PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM/Need your help


QUESTION: If you ask another follow-up, let me know what card you have and the power supply rating so I can make sure you are in a safe rating for not blowing up your equipment. This is what you say. So, my pc has Intel Graphics Extreme 2 controller, and don't know power rating. my mb is D865GBF, ram DDR 2gb, HDD 40gb. I have installed DDR 1gb each in two slot and you explained that for xp 2gb is more than enough so can I put one more of 1gb for more speed. And with this 40gb hdd can I install win 7 or just stick to xp only. And I am using xp office so can I use msoffice 2003 or 2007. kindly reply soon.

ANSWER: Do not install Windows 7 on that machine. Even though it will run it, performance wise, you will be unhappy. As I stated in my last reply, Windows 7 takes way too much to run in terms of RAM for it to be worth it, plus drivers may be an issue given the age of the computer.

Stick with XP as it is the best operating system regardless of what hardware you are running. I am running XP on my big rig at home with quad-core Intel CPU and 4GB of DDR2 RAM and a really nice graphics card. If I installed Windows 7 on my machine at home, it would be considered a sucky computer because it would be heavily slowed down by a crappy operating system.

As for your board, further research shows me that the graphics card you have came with the motherboard to begin with, and it is an AGP card on top of that. You are limited to using AGP cards for your board. Given you don't know what power rating your power supply is, I would assume it is a stock power supply of 160, 200, 250, or 300 watts, depending on many factors such as company and model number. Regardless of which, if you want to upgrade your graphics card to something that will actually perform well, I would shoot to get an AGP card that has at least 256MB GDDR3 VRAM and requires extra power from a 6 pin plug from the power supply.

Most stock power supplies do not have enough power to run better graphics cards and do not have the extra plug that gives the extra power that the motherboard itself can not provide. If you want to upgrade your graphics, you'll need to purchase an aftermarket power supply of about 500 watts and if lucky, shoot for a modular based power supply (modular based means the cables that you don't need can be directly unplugged from the power supply to make it easier to install and make less clutter inside your machine, giving more airflow.

Also, with further research on your board, your board can support a maximum of 4GB of RAM. You don't want to install only a third stick of RAM. That will cause an imbalance of channel usage, actually slowing down the computer, plus it has to work harder which will burn out the computer quicker. Make sure to get matching pairs of RAM. Also make sure to get the same speed RAM as well. If your DDR RAM is 266, 333, or 400, match that speed with the RAM you get. If you say have 400 RAM right now and you buy 266 RAM, you just slowed your PC by almost half. Same goes with other speeds. If you have 266 RAM and you buy 333 or 400, the 333 and 400 will get slowed down to 266, making it inefficient.  

MS Office (any version) should work on any operating system. If you want to stop spending money on MS Office products, you can download and install for free "OpenOffice" which is essentially the same thing.

Hope this helps, have a great day!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your nice reply. Well, I have decided to increase Ram and HDD only due to short budget. So, today I checked my pc and it says it has RAM 1GB speed 400Mhz and other one is 512MB speed 400Mhz which means total capacity of RAM is 1.5GB. As you know HDD is 40GB. So, is it a good choice to install 1GB speed 400MHz RAM on third slot than total capacity will become 2.5GB and HDD should be 250GB. What you say as more than 250 or 300GB HDD is out of my pocket. And I think 250GB will give a strong strength to my pc. Then I checked Samsung 40GB HDD is installed with model no PSXBRBV9B40310 but unable to know its a sata or IDE. Then I checked power supply model is Quantum ATX-250. If I have to buy than which model graphic card you will recommend. One important thing I want to ask that I have to format and install xp in my friends pc so is there any process to install all drivers by clicking one executable file. I searched this thing in google but didn't get the process. Last but not least, I am using broadband ADSL modem and want to use desktop and laptop through WiFi modem. So, is it possible to browse net by using laptop and by sitting in another room. Kindly reply soon Take care bye...

Please be sure to read everything I type to you. I specifically told you you will want to have matching pairs of RAM. Go back to your 2GB setup as you had before. doing a 1.5GB or 2.5GB with that extra 512MB stick will only make your computer slower and work harder to allocate the memory to the third stick, also making it run hotter given the stress. You at the least kept it at the same speed, but size is just as important. Please stick to what I tell you so I don't waste precious time here giving you advise just to have you jump off the track that could harm your computer later anyways. I am here to help, not screw around. I don't even get paid for this, so make it worthwhile at the least that I can help someone, not provide help that isn't even followed.

The model number "Quantum ATX-250" actually tells you the power supply strength in its name. The 250 is the wattage it can run. Be warned however that the older a power supply gets, the weaker it performs, so it might be running closer to 220 watts right now than when it was brand new.

You've asked for a recommended card to get. Here is a link to a card that is top notch for the AGP slot. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102730 It says it is out of stock, which is expected given it is an old card as AGP is outdated, but you could probably find this card or one close to it in specifications on eBay.com or Amazon.com . You will need to upgrade your power supply when getting a card like this or anything close to the specifications as the required power from your ATX-250 will not do anything to work. If you tried to power the computer with the ATX-250 with the card in the motherboard, you could either smoke out your computer, blow the power supply, or possibly the components including your motherboard, RAM, graphics card, etc. You could be lucky and have just a no POST situation or numerous warning beeping sounds coming from multiple components of the computer. Also keep in mind when you hook up your graphics card, you may have to install an extra power cable to the video card as the board will not provide enough power alone. This power cable will be provided by the aftermarket power supply you purchase. Do not buy your power supply anything lower than 500 watts. It is recommended you go for between 500 and 650 watts for a proper safe barrier. You can probably get the power supply for 40 or more bucks. purchase your items together, do not try to install the graphics card before the power supply; I can not stress that enough through this message and previous messages.

As for your hard drive, you speak of the hard drive as "strong" for the computer. The hard drive size will not make the computer faster in ANY way. I also said this in my last replies. Please pay attention to what I tell you once again. The RPM (rotations per minute) are what matter for speed. If you get a 5400 rpm drive, your computer will be significantly slower than a 7200 rpm drive. If money wasn't an issue, you could go with either a 10,000 rpm drive for solid state for supreme speed, but a 7200 rpm drive will be more than fine. I use 7200 rpm on my big rig here at home: plenty fast.

Given you've been using a 40GB drive for how long now...going from 40GB to 250GB will probably never get filled up. I personally wouldn't worry about the space too much unless you have a couple hundred gigabytes of data you're going to download. Remember, that's HUGE, so 250GB should be plenty.

Hope this helps out, have a great day!

PC hardware--CPU & Motherboard & RAM

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I can answer most No POST problems, compatibility between parts, upgrade options, troubleshooting, etc. Before you ask me a question, please do some research. I do not give PC speed reviews for video games.


Many, many years of experience working with the hardware components of many types of computers including desktops, laptops, kiosk computers, and even running Windows 3.1, 95, and 98 on the PSP (Sony PlayStation Portable). I've replaced capacitors on desktop motherboards making them working like new again with a high success rate. This is my hobby/job every day.

Associates of Science in Computer Information Technology

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