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Media PC Upgrade

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  • RAM
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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November 17, 2010 5:02:59 PM

Hey all,

I have this PC:



It came with 1GB RAM but last year one 512mb module went bad. I had XBMC running on it and it was fine. Since then the extra strain on the RAM has caused the PC to overheat, and put the fans on max so now its hard to watch a film with all the fan noise.

Do I need to find the same make of RAM or will any 184 pin module be fine?

Lastly I'm looking to upgrade the GeForce 6200SE with something a little bit better. I've been looking at this because it seems alright for the money and comes with HDMI:


Would this fit/work with my PC? Any better options?

I really appreciate your input and time. Thank you. :D 

More about : media upgrade

November 17, 2010 5:45:57 PM

I'm not sure having less RAM will make the PC overheat. Did you take-out the bad memory stick? Your fans might be wearing-out, which is what necessitates running them faster. Might also need to re-seat the CPU cooler or replace it (if possible).

As for what memory to get, you need to get matched memory (memory that matches the factory specs). Here is what crucial lists for your computer (I used the UK site as I assume that's where you're from based on the other links: http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/ListParts.aspx?model=Presario%20SR1639UK. Crucial gaurantees those will work. You can also do an internet search for "Compaq Presario SR1639UK memory upgrade" to find retailers selling memory that is gauranteed to be compatible.

As for a video card upgrade, what are you trying to achieve? Do you just want 1080P output over HDMI? That 8400GS should do decent HD video output (and I doubt you plan on any gaming). You could also consider an ATI Radeon 4350: http://www.ebuyer.com/store/Components/cat/Graphics-Cards-ATI/subcat/ATI-HD-4350-----4550-----4650-----4670. They use a little less power and are passively cooled (that 8400 has a fan that will most likely be noisy, especially as it gets older).
November 17, 2010 6:02:40 PM

Thank you for the reply hellwig.

I noticed the pc fan got louder soon after I took out the bad RAM module, so I assumed it was because the RAM working harder causing the temps to go up.

The Crucial link looks good but can't I buy any other 1gb 184pin RAM module if I remove the 512mb one that is inside atm? Also is it true that its better to have one 1GB stick rather than two 512mb sticks?

You are spot on with the last paragraph :D  I won't be doing any gaming with this machine. The ATI card looks sweet. I think it will fit inside the case hehe.

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November 17, 2010 6:20:26 PM

KangDango said:
Thank you for the reply hellwig.

I noticed the pc fan got louder soon after I took out the bad RAM module, so I assumed it was because the RAM working harder causing the temps to go up.

The Crucial link looks good but can't I buy any other 1gb 184pin RAM module if I remove the 512mb one that is inside atm? Also is it true that its better to have one 1GB stick rather than two 512mb sticks?

You are spot on with the last paragraph :D  I won't be doing any gaming with this machine. The ATI card looks sweet. I think it will fit inside the case hehe.


I would buy some thermal-paste and try to reseat your CPU cooler. Remove the cooler, clean off any old paste with rubbing alcohol, then apply the new paste and re-attach the cooler.

As for buying any old memory, in theory this would work, but Compaq (and many OEMs) like to fiddle with their equipment to make it very sensitive to upgrades, to the point that any old memory may not work. If you have an extra 1GB stick lying around (or that a friend has available), by all means, try it. However, if you need to buy more memory, make sure it is guaranteed to be compatible with your computer (if the crucial is too pricey, a Google search could find other memory that is still guaranteed). There are many things (voltage, speed, timing, density, ECC/nonECC) that might keep some sticks from working.
November 18, 2010 11:05:20 AM

Thanks for the advice. I'm glad I made this thread before ordering any old memory module :pt1cable: 

I bought the 1GB Crucial memory as I needed to upgrade anyway. If it doesn't sort the problems out I will reapply the CPU's thermal paste.

Off to order the GPU now.

Thanks again
!