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Upgrade - or replace?

  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the computer be kept or scrapped?

    • Add more RAM and keep it
    • Scrap that antique
    • Do people still use those parts?
      0
    • Send it to me, I'll use it
      0


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Hi There Everyone,

 

My computer is getting to be around five years old and is just now catching up to me on speed - time for something to be done. When using Firefox and OpenOffice Writer, I start to see some slow performance (especially on Mandrivausers.org); editing pictures with GIMP can become extremely cumbersome - the pictures are only about 7Mb. I like working on somewhat a shoestring budget, which thankfully means I build my computers with further upgrading in mind. If I can get away with a simple tuneup, I'd like to, but I'm wondering if it's time to scrap?

 

Currently the memory situation is about 1/2 gig at DDR 400 (I presume 400 - is there a way I can check without pulling the heat spreaders off?). A typical use memory situation looks like this -

[mucols@localhost ~]$ free -o

total used free shared buffers cached

Mem: 513404 494776 18628 0 7168 115876

Swap: 4088500 79096 4009404

Am I correct in assuming Swap is memory temporarily moved to the hard drive - like how Windows uses Virtual Memory; Page File? At any rate - it's apparent my memory situation is getting a bit crowded - I could easily triple this for a reasonable price - there is another pair of memory banks open. But, I'm wondering if the rest of my hardware could be past capacity as well....

 

Other major points of hardware are the video card, ATI RADEON 9800 @256MB (maxed out for this board); SATA (1) HD I'd like to replace; and the Intel P4 2.6gHz Processor with Hyper Threading.

 

My main uses for this machine are web browsing, document and web-page editing, and photo editing. Do you think the memory upgrade will be cost effective, or is it time to scrap?

 

Thanks!

 

Jeff

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A memory upgrade to 1.5GB will make a very noticeable difference. I had a P4 2.5GHz with 1.5GB RAM until a few months ago and it was perfectly fine with Linux (using it for the same purposes as you).

I only upgraded it as the mobo died, not because of performance and in fact my new mobo has a dual core AMD Athlon 2.5GHz and I don't see much of a difference during normal use.

 

Get the memory 2nd hand off ebay and the upgrade will be very cost effective (just make sure you know exactly what memory you need so you get the right type).

Edited by tux99

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Yes, (IMO) a memory upgrade will be cost effective. As tux has already noted, make sure you know exactly what memory you need, speed, single-bank or double-bank, etc.

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If you think five years is old for a computer then mine is definitely well past its prime at 15years+

It has two new mother boards & two power supplies in that time, one took the other out. Apart from that it has had memory added, hard drives and cd rom changed. So the cost effective way is more ram, you will certainly see the difference 1/2 meg makes, however if you are looking for an excuse, get yourself a shiney bright new outfit. Go one spoil yourself. You must have that option in mind or else you would not be asking the question. :D

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Definitely RAM would be just fine here. I had an AMD Athlon XP 1800+ with 1GB of RAM and 2 x 160GB HDD's. The only reason I upgraded it was the fact it was 8 years old or so and I needed something much faster and replaced it with a Quad Core 2.4GHz, 8GB RAM and 4 x 250GB HDD's.

 

Otherwise, as it stood for a basic machine for reading websites, writing docs, etc it was perfectly fine. So yours will be much better with a memory upgrade than my AMD Athlon XP 1800+ would have been :)

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you will certainly see the difference 1/2 meg makes,

 

1 or 2 megabytes (or do you mean half a megabyte?!) will hardly make any difference... ;)

 

Seems like you still live 15 (or rather 20) years ago too! :P :D

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Oops! I should have said 1 half gig. A senior moment. I still run my pc on 1 gig of ram. It soon fills up though. My first computer had 1k of ram, and I could run programs in that amount. No graphics mind. You may have heard of the Sinclair ZX81. :D

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My first computer had 1k of ram, and I could run programs in that amount. No graphics mind. You may have heard of the Sinclair ZX81. :D

 

Yes my first computer was a rubber-keyboard Sinclair ZX Spectrum 16K :thumbs: (later upgraded to 48K, what a difference 32K made! :D )

(I still have it and it still works!)

Edited by tux99

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:mr-green: I couldn't afford a Spectrum, had to make do with a 32k ram pack on my zx81. Thank goodness for blue-tack to stop the ram pack wobble. Alas the machine is no longer. The bubble pack keyboard gave out long ago.

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I had a Dragon 32. There was even a Dragon 64, but I wasn't that lucky :D

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