unlimited6986 wrote in post #11613596
My parents just got a new PC because there old one was to slow and had a burnt out hard drive. Its a Sony VAIo VGC-RB38G. Im looking at putting in a 1TB HD. What else can i do to make this better? Its an older computer, i just dont want to spend allot of money to where i can just buy a new PC.
The best thing for you to do, performance wise, is to upgrade the CPU. If it's a Socket 775 Pentium 4 you have, a Core 2 Duo would be the best choice (assuming the BIOS supports a Core 2). If it's an older socket, you're a bit out of luck and stuck upgrade-wise.
The PC is also old enough that it uses the outdated and relatively expensive DDR RAM. Unlike the newer DDR2 and DDR3, it's still pretty expensive since for whatever reason prices haven't dropped that much. Furthermore, I'm willing to bet you're running Windows XP which didn't have a mainstream 64-bit version and therefore you'd be unable to run more than 4GBs of RAM (although I think not many P4 motherboards support up to 4GBs even).
As for the 1TB, it depends on your motherboard, but all current HDDs use SATA II connectors, and depending on how old your system is, it may or may not have SATA connectors. You really have to either give us your model number or take a picture of the motherboard for us to tell you for sure.
EDIT: Just saw your last post. You're in luck! Your motherboard is a Socket 775 and the motherboard has SATA I ports.
This means that you might be able to upgrade to a Core 2 Duo. However, it's important that you research this heavily before you attempt to do so. In short, some BIOS can support the CPUs and some can't. Your best bet will be with an older Core 2 Duo like the Core 2 Duo e4xxx (Allendale) and Core 2 Duo e6xxx (Conroe) series. Also, with your harddrive, it is possible to use a SATA II (the modern spec) 1TB harddrive in the older SATA I slots that your motherboard has. Unfortunately, while the two were meant to be backwards compatible, this wasn't always the case and there may be some problems with the interface between the two techs. In short, buyer beware.
Even then, a 1TB HDD won't give you a nice performance boost. As I've stated before, the Pentium 4 is probably what's holding your system back. With today's programs, the P4 is very slow (esp with higher end software like Lightroom 3 or Photoshop).
adivineeternity wrote in post #11613728
Check and see what graphics card it's using, how much ram it has, etc. Ram isn't too expensive and, depending on the current graphics card, that might be worth upgrading, as well. I'm not even going to pretend to know what the latest is in the graphics card department, but do some research on the card that's in it and see what has come out since then. If there have been a lot of updates in that line of cards, go for the upgrade - eBay will be your friend on this.
I'm actually considering updating my olllld PC (bought it January 2004) to make it into some sort of functioning machine and to teach myself about the insides of computers (reading stuff online or in a book teaches me nothing, as my teachers and professors all found out), so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for some input, as well.
I actually heavily disagree with all of this. Updating the graphics card won't help much with his system. If anything, upgrading the CPU is a much better option. If the Pentium 4 he's using is a Socket 775, then it's a much better choice to upgrade to a Core 2 Duo (first checking the motherboard online to see if the BIOS supports the Core 2).
Also, with Pentium 4 he's using DDR ram, which isn't as cheap as DDR2 or DDR3 is. For whatever reason, this older RAM is more expensive than its newer counterparts. It'd be a bit cost-productive.