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Looking To Upgrade, Need Some Advice Please.


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Greetings all.

 

Below is the system specs for my computer. Also, near the bottom are the upgrades I was considering on a budget of less than $200 for Christmas. Please give me any advice you may have. Games are most important for me, if that helps.

 

Here is my system info:

 

CPU - 1.8 Ghz Pentium 4

 

Base Board

Manufacturer Hewlett-Packard

Product HP System Board

Version A08

_____________________________________________________

System

Description Hewlett-Packard HP Vectra VL420 Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (Build 2600)

Manufacturer Hewlett-Packard

Name DESKTOP

Model HP Vectra VL420

Total Physical Memory 256 MB

_____________________________________________________

Product

Name HP Vectra

Version VL420

Vendor Hewlett-Packard

____________________________________________________

BIOS

Manufacturer American Megatrends Inc.

Version JA.01.04US

SMBIOS Major Version 2

SMBIOS Minor Version 3

Release Date 20010719******.******+***

_____________________________________________________

Operating System

Caption Microsoft Windows XP

Name WinXP

Version Service Pack 2 (Build 2600)

_____________________________________________________

System Enclosure

Description Low Profile Desktop - ChassisLock: Present

Serial Number N/A

_____________________________________________________

CDROM drive

Drive Description Manufacturer

D:\ BDV316B DVD-16X

E:\ CD-Writer cd16b HP

_____________________________________________________

Disk Drive

Id Description Model Manufacturer Serial Number Interface type

0 IDE Fixed Hard Disk ST340016A ST340016A N/A IDE

_____________________________________________________

Logical Disk

Name Description Size Free Space Volume Label

A:\ Removable Disk NaN MB NaN MB

C:\ Local Disk 38153 MB 24496 MB DESKTOP

D:\ Compact Disk NaN MB NaN MB

E:\ Compact Disk NaN MB NaN MB

_____________________________________________________

Configuration

Number of Floppies 1

Number of Parallel Ports 0

Number of Free Memory Slots 0

Number of Serial Ports 0

_____________________________________________________

Memory

Number of Memory Slots Maximum Capacity

3 1572864 KB

_____________________________________________________

Video

Adapter NVIDIA GeForce2 MX

Horizontal Resolution 1024 Pixels

Vertical Resolution 768 Pixels

Color Resolution 32 Bits/Pixel

Refresh Rate 75 Hz

Adapter RAM 32 MB

_____________________________________________________

Monitor

Manufacturer

Type Plug and Play Monitor

Serial Number KR13742883

Asset Number

_____________________________________________________

Network

Adapter Description Intel® PRO/100 VE Network Connection

MAC Address

Speed 100 KB

_____________________________________________________

Keyboard and Mouse

Keyboard Description Keyboard Layout

IBM enhanced (101- or 102-key) keyboard 00000409

Mouse Description Mouse Number of Buttons

N/A N/A

_____________________________________________________

USB Devices

Description HEWLETT PACKARD USB Keyboard

Port Name USB002

Model USB Keyboard

Manufacturer HEWLETT PACKARD

Serial Number

Interface Class UNKNOWN

 

 

Upgrades I would like to make:

 

CD/DVD Burners (RW Drives)

Lite-On 16X DVD Dual Drive, Model SOHW-1633S Beige, Retail

 

Memory (System Memory)

A-DATA 184 Pin 256M DDR PC-3200 - OEM

 

Video Card

ROSEWILL RADEON 9600 Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "RW9600-128D" -RETAIL

 

Upgrades I would like to make, are they compatible with my system?

 

Will the RAM I have be compatible with the RAM I am purchasing to create a total of 512?

 

Should I remove my CD-RW or my DVD player when I add the Lite-On CD/DVD Burner, or both?

 

Can I overclock my CPU safely?

Edited by sdamos
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You won't need another burner when you put the dvd burner in there because it'll burn both cd's and dvd's. It's your choice.

 

You don't say what kind of ram you have in your system now...just what you're wanting to buy.

 

And I highly doubt you'll be able to overclock your cpu any, if at all, because of it's proprietary nature. HP's don't take kindly to that, and frankly the wimpy power supplies they come with wouldn't hold up anyway.

 

Your best bet would be to build your own and get away from the pre-built systems if you can.

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How do I know what type of memory I have besides looking in the case? Also, I only have $200 to spend, at this time building a new system is not an option. Any advice? I know I will not need the CD Burner, my question is should I remove both drives, or leave one of them. And if I was to leave the DVD or CDRW drive, which one would you leave in?

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Ok, it says I have 256 MB (PC133 SDRAM)

 

Way cool program by the way.

 

So, am I correct in thinking that if I purchase any PC133 memory it will work with my system? Will the pins all be standard for PC133, all that good stuff? How do I know how much I can put in? If I bought a 512 to add to the 256 would it take it all or not past 512?

 

Also, I see that my video card is only 32MB, that sucks. I cannot wait to get a faster one.

Edited by sdamos
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Well, we still don't know the manufacturer of the ram... but that DOES rule out you using the ram you mentioned earlier. You can only use PC 133 SDRAM or less in it. Apparently it doesn't have DDR capabilities.

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The max ram size module you can put in your system is 512mb. So yes you can add to what you have in your system right now. You should have 3 ram slots on the motherboard, even if you have two 128mb strips in there now you should have one slot left for the 512mb strip.

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Thank you for your replies. I have 2 slots left open so no problems there. Does anyone have any recommendations of software configurations that will help my system run faster during gameplay even after these upgrades. It sounds like many of you have a lot of knowledge in software configuration as well as hardware configuration. Any advice would be appreciated. Is all PC133 168 pin or do I need to check that before I order? Also, my budget is $200, is the combination below a good choice for the money or would you all do something different?

 

Here is what I plan to buy:

 

Lite-On 16X DVD Dual Drive, Model SOHW-1633S

 

V-DATA 168 Pin 256M SDRAM PC-133

 

ROSEWILL RADEON 9600 Video Card, 128MB DDR, 128-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP, Model "RW9600-128D"

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Description Low Profile Desktop - ChassisLock: Present

 

if yours is the standard desktop, a video card will fit (normal size), however if its the smaller one, a video card will not fit (unless it is a low profile, which i'm guessing you have).

 

also, make sure you have an AGP slot.

 

the DVD and memory look ok.

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:wp:

 

Did you check to see if you have an AGP Slot?? I hope you did, or your not going to be able to run the video card. If you do, all looks good :tup:

 

Edit: It looks like Mario was right. I believe it is low profile. I don't think the card will fit, even though it has an AGP slot. You might have to like keep the side off of it or something. :(

Edited by IanG
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