2 GB Ram, or do I need more?


F

Frank

I'm trying to decide whether to add Ram to the 2 GB that I now have in
my system. With just my browser and Everest running, my system (with
integrated sound and graphics that share system memory) is using about
740 MB of Ram, according to Everest.

Some day, I'll want to upgrade to Vista. I use internet and home-
office applications and Photoshop Elements. I'm not a gamer. Here
are my current specs:
XP Home SP 2
Intel Pentium D 945
Intel Sorento D945GNT with intergrated sound and graphics
2 GB DDR2-667 SDRAM
Floppy disk drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 300GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s HDD x 2

I'm in an upgrade frame of mind because I just scored $130 on eBay.
So, any advice for an upgrade to improve performance would be greatly
appreciated. (By the way, I'm pretty sure that my motherboard can't
handle a Core 2 Duo, even though it has an LGA 775 socket.)
 
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D

Dave

Frank said:
I'm trying to decide whether to add Ram to the 2 GB that I now have in
my system. With just my browser and Everest running, my system (with
integrated sound and graphics that share system memory) is using about
740 MB of Ram, according to Everest.

Some day, I'll want to upgrade to Vista. I use internet and home-
office applications and Photoshop Elements. I'm not a gamer. Here
are my current specs:
XP Home SP 2
Intel Pentium D 945
Intel Sorento D945GNT with intergrated sound and graphics
2 GB DDR2-667 SDRAM
Floppy disk drive
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 300GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s HDD x 2

I'm in an upgrade frame of mind because I just scored $130 on eBay.
So, any advice for an upgrade to improve performance would be greatly
appreciated. (By the way, I'm pretty sure that my motherboard can't
handle a Core 2 Duo, even though it has an LGA 775 socket.)

According to Vista's built-in Windows Experience Index, it is possible to
score 5.8 or higher (scale only goes up to 5.9!) with exactly 2GB of
physical RAM installed on the mainboard.

Adding more RAM to your system won't help, at all. What would help would be
to buy a decent video card. -Dave
 
B

Bob Knowlden

I see that you can add a PCI Express x16 card.

This one may be more than you need (it would be a quite respectable gaming
card):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130056

but it's cheap for its capabilities. EVGA is (IMO) one of the more better
manufacturers in terms of customer support.

If it's too rich for you, use the "power search" (upper left of the video
cards page). Check the PCI Express x16 box, and the Vista Ready box at the
bottom of the page. That will give you cards with at least 128 MB of video
memory. (That's the requirement for Aero Glass.) The cheapest will be around
$40US (plus shipping). You'll get more than 300 choices, but you may not be
interested in the $500+ ones.

I suggest looking there to get an idea what is available, even if you have
no intention of buying from Newegg. (However, I've bought from them, and
have been satisfied. They score well on www.resellerratings.com as well. The
only thing I dislike about them is that they don't reduce shipping costs for
multiple items.)

Return address scrambled. Replace nkbob with bobkn to reply.
 
D

Dave

Bob Knowlden said:
I see that you can add a PCI Express x16 card.

This one may be more than you need (it would be a quite respectable gaming
card):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130056

but it's cheap for its capabilities. EVGA is (IMO) one of the more better
manufacturers in terms of customer support.


Yeah, I like EVGA too. The following looks like a good deal for what the OP
is running:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130075

I can confirm that this is a kick-butt card for Vista, but not really a
gaming card.

One I bought recently was actively cooled, but I can't seem to find that
one. -Dave
 
F

Frank

Yeah, I like EVGA too. The following looks like a good deal for what the OP
is running:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130075

I can confirm that this is a kick-butt card for Vista, but not really a
gaming card.

One I bought recently was actively cooled, but I can't seem to find that
one. -Dave

Thanks, Dave and Bob. Maybe I should wait 'til I'm ready to upgrade
to Vista before getting a video card. I'd get better technology for
less, probably. Would a video card enhance my non-Vista, non-gaming
computing?
-Frank
 
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D

Dave

Thanks, Dave and Bob. Maybe I should wait 'til I'm ready to upgrade
to Vista before getting a video card. I'd get better technology for
less, probably. Would a video card enhance my non-Vista, non-gaming
computing?
-Frank

Most definitely. The problem with the video solutions on the mainboard is
that they use RAM that you install on the mainboard. There are a few
problems with this approach:

1) Main system ram is not optimized for video adapter use (read: slower)
2) Whole mainboard has to slow down to transfer data back/forth over main
system buses to support video adapter
3) RAM is stolen from OS and programs for video adapter use

My suggestion would be, if you don't think you'll upgrade to vista soon,
look for a cheap, used PCI-Express X16 video adapter with 128MB or more of
Video ram. Try ebay, look for something like a geforce 6200 or something in
that range. It will be slow (but still faster than what is built into the
mainboard), but it will free up resources on your mainboard, so it will
still help your overall system performance. And you should be able to get
something decent for 30 bucks or less, delivered. -Dave
 
F

Forrest

Bob Knowlden said:
I see that you can add a PCI Express x16 card.

This one may be more than you need (it would be a quite respectable gaming
card):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130056

but it's cheap for its capabilities. EVGA is (IMO) one of the more better
manufacturers in terms of customer support.

If it's too rich for you, use the "power search" (upper left of the video
cards page). Check the PCI Express x16 box, and the Vista Ready box at the
bottom of the page. That will give you cards with at least 128 MB of video
memory. (That's the requirement for Aero Glass.) The cheapest will be around
$40US (plus shipping). You'll get more than 300 choices, but you may not be
interested in the $500+ ones.

I suggest looking there to get an idea what is available, even if you have
no intention of buying from Newegg. (However, I've bought from them, and
have been satisfied. They score well on www.resellerratings.com as well. The
only thing I dislike about them is that they don't reduce shipping costs for
multiple items.)

Return address scrambled. Replace nkbob with bobkn to reply.


I bought that exact card, (EVGA GeForce 7900GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI
Express x16 KO Video Card ) yesterday, 3-17-07, at Fry's for $200 with an
$80 MIR. It's for a new system that I'm gathering parts for and haven't had
a chance to try it out yet.
 
B

Bob M

Forrest said:
Express x16 KO Video Card ) yesterday, 3-17-07, at Fry's for $200 with an
$80 MIR. It's for a new system that I'm gathering parts for and haven't had
a chance to try it out yet.

Good luck getting any rebate back from Fry's without a big fight.
Avoid rebates and buy online cheaper if you can. I've been there and
done that. Fought for months to try and get a rebate from an item I
bought at Fry's. Not worth the hassle.

Bob
 
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