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Computer Upgrade: Should I?

by Polarsunray / April 16, 2010 11:47 PM PDT

Hey, its going to be my birthday in 2 weeks, and I'm thinking of upgrading my HP Pavilion Slimline (s3200t). I want to upgrade it mainly cause its been slowing down recently for some odd reasons, so I mainly want to upgrade the RAM. But, as I thought, might as well upgrade some other things too. What do you guys think? Here are the specs:

OS - MS Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit SP2
CPU - Intel Pentium E2140 @ 1.60GHz
RAM - 2.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 333MHz
Motherboard - ASUSTek Computer INC. LOCKTITE
Graphics - 64MB GeForce 7500 LE (MSI)
HD - 400GB Western Digital WDC WD4000AAJS-00TKA0 (IDE)

Is there anything else i should include?
I want to run windows 7 on it also. The most intensive things i do on my computer are play Sims 3 and a bunch of Adobe CS4 programs. And I want this under an acceptable budget.
Any and all opinions are welcome Happy

Oh, and lastly, the slimline is a really cramped, small computer. IS it possible to get a bigger chassis?
Thanks again!

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At 2GB
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 16, 2010 11:58 PM PDT

Not much gain by adding more. I've been lucky and seen 4GB and more machines and there is little speed gain. But you didn't reveal where the speed loss was. Read this recent discussion -> http://forums.cnet.com/5208-6122_102-0.html?threadID=390775&tag=forums06;forum-threads

That change for them was all they needed to get their machine performance back.

The 64MB video card looks to be prime for an upgrade. Research if you can fit the low power GT240 or GT220 in there. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gt-240,2475.html
Bob

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For starters
by Jimmy Greystone / April 17, 2010 12:13 AM PDT

For starters, have you checked to see just how much RAM that system can take? It's entirely possible that 2GB is the limit, in which case there'd be no point to upgrading. And since you have a 32-bit OS there's little point going above 3GB.

Moving on to your next question... The answer is maybe. Sometimes it's possible, sometimes it's not. It depends on if HP did anything proprietary in the construction of that system. Like putting PCI slots in an odd position so they will only line up with that specific system, or using an AMR slot for something. You could probably do it if you're willing to accept that you may lose access to certain features.

Personally, I'd be looking for the free option, and doing a bunch of malware scans to get rid of the crap you've undoubtedly picked up. Computers don't just start "slowing down recently for some odd reasons". There's a reason, you just don't know it.

Then, I'd just ask for some cash or something for your birthday, and put that away for a new system down the road. Vista and Adobe Creative Suite on the single core version of the Pentium Dual Core CPU which is running at a pretty pathetic (by today's standards anyway) 1.6GHz... That can't be fun. Trying to upgrade this thing is, IMO, a complete waste of time and money. Take the $100 or so for the RAM, and you're about a quarter of the way to a new system with almost infinitely better specs. Though next time you buy a system, don't just buy the cheapest thing you can find like you did the last time. Especially if you're using Creative Suite for anything serious. Save your money until you can afford at least a mid-level system.

Maybe you should ask for a CD (certificate of deposit) or something. The money for the upgrades goes into the bank where it will earn a little interest. It has the side benefit of making you seem mature and responsible... Humble even. Then you keep saving your pennies, and when you have $1,000-$1,500, you start looking for a new system.

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