Is it worth the upgrade (PC1066 RDRAM)

Cabt

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Hi all,

I have an (old I know) Dell Dimension 8250 P4 2.4Ghz desktop with 256Meg of PC1066 RDRAM....I have obviosly had it for some time and it still serves me well, although a bit slower than I would like. Is it worth buying a Gig of RAM on ebay to speed her up and if so will I really see a difference. I just bought my wife a new laptop so it is not imperative for me to get a new computer for myself, however, I would like it to be much more speedy for as little money as possible? Your thoughts and input are greatly appreciated.

-Clayton
 

mobo57

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If the mobo accepts it, yes absolutely, it will speed up your machine, especially if you are running 2000 or above. With 256 the system will be paging a lot more, VERY slow compared to physical memory.
 

sepayne21

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I'd recommend building yourself a cheap am2 system
you can get a dual core for about $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103774

a cheap mobo for about $43
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813185083


and 2x1gb of memory for about $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134046

as long as your case is a mATX form factor you should be fine with these three items. oh, you'll need an OS also. so if you have the OS already this makes for a really cheap upgrade. otherwise you'll need to buy 1 of those which will set you back another 90 or 100 bucks.
 

Cabt

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Thanks guys.....would the 1 Gig upgrade to what I have be close in speed to the full upgrade SePayne refers to? From what I understand RDRAM is very fast even compared to what is out today, however, I have been out of the building look forr about 10 years.
 

pshrk

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Upgrading your memory will improve your speed but RDRAM is rather expensive and it will cost you about 500 dollars to upgrade to 1 Gig. For 500 dollars you can build yourself a better computer. The computer SePayne refers to would be faster, however i personally would not get a PC Chips mobo.
 

sepayne21

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good advise on the PC chips mobo. I'd get a better mobo as well, but this is your cheapest option.
 

Cabt

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Ok...thank you for all of the good feed back....so it sounds like it makes sense to get a new mother board. proc(s), and ram....can someone please suggest the best bang for the buck for around $300
 

pshrk

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If your planning on upgrading your mobo you also have to consider your video card and power supply.

What kind of video card do you have? is it AGP or PCIE? do you play games? and do you think your old video card is worth keeping?

Also older power supplies/motherboards have a 20 pin connector and newer power supplies/motherboards have a 24 pin connector. Although, you can usually use a 20 pin connector with a 24 pin mobo as long as you have enough amps.
 

Cabt

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Old video card (just happen to have the original invoice from Dell in my desk) is a GeForce4 MX Graphics 64MB. I hardly every game....but you never know in the future. Also have a newer case (about a year old) that I could use for a new setup if necessary.
 

pshrk

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Hmmm... well if it was me i would upgrade the ram if i could find 1G for cheap possibly used as suggested above.

Otherwise you'll probably have to upgrade just about everything.

Some other things to think about...

Most mobos today come with only 1 IDE connector. I imagine you have 2 IDE cd/dvd drives and at least 1 IDE HDD. So you would most likely not use one of your IDE drives and possibly buy a new SATA drive.

Will your case fit a standard ATX or mATX motherboard? If not then you'd have to buy a new case too so your pretty much building a whole new computer!

Its expensive and kind of a waste of money to buy RDRAM since the other components are rather obsolete, but at the same time in order to upgrade your mobo you have to buy mostly new components so your really stuck between a rock and a hard place :-/
 

Cabt

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OK...so here is the big dumb question....on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the fastest) how wfast would my current system by with 1.256Gig of RAM and in contrast how fast would a new build be if I spent roughly $250 (assuming I have a case and video card that I can get my hands on for free)
 

TyroneShoelaces

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Didn't see this mentioned yet... just want to make sure you are aware. RDRAM must be installed in pairs. To add an additional GB of RAM to that machine be sure you are buying a matched pair of 512MBs.

A complete upgrade would be a better move, instead of more RAM on that aging machine. It would be hard to do on only $250 though. If possible, bump your upgrade budget to $400-500 and you can do something worthwhile.

-TyShoe
 

Cabt

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Yes, I am aware of the pairs....can grab them on ebay for around $300.....OK....so lets say the budget becomes $400-$500...assuming I have a case and apower supply what would be a suggested system.....I was on top of things when I built my last system but that was 10 years ago.
 

neocortex

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ok honestly i never trust 200bucks computers...i built many of those and most of them fail in a year or so. or at least one part fails.
if you want my advice, spend 800-1000bucks and get a really good pc that will last for some good years...if not then just upgrade the RDRAM, ofcourse assuming u got it for a good price off ebay or so.
but building a $250 pc wont cut it trust me...you will end up changing one part every month..at least.
 

neocortex

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cpu E8400...about $170...excellent cpu, will be released in few days
mobo Asus P5K-E...about $140
Ram corsair 2x1gig PC6400...$50
HDD 250gig...$65
DVD-burner...$30

thats about $450...choose the vidcard u want...maximum $50 since ur not a gamer..and u will have a seriously good pc for $500 only
 

pshrk

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I've built two 200 dollar computers and they have been running strong for several years with no problems. It's just alot harder to pick out parts that are both inexpensive and good quality at the same time.

Also i think a $140 mobo and a $170 cpu might be overkill.
 

neocortex

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why overkill? i dont see any cheaper CPUs...well i do but what? 10-20 bucks cheaper? about the mobo i think its a very good one with excellent chipset...sure u could get slower parts but the difference would be $50 or so. dont u think?
 

pshrk

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I see an amd CPU for $120 cheaper ($50 total), sure its not as fast as the 8400 but its still a heck of alot better than a 2.4 Pentium 4. The 8400 is a great cpu for the money too, just depends how much power he needs.
 

pshrk

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Biostar AM2+ Mobo - $82

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138102
AM2+ so it can be upgraded to Phenom and possibly AM3 CPUs as well

2G A-Data memory - $38

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211062

4800+ Brisbane Retail - $85

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103212

Corsair Power Supply - $80

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003

Zotac 8500GT - $67

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500002

Cooler Master Centurion Case - $40

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119106

Seagate 250GB SATA Hard drive - $70

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148262

Samsung DVD RW - $31

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151153

Total: $493 for a complete system

Thats the same price as two new 512MB sticks (1G) of RDRAM

So unless you can find some used RDRAM for cheap ($100 or less?) i would definitely put my money towards a new much faster more upgradeable computer



 

sepayne21

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not trying to start an amd/intel war. If he's not a gamer, and on a budget, he won't see much difference (if any) in athlon64 x2 and core 2 for office apps. I think he needs to just get an inexpensive (great quality) athlon64 x2 setup. it'll be the cheapest solution, and it'll be like 4x faster than his current setup.

He could get by with $300 ($400 with an OS) to upgrade his entire sys new case/power supply and all.

Of course if you don't mind buying dell (shutter) they occasionally have some great deals for their vostro when advertised with a "free" monitor but you have to watch for them (usually a 19in lcd with a pentium dual core for $450 or so). Just make sure to have them configure it with windows xp and upgrade the memory through newegg DO NOT UPGRADE THROUGH DELL B/C THEY WILL RIP YOU OFF.
 

Cabt

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No too add fuel to this fire, but what are the pros and cons between Intel and AMD? Last time I built a system AMD was the slow step child (granted that was 10 years ago).
 

grieve

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I would build this machine.

also.. pshrk's system looks pretty decent, for what you need.
 

righteous

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BTW, that "cheap" kingston ram will indeed run at ddr800 very easily too.
I have a stick of that to boot up my system for when I run in to RAM troubles, and it is pretty good stuff for the price.
 

gpippas

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LOL! I keep saying that history has repeated itself.

I'll give you a quick brief while you were away.

10 years ago that was true. AMD's cpu's got better and better over the years catching up with Intel. Then at the release of the Athlon 64 series, AMD took the performance lead (~2001) . Intel had nothing that could touch it including your cpu. As a company AMD grew much larger. They held the performance crown untill Intel made a comeback with its Core cpu's (~2006). The role was once again reversed and AMD's cpu's are struggling to keep up with the performance of Intel's cpu's. However especially in the budget area you will see little or no performance difference between them. The Intel cpu being recommemnded to you is a great overclocker that has great performance potential when overclocked. But if overclocking isn't your thing the AMD choice is cheaper and might offer better performance.

As for the question of upgrading your system. Don't! RDRAM is rediculously expensive. Like you said $300 thats insane. I say this everyday on these forums. Don't upgrade unless you feel your computer is slow not because someone else said it is. The second thing I say to the same people is if you are going to upgrade a system running on an absolete platform only upgrade components that can be reused. i.e HDD, PSU, GPU etc.

RAM can normally be reused but not in your case. In 6 months time you will wish you never bought it because that system will still be slow and it has $300 ram in it.

My advice is a full system upgrade. You have the choice to build yourself. People on this forum will help you with the components.
OR
Everyone will hate me for this. But unless your budget increases buying a prebuilt system is cheap. It won't have all the bells and whisltes but who cares you don't play games.

This system uses the Intel cpu which is based on the Core architecture.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883108123

This system has an AMD cpu. It also has 2gb ddr2 and a 320gb harddrive.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883107510