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    Upgrading - how do you know whats compatible?

    Hi,
    My desktop is running a bit slow-i know it needs some more memory .
    In the future i am thinking of updating it (i was thinking of trying myself-i have the leaflet with the motherboard and components on it ) .
    How do i know whats compatible -processor etc - i know what ram to use and thats it .
    Also , how easy is it to change the dvd writer drive to one with lightscribe -are they easy to install ?
    Thank everyone.:thumbsup:

    13 Comments

    Original Poster

    Can anyone help please?

    catwoman

    Hi,My desktop is running a bit slow-i know it needs some more memory .In … Hi,My desktop is running a bit slow-i know it needs some more memory .In the future i am thinking of updating it (i was thinking of trying myself-i have the leaflet with the motherboard and components on it ) .How do i know whats compatible -processor etc - i know what ram to use and thats it .Also , how easy is it to change the dvd writer drive to one with lightscribe -are they easy to install ?Thank everyone.:thumbsup:




    I use crucial.com/uk/ - Put in your PC details and it tells you what you need

    :-D

    Original Poster

    Hi,
    I know about the memory- will this site also tell me if i can upgrade the processor and anything else ?
    Thanks

    changing a DVD writer is easy...before going further you'll need to find out what type of CPU you have and what motherboard you have..you can download a small program called everesthome
    ]http//ww…019

    this will provide the required info about your system...when you have the details report back and I'm sure someone can advise on your upgrade limitations using your current motherboard.

    To be honest, if you are not familiar with upgrading computers then it's really not hugely worth learning.

    In the old days, you used to be able to keep upgrading your computer. Now you can add a new DVD drive, a HDD and sometimes RAM. However you have to ensure that your RAM matches your motherboard and CPU, and manufacturers tend to bring out newer processors which require a different slot on the motherboard, and a different speed / type of RAM.

    You probably won't be able to upgrade your current PC as much as you actually want to, and will probably find that you're better off buying a new base unit (i.e. PC without a monitor) and transferring some components like HDD and DVD drive across to the new maching.

    Be very careful about "buying a component and hoping for the best that it will be compatible". Most likely it won't!

    Original Poster

    Hi,
    The motherboard is gigabyte pentium 4 titan series GA-8SQ800 ULTRA .
    I believe the memory i need is DDR3200 . I only have 512 in at present.
    I think the processor is AMD athlon 3000.
    Thanks

    xbitlabs.com/art…tml

    it'll be a Intel Pentium 4 CPU...there is little scope for upgrading using this motherboard other than to add memory..it should ideally be in matched pairs...you probably have 2 x 256 strips installed...so if you want 1 gb get 2 x 512 strips...which should suffice.

    Original Poster

    Hi Thanks a lot.
    Once i get sorted out with my wireless adsl (should be here around thurs/fri) i wont be using this one that much.
    Best to just put some more memory to speed it up and leave the rest alone then !

    catwoman

    Hi Thanks a lot.Once i get sorted out with my wireless adsl (should be … Hi Thanks a lot.Once i get sorted out with my wireless adsl (should be here around thurs/fri) i wont be using this one that much.Best to just put some more memory to speed it up and leave the rest alone then !


    yep...if you wish you could just purchase a 512 mb stick or 2 x 256 sticks..you'll lose dual channel memory but doubt you'll notice to any great extent....there are 4 memoryslots on the board

    Original Poster

    Hi currychops,
    What do you mean i will lose dual channel memory ??

    Dual channel doubles your memory bandwidth - however you have to have your memory in pairs for this to work. You have four slots, with 512MB already which means you either have 2x256MB or 1x512MB - either way if you add another stick you can keep dual channel you just need to make sure you balance the sticks out. The existing memory must be in one bank, and the new 512MB in another to operate in a dual channel configuration.

    John

    Original Poster

    Hi John,
    Cheers -thanks for that .
    Not sure whether its got 2 lots of 256 or one lot of 512 until i have a look -but i think its one lot of 512 .

    There's a handly little tool called CPUZ-Z - it will tell you what memory you currently have and which slots it is occupying.

    John
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