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Speeding up my CPU

Hello,
  My computer is a few years old. It runs on Windows XP and is an HP Pavilion 7955. I am trying to get the best speed out of my computer as possible. It has 256 MB of SDRAM for memory, 40 GB of space, and 1.5 ghz with an Intel Pentium 4 Processor. I am probably going to invest in 1 gb of RAM in the near future, does anyone else have any ideas on any other necessities such as if I would need to invest in a new processor also or something of that sort?
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techadvanced06
Asked:
techadvanced06
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1 Solution
 
wesly_chenCommented:
Hi,

    A better graphic card such ATI Radon if you do graphic/image editting or gaming.

Wesly
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
At this point, I wouldn't spend more than $100-$200 on upgrades.  A new computer would only be $300-500 and so spending more money upgrading this, to me, wouldn't make much sense.  That said, upping the RAM will help, depending on what you do with the computer in general.  A faster CPU MIGHT be possible, but I don't think it would help all THAT much (again, depending on what you typically do with it.  Your system probably runs a 400 MHz bus with SDRAM that caps at 133 MHz and is incapable of hyperthreading.  These are all factors in that a new system for $500-$600 (excluding monitor) would get you noteably faster DDR RAM, at least a 533 bus - if not 800 MHz, and a motherboard, if not CPU, capable of hyperthreading.  Others may have differing opinions, but I don't know I'd spend much on this system.  (The memory type is no longer used, so spending the money is ALMOST a waste since you can put the memory in a new system later on).

Upgrades you MIGHT want to make that wouldn't necessarily speed up the overall performance, but would make some sense would include:
Larger Hard Drive
DVD Burner
REALLY good Graphics card (but not necessary if you're not a gamer)
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I will add though, that for everyday use (web browsing, light gaming, office applications), this system will likely be fine for another 3-6 years.  (I've got systems that, raw MHz, are 1/3 the speed of yours and work just fine for these tasks).
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CallandorCommented:
If your motherboard supports it, these P4 versions ("a" version) are very overclockable by increasing the Front Side Bus from 100FSB.  I have a P4 1.6 which I have running at 150FSB, giving me 2.4, and I have another P4 1.8 running at 2.7.  They are both running on Asus motherboards which allow FSB increases and locked AGP/PCI speeds.
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techadvanced06Author Commented:
 Well with programs taking up a lot of memory such as the Macromedia set (Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, ...), causes my system to lag. What I do is that I create sites with this programs and they all work in conjunction which leads to a lot of my computers memory being used at one time, usually freezing up in the middle of a sites creation. I am just trying to get the best that I can out of what I have.
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wesly_chenCommented:
> Macromedia set (Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash..)
A better graphic card is definitely needed for those purposes in addition to memory upgrade.

Wesly
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techadvanced06Author Commented:
Ok, so a better Graphics Card, any suggestions and/or price ranges? And what about the memory?
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wesly_chenCommented:
> I am probably going to invest in 1 gb of RAM in the near future.
1GB memory is ok for your purpose and the reasonable price.

Wesly
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
The memory will cost you about $200 to upgrade to 1GB as you will likely have to buy 2x512MB DIMMs.  Instead, I'd buy 2x256MB DIMMs and add them to your system which probably already has 1x256 and you'll have a total of 768 MB RAM - a very healthy figure. But remember, you won't be able to use it in a newer computer down the road.  The graphics card, $100-$400 - depending on the performance you want.

For a link to buy memory, see http://www.crucial.com/store/MPartspecs.Asp?mtbpoid=813D832DA5CA7304&WSMD=Pavilion+7955&WSPN=CT263721
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wesly_chenCommented:
According to the specification of HP Pavilion 7955, the maximum memory size is 1.5GB (3 slots).
IMHO, I recommend to buy 2x512MB for your PC to stay longer before the next upgrade.

Wesly
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techadvanced06Author Commented:
Why would I need to buy 2 x 512 MB DIMMs, instead of just buying a RAM card with a gb of memory on it?
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wesly_chenCommented:
Hi,

   According to the specification of HP Pavilion 7955, the maximum memory size is 1.5GB in 3 slots, so each slot can take
the bigest memory size is 512MB. 1GB DIMM won't work on your HP PC.

Wesly
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
According to Crucial.com (major RAM maker) your system only support 1 GB of ram, despite having 3 slots.  When I select your system from their configuration pages, you have 4 options for chips: 64MB, 128MB, 256MB, and 512MB - strongly suggesting your system cannot handle a 1GB DIMM.  (Besides, a 1GB DIMM is 2x the RAM for 4x the price of a 512 MB).

I suppose if you already have a 256 MB DIMM, you could probably get another and a 512, maxing you out at 1GB.  
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wesly_chenCommented:
Well, I don't know which resources you should trust? HP website/manual or Crucial.com?
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?product=62740&lang=en&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&docname=bph06804

Wesly
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techadvanced06Author Commented:
Ok, so the main suggestion is what exactly? Just for an overall suggestion for what I am trying to do.
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wesly_chenCommented:
> an overall suggestion
memory: 2x512MB DIMM
graphic card: ATI or Nvidia with 128MB memory.

Wesly
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techadvanced06Author Commented:
One last thing, if I get a 512 MB DIMM, and I keep the 256 MB, they will work in conjunction correct?
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wesly_chenCommented:
Check your SDRAM speed (-7 or some other number on the memory chip).
By the one with the same number (PC133 usually is -7 or -7.5, -7 is faster theorically).

Plug in 2x512MB DIMM in slut 1 and slut 2, 256MB in slut 3. They will work in conjunction correctly.

Wesly
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techadvanced06Author Commented:
OK, I am out here searching now... Now I am seing all kinds of different things... Such as SDRAM, DDR, RDRAM, and EDO DRAM for the memory. And for the Video Cards I am seeing PCI Express Cards and AGP. What am I looking for?
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wesly_chenCommented:
2x512MB SDRAM PC133 as I mentioned before.
128MB 4x AGP. Depends on your budget. ATI and Nvidia are good.

Wesly
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techadvanced06Author Commented:
I was looking at the The Crucial RADEON 9600SE 128MB AGP for a Graphics Card, does that sound good to you?
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wesly_chenCommented:
ATI RADEON 9600SE 128MB AGP (2x, 4x, and 8x compatible) is good.

Wesly
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techadvanced06Author Commented:
OK, thanks. Points are yours!
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