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Please help a noob upgrade his computer

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 6, 2006 5:09:54 PM

Hi im not very computer literate but im trying to learn. I want to upgrade my vid card and add some ram to my system. Here is the specs on my system as is....

Full Tower
Motherboard: Intel D925XCV 925X
CPU: Pentium 4 3.4GHZ 1MB 800FSB LGA775
Memory: Crucial 512MB DDR2 PC4200
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 160GB 8MB Cache Serial ATA with NCQ HD
Video Card: ATI Radeon X600 XT 128MB PCIE
DVD Drive: 16X Dual Layer DVD+-R/W Recorder
CD Drive: Lite-on 52/32/52 CD-RW
Floppy Drive: 1.44MB
480 Watt Power Supply

Now I was recommended to purchase these from newegg..
eVGA 256-P2-N516 Geforce 7800GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card

CORSAIR ValueSelect 512MB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) System Memory


it bumps my ram up to 1024 and gives me a pretty fast vid card compared to the one im using now...I do alot of online gaming and want to play smooth with good fps. I was told these upgrades would really put the icing on the cake.
Can I get some opinions on these choices, I wanted to stay around $300.00 for a vid card and was wondering if I should get more ram while im at it.
thank you for any help :) 

More about : noob upgrade computer

February 6, 2006 5:31:39 PM

Well your system looks pretty good from where I see it and getting the extra 512MB RAM should be more than enough as 1GB is normally recommended for games and 2GB wont make a big difference.
If you want to upgrade your video card then that is a perfect choice unless your willing to pay some extra bucks and then can get an
XFX 7800 GTX which i think costs around 490ish.
February 6, 2006 5:55:11 PM

well as the kid above me said good system overall pretty basic nothing special i say get a if u want to get into the next gen games bf2 fear stuff like that i say get 2gb memory if u can but if u can only get 1gb should be ok even though i dont like to promote nvidia( i hate them) but i would say get the 7800gt it is a decent card newegg has it for about 280 should be fine to do what u want to play. just my thoughts
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February 6, 2006 6:00:28 PM

yo elLOCOmutha

looks ok I WOULDNT worry ABOUT THE TYPE OF ram
i would have at least 1 gig 2 if possible depending on the games you play

only a faster hd would help you here but they are not cheap eg: wd raptor 10,000 rpm

other than that just fine tune your pc
February 6, 2006 6:01:31 PM

That is a good system, only thing I would recommend is getting the same Crucial RAM for a matching set, my friend has Kingston and Corsair in his system and it results in a few BSOD's and Memory errors occasionally, the choice for a 7800GT is a good one, that should tide you over for enough time to play games on decent settings. Don't worry about 2GB RAM, unless you plan to do Quake 4 on Ultra or BF2 on Max (Though it runs fine on some 1GB RAM systems w/ 128MB VidCard RAM as in my other friend's case, all depends).

~~Mad Mod Mike, pimpin' the world 1 rig at a time
February 6, 2006 6:25:05 PM

Is it important to keep the same brand name of ram? mine is crucial brand name...if it is important can you post a link to what I need so I dont buy the wrong thing lol im so clueless...

Is it easy to install the vid card and ram when I get it?

thanks for the help everyone.
February 6, 2006 7:22:45 PM

Would this be the equivelant to the ram I have in my computer now?

Crucial 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) System Memory

I mean I have 512MB now so if I add this RAM it would be better right?
February 6, 2006 7:51:58 PM

I would have to agree with everyone here that your system is already pretty decent.

Although it is not necessary to get the same brand of ram, I would still try to do that. I would hope that you are currently using 2 256 MB PC4200 DDR2 chips to reach your current 512 MB. If so, get another set of 2 256 MB chips for a gig. According to Intel's site your board has enough slots for it. If your only occupying one slot with a 512 MB PC4200 DDR2 chip, get another 512 chip. The link I posted above also has links as to memory they've tested with your board if you're that worried about it.

The 7800GT is an excellent card. Switching cards is easy.

Download the newest drivers for the NEW card
Uninstall the software and drivers for your ATI card
Shut down your PC and open the case
Ground yourself before touching the internal components
Remove the old video card and install the new one. Make sure to plug in any extra power cables to the new card if it requires one
Put your cover back on
Install the new card's driver's and software that you downloaded earlier
February 6, 2006 8:37:40 PM

These guys said most of what you need to know about the memory.

On online retail sites you will see memory quoted as 1gb (2x512mb). The reasons they sell them in pairs is for use in dual channel motherboards. To fully use dual channel memory you need to match everything (some motherboards are a little less strict) size, timing, latency .....

Buying in pairs/kit is the safest bet. As for trying to match your existing Crucial it may be difficult unless your memory is newer and you have the serial numbers to match up with current offerings.

Also, not knowing your current System temps you might want to watch them as you are adding additional components. These two additions (going from an x600 to a 7800gt and to 1gb of ram should not be a significant temp change). Newer components tend to be higher end (an upgrade) and require often a larger draw on your Power Supply creating additional heat. They also could be hotter devices themselves.

Just some food for thought.
February 6, 2006 9:26:12 PM

I am learning alot here thank you.

I just ran the program cpu-z and it says under the memory tab I have 1024mb of memory lol I thought I only had 512mb. I opened up the case and each of the ram sticks says 512mb on them lol soooooo good for me :) 

I think ill order another 2 512mb sticks then ill really be set.
February 6, 2006 9:49:15 PM

Or, you can stick with the same amount of RAM and pick up a 7800GTX instead of a 7800GT.
February 6, 2006 9:51:23 PM

Oh my more decisions lol :)  but I think the vid card I am planning on getting will hold me through for the games I will be playing (BF2, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter etc..) and in another couple years ill plan on going dual core with another upgrade on the vid card.
February 6, 2006 10:44:35 PM

Quote:
The GT is a very nice card, I don't think it's worth upgrading to GTX. 7800GT, and another 512mb stick of RAm will be very nice. Also, if you have some more money to spend, a GT with 2gb will be better (especially in BF2). But 1gb is nice.


im going to place my order for 1gb and the 7800gt tommorrow at newegg!!! omg ghost recon advanced warfighter is going to look/play so sweet and also BF2/SF!!
February 6, 2006 11:13:06 PM

Just remember that your ram still needs to be purchased in a kit or 2x512. If you have your bank 0 with two sticks installed you are dual channel. If you then add a single 1gb stick to Bank 1 you then again become single channel.

You need to populate both banks in twos to stay dual channel. Some may think that dual versus single channel is no biggie but there have been times that 3d gaming on certain boards (that should handle the current game) has short lockups or studders. When the second stick is added (not because of more memory as it is the same amount) the studders go away. This can be really evident in some of the AMD motherboards.

Sounds like a slick machine!!
!