Hello all. I have an older HP a620n which I am nursing along, since I don't really do too much gaming, so it works fine for 99% of my purposes. Its an athlon 3200+ with 1 gig of RAM and soon an X800 pro video card, running XP home edition. When I purchased the computer in 2004 it had 512 megs of RAM, which I almost immediately upgraded with a second stick. I then purchased a used 9800 pro video card, which significantly helped my (rare) video game playing.
Last week, the 9800 crapped out on me after nearly 6 years of service. After much research and finally getting disgusted with all the choices, I just picked the X300 since it seemed like a decent step up that wont tax my OEM power supply too much. I ordered it on ebay last night and am currently waiting for it to arrive.
In the meantime, I am thinking about stepping up to 2 gigs of RAM. The two questions I have are:
1) Will my computer support the additional gig of RAM? I would buy two 1 gig sticks, most likely. When I go to HP's website and read the motherboard's spec sheet, it says it will support up to 2 gigs of RAM, but on the general spec sheet for the entire computer, it says only 1 gig. Is it likely if I upgrade to 2 gigs that the computer will support it?
2) If it will even support the additional RAM, will I experience a noticeable increase in performance over sticking with 1 gig, or is the rest of my computer a bottleneck? The game I play most often is Battlefield 2.
ANS 2 - Windows XP 32-bit ideal is 2GB but if you're running several applications and if you're having 'low virtual memory' pop-ups then YEP more RAM. Look at the Task Manager | Performance and if it's 3/4th 'PF Usage' then again YEP otherwise you're fine. Keep in mind the 2x2GB will yield a +1GB~+1.5GB net to you; 32-bit 3.0GB~3.5GB Usable; most of the time closer to the 3.0~3.2GB.
its time to upgrade. not worth upgrading for that. you can spend $250 for a i3-2100, a cheap H67 motherboard and one stick of DDR3 ram. maybe two.
If I was 17 this is exactly what I would do, but I work full time now and I dont think I have the time or patience to tackle a motherboard swap. I like the computer I have because, until recently, I had it set up just the way I like it and it worked every time I turned it on. Too many times projects arent as plug-and-play as they seem and I end up sinking way too many hours into them. I will probably just buy an OEM new computer at some point when this thing gets beyond help, but I dont think I'm there yet. Either way the X800 is on its way and I want to at least try that.
Jaquith, sitting around just on firefox and listening to music, I am running about 1/3 PF usage (690 mb / 2048 mb). The usage is of course much higher during gameplay. Again though, we havent answered whether or not my computer will recognize and use all 2 gigs if i upgrade.