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RAM and CPU upgrade questions

Last response: in Systems
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January 1, 2013 2:54:33 PM

Good Morning and Happy New Year.

I had a few basic questions about upgrading my system. I have an hp a1370a that I bought in 2006 and was weighing if it was worth it to upgrade a few components or buying a new system. I am a very light gamer (Age of Empires III, Civ IV) This is my current configuration:

CURRENT GPU: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4200+
OPERATING SYSTEM: Windows XP
POWER SUPPLY: 300 Watts
OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS: 3.0 GB DDR SDRAM PC3200
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
GRAPHICS CARD: Asus Geforce gt 430
HARD DRIVE 250 Gigs 7200 rpm

Questions:

1. What kinds of performance improvements would I see if I bought another gig of RAM?

2. What improvement would I see if I upgraded the chip to the AMD Athalon X2 4800+ (2.2 ghz to 2.5 ghz)? Would I need to upgrade the heat sink and fan if I upgraded the chip or could I use the old one?

3. Is it worth upgrading to Windows 7 if I keep this for another 4 or 5 years?


http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00...

Thanks a lot.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 3:00:28 PM

What kind of budget are you looking at? Do you feel comfortable building a new machine?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 3:04:21 PM

Increasing RAM capacity might help with multi-tasking, but I doubt that it would improve overall performance.

Upgrading the CPU probably won't make a big difference unless you get a new motherboard and some much higher bandwidth DDR2 or DDR3 memory along with the new CPU. Honestly, building a mostly new computer is probably your best option so long as you have a decent budget, say at least $200. New motherboard, CPU, memory, PSU, and a cheap graphics upgrade could all fit in a small budget so lnog as you're not going for a huge upgrade and a somewhat larger budget of $250-300 will net some significant upgrades. The case and storage could easily be kept and so could the storage drives and other components.
January 1, 2013 4:00:05 PM

Thanks for the replies. I am saving up for a house right now and other things, so I am content with using what I have for the next few years. I was just wondering how those upgrades would affect my system.
!