[SOLVED] What to upgrade in an old PC to make it functional for basic stuff

TechyQuestionner

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Aug 4, 2014
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Hi everyone,
I have this old PC which is almost 10 years old and it has become really slow, as I have also removed parts like the GPU and one of the RAM cards because they stopped working. I am interested in making a little faster so that it can handle basic daily stuff like browsing, videos, file management etc. but not give a fortune in terms of buying a whole new PC. What parts should I upgrade in your opinion? Here is what's already mounted:

Operating System
Windows 10 Home 32-bit
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 @ 2.80GHz
Wolfdale 45nm Technology
RAM
2,00GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 332MHz (5-5-5-15)
Motherboard
ASRock G31M-S. (CPUSocket)
Graphics
SyncMaster (1440x900@60Hz)
Intel G33/G31 Express Chipset Family (ASRock)
Storage
596GB Western Digital WDC WD6400AAKS-65A7B2 ATA Device (SATA )

I know it's some ancient stuff in there, so there is also the compatibility issue. Again, I want to keep the cost as low as possible. Thank you for your time!
 
The only things I can think of are:
  • 2 sticks of 4GB DDR2 (that 332 is actually officially 667MHz RAM speed, due to double data rate). You can use 800Mhz DDR2 as well, according to ASRock's spec page for the motherboard.
    • Used, obviously. Also, this is an investment that you CANNOT carry over to a newer system.
    • Caveat - if you had Windows 10 64-bit. I'm not sure if you're locked into 32 bit, or, if using the USB installation tool, the installer will let you put 64-bit Windows in. 32-bit will ONLY see 4GB of RAM.
  • A SATA SSD drive. You will be amazed how much of a difference this makes for boot times, swapping, etc. This is something that, should you get a newer system, can be carried over.
  • A faster used CPU that is supported. Here's the list of supported CPUs. More cores can help, but faster CPU speed might be better in this case, not sure. Your existing one might be pretty good for the time being, as it's on the upper level of CPU speeds for LGA 775 processors, just that it has only 2 cores. That may not be much of a problem for the basis, though.
    • This would be another investment that would NOT be able to be carried over.
    • Another caveat: the "top" processors for this, used tend to go for a lot more than you would expect, but one or two steps down tend to be notably less expensive.
That's about all I can think of. My recommendation is to see if you can get a matched pair of 4GB sticks of RAM at 800MHz (though I wouldn't pass on 667Mhz), as cheaply as you can, and an SSD to replace (or supplement) the HDD. For the latter, you'd ideally want to put the OS and most major programs on the SSD, if you're using both the old drive and the SSD together.

The RAM is the top priority, though. 2GB is not something that Windows 10 can play well with.
 
The only things I can think of are:
  • 2 sticks of 4GB DDR2 (that 332 is actually officially 667MHz RAM speed, due to double data rate). You can use 800Mhz DDR2 as well, according to ASRock's spec page for the motherboard.
    • Used, obviously. Also, this is an investment that you CANNOT carry over to a newer system.
    • Caveat - if you had Windows 10 64-bit. I'm not sure if you're locked into 32 bit, or, if using the USB installation tool, the installer will let you put 64-bit Windows in. 32-bit will ONLY see 4GB of RAM.
  • A SATA SSD drive. You will be amazed how much of a difference this makes for boot times, swapping, etc. This is something that, should you get a newer system, can be carried over.
  • A faster used CPU that is supported. Here's the list of supported CPUs. More cores can help, but faster CPU speed might be better in this case, not sure. Your existing one might be pretty good for the time being, as it's on the upper level of CPU speeds for LGA 775 processors, just that it has only 2 cores. That may not be much of a problem for the basis, though.
    • This would be another investment that would NOT be able to be carried over.
    • Another caveat: the "top" processors for this, used tend to go for a lot more than you would expect, but one or two steps down tend to be notably less expensive.
That's about all I can think of. My recommendation is to see if you can get a matched pair of 4GB sticks of RAM at 800MHz (though I wouldn't pass on 667Mhz), as cheaply as you can, and an SSD to replace (or supplement) the HDD. For the latter, you'd ideally want to put the OS and most major programs on the SSD, if you're using both the old drive and the SSD together.

The RAM is the top priority, though. 2GB is not something that Windows 10 can play well with.
 

TechyQuestionner

Honorable
Aug 4, 2014
8
1
10,510
0
The only things I can think of are:
  • 2 sticks of 4GB DDR2 (that 332 is actually officially 667MHz RAM speed, due to double data rate). You can use 800Mhz DDR2 as well, according to ASRock's spec page for the motherboard.
    • Used, obviously. Also, this is an investment that you CANNOT carry over to a newer system.
    • Caveat - if you had Windows 10 64-bit. I'm not sure if you're locked into 32 bit, or, if using the USB installation tool, the installer will let you put 64-bit Windows in. 32-bit will ONLY see 4GB of RAM.
  • A SATA SSD drive. You will be amazed how much of a difference this makes for boot times, swapping, etc. This is something that, should you get a newer system, can be carried over.
  • A faster used CPU that is supported. Here's the list of supported CPUs. More cores can help, but faster CPU speed might be better in this case, not sure. Your existing one might be pretty good for the time being, as it's on the upper level of CPU speeds for LGA 775 processors, just that it has only 2 cores. That may not be much of a problem for the basis, though.
    • This would be another investment that would NOT be able to be carried over.
    • Another caveat: the "top" processors for this, used tend to go for a lot more than you would expect, but one or two steps down tend to be notably less expensive.
That's about all I can think of. My recommendation is to see if you can get a matched pair of 4GB sticks of RAM at 800MHz (though I wouldn't pass on 667Mhz), as cheaply as you can, and an SSD to replace (or supplement) the HDD. For the latter, you'd ideally want to put the OS and most major programs on the SSD, if you're using both the old drive and the SSD together.

The RAM is the top priority, though. 2GB is not something that Windows 10 can play well with.
Great! I will be getting a couple of RAM sticks and an SSD for the moment and will see how it manages without a modern processor. Thanks for your time!
 
Reactions: King_V
You're welcome. I can say that when I switched my Dad's machine over from a regular HDD to an SSD (same capacity), he said it was like night and day.

His system has 4GB RAM, and a Haswell era i3. He basically just does web browsing (checking stock prices, email, some YouTube, and some use of MS Word and Excel.
 

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