I want a faster computer, what are my options?

i was just wondering how i can speed up my computer, its nothing much but really slow. someone said to add more ram…is this correct.
i had a look at what is in there at the moment and the label says DDR512mb ncp nc7466.
what do i need to do - another number that has popped into my head was 333 mHz

yes, you are correct, i know nothing about computers, but i do want this thing to go faster. if all i need to do is add more Ram, do i need to get a specific one or can i use any

thank you:doh:

You need to know a lot more about your system than that to know for sure, otherwise you are kind of blindly guessing. If its windows xp, and you only have 512MB of memory, then more would help in most cases. It cannot however make a slow processor fast. It can remove that as a bottle neck though. It matters what kind of ram too (ddr, ddr2). Download cpuz. It will identify some of the parts in your computer.

Simply put, your computer will only be as fast as it’s slowest part.

Adding more memory is usually a great and inexpensive way to increase your computers performance. But, you need to know how much memory can your motherboard accept. Web sites like Crucial memory can scan your computer and give you recommendations on memory they offer that is compatible with your system. I know Crucial and newegg.com have “configurators” in which you select your system and it will present you with compatible memory upgrades.

What computer and operating system(like Windows XP) do you have? This will allow people here to help you better.

thanks for your help
operating system is xp-professional
ram is DDR
this is what is says in the manual:
3 DDR DIMM slots: DDR1, DDR2, DDR3
PC1600 (DDR200)/PC2100 (DDR226)
for 3DDR DIMM slots, Max 3GB;
PC2700 (DDR333) for 2 DDR DIMM slots, Max 2 GB;
POC3200 (DDR400) for 1 DDR DIMM slot, Max 1 GB

i did check the memory stick this morning and the other part i missed from my initial message was PC3200

what are my options now

What is the make and model of your computer?

[QUOTE=~Jethro~;2220901]What is the make and model of your computer?[/QUOTE]

i would not have a clue, it was built by a friend of mine a couple of years back, if its the mother board you want to know, thats the only thing i do know - ASRock - model K7s8x

PC2700 (DDR333) for 2 DDR DIMM slots, Max 2 GB

So here ya go, free shipping, I would get one stick to start, remove the old stick since its proabably not the same speed. Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 333

If your PC is really old, which is what it sounds like, you probably won’t need 2 gigs. A better secondary upgrade is a new HDD, they are much faster today and it will make a noticable difference.

Considering the age of your system, I think you really should consider getting a new one instead of upgrading it. DDR (AKA DDR1) is an old type of memory and prices of DDR memory is usually far higher than prices for what is currently the “current” standard, DDR2, which is also faster than DDR. Even if you do go ahead with getting more memory, you will have similar problems with other upgrades - getting a faster CPU that will fit it is probably out of the question unless you look at the second hand market, AGP graphics cards are slower and more expensive than PCI Express cards, you can only use ATA rather than SATA disks (unless you buy an expensive PCI SATA adapter), meaning you’ll either pay extra or run into trouble once you do replace the motherboard. Also, a system that old is more likely to start having reliability problems - in particular, capacitors don’t last forever.
If you are not in a hurry, my advice is, wait a few months, then buy a system with DDR3 memory (since the prices ought to have fallen by then).

It could have an athlon xp which while not the fastest thing in the world, is still usable. I’m still running two computers with athlon xp processors. Also, its a custom built computer so it may have some really good parts in it (we don’t really know for sure). DDR memory is way over priced as it is out dated, but I have seen windows xp choke pretty bad with only 512MB of memory. More memory won’t make it a quad core processor, but it could make it faster than it is. Alternatively, if the rest of the parts in the computer are good enough, he could go with a budget (or maybe not so budget) amd MB/cpu/mem combo for 150$ or more. Its a lot cheaper than a new computer.

Again, it kind of matters what parts are in it. download cpuz and see what the processor is. If its an athlon or duron, I would dump it. If its a reasonably fast athlon xp, I might consider 35$ for a 1GB stick of memory. Be aware, a 1 gig stick of ddr memory cost about 35$ where a 1gig stick of ddr2 (current technology) cost about 10$. You are paying a huge premium for outdated technology. I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on ddr memory. For not much more than the cost of 4 gig of ddr (not that you board supports that much), you could get a new mother board, cpu, and 4 gig of ddr2 memory.

Also be aware, you might be able to run a new 1 gig stick and the old 512 meg stick together to get 1.5 gig (most of the time it works fine but sometimes it doesn’t, and the only way to know is to try it). If you run a lot of stuff on your computer, the extra memory would help more than running the memory faster because they are matched sticks). If you are running a minimum system, with not a lot of programs installed, and not a lot of things running at the same time, memory might not make as much of a difference. if you have a lot installed, have an old windows xp install (they tend to accumulate unseen crap that eats memory), and or if you multi task (runs several programs at the same time), more memory might help.

By the way, technically speaking, more memory will not make your computer faster (it wont change the speed at all). What it might do is keep your computer from slowing down if you run out of physical memory (and it can really slow down bad with only 512MB of memory). If your computer is running low on memory, windows uses more virtual memory (it uses hard drive space as fake memory). As hard drives are worlds slower than real memory, it can really bog things down if it is using a lot of virtual memory.

Hit ctrl, alt, del, go to the performance tab, and see how much physical memory you have available at any given time? Not much? Then more memory will help (not speed it up, but keep it from slowing down).

Download cpuz (just google it). The first tab will tell you for sure what your cpu is. The 4th and 5th tab will tell you for sure what speed and amount of memory you already have.

Try to get a full parts list on your computer to see if it is worth salvaging, and or putting a little/lot of money into.

You want the folowing specs

os (we know its windows xp, is it a retail copy that can be used on a new motherboard?)
motherboard (we know its an ASRock - model K7s8x)
cpu (use cpuz)
memory (use cpuz)
optical drive
hard drive
video card
sound card

go to start, control pannel, system, device manager, see whats listed under disk drives for you hard drive (it will probably only be a model number, but post it). See whats listed under dvd/cd-rom drives for your optical drive. See whats listed under dislpay adapters to see what your video card is (that board doesn’t have onboard video so you have to have a video card).

Take the side panel off (you don’t have to go messing with stuff, just look). There will be a metal box, maybe, 5x3.5 inches (the power supply), most likely in the top rear corner. What brand and model does the label say it is? At the bottom rear, there will be cards coming off the motherboard. You will see one goes to the back of the computer where your monitor plugs in (your video card). How many cards are there (you never know what kind of nifty toys might be there, if a friend built it for you).

Do you know what the case that it is built in is?

Sorry, didn’t see you were an Aussie! Newegg’s not there yet :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=eric93se;2221429]Sorry, didn’t see you were an Aussie! Newegg’s not there yet :)[/QUOTE]

Yea I kind of missed that too. Take everything that I said wit a grain of salt, i.e. get a second opinion. Pricing is a lot different there (a lot higher if I am not mistaken), and correct me if I am wrong, but you get new technology later (I’m just guessing here based on a few comments I have heard but I wouldn’t want to steer you wrong). If older technology is more available there, it might alter the best course to upgrade.

Probably this doesn’t helps much, but you can defragment your computer.

Start - All programs - Accesories - System tools - Disk Defragmentor

Its not a bad approach to fix it yourself a bit in the software. Truth be told, after a few years of installing this and that, A typical windows install will finally kill itself (massively reduced performance due to software/windows problems). The average person should see results within months (my wife is gracious enough to screw up my computers).

If you have been running the computer for years(even 2 or more), without a clean install of windows, some software house keeping (even a clean install), might help a little, or even a lot…

If hardware upgrade is not possible then some software tweaking and maintenance can restore performance to an extent. It will hopefully make it good/nearly as good as it was when first assembled.

My usual routine:
a) Remove unwanted programs.

b) Edit the startup entries to improve boot-times. Disable apps you don’t need in the startup like various updaters and media players.

c) Disk cleanup using the windows utility or ccleaner.

d) Full anti-virus/malware security scans with AVG or Avast, and with malwarebytes.

e) Chkdsk once to clear up any file system corruption.

f) Full disk defrag. I use and recommend Diskeeper 2009 pro (free trial version available at the website) and also a boot-time defrag with it if necessary. This restores and improves disk performance. Diskeeper can also be run in automatic mode to keep the fragmentation at bay.

g) Microsoft updates and if necessary, update drivers too.

This would speed up things.

just want to thank you all for your help, some of it has gone straight over my head, and some has made alot of sense. the wife doesnt want me to pay for a new computer yet, so i may need to change her mind by using this one and dragging it down the highway behind the car

cheers everyone:D