need help with pc notebook upgrade

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by homerjward, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. homerjward macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #1
    i have a pc notebook with the following specs: 14" 1024x768 screen, celeron 2.4ghz, 256mb pc 2700 ram, 40gb 4200 rpm hard drive, dvd/cdrw combo drive. i dont use it for anything especially intensive, just office, aim, browsing the internet with firefox, a wee bit o' photoshop, a few games, stuff like that. im considering one of the following 3 upgrades: buying a used 17-19" crt monitor to span onto (i can get a 17" at a shop down the street for like 20 or a 19" for like 40 or 50), getting a 512mb stick of ram (105 bucks from crucial, about 80 used down at the afforementioned shop) or a 7200rpm drive. (i think about 150 for the e7k40 from hitachi?). i feel cramped by the small screen size and the lack of ram slows it down, but the hdd's slowness isn't really prohibitive. what do yall think would be the best upgrade (cost vs. benefit) for me?
     
  2. paxtonandrew macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Location:
    I Come From A Land Down Under
    #2
    Peecee questions this way please...

    Seriously though, the Hdd will make all the difference. I am waiting 'till Tiger is released to put one into my PB. Ram makes a minimal difference in terms of a speed upgrade, but with a 7200rpm hdd, your crap Peecee will seem a little faster, but it won't be a Mac :rolleyes: .
     
  3. Toreador93 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    #3
    You'd probably get more responses on a non-mac site. But being a pc-owning minority, I'll give it a go.

    Personally, I find 256mb RAM to be fine running WinXP (assuming your using winxp; my lappy is 1Ghz PIII, 20Gb really slow HD, 32mb Geforce 2), and playing games like AoK, NWN are decent. Just make sure you turn off all the things in the background that you don't need. Check the processes in your task manager, and look them up HERE.
    Also remove as many desktop items as you can. I've gotten my RAM usage at startup down to around 65mb.

    However, more is better. You didn't list a graphics card, so I'm assuming it's integrated. Well, games and photoshop will be slow.

    I wouldn't add a monitor. Your resolution and size aren't that small, especially for the things you do. And running a higher res will only make things slower. It'll be a bugger for Photoshop and surfing, but I would see it as more of a pain having a bulky 30 pounds on my desk.

    A harddrive would probably make a noticable difference. I would choose between the HD and RAM. RAM will help run Photoshop and games, and HD will help load images and games.

    After you tweak your resources, how often do you approach the max amount of RAM? RAM will only help when you're doing a lot, HD will probably be noticable more often, even with swap files.

    If it were me, I'd choose the HD if I had an extra ~$150. If I didn't want to spend that much, RAM. I wouldn't bother with a monitor.
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #4
    I'd get the faster HD.

    With a AMD Duron 650MHz, 256MB of RAM, a GeForce 4 video card with 64MB of RAM, I could still play NHL 2003, Half-Life over LAN network, and Tony Hawk 3 perfectly. Not a flaw. I guess it could have been better, but I didn't know better anyway, and there was absolutely no problem playing games. I didn't play games much anyway, but that was the hardest I'd ever push my machine, and it was great. :)

    So from that experience, I'd say the RAM is fine. The monitor......meh. You say you feel cramped, but if your laptop only mirrors the LCD, the amount of desktop space (and resolution) won't increase using a larger display anyway. The faster HD provides the largest performance boost, especially when you load large picture or sound files, open a large file, etc. But since you say your comp doesn't suffer from the slow HD (unless you just don't know better), get the RAM.
     
  5. homerjward thread starter macrumors 68030

    homerjward

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Location:
    fig tree
    #5
    actually, mine supports spanning (not sure why cause it's a really low-end piece of crap). ive decided not to upgrade this time, and save up to buy the ram. some unexpected expenses (read: break something and have to pay to fix/replace it) came up and i dont have the cash for it right now
     

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