAM will be recognized on reboot.

    This is all you need to install the video card and the ram. Also, for your video card, make sure that your video card is compatible with your motherboard, I would do this by calling AsusTek and asking them if your video card choice is compatible with your motherboard.

    Best regards, sw123
  11. Alexyboy123

    Alexyboy123 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 63

    Thanks alot! I'll let you now how I get on.
  12. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    uhm, for the video card, I dont suggest you literally pull out the old one, insert the new card and start installing drivers..
    its good practice to uninstall prior video card drivers (even if you have nVidia and is upgrading to anotehr nVidia card) to make sure there are no driver conflicts. use DriverCleaner Pro. google it and install it. THEN go ahead and install the new card.

    heres a comprehensive guide to installing/upgrade to a new video card:

    here it is if u dont wanan go there:
    1: go to add/remove progs and uninstal 'nvidia display driver' it might ask u to restart.
    2: if it doesnt, then restart anyway and this time restart in Safe Mode. press F8 a few times before WinXP boots
    3: open drivercleaner pro and on the drop list menu, go down to "nvidia" and select/add that to the list. and click clean button
    4: turn off PC. install new card (make sure u ground urself) then boot up PC normally
    5: wait for XP to do its autodetect thing and cancel everything. then start up the CD that came in the box and isntall the driver.
    6. it may ask u to reboot one more.. do so, and ur set =]
  13. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    ya dont rip out the old one. leave it in it will just be disabled and your new card will dominate :)
  14. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    what do you mean "leave it in"? wheres he gonna put the new card? He has an ASUS K8V and a GeForce FX 5900 XT currently on his AGP. he doesnt use on-board video that can be 'left' on.
  15. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    If he's using a different graphics card, it doesn't really matter I don't think that you need to take out the old card. If he needs to take it out, he shouldn't rip it out. He should remove all the screws or nuts required, then he could gently take it out and put it in a safe place, if he somehow needs to use it again.
  16. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    Also remeber to unlach it and not just "pull it out" from the A.G.Port (slot).

    Best Of Luck
  17. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    uhmm.. dude, seriously read what i said.. he IS using a graphics card called the FX5900XT.. do you know what that is? its an AGP8X card by nVidia under the GForce line.. and YES it does mattter than he takes this card out.. where would he put in his new card? right on top of his old one? UGH.. i KNOW you need to take out the old card.... ding dong
    what screws or nuts? is your PC a spaceship or something? as far as i know there are no screws (unless you have an old school case from like... 90's and if thats the case its jus a little flat thats held on by a screw or two.. there are no nuts.....)
  18. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    I got an eMachine computer and it requires me to take out the screws so I was able to put my PCI card. I think maybe it is also required from other PC's to remove the screws to put in the new card.
  19. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    Do not mix speeds , brands, types, or size of memory. RTFM of your motherboard to determine what it will take. Certain motherboards are very picky on RAM. Asus is one of them.
  20. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Posts: 149

    Sw I think I understand your confusion. You have PCI graphics and Alex has AGP graphics. The slots in the motherboard are entirely different. PCI has one screw but AGP only has a locking lever arm to secure the card.
  21. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    Well, ok. If you read my computer's manual, you can see that it requires me to remove a screw or two. But really, if he has an onboard graphics card, he should NEVER take it out, as i believe all motherboards have onboard graphics. If you have he add on card as I do now, you should always remove it. Also, it may sound surprising, but i never uninstalled my old video card drivers(the intel card) All i did was put in my new card(not in safe mode) put in the CD, installed the drivers, rebooted, card worked great. Although it is not nessecary, I would leave the old video card's drvers in just in case the card goes bad and you have no motherboard drivers to install. This was, however, with a PCI card. AGP cards may be different.
  22. Greenmachine

    Greenmachine TS Rookie Posts: 149

    Wow....I did not know that you could remove onboard graphics. Is that even possible? I thought it was a fixed part of the motherboard. If you had onboard graphics before you did not have to uninstall the drivers. You merely disable the onboard graphics. Some motherboards automatically do this for you, ex. Gigabyte. However, if you are replacing an add-on graphics card you should always uninstall the drivers first.
  23. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    Youre totally right. you CANNOT remove onboard. It IS a fixed part of the motherboard.

    sw123 must be confused with something else. also not ALL motherboards have onboard graphics.
  24. Use the Crucial.com site it will scan ur pc and tell u which ram is suitable also run the belarc advisor it will give u all ur system info.
  25. truflip

    truflip TS Rookie Posts: 390

    crucial needs to update their database.. it doesnt have my board or its jetway counterpart.. the tech support didnt even know =[
    i had to ask eVGA themselves heh
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