GF Tech Class: Session 2 (upgrading)

Discussion in 'Computers' started by dDave, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. dDave

    dDave Guardian of the Light V.I.P.

    Now that we've covered the parts of a computer it's time to move on to the next thing.

    I have decided to do session 2 on upgrading your computer.

    In this session we will talk about upgrading the following things.
    -CPU (processor)
    -Hard Drive

    Those tend to be quite common upgrades from what I have seen.

    The upgrades will be divided into categories such as speed or storage.

    RAM (Random Access Memory)
    Category- Speed

    Putting More RAM in your computer can be a great way to significantly speed up your computer, but you have to know a few things before you just go out and buy RAM, it's just not that easy.

    Before you do anything look up your computer or motherboard and find out how much RAM your motherboard can support, thsi isn't completely mandatory but it'd be nice to know if you are actually going to be helping your computer out.;)

    Before you go out and buy RAM to upgrade your computer, you need to know what type of RAM your motherboard supports. An Easy way to check this would be to simply remove a stick of RAM from your computer and read what is written on the stick. You'll see a lot of writing but the important thing would be to check the type of RAM and the frequency (the numbers are the frequency). For instance you might see DDR/400 on there or maybe DDR2/667. Usually this is written on some type of sticker.

    The best way to upgrade your RAM is to buy the same "type" of RAM that was already in your computer but the sticks should have more memory.

    If your computer has 512mb of RAM and you have 2, 256mb sticks of RAM in your computer then a good way to get a lot more RAM would be to get 2 sticks that read 512mb apiece.

    If you have 2, 512mb sticks then a good way to get more RAM would be to get 2, 1gb sticks.

    Remember that RAM will always work best when all of your sticks have the same frequency and all have the same size of memory.

    so that's all i have to say about RAM at the moment, be sure to ask questions if you need to.

    CPU (Central Processing Unit)

    Another great way to get more speed out of your computer. This may be a bit more costly than RAM but it's worth it.

    If you bought your comptuer at the store then usually there will be a sticker either from AMD or Intel that says something like Athlon 64, LIVE!, Pentium 4, Core 2 Duo, etc. This sticker is usually located right on the front of the computer.

    Your processor is an important part of your computer, so all you have to do to figure out what type of processor your computer can use is to look up your current processor on google.

    All you need to know is the socket type, so if you look up your processor you should be looking for the socket type, once you know the socket type then you can look up the socket type and you'll get a lot of results for different processors.

    For upgrading your processor you might be better off just walking into best buy and talking through it with an employee who knows what they are doing.

    Note that this is by far the most complicated thing in this thread, I understand that not everybody will understand this very well.

    Hard Drive

    This is a pretty easy one to do (though the wording might make it hard to understand), whether you are adding a new hard drive to your computer of if you are trying to get stuff off of the hard drive from your computer that broke down, this is your source or information.

    Adding a secondary Hard drive is quite simple. But first you need to decide what type of hard drive you want to add.

    In Session 1 we talked about the different types of hard drives, so first you'll need to establish what type of hard drive your computer supports.

    All you have to do is check what type of hard drives your computer can support then go to the store and buy that type of hard drive with the type of storage capacity that you want.

    Connecting the hard drive is really easy, if you are going to get a secondary IDE hard drive then usually there will be a cable end on the middle of the cable going to your first IDE hard drive connect this new hard drive to that, then hook in the power and your new hard drive is connected. EIDE connects the same way as IDE.

    If you are going to add a SATA hard drive to your computer or add a second one then all you have to do is connect the SATA data cable to the motherboard then your hard drive and give it power.

    If your hard drive doesn't show up in Windows it's because you didn't turn it on in the BIOS

    So restart your computer and go to the BIOS (usually you just hit delete over and over until the BIOS appears) then get to the boot sequence and select the hard drive that you just added to be a boot device.


    I'd appreciate a review on this, it's definitely a lot more complicated than session 1, I'll probably go back through later and add some pictures, and edit a lot of the stuff to make it more understandable.

    If you'd like to talk to me personally then just AIM me (dDaveGF) and we'll talk about this, it might be easier to understand in person.

    If you don't understand a lot of this then it'd be good for you to read session 1 so you can learn how all of these pieces work exactly.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions.


    Any questions?

  2. EXQEX9

    EXQEX9 Yep.



    Do all of these various shenanigans work the same on a laptop?

    If I crack my laptop open, will I void the warranty?
    Same question about my desktop?

    I heard something like "Windows can only support 4 gig of ram". Is that true?

    How do you check how much ram you have (im running vista ultimate)?
  3. dDave

    dDave Guardian of the Light V.I.P.

    mmmm, no on a Laptop it is completely different, however the part about RAM applies to pretty much all laptops, somewhere on your laptop there should be a small panel that opens up that gives you access to all of your RAM. Disregard the part about Processors and Hard Drives while thinking of your Laptop, you don't want to get into that, trust me.

    Whenever I speak of computers I am always talking about Desktops (it's pretty much all i use) so everything in this thread applies to desktops and the RAM part applies to Laptops.

    To check how much RAM you have in Vista/XP go to control panel and click on "system" if the system icon is not there then look on the right and click "switch to classic view" then the "system" icon should appear.

    With the window that tells you how much RAM you have you can also check if you have a 32-bit or a 64-bit operating system.

    There are 2 different types of Windows out of XP and Vista, there is a 32-bit editon, and a 64-bit edition. I'll tell you how much RAM you can have epending on which type of OS you are running (32, or 64bit)

    • 32-bit versions of Windows Vista Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate: 4GB
    • 32-bit Windows Vista Starter: 1GB
    • 64-bit versions of Windows Vista Home Basic: 8GB
    • 64-bit versions of Windows Vista Home Premium: 16GB
    • 64-bit versions of Windows Vista Business, Enterprise, and Ultimate: 128GB

    32-bit XP Pro can support up to 4GB with overclocking but normally it can only go up to 2.75GB

    64-bit XP Pro can go up to 128GB I believe.

    Hope that helps.:D

    EDIT: If you crack open your laptop then yes you will void your warranty (unless you only open up the small RAM panel that i was talking about) but if you open up your desktop then you will not void the warranty.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  4. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    Oooh, good thing Ex asked! :lol: Thanks Dave!
  5. EXQEX9

    EXQEX9 Yep.

    What's the difference between a 32 bit and 64 bit operationg system besides the amaout of ram they can support?
  6. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    The adressing range it supports is twice the size. If you have ram that can read and write larger chunks faster, things would go quicker. But it's typically dependent on the random accessing lag anyway, so it's not necessarily faster - unless the OS is designed to benefit from it. Example: you could run a program that uses 16 bit adressing areas on a 32 bit system, and the program might be designed in such a way that it needs continuous access to the disk to fill the 16bit areas. And what you would get is lag because the OS will allocate larger amounts of ram than the program predicts. So basically unless the programs are designed to take advantage of larger ram- chunks, it won't do you any good.

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