Computer UPGRADE

Hey guys, I'm pretty noob when it comes to computers and upgrades. I currently have a HP Pavilion a1600n and I am trying to upgrade it because the performance is not up to date. I am not trying to upgrade this computer into a pro performance/super fast computer but into a decent computer.

HP Pavilion a1600n
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+, MMX, 3DNow (2 CPUs), ~2.0GHz
Hard Drive:
190 GB
Current Video Card:
NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE

I am planning on putting in an EVGA 8400 GS 1GB graphics/video card.
I am also thinking about adding some ram into it as well... I just don't know which ones I should get.
I am also trying to play Starcraft2 on this computer; on lowest settings
( i don't really care about graphics, I want smooth gameplay )
If you have any other suggestions/advice/comments, feel free to post them!

9 answers Last reply
More about computer upgrade
  1. yu should be able to swap out the cpu for a quad core athlon or phenom. I here ST2 is very CPU dependant so that would help lots.
  2. I would upgrade the RAM first, and if possible (I kind of doubt it. The BIOS probably won't support any newer processors but, may be worth getting one on eBay and seeing what happens) a new processor. As for the RAM that you need:

    Crucial memory Advisor:
    DDR2 PC2-5300
    Memory Type: DDR2 PC2-5300, DDR2 (non-ECC)
    Maximum Memory: 4GB
    Slots: 4
    Each memory slot can hold DDR2 PC2-5300 with a maximum of 1GB per slot.*
    *Not to exceed manufacturer supported memory.

    You can get up to 4 GB of RAM in that machine. DDR2 is a bit spendy at the time being but, try to pick up 2 1GB sticks and see how that goes for you. If it works well but you still want more, go ahead and buy 2 more of the SAME memory.

    Also, the video card your looking at should be fine. Check and make sure your motherboard actually has a PCI-Express slot before you buy one. Many OEM boards don't simply because the companies selling the machines (HP, Dell, etc...) simply have no need for them and can save a few bucks but omitting them. Happens ALL the time. (That's also why a new processor may not be supported.)

    Hope that helps. Please ask other questions or ask if something needs clarification from this post. Good luck!
  3. So I checked my computer RAM and it says that I have 2, 512 MB DDR2 memory chips. Do I have to buy the same memory size? I was thinking of buying 1 or 2 more 1GB DDR2 memory chips. Do you know any good brands that are cheap and worthy enough to buy? Thanks!
  4. They are not memory chips. They are DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory Modules) - each DIMM has multiple memory chips on it.

    You should be able to add two 1GB DDR2 DIMMs. You may have to add two at once, rather than one at a time.

    Puttsy gave you the specs for the memory above - look for memory that matches and you should be fine.
  5. Ok so I have found some memory DIMMs but they say SDRAM DDR2 on them. Are these okay for my computer?
  6. Post a link to the memory you found, we can look at it from there. If you are planning to upgrade however, remove the 512mb sticks and replace them with MATCHING 1GB sticks. non-matching, mix match sizes may lead to many problems that will cause you difficulty in tracing down.

    Again, what memory is it that you are looking to see if it works? DDR2 SDRAM sounds right however, does it match the specs I listed in the first post for your memory? If it doesn't, you may want to consider something else. It *may* work but, I posted what is the expected configuration for your system.
  7. If you have a Frys near you at all I would say upgrade your RAM get a new CPU and try it out. With Frys if the CPU does not work out you can just return it :)
  8. KillahBees said:

    That memory should work just fine in your machine. Buy it and check out if it works, but all specks say it will be fine. Processor is a toss-up as to if it will work, I kind of doubt that it will but, I may be wrong. They can be had fairly cheaply so it may be worth a shot. Find out what your motherboard is (model number) and look up online whice proc.'s it supports. Pop the side of your case off, look for any LARGE lettering near the proc. socket and post them here. I'll try and let you know if it will support an x4.
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