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


QUESTION: Thanks for reading my query. Well I am not so intelligent about computer hardware solutions like you but somehow need your help, hope you will do the needful. I am using Motherboard D865GBF, Pentium P4 CPU 2.4GH, RAM 2GB, HDD 40GB don'y know about video card as in device manager under other devices written as video controller (VGA compatible). My query is that when I first time open a word, excel or any application it takes 10 secs and during opening of application hard drive makes irritating noise for few minutes and works smoothly. So I think my pc needs up-gradation and I don't know which part needs to upgrade. For I need your exper advice so that I can visit a technician and tell him what I want him to do with my pc. Does the bove configuration is enough or you need more. Kindly reply soon as I have more expectations from you. Rest is fine take care. REPLY SOON DEAR.


ANSWER: Hello Dheeraj. You can not identify your video controller because you are missing the driver. Because you are missing this driver, your computer will act much much slower than normal because the CPU is trying to process both the video output and the normal processes it otherwise would process. Having the video controller installed will make the on-board video card take the work of the video processing.

I have done the work of getting the driver for you. Just download it, find where you saved it, run it, and follow through the steps to completing the installation. Then restart the computer (if the installation doesn't do it for you).

Here's the link http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=10424&lang=eng&OS

After you restart your computer, you should notice a significant speed increase with your computer overall.

As for the hard drive making the annoying clicking sound, I am going to pronounce your hard drive bad. You should replace immediately. You will need to install a clean copy of Windows onto the computer after you install a new hard drive. Given your hard drive is only 40GB in size, this is also the perfect opportunity to increase the size if you think you may need it.

I suggest using Windows XP for your computer (given the hardware was made for this operating system and drivers will be easier to reinstall). Windows XP is also more stable, more secure, and best of all, will run the best in terms of speed and program compatibility.

When you complete the Windows installation, go to the computer's "Device Manager" and look at what drivers you need to install. "Ethernet controller" is the LAN controller; "Multimedia audio controller" is your sound; "SM bus controller" is the chipset. Those three I just mentioned are the most common drivers required for installation after a clean install of XP. I will link you to the web page for accessing all the drivers for your computer.


In short, I don't think you'll need to "upgrade" any parts of your computer. Pentium 4 computers are still very good computers in general. You have 2GB of RAM which is more than plenty for Windows XP. The video controller and hard drive were what made your computer seem like it needed an upgrade.

Now if you do any intense 3D gaming of any kind or use 3D rendering programs, I would suggest getting a video card if your board has a slot that will take one. On a side note, if you have a slim model desktop, upgrading a graphics card will be extremely hard given the power supply will not be strong enough and non-upgradable (if you do not have a slim desktop, you shouldn't have this problem). Most boards do have a slot for upgrading, but I've come across a few that didn't. If your computer is of an older P4 generation, you'll most likely have an AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port). If you have a newer generation P4, you might have a PCI-e slot. Figure out which one your computer has, then shop around for cards that are of the slot you have.

You may have to upgrade the power supply in your computer if you put in a graphics card. If you have a 300 watt power supply and the card says it requires 300, upgrade to a 400 or higher wattage power supply. The general rule is to keep about 25% percent of power not used as there is an efficiency rating of 80% that is very important and heavily advertised for power supplies. If you run close to the peak wattage, you can have devices fail by not getting enough power at a constant rate, or the computer might not boot up at all, but just run there spinning the fans.

Hope this helps you in all ways possible. Have a great day!

Please excuse any typing errors.

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

QUESTION: well thanks for your reply. Well I have installed extreme graphics as the link mention.
But after installing the screen size reduced and I found under display setting that there were just two options 800x600 and 1024x768. And when I uninstall the grapgic driver from control panel the screen worked ok. I think it is due the LG 14" old monitor (not lcs or led) or don't know what. As per my configuration I think I should upgrade RAM from 2GB to 4GB and HDD from 40GB to 500GB and when I will buy lcd then extreme graphics will work correctly. What you guide is important to me. Here one more thing to aak that every new lcd or led monitor needs driver to installed for using external tv tuner card to see cable. One more think came into my mind that I should go for dual core processor with CPU 2.8GH, along with it RAM and HDD. So, do reply soon what you suggest.

Well  if you plan on going from a P4 processor to a dual core of any kind, you'll have to change out your board. Even if you have a late generation P4 board which is the LGA 775 socket which many new processors still use, you won't actually get any boost from the upgraded processor. If you are lucky enough for your board to support even using a newer processor, the only advantage I would see from it is lower temperatures, given late generation P4 processors on the LGA 775 socket ran extremely hot, and that a dual core processor with a smaller manufactured die size makes them more efficient, not wasting as much energy into heat.

2GB of RAM is plenty as said before. You'll have to make sure your computer can support 4GB of RAM. P4 boards had that boundary where some boards would support 2GB, some would support 4Gb, depending on what memory controller was put on the board itself. If it supports 4GB, go on ahead, but remember that XP will only see either 3.0, 3.25, or 3.5 GB of that depending on how your have shared video memory allocated and the memory controller once again.

The hard drive going from 40GB to 500GB shouldn't be a problem. Just make sure your board has a SATA port on it. If it does not have a SATA port on the board, you may not have the ability to go that high since IDE would be your only choice and the biggest IDE drive I've seen is a 320GB. You can get an IDE to SATA converter if it turns out your board does not have any SATA ports. When you get your hard drive, regardless of size or type, the faster the rpm, the faster the drive will be in general. I recommend 7200 rpm.

Going back to your video card, seeing as you already installed one, I need to re-point out the video problem you are having. The monitor you hook up the computer to has absolutely no effect on functionality. An LCD screen and an older CRT (tube) screen are only display devices. They receive a signal and display it on the panel. The only thing that is different is the technology that makes them work. So I'll say it again, you are missing the driver for the video card. If you bought the video card and it came with a CD, that CD will have the driver on it. The size options of 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768 are extremely low end resolutions that are often available even without any drivers. If you do not have a CD with the card, you can usually find  the driver online at the website of the company the card was manufactured at.

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.

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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