Upgrade Question...Need Advice

I built a low-budget system a couple years ago for a friend.
-AMD X2 5000
-Gigabyte MB
-2GB DDR2-800
-Integrated Video

They were using it on XP at the time and it was running just great. They recently upgraded to Windows 7 and things are running slowly. Most likely due to the integrated video eating into the 2GB of system memory, which wasn't an issue with XP, but 7 requires a full 2GB (on 64-bit setup) to run well.

What would you guys do in terms of upgrading?

Best options I can think of:

-I could throw in a cheap $30 video card, which will not only free up RAM for the system but also free up processing power from the CPU.

-Add another 2GB of RAM. This is slightly more expensive since DDR2-800 isn't really being made anymore and the prices have gone up. Also, I'd have to get a different brand of RAM than what's already in the PC since A-DATA no longer has any DDR2 stuff available anymore, and mixing brands of RAM always makes me nervous. Is that overly paranoid of me?

I'm leaning towards the video card route, since my girlfriend's computer is also running Windows 7 on 2GB of RAM but with a video card, and it runs pretty nice, no considerable slowdowns. I know 4GB is ideal with Vista & 7, but the difference isn't that great as long as the full 2GB is free for the system.

Any suggestions? Is my logic sound or way off?

Thanks in advance!
3 answers Last reply
More about upgrade question need advice
  1. Or you could re-install XP. Just a thought.

    Its hard to know if the cheap graphics card will help much or not. It could be from too much background junk running in win 7. You might try looking at task manager and see if the CPU is pegged at full and if the RAM is at full. You might turn off some of the features (like aero) and remove as much as you can from the startup to see if that helps.
  2. I appreciate the reply.

    Going back to WinXP isn't an option though, she is pretty much stuck on 7 now and I'll be damned if I try to pry it away.

    Win7, for the most part, doesn't come packed with tons of useless background apps/utilities that previous Windows versions had, but you do have a point. It would still be worthwhile to check and at least make sure there isn't too much background crap running. I don't have the highest confidence in my friend's computing practices, so she could very well have tons have crap already on the computer needlessly bogging it down.

    I would totally check out task manager and what not, if I had access to the computer, she's in another town but I'll try to talk her through over the phone maybe (not sure how well that'll work, but it's worth a shot). I wanted to order any possible upgrade parts (either GPU or RAM) before I head over to her place, hence my post.

    Anyone else think that adding an inexpensive GPU might not be worthwhile?
  3. Could even be mostly a problem with spyware apps form visiting "unsavory" websites. A good spyware and antivirus check might be in order.
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