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Upgrading my older PC's memory
Old 08-18-2013, 10:11 AM   #1
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Upgrading my older PC's memory

I have a 2008 emachines W3623 with slots for 2 GB of memory. It came with 1 GB and I have been slowly upgrading the memory, 250-500 MB at a time, and have space left for 250MB. The machine is starting to run slowly again, so it's time to get that last bit of use out of it before I start shopping for a new computer (which will probably be a laptop, since I'm tired of being stuck in one room for my computing).

I saw a good deal ($35, free shipping) for a 2-GB kit for my machine, consisting of 2, 1-GB cards.

Would it make sense to replace all the memory chips with these 2 new ones? Any impact on function?

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
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Probably a smart move. More memory usually has lots of upside with relatively little downside. How much memory do you currently have? Those models came with Vista, correct?

Don't forget to defrag the hard disk, that might improve your performance as well.

so, you're at 1.5 or 1.75? The increase from 1.5 to 2 should be noticeable.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #3
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My vote would be to bite the bullet now and apply that $35 towards a new computer. A machine that old will still lack pep, even with 2GB of ram. And be sure to get at least 4GB when you upgrade.

I haven't looked lately but a couple of months back I saw some real deals on laptops here.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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You could pick up some real cheap memory via your local Craigslist.

I upgraded my old DELL 3100 from 1GB to 2 GB ; the 1GB memory stick cost me only $5 on Craigslist, and it's working just fine.

But I agree with the suggestion of applying the money towards a new laptop. You will be far more satisfied with a new one, especially if you are moving from Vista, arguably the worst OS Microsoft has ever introduced ( but windows ME is a worthy contender for that title )
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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I agree with those suggesting that you buy a new computer. Upgrading memory in a computer that old does not seem worthwhile to me.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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Check out off lease computers on line. You may find it more cost effective.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...+lease+laptops

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...sort=1&recs=10
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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How many free memory slots do you have now? According to specs the W3623 has 2, so to get to 2GB you'd no choice but to replace the current memory. However, there would be no impact on function and would be an improvement.

The $35 for 2GB seems good from the sources I usually use that guarantee compatibility, but there are other places (pricewatch, ebay) you could get it for less (maybe around $20) if you are a "techie risk taker". However it is a stopgap measure, so just a question of how much you want to spend to gain some benefit for a system you do not plan to use that much in the future.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
I have a 2008 emachines W3623 with slots for 2 GB of memory. It came with 1 GB and I have been slowly upgrading the memory, 250-500 MB at a time, and have space left for 250MB. The machine is starting to run slowly again, so it's time to get that last bit of use out of it before I start shopping for a new computer (which will probably be a laptop, since I'm tired of being stuck in one room for my computing).

I saw a good deal ($35, free shipping) for a 2-GB kit for my machine, consisting of 2, 1-GB cards.

Would it make sense to replace all the memory chips with these 2 new ones? Any impact on function?

Thanks,

Amethyst
I just went through a similar dilemma: I had an older laptop that wouldn't keep up with windows 8 and I ended up replacing it with an ASUS PC tower. (DW has her own laptop, so we still have one for travel, so that made the decision to get a desktop PC easier.) For the price of the PC I got a really good value in speed, memory, and ram. everyone wants laptops now, and PCs are comparatively better priced. For portable web browsing, I use my smart phone instead of dragging a laptop or notebook everywhere.

But if you don't have a portable PC in the house, I would recommend getting a laptop or notebook. But then you will need a wireless router.



[For under $1000, I got 16 GB ram, 64 bit windows 8, Intel I7-3770 CPU, a one Terabyte hard drive, wireless, and HDMI output for streaming.]
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tips and advice, and the links to computer sales. If it makes any difference, I don't use the old PC for games or videos. Just Internet, spreadsheeting, and word processing. Just a bit more speed is all I want for now.

Amethyst
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:33 PM   #10
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I have a similar e-machine with the same 2GB limitation running XP/Win 8. In my experience going from 1.75 to 2 GB will make very little difference in performance.
If you want portability, by all means get a new laptop.
If you like the software in the old clunker and want speed up performance, the best advise I can give is to buy a solid state drive and do a fresh install. The new SSD will work in all future computers with the same excellent results, so it won't be a waste of $. Of course memory is cheap so I would do the 2GB upgrade in addition.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:37 PM   #11
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1GB is barely enough, as Windows XP has a gazillion updates on it by now. Ok, maybe it's just a bazillion, but it is a lot of patching.

When you go from 1GB to 1.5GB RAM, it makes a significant difference in booting up.

But, keep in mind you do have the equivalent of a 15-year old car that never performed well even in its prime. The Fred Sanford in me wants to keep the old environmental hazard going...but I think that $35 will pay sales tax on new system.
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:45 PM   #12
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I have been watching eBay and just put in a bid for a used processor to update my wife's PC. It has a low-end Core 2 CPU, and I should be able to upgrade it with one on the high-end of the Core 2 series for about $25, to at least double the speed. However, as I have time, I am seeing if I can score one for $10.

I have 6 desktops in the home (one is a home server), 1 laptop (which I used mostly now for surfing, as I do not work anymore), and 2 netbooks. I could give my wife one of the other desktops (hers is the next to slowest), but re-installing her stuff is a pain. And it is already running Win 7. It's better to slip a faster CPU in there.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:07 PM   #13
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Google Walmart Refurbished Computers.
I bought a 2gig Ram HP/Compaq offlease for $99 with free shipping. Ugraded to 4GB for $30. (edit) 2.1speed, 80gig HD. Works for me. Received it in 3 days. Came with Windows 7 installed and back up disk. Very happy with it, but then, I'm cheap, and buy all of my electronics as repacks, refurbs, or liquidation sales.

The price depends on what the recyclers have on hand at the time you buy. Large companies or schools that upgrade can put thousands of computers into the resale market at one time. The same computer has been offered at @ $135, $159, and $189, at Tiger Direct and Walmart, at different times. With either of these companies or Amazon, the guarantee means that if there is a problem, return or replacement is easy.

Of course, the other question is how much HD storage was on your original computer, and the nuisance of transferring.
...............................

aside, off topic
BTW... re: Walmart... It looks to me as if Walmart offers as many additional items online as they have in the stores... Maybe even more. Not just electronics, but tools, household goods and almost all general merchandise categories, plus furniture, as in 30 or more recliners that you will never see in the store. Now, we always check the online store, in addition to Amazon.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:13 PM   #14
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I just looked up some CPU benchmarks.

The CPU in the OP's PC is rated at 389. My wife's current PC is rated at 884. The one I am bidding on eBay is rated at 2172. These are numbers on cpubenchmark.net.

Note that all of the above CPUs are of the LGA775 socket, which is now obsolete (Intel discontinued this CPU type). However, some motherboards may have problem supporting the higher end CPUs, even if they are in the same series. It pays to search the Web to know for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I have been watching eBay and just put in a bid for a used processor to update my wife's PC. It has a low-end Core 2 CPU, and I should be able to upgrade it with one on the high-end of the Core 2 series for about $25, to at least double the speed. However, as I have time, I am seeing if I can score one for $10.

... re-installing her stuff is a pain. And it is already running Win 7. It's better to slip a faster CPU in there.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:13 PM   #15
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Google Walmart Refurbished Computers.
I bought a 2gig Ram HP/Compaq offlease for $99 with free shipping. Ugraded to 4GB for $30. 1.86GHZ speed, 80gig HD. Works for me. Received it in 3 days. Came with Windows 7 installed and back up disk. Very happy with it, but then, I'm cheap, and buy all of my electronics as repacks, refurbs, or liquidation sales.

The price depends on what the recyclers have on hand at the time you buy. Large companies or schools that upgrade can put thousands of computers into the resale market at one time. The same computer has been offered at @ $135, $159, and $189, at Tiger Direct and Walmart, at different times. With either of these companies or Amazon, the guarantee means that if there is a problem, return or replacement is easy.

Of course, the other question is how much HD storage was on your original computer, and the nuisance of transferring.
+1
About half the time I buy refurbished electronics, and it has been fine. If you look in your area, there will be local shops that sell refurbished computers...I've had good luck at those places, and the service has always been excellent.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I have been watching eBay and just put in a bid for a used processor to update my wife's PC. It has a low-end Core 2 CPU, and I should be able to upgrade it with one on the high-end of the Core 2 series for about $25, to at least double the speed. However, as I have time, I am seeing if I can score one for $10.

I have 6 desktops in the home (one is a home server), 1 laptop (which I used mostly now for surfing, as I do not work anymore), and 2 netbooks. I could give my wife one of the other desktops (hers is the next to slowest), but re-installing her stuff is a pain. And it is already running Win 7. It's better to slip a faster CPU in there.
If you have not used SSD for a performance boost, I suggest you give one a try. As I stated above they will work in all computers that use a HD - especially a laptop with its smaller spinning disc.
To reduce the pain of a fresh install, I love cloning - you only need do it once for each computer. If you keep a cloned copy up to date, a re-do takes < 5 min.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:20 PM   #17
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If you really want to have some fun and burn up a day or two, try reformatting the disk and reinstalling Windows. Then reinstall all your software and files. IMHO, for some reason Windows runs slower with age, somehow it does not seem to clean itself up very well over time. The cost is zero, other than your time. If it doesn't work or does not improve the machine, then buy a new one.

Just make certain you have multiple copies of ALL your data before you to this. And if you lose everything, you will hate me.

Or, you could install one of the Linux products such as Umbutu (sp?). I believe there is a light version for older computers. But, then you have to be able to maintain in yourself. Not many people understand how it works.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Google Walmart Refurbished Computers.
I bought a 2gig Ram HP/Compaq offlease for $99 with free shipping. Ugraded to 4GB for $30. 1.86GHZ speed, 80gig HD. Works for me. Received it in 3 days. Came with Windows 7 installed and back up disk. Very happy with it, but then, I'm cheap, and buy all of my electronics as repacks, refurbs, or liquidation sales.
IMOLDERNU, I am in awe of you. You are are first class cheapskate, a real tightwad. I bow down to the better man.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:27 PM   #19
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To reduce the pain of a fresh install, I love cloning - you only need do it once for each computer. If you keep a cloned copy up to date, a re-do takes < 5 min.
My various machines all have different motherboards, with different peripherals, as they are all home-built. They need different drivers.

For re-intalling or recovering into the same machine, such as after an HD crash, I use the full-backup and restore function that is built-in to the Windows Server machine.
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Old 08-18-2013, 03:08 PM   #20
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My various machines all have different motherboards, with different peripherals, as they are all home-built. They need different drivers.

For re-intalling or recovering into the same machine, such as after an HD crash, I use the full-backup and restore function that is built-in to the Windows Server machine.
I yield to your knowledge of home server use.
All of my computers are stand alone, built and dedicated to their intended use - i.e. banking, surfing, media (photoshop), etc..
I assume you know this, but for others - cloning creates an image to a new target HD that functions just like the original. I have cloned every configuration I can think of - IDE/SATA 1,2,3, 2 1/2"/ 3 1/2", Std/SSD, IDE/SATA/USB, with success. And in this case, motherboard, drivers, peripherals will all work like the source drive.
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