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replacing 4 yr old HP has Althlon XP processor @ 2.2Ghz

by wheelwinner / March 23, 2008 7:30 AM PDT

A new Dell I am considering, has an Intel Pentium Dual-Core E2160 @ 2.0 MHz ... does that mean I'm getting a slower processor (than the one above) or is the technology of today far superior?

Simple answers for this grandma, please.

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More than one
by Willy / March 23, 2008 7:59 AM PDT

Yes, you're getting a slower cpu, but there are "two/2" cpu cores in there doing the work. Look at it like one/1 cpu at 4.0Ghz. However, it will be simply faster to your older single core cpu. Hope that clears it up for ya. If you like visit http://www.tomshardware.com for some more insight.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Doesn't work like that
by Jimmy Greystone / March 23, 2008 9:20 AM PDT
In reply to: More than one

It doesn't work like that. Dual core chips, just like old dual CPU setups, does NOT mean that if you have 2x2GHz cores/CPUs it's the same as having a single 4GHz CPU. The performance doesn't simply add together like that.

Of course the big thing is that there's more to computer performance than CPU clock speeds, so even at 200MHz less, they should perform better.

Now the real question for me is: Aside from the old system being an HP, what exactly is wrong with it? I'm far from an "If it ain't broke" sort of person, since I believe in progress, and progress doesn't happen if you stick with the status quo... But why waste money on a new system unless the old one is somehow failing to meet your needs? Is it worth a couple hundred dollars to have programs load 1-2 seconds faster and web pages possibly render a fraction of a second quicker? Not to mention being stuck with Vista, which has done an admirable job of taking over where Windows Me left off.

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CURRENT COMPUTER ONLY HAS 512kb OF RAM
by wheelwinner / March 23, 2008 9:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Doesn't work like that

Thank you for answering my query. My current computer runs real slow -- even with a high speed cable connection. I wanted to upgrade the memory but it's 333MHz DDR SDRAM 184-pin DIMM and would need to be ordered online and then I have to pay someone to install it. Circuit City wanted around $200 to do the job.

In today's Parade magazine, Dell offered a system for $99 ... with the 3 year in home service & 3 yrs. of PC-cillan required, it comes to $368 ... add $50 to bring it to 2 GB RAM + $20 to upgrade from 1.8 to 2.0 processor and the whole things costs $438 and I have a brand new machine with a 250 GB hard drive (I have 160 now and store mucho pictures). At my age, I am not a "gamer" (other than Freecell) so video cards and all the other techno stuff I know nothing about are moot. The current system will probably be used by my husband to play around (he so NOT a computer person).

I thank you for your feedback ... I, too, rarely replace something that's not broken but feel that this may be an exception (like replacing my old 21" TV which worked fine with a 42" LCD ... yes, I know ... not quite the same comparison). Please tell me if you still think I am making a poor choice.

Thanks, Ann

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It's Only A mistake If You feel It Is
by markcynt / March 23, 2008 11:05 AM PDT

The only possible bad part about buying that new computer is that it will come with Vista. You may not have any problems with Vista but a lot of people have, me included. I bought a computer with all quality high performance parts which was nice but Vista made it not nice. I paid considerably more for my computer than that Dell that you are talking about and did indeed feel like I made a mistake (a very expensive one). It took me 5 months to get Vista stable. Vista would crash every 3-5 hours at first but then very slowly became more stable. When SP1 came out I installed it right away and now Vista seems rock solid and I like it. I don't think you will have the problems I had. My opinion is that you won't be making a mistake. There will however be a learning curve with Vista and if you want to use the Aero you will notice a lag in performance once in a while if you don't have a good enough graphics processor (I noticed that in my son's notebook computer).

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I'd say so
by Jimmy Greystone / March 23, 2008 3:55 PM PDT

I'd say you're still making a mistake, and not just on the mixup on KB vs. MB.

It is not a very difficult thing to install RAM. The hardest part will probably be trying to get your hand around in the cramped HP case.

Of course, for a non-gamer, 512MB should be plenty. If you're experiencing poor performance, have you investigated the possibility of a spyware infestation? I won't repeat the basic instructions on how to check and deal with this problem, since it's been covered probably hundreds of times on these forums. So, feel free to search these forums, or even a search engine such as google.

I will, however, offer up my collection of dos and don'ts for keeping a well running system. Something I've posted many times, but have saved at the ready to be inserted into posts with only a few clicks of the mouse. Yes, sadly, I do need it that often.

TIPS FOR A SMOOTH RUNNING SYSTEM
================================

The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. Follow them all, and you've probably eliminated at least 95% of all potential problem sources.

Things you should NOT do
--------------------------------
1: Use Internet Explorer
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
-----------------------------
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running
3: Always have a firewall running
4: Install all the latest security updates (the exception to the no-IE rule)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address

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Why Not Internet Explorer and Outlook Express
by markcynt / March 23, 2008 4:22 PM PDT
In reply to: I'd say so

I've been using both of them for years and never had a problem.

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Two reasons
by Jimmy Greystone / March 24, 2008 2:12 AM PDT

1: Spyware
2: Spam

Internet Explorer is the common element to probably 99% of all spyware/malware out there. Take away Internet Explorer, you kneecap all of that. And yes, there's always one or two odd people who think that because they've never had a problem, the countless others out there who HAVE, don't matter somehow. You can just do a quick survey of these forums, and you will quickly see that you are the exception. The odds of winning the lottery are astronomically small, but every now and then someone will win the lottery. Same basic principle at work here.

As for Outlook/Outlook Express... Go read up on your turn of the millennium Internet history. Run a Google search on the Melissa email worm, and the several variants. It was really only Outlook and Outlook Express that were spreading that worm... Given Microsoft, as a company, prioritizes usability over security every time, what's to say this sort of thing couldn't happen again?

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Well Then What Is Safe
by markcynt / March 24, 2008 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Two reasons

I think it's more like a numbers game. With so many people using Microsoft products, it is Microsoft that gets targeted. Even though I don't need to,(I remember those problems)I read up all the time and every time I see something out that is supposed to be "secure", a hole is found in that security. And also, seat belts save lives, but if people drive wreckless then their chances of getting killed are greatly increased. Same thing with the internet, less secure habits are what gets people into trouble. There are also plenty of people who, like me have had no problems. The only truly secure platform I have seen is Linux, which I tried for a spell, but didn't really care for it. So, what is a safe browser and what is safe for email but still functional?

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KB VS MB was a typo ... I know the difference
by wheelwinner / March 23, 2008 11:31 PM PDT
In reply to: I'd say so

Jimmy ...

I follow every one of your do's and do not's ... everything is up to date. I run Firefox rather than Explorer ... I know not to click on emails from unknown sources ... I follow all the cleanup procedures recommended by experts ... I was told that in today's computing, 512MB of RAM is not sufficient.

To you, installing the additional memory might not be a big deal but I am an almost 70 year old woman who can't use fingers and body like a young person ... getting inside the computer is no longer possible and must be done by someone else.

I haven't ordered a new system but am still thinking on it and that's why I sought advice from knowledgeable computer folks like you.

Thanks for writing. Ann

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Ann, installing RAM is no big deal...
by glenn30 / March 23, 2008 11:41 PM PDT

Most any computer literate teenager can do it. So do not pay those prices you mentioned to get this done. Also do an Internet search for RAM where it will be found at quite reasonable prices. First thing to do is find out what type RAM is needed and the maximum capacity of your computer... you can do that from "Support" of your brand of computer.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive solution but merely a suggestion and let you know that expensive computer store thing is not needed.

Hope this helps and good luck!

Glenn

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You were told wrong
by Jimmy Greystone / March 24, 2008 2:36 AM PDT

If you're running XP, don't do a lot of gaming, etc, then 512MB is perfectly fine. I wouldn't want to go lower than that, but it's the beginning of a sweet spot for XP that extends to about 1GB. And at 70, if you're on a limited income, there's even less reason to buy a new computer.

It really sounds to me like you're looking to buy a new computer because someone else said you need more RAM, and for a little more than it would cost to get more RAM installed professionally, you could get a new computer. Of course the initial premise that you need more RAM is flawed if you ask me. That, and like already suggested, some teenage kid in your neighborhood, or maybe a grandson/daughter, could probably do it for you... Either cheap or free.

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Look into
by Willy / March 24, 2008 3:23 AM PDT

I gave advice on your original post and kept it simple in explanation. If you want a new system that's obliviously your decision. If you plan to keep your old system then again, that's up to you. It seems you feel limited by any physical exercise, then have a friend or a trusted person you feel may help you. Adding ram, truly is a "drop in slot and forget" sorta thing once you know the area it gets put in. Using your HP model# goto their support website and see what it takes to do this or what it entails.

I like to add, the Dell system at $99, then you add this or that for a total of $438, add more for S/H, would you really feel comfortable ordering. Many vendors offer similar total sum deals at $399 and up w/o adding anything. If you like checkout BestBuy, Circuit City and others locally to get an idea what cost maybe, or even online from the same vendors. Other online vendors like Dell, HP, Compaq, gateway, pretty much offer same deals as well, so review others may offer.

tada -----Willy Happy

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