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Upgrade Questions

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by TazMan_Two, Mar 7, 2005.

  1. TazMan_Two

    TazMan_Two Guest

    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.

    TazMan_Two, Mar 7, 2005
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  2. TazMan_Two

    alordofchaos Guest

    I spoke to an HP customer service person they told me I need a 512MB
    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
    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).
    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

    Let me know how it goes, and best of luck to you.
    alordofchaos, Mar 7, 2005
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  3. TazMan_Two

    TazMan_Two Guest

    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!

    TazMan_Two, Mar 7, 2005
  4. TazMan_Two

    alordofchaos Guest

    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.
    alordofchaos, Mar 7, 2005
  5. TazMan_Two

    TazMan_Two Guest

    Thanks so much, I have already begun my research.

    TazMan_Two, Mar 7, 2005
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