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FASTER PC!!!!


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#1 mayimbe8

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 12:34 PM

how can i make my PC faster? My PC is about 4 years old (Compaq) and i have tried to upgrade it in order to make it faster. Its original specs are: Pentium 555Mhz, 64 RAM, ~9 G Hard Drive. I have only upgraded the RAM to about 450 thinking that this will solve the problem. Plus, i heard you really cant upgrade the Processor. Should I add a new Harddrive? Will this make it faster? Ive used up like 7 G of the original harddrive. Can this be contributing to it being slow? it also turns OFF sometimes (usually when i have a lot of applications open). HELP!

#2 Bronx1

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 06:13 PM

Fist the problem is it a Compaq. Second you need to remove some of the stuff off your harddrive. You could try to overclock it. But be careful. Also you could stop some of the programs from loading at startup.

#3 A+Net+MCP

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 01:40 AM

Your RAM must be 448meg, it must be a multiple of 64. A faster HD will help only if you can enable UDMA on that drive. If the computer is turning off by itself you have another problem to solve. Post more info about this for help. I wouldn't even try overclocking on that old PC.
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#4 Guest_Guest_Quick69GTO_*

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 05:04 PM

You can make that system quite a bit faster by installing an ATA100 7200rpm hard drive.
One drawback though, the IDE ports on that Compaq may not support ATA100.
You can use a PCI IDE controller card that supports ATA100 or higher but you may run into problems booting to it with the original Windows supplied with the Compaq.
Then again, it may boot and ask for the drivers for the card.
I have had very good luck configuring older systems this way so I don’t foresee you having any problems booting to a hard drive connected thru a controller card.
If you are still using Win98 on that Compaq, 448meg is probably overkill. I would scale back to 256meg.
The system turning off can be attributed to heat. I would look into getting a better heat sink/fan for the processor and installing a rear case fan to get better air flow.
Forget upgrading the processor. The motherboard is probably multiplier locked, killing the idea of adding a faster proc.
If you get a new hard drive, do a fresh install of your O.S.
It will be fresh and clean for you with greater speed.
Good luck!

#5 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 24 May 2003 - 09:17 PM

Why reduce RAM? Too much is better than too little. You should disable your virtual memory and put the RAM to use. A Pentium 550 shouldn't be putting out much heat at all. My Athlon T-Bird @1.533G only maxes at 40c. Take the case off and if it still shuts off you know it's not a heat problem. The PSU could be dying. Motherboards aren't multiplier locked it's the CPU's that are. When you put in a new CPU the M/B will automatically resets to the new multiplier. What is the fastest CPU you can put on that M/B? Tweak your BIOS for speed.

#6 A+Net+MCP

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 01:13 AM

Sounds good! Try setting the ram to cas2 in the BIOS for more speed, it may let you. Enable UDMA on drives. Make sure you have a 80 wire cable. But don't spend much money on this oldy, buy new PC's are cheap enough.
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#7 Guest_Guest_Quick69GTO_*

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 02:01 PM

Why reduce RAM? Too much is better than too little. You should disable your virtual memory and put the RAM to use. A Pentium 550 shouldn't be putting out much heat at all. My Athlon T-Bird @1.533G only maxes at 40c. Take the case off and if it still shuts off you know it's not a heat problem. The PSU could be dying. Motherboards aren't multiplier locked it's the CPU's that are. When you put in a new CPU the M/B will automatically resets to the new multiplier. What is the fastest CPU you can put on that M/B? Tweak your BIOS for speed.

Sorry bud, I have to disagree with you on the multiplier locked mainboards.
Over the last 9 years, I’ve seen all of the major computer manufacturers do some pretty funky things to the systems they build.
One of the more popular is proprietary mainboards with and without the multiplier generators locked for the proc installed. I have seen fans mounted directly on top of the proc with no heatsink. And I have seen power connectors reconfigured so you can only use manufacturer specific replacement parts.
These are only a few problems I have encountered while trying to repair or upgrade those older systems.
Fan failures is another. Perhaps I should have said to look into a possible fan failure instead of upgrading.
Since he already bought the RAM then he might as well use it. I still think its overkill on a system that old running Win98.
I agree with A+Net+MCP’s recommendation of just getting a new computer. They are cheap these days and it sounds like the 550’s not enough for him.

#8 Guest_Guest_*

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Posted 25 May 2003 - 02:57 PM

Must major p.c makers use some kind of mainstream motherboard. You should be able to track this down and get the latest bios also the manual. This will tell you what you can change. Most older Compaq's do not have locked mulitplyers. Good luck. :blink:

#9 Josetann

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Posted 27 May 2003 - 05:12 PM

As far as for the RAM, if it was over 512MB you would have stability issues without some tweaking, though with 448 you might still be running into some of those issues. Basically you can remove the ram, or do some tweaks (don't remember right off, but a google search should bring up results...I think one of this is setting the vcache). I've built a few PCs with win98 and over 512MB ram and until those modifications were made, they had all kinds of problems.

#10 A+Net+MCP

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 12:19 AM

He has 448mb so that probably means their are 3 banks and that he has 256, 128 and a 64. The board probably has a limit of 256mb per bank as many older boards have. So if this is true the amount of ram shouldn't be a problem but only mayimbe8 can confirm this. Removing the 256mb dimm may be a good idea to see it is a size problem though.
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#11 eshaft716

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Posted 28 May 2003 - 02:17 PM

Also if you do anything related to the internet, be sure to run something like Spybot or Adaware. Upgrading a Compaq is going to be hard as many times mass produced machines have little or no upgradability. Depending on how much you plan on spending it might be more effective to build a new comp as you really would need only to purchase the memory, mobo, cpu, psu and case. The drives from your compaq will be able to be transferred to a new build until you want to upgrade them and you could get a board with sound, lan, and video built in. I doubt your compaq will be able to upgrade to a worthwhile processor, going to anything less than a 1 ghz processor will leave little noticeable improvement. DDR ram would make a great speed improvement but is not compatible with your board. Check around for prices, but with everything you can reuse building a new one shouldnt run you more than $350 for a decent machine such as this.

Cases (Computer Cases, ATX Form)


CODEGEN (CG Group) Case, Charcoal Mid Tower case W/300W Power SupplyModel 4046-C10 Retail
Specifications:
Motherboard: Up to 9.44 Inches Long
Dimensions: 18.90 x 7.68 x 17.32 Inches (L x W x H)
Drive Bays: 5.25"3, 3.5"x2 and 3.5"x1Hidden
USB Port : Front USB Support
Additional information listed with manufacturer more info>

N82E16811182503
$39.00
$39.00
Fans, Heatsinks (Case, CPU, Chipset)


Thermaltake VOLCANO 9, Copper base inserted, SMART & SILENT. Retail. For AMD Athlon XP up to 2600+ and Intel Socket 370 & AMD Socket 462.
Specifications
Supported Socket type: 370 and Socket A/462 80x80x25 mm fan. Heat sink 80x80mm & 77.3mm tall. Air Flow: 20.55 CFM at 1300rpm & 75.7 CFM at 4800rpm. Mfr's P/N: A1365 more info>

N82E16835106017
$21.99
$21.99
Hard Drives


WD WESTERN DIGITAL 40GB 7200RPM EIDE HARD DRIVE MODEL # WD400JB - OEM, DRIVE ONLY
Specifications:
Size: 40 Gigabytes
Interface: IDE ULTRA ATA100
Seek time: 8.9 ms
RPM:7200
Cache 8MB
OEM(Drive alone) 3 Year Manufacturer Warranty more info>

N82E16822144126
$68.50
$68.50
Motherboards - AMD


ABIT KD7-E, VIA KT333 chipset AMD K7 motherboard DDR 333,AGP 4X,ATA 133,USB 2.0 ATX RETAIL
Specifications:
Supported CPU:AMD-K7 Duron/Athlon/Athlon XP Socket A
Chipset:VIA KT333/VT8235
FSB:200/266/333MHz
RAM:4x184 Pin DDR 200/266/333 Max 2GB
IDE: 4 IDE ATA 133/100/66 devices. ATA 133 provides maximum 133MB/s
Slots:1 x AGP(AGP 2.0 4X ) , 6 x PCI slots
Ports:2xPS2,2xUSB,1xLPT,2xUSB2.0,
Retail box (see pics for details) more info>

N82E16813127142
$79.00
$79.00
Processors


AMD Athlon XP 2000+/266 FSB Thoroughbred Processor CPU - OEM 2000+/ 1.67GHz, AXDA2000DKT3C

Specifications:
CPU: 1.67 GHz
Type: 2000 XP Thoroughbred
Cache: 256K
BUS: 266MHz
Socket A (PGA) OEM (Processor Only)
more info>

N82E16819103382
$62.00
$62.00
Sound Card


?On Sale!
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Live! Dolby Digital 5.1 SB0220 - OEM
PCI 32-bit, 1024-voice Environmental Audio Sound Card, now with Dolby Digital 5.1 support
EMU10K1 Digital Signal Processor provides studio quality sound reproduction for digital processing and playback of MP3, WMA, WAV, Internet Audio, MIDI, and CD audio.
EAX Environmental Audio Effects allows gamers to hear sounds coming from all around them over multiple speaker configurations with full EAX support Not Compatible with Unitek Spdif Port Adapter, more info>

N82E16829102156
$33.00
$33.00
Video Cards


Crucial ATI Radeon 7500 64MB DDR AGP OEM
Specifications:
Chipset:RADEON™ 7500 graphics processing unit
Memory:64MB DDR
Bus:AGP 2x and 2x/4x
Operating systems support: Windows ® 98, 98se, Me, 2000, NT 4.0 and XP
Features: CHARISMA ENGINE, HYPER Z technology PIXEL TAPESTRY architecture, VIDEO IMMERSION technology Triple texturing.
Ports:VGA + S-video
Oem Box, Comes with S-video cable and Driver (see pics) Powered by ATI, Built by Crucial more info>

N82E16814146110
$50.00
$50.00

Subtotal »
$353.49

This will set you up well and provide room for upgrades, that hard drive is nice and FAST, if you got a couple extra $ go for the 80 gb with the 8mb cache. But thats the idea, plus once you build one you always wanna do another or tweak it, becomes a hobby, or obsession for some. All this came from Newegg.