Memory and general upgrade question.

I read the mem FAQ and learned a lot, but I'm still confused. I am working on upgrading my wife's PC - Starting with memory then a graphics card. I want to spend as little as possible, with a budget of under $200 USD. I plan about 100 for each component.

For the memory. The PC is a Compaq, a choice I regret, the thing has never run very well. The primary use is internet, e-mail, chat and World of Warcrack. I understand that game isn't very demanding and that fact works well because a new PC isn't really in the picture right now.

The one upgrade so far is I threw in an old AGP card. Don't remember what, it was a while ago. But I know it was AGP 1.0 maybe a TNT2? Old card.

Questions:
Worth a 200$ upgrade for wow? Or am I full of it?
I understand from the FAQ that I can't use DDR2 ram on a DDR system.
Do I have to find pc2100? Or is faster ok?
Do I have to change anything in the bios?

Found this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820161623

After the mem. The next question is what AGP card. Maybe I'll open a new topic on that, but I mention it so you know what's coming and can head me of if it's all just a waste - I worry about the power supply too. Shesh.

Microprocessor AMD Athlon XP2000+ 1.67 GHz
Frontside Bus Speed 200/266 MHz
Processor Architecture PGA462 Socket A
Chipset Via KM266 8235
Hard Drive 60GB
Drive RPM 5400 RPM
Memory 256MB DDR SDRAM
Memory Max 1 GB
Memory Speed 2100 MB/Sec
Total DIMM Sockets 2-184pin
Available DIMM Sockets 1-184 pin open
Primary Cache (L1) 128KB
Second-Level Cache (L2) 256Kb

Total Expansion Slots (3) PCI (1) AGP4X 1.5v
Available Slots (2) PCI (1) AGP4X 1.5v

Video Graphics (AGP) Integrated Via KM266 Graphics
Graphics Memory 32Mb of Shared DVM

Power Supply 200 Watts

Compaq's spec site in case I missed something important:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=bpb11662&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&tool=prodinfoCategory&query=Presario%20da235a&product=240112&dest_page=prodinfoCategory
3 answers Last reply
More about memory general upgrade question
  1. I'd stay away from the Wintec. This looks better: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820141215

    Boosting the total RAM from 256MB to 1GB with this upgrade should make a noticeable difference in running Win. Given the rest of the computer, I don't think it makes sense to try for a graphics card update. Try the RAM upgrade alone for a while. If you must upgrade the graphics, buy a used AGP card from ebay (but make sure it'll work with your power supply).
  2. Thanks for the advice. I ordered the memory you suggested and have installed it. The system is noticeably snappier.

    Unfortunately it also resets itself. But I am not sure if it is the memory's fault. Prior to the new memory it reset itself when one certain application exited, but at no other time. Since adding the two sticks it has reset 3 times in as many hours. Any advice?

    Bad stick? I was going to try that memtest, but it looks like I need to create a boot disk - a project for when I'm not sleepy.

    My other suspects are heat and an anemic power supply. One thing, the power supply fan has lately started making noise - not failure noise, but like the fan is going full gusto all of a sudden. Louder than it has been before. This started before the new memory. Maybe heat is an issue?
  3. memtest86+ is your friend. You might also use some canned air to blow out the dust bunnies from inside the computer, especially in the PS and on/around the various heatsinks and fans.
Ask a new question

Read More

Memory Product