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New pc or upgrade?

by hanselthecaretaker / May 27, 2007 5:07 AM PDT

I have a Dell Dimension 4550 w/ a 2 ghz pentium 4 processor, 512mb RAM and a 20 gig hard drive that's almost full. Running Windows XP service pack 1.
I was told that I'd have a faster internet speed by the cable guy if I got a new pc. However, I can still access files quickly, but once I open Musicmatch or an HD media player, my CPU usage skyrockets to the point of almost freezing. I would rather just throw a gig or two of RAM and put a bigger hard drive in my motherboard rather than pay for a whole new tower.

My question is, would that be enough to make my pc run faster, and more efficiently? I also upgraded my graphics card recently to an ATI Radeon X1050. I'm not concerned with being able to play the latest games, just boosting my pc's everyday performance and capacity.

Thank you for any suggestions.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 5:15 AM PDT
In reply to: New pc or upgrade?
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DMA setting
by hanselthecaretaker / May 27, 2007 6:15 AM PDT
In reply to: DMA DMA DMA

I looked at the secondary IDE channel settings and I have both a Device 0 and a Device 1. Device 0's transfer modes are set to PIO only, while Device 1's are set to DMA (current transfer mode is Ultra DMA mode 2).

Should I still reinstall the driver, or does is the Device 0 setting irrelevant to the problem?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 7:02 AM PDT
In reply to: DMA setting

So you didn't follow the instructions at the web site?

Be sure to do the usual spyware tests but I'd like to know why you didn't perform the dma resets.


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Device 0 & 1
by hanselthecaretaker / May 27, 2007 7:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Cough.

The website didn't say anything about there being two different Devices, and what the difference (if any) is between them. Should they both be set to DMA or is Device 0 irrelevant?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 7:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Device 0 & 1

I use that site since it automates the flip to pio and back to dma. I no longer write the long... explanation. Hope your spyware scans are clean and hope you find other causes. I also hope you understand I can't type in the long reason for each person that needs it.


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no problem
by hanselthecaretaker / May 27, 2007 7:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorry.

Do you know though if I should just reinstall anyway so both devices are DMA? I don't see what it could hurt.

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The site...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 7:36 AM PDT
In reply to: no problem

Has a little .vbs that flips it for us. It's the people that just look at the control panel that might miss out on a quick fix.


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Short answer, "Yes"
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 27, 2007 5:17 AM PDT
In reply to: New pc or upgrade?

Longer answer;

The cable guy is incorrect. Having a faster PC does not really mean a internet connection. The speed of the internet is wholly governed by the type of internet connection you have, eg dial-up is slow, DSL and Cable broadband is faster. Cable broadband comes with different speed options, usually offered by your ISP, (Internet Service Provider), at different costs.

So, your problem would be greatly helped with more RAM, at least a total of 1GB, but many people now have 2GB. A bigger drive would help for storage capacity, but not necessarily for speed.

What you could do is housekeeping. Disable any unwanted Services, (I assume you are running Windows XP), and also disable any unwanted "Start up" programs, those that you have installed that load immediately you start Windows. They will take up RAM and slow performance down.

Also, remove any pests, (viruses, spyware, etc).


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by hanselthecaretaker / May 27, 2007 12:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Short answer, "Yes"

for the suggestions. I still plan on upgrading my pc in the near future. It's already 5 years old and I've recently got the bug for modding.

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