Beefing up computer?

I have an HP desktop that is several years old...All in all it's a decent computer that served me well for some basic needs (email, Internet, word/excel stuff, etc.) It has a CDR/W...but really no other bells and whistles. My situation is this. I would like to beef it up a little prior to installing a cable internet modem to it. Does adding memory make a computer faster? How much/what should I have on it to make it "decent" by today's standard? Thanks, and please keep the lingo simple...I am an r-tard when it comes to all the technical stuff. :) Thanks guys!

Memory would be the first step to take in beefing up your computer for sure. Do you know what speed etc. it is? If you know what type of motherboard you have and what type of ram it supports(sdram, ddr etc) it'll make your life much easier. You may also be able to upgrade your cpu which would make a big difference as well....again, all depending on your motherboard.

512MB of RAM is usually the limit as to what will noticably speed up your system. (That varies depending on the type of apps run on your computer) Of course, get the fastest memory (RAM) speed your motherboard can handle. Also, see how fast of a processor your motherboard can hold. If you're nearing its threshold, you might shouldn't even bother.

If you're running a 5400RPM hard drive, that's a huge bottleneck. Consider a 7200RPM drive. Compatability issues might come from interface type (IDE or SCSI) and size. (Not being recognized in the BIOS) and are your best friends.

welp...just looking at my comp. sitting on my desk, I can tell you this much- It's an HP Pavilion 6645C w/ an Intel Celeron processor, if any of that makes sense, or helps.

Is there a way I can check my system to answer any of the other questions? Thanks a bunch!!!

don't bother beefing it up. start new. i built 3 compters for my friend after adding RAM. kept running into the the limits of the motherboard.

only thing i brought over was the floppy drive. and are your best friends.

stephen maximum memory it will handle is 256 MB..that is, 2 sticks of 128. The type of memory is PC100. If you go to, you should be able to find them for about $20 apiece. It says the standard memory is 64 MB, so 256 will be a giant leap. IMO, it would be worth it if you can't afford a new system right now. I'm not sure how much difference there would be between 128 and 256 (see bottlenecks, above), but I guarantee there will be a difference between 64 and 128. I'd go for the full 256, since it's so cheap anyway.

Thanks guys! Yeah the point is that I don't want to buy a new system just yet...I just bought an Apple Power Book G4 and can't afford one right now. I was hoping to be able to put 200-300 bucks, tops into the one I got to get me going for about a year. I appreciate all the help!!

Stephen, WHAT"S UP!?!? Hope all is well, Happy Holidays!

I'd love one of those Powerbooks. Damn.

LOL..Detriment it is nice! However, when my girlfriend found out how much it was and that I could've bought a ring with that $$$ she almost strung me up!

i could make a list of what a powerbook could do compared to a ring a mile long.

doing fine angelo. just in semi-retirement. kinda sucks, but at this stage in my life, school and work come first.

although i've never had a problem with any of the sellers on pricewatch, i've ordered most of my stuff from they always rank high at


I also shop at for all my stuff, but they generally don't carry older stuff (e.g. PC100) at all.

yeah, pc133 will throttle back to pc100 without a problem.

thanks guys, I checked out the websites you guys listed and I have to admit, I really have no idea what I'm looking for?

So am I looking for (2) 128 mb memory sticks, PC100 or PC133? What the 'pins'? Does that matter, what else should I look for to make sure it works in my computer?

found this one...does it sound right?

Enet - ONLINE ORDER ONLY - 128MB PC100 PC133 PC66 3.3volt SDRAM Non Parity Unbuffered STANDARD OEMDetails:128MB PC100 PC133 PC66 INDUSTRY STANDARD, LOW DENSITY COMPATIBLE WITH ALL BOARDS (PRE-TESTED)Part - MM-10128XXUpdated - 10/23, 4:35 PM

you can also go to and search for RAM based off your computer system, tell them it's an HP then search for the model number and it'll tell you all the specs of the RAM that that system takes

If you use a lot of the parts from your current computer (CD-ROM, Floppy, Keyboard, Monitor, etc), and if you're smart about it, you could actually build a system for $200-$300