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Upgrade Questions

 
 
TazMan_Two
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      03-07-2005, 03:27 PM
Hi All,


I have a couple of questions about some upgrades I would like to make
to my HP MEDIA CENTER PC 873n. I have XP Media Center, 512MB Ram, and
a GeForce4-MX420 64MB DDR Video Card.


First, I want to upgrade my memory. The only problem is that when I
spoke to an HP customer service person they told me I need a 512MB
PC3200 dimm. Later I found the info on the website which indicates
that my machine should have a 512MB PC2100 dimm. If I buy one and it
should really be the other, will they still work? I have 2 slots and a

1 Gig capacity, so I will be leaving the one in and adding the second.


Next question, I have the above stated Video Card and would like to
upgrade. I am willing to spend up to about $250. I spoke with their
customer service who said I should stay with GeForce, and I don't have
a problem with that as we have had no problems with the current card.
He also told me to stay within certain ratings for my power supply
(which I don't happen to have in front of me right now). The problem
is that on many boxes and websites I am not finding any info on the
rating requirements. In one case, I saw on a newsgroup that someone
with the same computer added a GeForce FX 5700LE, and is having no
problems. However, this is one of the few that state it requires a
250W minimum power supply. I believe CS rep told me 150W, but I will
have to check, I am almost certain it was not as high as 200. So, how
do I pick a Video Card? I want the best I can get within my range, but

am really concerned that I end up with something that won't work, or
worse, will harm my computer.


Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


Cindy

 
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alordofchaos@yahoo.com
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      03-07-2005, 03:51 PM
> I spoke to an HP customer service person they told me I need a 512MB
> PC3200 dimm. Later I found the info on the website which indicates
> that my machine should have a 512MB PC2100 dimm. If I buy one and it


> should really be the other, will they still work?


Before you buy from HP, check out other online sellers (Kingston, PNY,
Crucial, etc.) to check their prices. These sites also have online
"memory configurators" that will tell you the correct DDR RAM for your
computer.
The other thing is that most of these places have life time warranties
and excellent return policies. If you currently have PC3200 and you
buy/install PC2100, it will run at the speed of the slowest compatible
RAM (in this case, PC2100).

> I have the above stated Video Card and would like to
> upgrade. I am willing to spend up to about $250.


Before you buy a new vid card, you could contatct the vendor's customer
service and find out any special power requirements. Or, you could
spend the extra $15-$60 US and buy a new 400-500 watt power supply and
not worry about it. I recently purchassed a new 400 watt PS on eBay
for $15 (inc shipping).

Easy to install, usually just four screws - just note where the power
connectors go from the old PS to the various drives and motherboard.
The connectors are made so that you can't plug them in the wrong
places. A bit of googling will probably find you some pictures of how
to.

Let me know how it goes, and best of luck to you.

 
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TazMan_Two
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      03-07-2005, 03:56 PM
I had also considered the option of putting in a new power supply. Are
there any compatability issues I need to worry about? If I put in a
400watt power supply, do I have to worry about it being to big and
burning up something else?

Thanks so much for your help!

Cindy

 
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alordofchaos@yahoo.com
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      03-07-2005, 05:14 PM
No worries about too much power. Your devices draw what is needed, not
the total maximum divided by the available power. the only problems
are when the devices try to draw more than what is available :-)

The only thing you need to worry about is if your computer has a
Pentium IV or equivalent AMD processor. Then you'd want to be sure
that the power supply says that it is PIV or AMD-ready, as the
motherboards for these processors had an additional connector for more
power to the motherboard. But I suspect almost everything that you'll
find in the 400+ watt range will be PIV ready.

 
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TazMan_Two
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      03-07-2005, 06:30 PM
Thanks so much, I have already begun my research.

Cindy

 
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