Graphics cards and RAM

They have: 426 posts

Joined: Feb 2005

I want to upgrade my computer by adding more RAM and a better graphics card. I have some issues maybe someone can help me with:

RAM

My computer is about 4-5 years old. I can imagine that RAM has changed in that time. Does this mean that i would only beable to get a certain type of RAM stick or is RAM universal and should fit on any board?

Graphics Cards

At present my graphics card is an integrated one. If i buy a separate card, can the computer be configured to use the new one and not the integrated one? Can anyone recommend a good one?
If so any pointers as to where to go would be appreciated.

Something else

Also while im thinking of upgrading i do have a problem with my computer. If i play video the sound sometimes plays as if it is in slow motion, and actually the picture plays in slow motion. If i play DVDs in the player the picture becomes pixelated sometimes and sometimes doesnt play at all. Is this the grapgics cards problem or is there a video card? Im unsure what hardware would cause this problem?

Greg K's picture

He has: 2,140 posts

Joined: Nov 2003

RAM:

Not only are there different types, there are also different specs within the types (mainly speed). If you have a "bought" computer (one from dell, best buy, etc), go to one of the memory makers home page, like kingston.com and they have a memory selector that will help you find what type you can use. If it was put together by you, or someone else, find the model of the motherboard and look it. All else fails, pull one of the memory modules you currently have, and do a google for it, and you will most likely find results that tell you what type of memory it is, then go and look for the same type but bigger. (I recommend this as last step, as there is a possibility your system does not already have the fastest ram it can handle.

Video:

On most systems now you can easily disable the on board graphics in the BIOS settings, (back in the days, the many of the Packard Bells would glitch with this on older Windows). Also, depending on your system you can have both running, and do dual screen display. 17" CRT's are cheap as heck today, and make a good second screen to display things like chat windows and music software that run in the background. Either way you go, you will need to know what type connector you need. PCI, AGP, or whatever was in this new system I just built, think it was PCI-Express (most likely not in your system based on the age). If you are just going to use the new video card, you will want AGP over PCI. If you are going to run dual display, you may want to get PCI, as many systems had the onboard video on AGP, and if I remember right, you cannot use an AGP card when the onboard is also using the AGP (at least, on my work system that was the case when I added a video card). Try to check motherboard info on this.

As far as video cards, I'd say pretty much anything out there will blow away whatever came on your motherboad 4-5 years ago. Mainly a consideration would be what you are doing with it. Myself, I used to use ATI cards for years, back around when yours was made, I didn't do gaming, so was very good bang for the buck on the ones I used. THe past two one I have bought are XFX GeForce cards. Curtrently I have the GeForce 7900GS with dual DVI outputs. When it comes to video cards, you will find people that have preferences and will swear on their mother why it is the best and another brand is horrible, then turn around and find someone doing the same for the complete opposite board. I started with GeForce as back when I bought it, our company had a good relationship with a builder at a local computer company, and this guy had the time and money to try out all the stuff, so trusted his opinion. Therefore, stuck with the brand when building my new system.

Another thing to consider, Your onboard video most likely uses some of your system memory for it's memory. Therefore, if you have 256 of ram, and your onboard video card is set to use 128megs of shared memory, you only have 128 left for programs. Switching to a separate vdieo card and disabling the onboard card will then free up the 128megs, doubling your ram...

A lot of what I said is the best I can provide without actually knowing the specs on your system. THe more you can provide, the more detailed help we can provide.

-Greg

AndrewP's picture

He has: 28 posts

Joined: Sep 2006

With the RAM I would recommend you go to crucial.com and use their software to scan your computer. That should tell you which type of RAM you need to purchase Smiling

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They have: 4 posts

Joined: Aug 2011

If you want to play high configured games then a huge capacity of RAM and Graphics card is being a essential for you without it your system is not giving you a better results for this kind of games and it could be happen that you can not play that game even.

He has: 1 posts

Joined: Aug 2014

Dear all member's my computer's has sound problem my sound card is right but i can't hear any sound so help me.

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