General PC upgrade question?

I'm cleaning out and upgrading a HP pavilion a1720n desktop that has Vista Home Premium installed but with only 1GB of RAM installed and I want max it out out the system limit of of 4GB's. It has 2×512 PC-4200 (533 MHz) modules installed now, I'm planning on installing 4GB's 2×2GB PC2-5300 (667 MHz). Will the faster RAM be compatible and run at 667 MHz or at Pc-4200 speeds.

I want to install a dedicated Video/Graphics Card it says on the spec sheet thats it compatible with PCI Express x16 graphics card and there is a PCE x16 plug on the board. I need to know if the motherboard will be compatible with a nVidia 8600 and/or everything above ie: 8800,9600,9800,260 etc.

Can I Overclock the E6300 1.86GHz processor 200 MHz or so to 2GHz without facing issues such as decreased lifespan, overheating.

Heres the mobo specs:

Please no yes/no answers I need solid information preferably with links. But if you are knowledgeable in the subject of this question a detailed answer.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    What type of RAM to use can be a tricky problem. Your board is rated for 533, 800, and 1066 MHz RAM, and the speed it will handle is processor dependent. The Intel E6300 is a Core 2 Duo rated at up to 1066 MHz for the front side bus, which tells you that your maximum memory speed is 1066.

    667 MHz RAM is not in the specifications for your processor or your motherboard so I would AVOID the RAM that you have specified. It will probably downgrade and run at 533 MHz so you might as well go with 800 or better RAM speed.

    Having said that, not all RAM is created equal and RAM that works fine on a single core XP setup may not work well on the machine you are considering upgrading. I have had RAM that tested fine on an XP machine cause random Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) failures in Vista.

    If you go with a decent quality RAM you will usually be OK, but that isn't guaranteed. Run the RAM configurator in the link I've supplied under sources, that will give you a good idea of what's likely to work well. You should be OK selecting the a1730n as the a1720n model isn't listed.

    When I ran it I got this page:

    It looks like your going to need to spend about $70 for 4 GB of matched RAM. It's important to get all the same sticks of RAM because your motherboard will automatically take advantage of 'dual channel' and that's the most performance you can get from your setup.

    For a video card, you can plug in any PCI x16 card and with the proper drivers it should run, BUT...

    Your machine is old enough that it would be best to avoid the higher end cards you list and stay with a 8000 or 9000 series card with an nVidia chip. Although the card may run, you won't get the maximum performance due to bus and clock speed limitations, so it would be a waste to pay for a higher performance card that will do exactly the same thing as a cheaper one.

    Get a DDR2 card with the most memory that you can afford, it should only run you around $50-$80 or so. There's a possibility that a DDR3 card won't work at all, so why take the chance on an upgraded machine?

    As far as overclocking, that depends on several factors. Stock cooling is always questionable for an overclocked processor so to be on the safe side you need to get a better CPU cooler. That will run you about $30-$40.

    If you don't know what you're doing installing a cooler then forget it, it's too easy to fry a processor because you got the thermal paste too thick, or not thick enough, got voids in the paste or didn't get the heat sink seated properly, etc.

    If you're OK with all of that then overclocking a bit is a very real possibility. Properly overclocked to +/- 10% over factory specs won't harm the processor and won't decrease it's life. Note I said "properly". I've included a link to Tom's Hardware Overclocking Guide and that's a good place to get some info on the process.

    The thing is, you probably won't notice a whole lot of performance increase with a minor overclock, if you can't add at least 10% it's not worth the risks and effort.

    Depending on how you do it, overclocking can also increase the FSB (Front Side Bus) speed and the RAM will perform faster too.

    Avoid adding more voltage than you absolutely have to, more juice means more heat and more heat means that you need good heat management or it will shorten the life of your processor.

    You should be able to add 10% which would bring your processor up to 2.046 GHz, which is in the ballpark for what you are aiming at.

    Spending about $200 on upgrades will greatly improve the performance of your PC, and being as a cheap new computer is around $350 it may be worth it to you. You could see as much as 100% increase in performance over your old setup.

    One last upgrade you should consider is a 4 GB flash (thumb) drive. You can get one for about $15 and if you use it solely for the ReadyBoost function in Vista you'll see a significant boost in performance for a very low cost. Be sure to get a drive that's rated for ReadyBoost, as not all of them are. I use ReadyBoost and it really speeds up my boot times and multitasking. I've included the full description from Microsoft in the 'Sources' links, check it out :)

    I hope that covers everything you want to know, good luck and happy computing.

  • kaba
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Overclocking might look like the respond, yet to be undemanding to do it with out risking the aspects of your computing gadget you will benefit approximately 6-10% at maximum of your contemporary processing potential. once you're pondering doing this determine which you have a first rate cooling device in place or you'll be able to desire to wind up dropping potential mid-game (there's a placing which immediately shuts the laptop down at a definite temperature; tamper with this at your peril) or worse, frying the gadget altogether - which might artwork out greater severe priced than the advancements pronounced by using different answerers.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Overclocking the processor is a risky action. Your computer might not work, and yes, your computer's lifespan will decrease. You won't need to overclock the processor if you have 4 GB's of ram. It's fast enough already.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes a nvidia card will work with your motherboard i'm currently selling one at

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    umm....about the ram...the speed might be too high quality for the motherboard...but give it a shot :)

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