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Revamp the old, buy new, or build new?
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:49 PM
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Default Revamp the old, buy new, or build new?

I'm still using the desktop computer I've had for years. There's a problem with the motherboard that necessitated the purchase of a graphics card. The computer runs a lot more slowly these days than it did when it was new, of course.

If I buy a new motherboard, will I get more RAM capacity? Or is RAM capacity completely unrelated? I have as much RAM as can fit in here. This computer's been a good one, and it would be nice to simply upgrade it (which costs a lot less) than buy new, or build a new one (which I don't know how to do anyway).

What's the best way to increase the power of this HP PC?
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:17 PM
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The hardware gurus will chime in with more information than I can provide, but to answer your RAM question: I believe it depends on the motherboard. I think motherboards only "support" up to a certain amount of ram, regardless of how much the OS will actually support.

But if you get a new motherboard, you'll likely have to get a new processor, too.

But let the hardware gurus tell you for sure.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:30 PM
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Quote:
Quoth Eireann View Post
I'm still using the desktop computer I've had for years.
This is the key phrase, with the fact it's an HP machine coming a close second.

Depending on its design, you may not be able to find a motherboard that'll fit for one of two reasons: first, it's too damn old; second, it's HP and they've done something proprietary.

Older processors and the motherboards that support them do not tend to hang around on the market very long once newer, better stuff has been developed. The few parts you may find are likely to be stupidly priced, as their primary intended market is corporations and other similar monoliths that paid through the nose for some super-spiffy extra-technical doodad a few years back, and they need something of the same vintage to keep it operational.

The good news is that yes, the amount of RAM supported by a computer is directly connected to which motherboard you have installed. The bad news is that (assuming you can replace the board in the HP case) you're probably gonna have to buy a new motherboard, processor, RAM, and so on... It might be cheaper to just buy a lower-end new system as it's still likely to be better-specced than what you have now, and you won't have the worry of making sure everything's compatible.
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Old 02-21-2019, 01:29 AM
TheSHAD0W TheSHAD0W is offline
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New motherboards also typically require new types of memory. You won't be able to migrate DDR2 memory into a system that needs DDR4.

Also, some of the new CPUs need more power than a deliberately underpowered mass-market PC, so you'd have to upgrade that as well. (On top of that some of those PCs have nonstandard PSU connectors.)

All in all, I'd have to recommend you either build a completely new machine in a cheap case, or buy one premade. Warning: Don't buy an off-brand from Amazon or Newegg, there've been some scams and QC probs there. I also don't recommend refurbs.

If you want a parts recommendation, give me a target price and some idea of what you want to do with it, and I can recommend some components.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:05 PM
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RAM limitations are... interesting. It is a combination of both hardware and Operating System. For example you can have a motherboard that can access upward to 128GB of RAM, but an OS that can can only index 16 GB max including Video RAM (Win7 Standard) so you're still capped to below 16GB as a result as any more you put in just isn't accessed. And that doesn't even BEGIN to cover types, speeds and latency limitations. Buying RAM can be the most confusing part about upgrading a rig.
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Old 02-24-2019, 12:09 PM
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All of these answers are dependant on what you have currently, 'A few years' could mean anything from 2 -10 years
Another thing to consider is what do you use the PC for? If the machine has worked fine for you until recently it's unlikely to be a RAM problem.

Slowness in an older machine can often be the crap that accumulates in a Windows install over time, a fresh install of Windows may fix the slowness and you could even take the opportunity to upgrade to an SSD, which is far more likely to help than a RAM upgrade (unless you have a crippling tiny amount).

Install Window to a new SSD and you'll still have your old drive with all the information on so no worries about backing up (which you should still be doing though)

Quote:
Quoth RealUnimportant View Post
This is the key phrase, with the fact it's an HP machine coming a close second.

Depending on its design, you may not be able to find a motherboard that'll fit for one of two reasons: first, it's too damn old; second, it's HP and they've done something proprietary.
It's been a while that the big companies have been so propriatary that standard items won't fit. Most of the time, that I've seen, they just have 'quirky' internal layouts and odd latched fittings that are annoying as hell
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Last edited by EricKei; 02-25-2019 at 05:18 AM. Reason: merged consecutive posts
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2019, 02:46 PM
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Yeah, components are largely standardized nowadays. Even the Apple Desktops can be upgraded using third party components. At this point about the only thing that isn't really standardized is case layouts which, in some cases, are designed to prevent user replacements.
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