Question Upgrades for my uncle's 2008 Windows XP PC

Jun 23, 2018
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I'm planning to buy new DDR2 RAM and GPU for my uncle's old, Intel Pentium 4, GeForce 8500 GT powered PC from 2008. Any suggestions?

Kind regards.
 

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I'm planning to buy new DDR2 RAM and GPU for my uncle's old, Intel Pentium 4, GeForce 8500 GT powered PC from 2008. Any suggestions?

Kind regards.
What is your budget for this?
A whole new PC is both lots faster, and probably no more expensive, than trying to 'upgrade' that thing.

Seriously.
More or faster RAM on that platform will still be old and slow.
A new GPU will be hampered by the old platform.

Depending on desired use, you could probably get away with $400 for all new parts.
 
What are the rest of your specs?
Make/model of motherboard cpu/hdd ram/psu...
What does he use it primarily for?
In what way do you feel that the pc is not doing the job?
What is your budget?

a 2 x 2gb kit is a good idea, 2gb alone does not work well.

The very best performance improver for an old pc is to replace a windows C drive HDD with a ssd. It is easy to do and the results are remarkable.

8500GT should do the job for anything but gaming.
For games, nothing less than a GT1030.
I would not bother with a GT210.
 
Jun 23, 2018
9
0
10
0
What are the rest of your specs?
Make/model of motherboard cpu/hdd ram/psu...
What does he use it primarily for?
In what way do you feel that the pc is not doing the job?
What is your budget?

a 2 x 2gb kit is a good idea, 2gb alone does not work well.

The very best performance improver for an old pc is to replace a windows C drive HDD with a ssd. It is easy to do and the results are remarkable.

8500GT should do the job for anything but gaming.
For games, nothing less than a GT1030.
I would not bother with a GT210.
Dunno the rest of the specs, I'll take a look at them. And ye, I might replace my old SSD, put that there and get a new one.

I'll update you the specs once I get the chance to work on it again.

EDIT: It might have an IDE interface, so I probably won't have a chance to put an SSD in.
 
Kingspec and transcend make pata ssd devices.
Unfortunately, they can be pricey because there is little competition.

You can also buy pci to sata adapters.
I don't think such adapters are bootable.

Perhaps it is time to go modern,
$200 will buy you a new cpu, motherboard and DDR4 ram that will outperform whatever you have.

Here is a refurb Lenovo with i3-3100, 4gb and windows 10 for $65.
https://www.newegg.com/p/1VK-0003-0FB32

Buy a Samsung evo ssd of whatever capacity you need and use the Samsung ssd migration app to replace the HDD.
You will have a very quick replacement.
 
I'm planning to buy new DDR2 RAM and GPU for my uncle's old, Intel Pentium 4, GeForce 8500 GT powered PC from 2008. Any suggestions?
How often does your uncle use this computer? The Pentium 4s were notorious for heat generation, and processors this old did not have sophisticated idle modes to reduce power consumption. Same for old GPUs. I wouldn't be surprised if his system is burning 150+ watts at idle. By comparison a modern system idles at around 25 Watts.

By coincidence, if you pay the U.S. average price for electricity, every Watt a device consumed translates into almost exactly $1 per year if it's left on 24/7 for the year. So the difference between a 150 Watt device and 25 Watt device is $125 per year in electricity. More if you live in places with higher electricity prices (California, Hawaii , most of the rest of the world).

If your uncle doesn't use the computer all the time, you just multiply by the fraction of a day that he uses it. So if he uses it 8 hours/day, then 8/24 = 0.3. And $125 * 0.33 = $41.25 per year in extra electricity. If you're in California (electricity price roughly 1.5x the U.S. average), that's $62 per year in extra electricity. It doesn't take many years of use before you've paid as much in extra electricity as a newer low-end system would've cost you.

For this reason I don't recommend using systems as old as a P4. I don't even donate them to charity. I either destroy them or give them to a recycler who will melt them to extract precious metals like gold. That way nobody else can even try use them. In fact your uncle has probably wasted more money on electricity hanging on to this ancient computer, than it would've cost him to upgrade to a newer one (the P4s date from the early to mid 2000s, not 2008).

It's time for your uncle to upgrade to a new computer. If you can't afford new, look into a used system. Dell and Lenovo sell refurbished business systems off-lease for really cheap (a business leased the computer for x years, and returned the computer to Dell after the lease was up). Anything Sandy Bridge (i3/i5/i7 - 2xxx) or newer is good - Sandy Bridge is the first time Intel seriously tried to reduce power consumption, and USB 3.0 support was added. Haswell (i3/i5/i7 - 4xxx) or newer is better. Even the integrated GPU on those will blow away the 8500 GT.
 
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Reactions: King_V
If you're comfortable with replacing parts, you might be just as comfortable putting together a new system based on a barebones kit.

I wrote up a little bit about a system I put together recently. You can see it here. I know for a fact that the SSD I used has come down by $4 since then, and the RAM I used is also $4 less than when I bought it. The A300W barebones unit is out of stock currently at NewEgg, though. The APU now costs more than when I bought it, but if there's a MicroCenter near you, they have the Athlon 200GE for $44.99, same as I paid, and RetailMeNot seems to have a recurring $5 off coupon for $30+ in-store purchases at MicroCenter every month.

It does NOT include the cost of a Windows 10 license, but here's what can be done for just under $300, which is far more capable than the old P4 system can ever be made to be, both graphics-wise and processing-power-wise.

Note also that I went with a small NVMe SSD as it fit my needs. You can get the 256GB version of the same drive today for $1 less than I paid for the 128GB version.

It even has a VGA port (in addition to HDMI and DisplayPort) in case your grandfather's uncle's got a monitor with only a VGA connector.

EDIT: bringing my son to visit my parents in the summer, so I have "grandpa/grandma" on the brain, sorry about that.
 
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