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Really slow PC

by Frizzel / September 17, 2006 2:50 PM PDT

A friend of mine has an older Gateway computer that seems to be unusually slow(my first pc is faster). I got rid of all his running startup programs, cleared cache and spyware, and got rid of any uneeded files and programs, etc. The PC is still really slow and what I figure is to add more RAM (and even graphics card). Any advice would be appreciated- i listed the specs below.

Gateway E3600 1.6 Ghz Pentium 4 100 mhz bus
8 kb primary cache
256 kb secondary cache
128 mb SDRAM (1 slot-1 slot free)
80 GB drive (less than 20 used)
old graphics card

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(NT) (NT) What OS ?
by linkit / September 17, 2006 9:05 PM PDT
In reply to: Really slow PC
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For starters...
by john_mcdoogle / September 18, 2006 12:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Really slow PC

More RAM would help immensely. An older Pentium 4 like that is going to be absolutely starving for data almost all the time with only 128MB of RAM. Bump that to at least 512MB, regardless of the operating system.

The graphics card probably doesn't need to be changed unless they plan to do some gaming. Windows is a 2D interface, so it's very light work for just about any video card.

There's a good chance of a massive malware infestation as well. Depending on the extent, it might just be faster and easier to format the entire system. After running a scan or two, you'll have to make a determination about the amount of progress you're making and whether or not things are even salvageable.

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I had previously done a format
by Frizzel / September 18, 2006 1:44 AM PDT
In reply to: For starters...

It's running WinXP Pro. I installed a new HD and upgraded the OS to Winxp pro and there wasn't a huge difference speed wise-it was previously WinXP Home(i figured xp pro would help a bit).
As far as upgrading the RAM, should I just go with 512mb in the open slot?

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Depends
by john_mcdoogle / September 18, 2006 2:19 AM PDT

I would go to Crucial's website, and use their selection tool to find out just what kinds of RAM that system can take. It might be old enough to still be using RDRAM instead of SDRAM. There's also the slim possibility it won't accept anything larger than 256MB sticks. It's not fun when you rush out to the store, buy something, and get it home only to find it's not what you needed.

You should see a very noticeable speed increase once the RAM is installed. Never in my life have I experienced something so frustratingly slow as an XP system running on 128MB of RAM. XP Pro and Home are pretty much the same, Pro just has a few additional features switched on, so while it's too late now, you won't see any increase in speed from that.

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These 168-pin DIMMs are compatible
by Frizzel / September 18, 2006 3:19 AM PDT
In reply to: Depends

512MB SDRAM, PC133 ? CL=3 ? Unbuffered ? Non-parity ? 133MHz ? 3.3V ? 64Meg x 64 $96.81

512MB SDRAM, PC133 ? CL=2 ? Unbuffered ? Non-parity ? 133MHz ? 3.3V ? 64Meg x 64 $98.87

256MB SDRAM, PC133 ? CL=2 ? Unbuffered ? Non-parity ? 133MHz ? 3.3V ? 32Meg x 64 $71.06

128MB SDRAM, PC133 ? CL=2 ? Unbuffered ? Non-parity ? 133MHz ? 3.3V ? 16Meg x 64 $31.45

Any suggestions on which way to go? Will it run better if i go with 2-256mb, or will it be okay to keep the 128mb and add a 512mb?

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Get a better price...
by linkit / September 18, 2006 6:48 AM PDT

...at online stores like NewEgg.com.

There are 512MB PC133 3.3V RAM modules currently available for $60 or less.

There is no dual channel benefit on that old motherboard, so having two different RAM module sizes is not an issue.

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Brands
by Frizzel / September 18, 2006 2:25 PM PDT
In reply to: Get a better price...

Any suggestions on the brand. Should spend the extra and go with Corsair for $76 or the Kingston $63 and Viking for $55?
How come Newegg sells the same exact Crucial models(model # and all) for almost $20 cheaper than Crucial website does?

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I have used many...
by linkit / September 18, 2006 11:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Brands

...brands of PC100 and PC133 RAM. Kingston, Crucial, PNY, of Viking have all worked as expected.

When that RAM was popular, I purchased a lot of PNY and Kingston because the office supply stores carried it.

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