Hello fellow HUKD members, I'm writing in the hope that some tech savvy members can help me with my computer related enquiry.
I have recently been fortunate to take an old computer from my neighbour's hands which they were throwing away.
From opening and looking up on the model it is my understanding that this PC is and contains the following:
IBM ThinkCentre (Lenovo) M51 8141-23G
Pentium 4 3.0ghz Processor with HT
512MB DDR 400mhz 184pins RAM (2x 256 sticks - Max 4GB can be installed)
Integrated Intel GMA 900 Graphics
- However it does have 2 32-bit PCI Slots and 1 1x,16x PCI-E slot (?).
40gb SATA 7200RPM Hard Drive
Max 310W PSU
I am intending to upgrade this for basic office work, streaming videos and music from my network and browse the internet including HD videos via Gametrailers, Youtube etc.
--- Cross this section about RAM, I'll buy 2x 1gb sticks and install Windows XP 32-bit ---
If I were to upgrade the RAM would it be better to use 2x 2gb sticks to take advantage of dual channel mode (?) - I shall be installing 64-bit Windows XP to utilise all 4GB of RAM (If I can find some at a good price - cheapest so far is £56 total from Cex and even then I don't know if they have 2 in my local store - plus their quality control is questionable when it comes to buying RAM, though that is based on comments I've heard from people buying it online - anyone know of a cheaper place?).
Also if I were to buy a graphics card (rather than using the Integrated Intel GMA 900) what would be the best to use (under the limit of 310W)?
Should I be looking to get a "low-profile" card? Would that make a difference?
I don't intend on gaming with it but (hypothetically) if I did it'll be probably to play CS, Games using the Valve Source Engine and the Sims 2 and/or 3.
I've seen an old video of someone using a Nvidia GF 8800 GT but that'll require a new PSU if I were to take that step (I think?), plus I've heard how hot it can get and the power it requires - is there an updated card which is more energy and heat efficient?
I'm looking to spend around ~£60 for a graphics card, is that reasonable?
I apologise for the ramblings within my questions, my knowledge on computers is limited and I hope that within my ramblings there is sufficient information for anyone to shed light on my query.
Thank you for reading and (if) you take the time to post a response, all the help will be much appreciated.