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When is a computer too old?

This is a discussion on When is a computer too old? within the Motherboards, Bios & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi, I'm looking for some opinions on this matter. I have an old Gateway 500s (about 6 years old I


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Old 03-14-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
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Hi,

I'm looking for some opinions on this matter. I have an old Gateway 500s (about 6 years old I believe). It's running Windows XP with an Intel Pentium 4 CPU 2.40 GHz with 1 gig of RAM installed (upgradable to 2 gig).

At what point is a computer too old? I'm considering upping the RAM to the full 2 gig to the tune of around $80. I'm wondering if this is worth doing. I see lots of 'deals' out there on new machines where you can buy just 'the box' (no monitor, keyboard, etc.) for $300-$400 with 3 gig of RAM, dual-core processor, etc.

I'm obviously not a gamer and my current machine still seems to work fine. Just wondering if it's time to buy something new. Would the gains in performance be much greater buying the new machine vs. upping the RAM in my old one? Or, asked differently, what type of system (processor, RAM, etc.) would I be looking at to upgrade performance significantly?

Thanks,
Joe

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Old 03-14-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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To answer your question plainly, yes, an upgrade to a modern spec computer would surely increase performance. And it probably wouldn't cost too much to do so. But I would say that the time to upgrade will come when your computer can no longer handle your software the way you want it to. For instance, currently you are running XP. Currently, Microsofts new OS is Vista. But your really not missing much with that. Perhaps when the new windows OS comes out in 2010(or whenever it is) you could upgrade. Because by then, perhaps driver support won't be so good. But if you are happy with the way your current computer performs, then stick with it.
As for upgrading your ram, it couldn't hurt. But it really depends on what you use your computer for. If you are interested, I could recommend some decent pre-built computers for you if you would like. Just post back. And I will see what I can find.

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Old 03-14-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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Which ram does your 500 series take?
if you have 4 slots and 2 512meg sticks you could just add 2 more sticks.
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Old 03-14-2009, 05:30 PM   #4
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I tell clients it is time to upgrade when the machine you have is not capable of meeting your needs. RAM is cheap and easy to upgrade . . beyond that, the economics often lead to buying new. At todays prices, they are very cheap indeed
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:17 PM   #5
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Thanks very much for the replies. I was considering this one on sale at Staples.

http://www.staples.com/office/suppli...25__Supplies_2

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Joe
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:27 PM   #6
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That computer looks pretty decent. Our family computer is very similar in hardware and such, and it runs great! It boots up fast, and programs run quick and snappy. Multi-tasking is pretty decent with it too. Not really for gaming though. But you said you didn't anyway.
Although, if you watch online videos or perhaps DVDs on your PC then I would recommend something with better graphics. What is your primary use for your computer?
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:34 PM   #7
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for a little ofer $150 you can purchase a motherboard combo off the net that has a quad core processor and upgrade the one you have now. cheaper that buying a complete machine.
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Old 03-15-2009, 09:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by csc2000e View Post
What is your primary use for your computer?
The primary uses are: surfing the web, e-mail, music server, and some minor video/photo editing. Even in its current configuration it does pretty well although I'm noticing that I have to re-boot more often than I used to for some reason and that the CPU does get 'pinned' at 100% more often although the situation isn't unbearable.

Quote:
for a little ofer $150 you can purchase a motherboard combo off the net that has a quad core processor and upgrade the one you have now. cheaper that buying a complete machine.
I would be interested in this option as well altough I've never done it before. I assume it's not too much more difficult than adding RAM...? I am technically inclined so the prospect of doing so doesn't sound unreasonable.

Thanks,
Joe
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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It is a little more complicated then it appears, with an older gateway you'll also need a Case, Ram and most likely a power supply, then of course the operating system so you'll get $500-600 pretty quick, if your still interested we can work on what you need, you said video editing what program do you use?
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:55 AM   #10
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Well, replacing your motherboard and cpu is a bit more complicated than just adding ram. Though as long as you know what you are doing its not difficult. But you can't just put a new board and cpu in and expect Windows just to carry on like normal. There are special steps you have to take. But that is beyond my knowledge, as I have never done it before. You could build a whole new computer though. And its not as daunting as you may think. You won't need a super-powered computer to run what you need it to do. But you would probably also like it to last for a while.
Thats just another option, let me know if you want more info. I could suggest parts if you'd like.

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