Looking for slight upgrade to hold over...

My girlfriend is interested in upgrading her computer in order to make it last her through her final years of graduate school. She's not looking to spend much, but said she would go up to $250 "if it makes that big of a difference." She uses her computer for school work, music, movie watching and occasional light gaming (ex - The Sims 2) at 1024x768.

Her specs:

Dell Dimension 4600
Pentium 4 2.8 ghz
512 MB of DDR SDRAM at 333 mhz
Nvidia FX5200 AGP
Integrated audio

Any suggestions?
4 answers Last reply
More about looking slight upgrade hold over
  1. 1st: More RAM!!!

    Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 333 (PC 2700) $107


    2nd: A newer video card

    EVGA 256-A8-N542-T2 GeForce 7600GS 256MB = $85 after mail-in rebate. It doesn't use a lot of power and will definitely be a performance boost and better graphics too.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    The most important is more RAM which will boost performance. 512MB is really bare minimum nowadays for Win XP. I would say she should see about a 10% general performance boost. Better for multi-tasking too.

    If she definitely wants her games to look better and then add the video card.
  2. jaguarskx said:
    1st: More RAM!!!

    Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 333 (PC 2700) $107


    2nd: A newer video card

    EVGA 256-A8-N542-T2 GeForce 7600GS 256MB = $85 after mail-in rebate. It doesn't use a lot of power and will definitely be a performance boost and better graphics too.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    The most important is more RAM which will boost performance. 512MB is really bare minimum nowadays for Win XP. I would say she should see about a 10% general performance boost. Better for multi-tasking too.

    If she definitely wants her games to look better and then add the video card.

    I agree 100% with jaguarskx
  3. I third that motion.
  4. I like his idea, but the you have some other options with the RAM.

    Here's better RAM for the same price, free shipping:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231047

    Or even save five bucks and get this. (DDR400 will simply run at DDR333 speeds if need be, so there's no sense to pay more for less.)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820161161

    But honestly, as I'm assuming this is WinXP, nothing you described she does will need much more than 1Gb of RAM, and since buying DDR nowadays is buying a dead-end product, you may just want to get one gig and save the cash for a later build/upgrade/night on the town.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231030

    The 7600GS will play Sims 2 nicely.

    If you're looking to spend $250 anyways, better speakers and sound card, a larger monitor or a nice wireless mouse and keyboard combo will have a greater impact on listening to music and watching movies than other internal hardware upgrades, and can carry over to future computers.
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