Advice on possible upgrades on my PC

Ok. I purchased my desktop about 1 1/2 yrs ago. The main reason was that I needed a new desktop and something cheap for the time being. I have a Compaq Presario SR1010NX. Below are the Specs in case you don’t know which one this is:

Base processor
Intel Celeron 2.8 GHz
400 MHz Front side bus
Socket mPGA478


Motherboard manufacturer
Motherboard specifications


Memory Installed
256 MB (1 x 256)

Maximum allowed
1 GB (2 x 512 MB) requires the replacement of the installed 256MB DIMM

Speed supported
PC2700 MB/sec (messages at PC2100

184 pin, DDR1-333 SDRAM

DIMM slots

Hard drive
40 GB Ultra DMA
5400 rpm

CD-RW drive
48x24x48 maximum speed

Video graphics
Integrated graphics with up to 64 MB shared video memory
Integrated AC97 audio
Six speaker configurable

I have a USB 2.0 DVD burner (DL) and I’ve added 512 in memory. According to the mfg the max memory is 1g. But, if I use the config on PNY (and a few other mfgs) website, it indicates that the max is 2g using 2 - 1g. I’ve just become interested in video editing. Nothing to extreme yet, just Tivo programs transfered and home videos. I’m wondering if replacing the 256 memory with a 512 to bring it up to 1g would make much of a difference. I’m not sure that replacing both with 1g to make 2g would work or make a noticable different. I am planning on upgrading to a much better PC. But, for the time being, I’d like to make upgrades if they will make a difference and be cost effective.

I’m also thinking that I might add an internalt DVD burner and possibly another HD. The HD might be external though.

What do you think?

If you’re planning on Video editing then a larger , faster hard drive must be considered essential. 40GB will very quickly be consumed by video files & 5400rpm is slow anyway.
200gb IDE ata133 drives are pretty cheap these days & I’d suggest you keep it simple by retaining your 40GB as the system/program disk & use the new drive for the video stuff.
Some will suggest a SATA drive which are similarly priced but will require an additional PCI controller but there doesn’t seem to be that much of a speed gain.

Your memory is adequate at 768MB.

Your external USB 2.0 DVD burner should be fine, the new HDD is more useful than a new internal burner.

Thanks for the advice. I was thinking that the memory might be a bit lacking because when I was using Nero the other day it would hang and move very slow. I haven’t used any other editing programs yet. There might be others that are better.

One more question…

Yes, I am new to video editing and hardware that is needed, so forgive the basic questions.

Would a videocard help any? I can only use a PCI. I was looking online at CompUSA and they have a Radeon 9250 Video Card, PCI, 256MB DDR and GeForce FX 5500 Video Card, PCI, 256MB DDR.

I wouldn’t think a new card would make too much difference. CPU , memory & HD drive speed/capacity is more likely to affect what you want to do. Try to only get things that you could re-use when you next upgrade, well that’s what I do.

The slowness you experienced would probably been down to your hard drive not being able to cope. To check memory get Task Manager running & look at performance. The bit about physical memory will tell you if memory is the problem.

I second the Hard Drive suggestion; 5400rpm is really slow. I know, I used to have one in my last system. I upgraded to a 7200rpm and the difference was amazing.

I think you should get a benq dw1640 dvd burner.

A video card would be a waste of money if you were only doing video editing.

More important than single hard drive speed in video editing is to have dual hard drives… one reading the input file(s) and one writing the output. Most consumer drives are now 7200rpm, so it’s a non-issue anyway. Get a pair of good sized (120GB or more each) drives.
I’d replace the 256 with a stick of 512. Make sure to overspec it so you can use it in your next PC if you want (DDR400). If you’re considering DDR2 for your next PC, then forget it. A video card would not be a worthwhile upgrade for video work in this PC.

Best of Luck,

Thanks for all the great advice. I’ve never installed a HD before. But, from what I’ve read it’s not that difficult. I’m almost 100% sure that my PC has space for a 2nd HD. But, I’m not sure about adding two. Since the original HD is only 40G, is it possible to replace the orig HD without loosing all the data? I’m guessing maybe install the 2nd and the transfer everything from the 40g to the new one. Then replacing the orig HD?

I was thinking that since the orig HD has system files and such on it, this might be a tricky one.



Does that really make a diffrence? And do you have to have them on seperate channels (yes i’m still using PATA, stoneage bloke that i am)

Oh yeah, big difference. Approaches twice the speed of a single drive (but doesn’t quite get there because of overhead). Having two hard drives on the same channel won’t make a huge difference in speed vs. separate. You’ll definately notice a difference. Separate channels would be preferred if you can swing it, however.


Cloning a disk to a new one is simple, providing you have the right software. The likes of Norton Ghost & Acronis True Image (my preferred choice) will do this quite simply.

Having 2 fast disks will obviously help considerably providing the editing load is split between the 2 & yes they must be on separate IDE channels to be able to take full advantage.

As you can probably pick up a large fast HD for a similar price to 512MB of memory I’d prefer the new HD as I think you’ll find 3/4 GB adequate.

It really depends how much you can spend now & what you’d like to be able to re-use in any future system.

I have this exact same system. Upgraded to 2G memory and it is so much faster than it used to be, I honestly couldn’t believe the difference. I need to add a larger drive and wanted to put in a Sata 3g/s drive. Anyone know if I need to get a card to put in an internal? If so what kind?