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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Computer geeks, I need your assistance

    My reliable dinosaur gave up the ghost, so I picked up another used PC. I'll worry about data recovery later, right now I have some other questions.

    1) Two run dual monitors, do I just need to install a 2nd video card? Or is there more to it?

    2) I seem to recall that RAM should be replaced in pairs. Can I just fill up all the slots with the RAM that I have and cross my fingers, or do I need to buy some more matching sticks?

    Any help is appreciated, as long as it's something other than telling me to get a Mac.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  2. #2
    AEO
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    1, if the computer already has 2 outputs, then you don't need the video card. if it's integrated or only has a single output, then uninstall video drivers before installing the video card and remember to set BIOS to use external video if such an option exists. Otherwise just pluging in the video card might not work correctly.

    2, most modern computers since 2004 or something generally do better with matched pairs/ matching amount of RAM in all slots because different sizes or models run at different speeds. having mismatched RAM increases the chances of instability because one or more RAM sticks might be running beyond what they prefer to run at. You should cross your fingers when mixing different years/models/brands/sizes
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  3. #3
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    Post some pics of the doggies and I might divulge.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    I need to tear about the two old machines and see what I can use in this one. Thank you.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tude View Post
    Post some pics of the doggies and I might divulge.
    Think about it.

  6. #6
    Blasted Weeds Tude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    Think about it.
    ::utters an "oooOooooOOoohhhh" and backs away::

  7. #7
    Crushing souls Hickeydog's Avatar
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    As far as the dual monitors go, if your video card has more than 1 output, then yes, it is possible. Some older cards have a DVI and a VGA (DVI's are rectangular, VGA's have that funky trapezoidal shape), so be sure that both monitors can take one or another. If the video card is relatively high-end and new, it will probably have 2 DVI ports on it. (The main difference is DVI is digital, VGA is analog). If you do need a second video card, go ahead and buy a good one that has 2 outputs. It can be a hassle with 2 cards, but most of the time it will work. But if you need to buy a second card, then the origianl one is definately worth replacing. As far as getting it up and running, plug both monitors in and then right click on your desktop and go to "settings" or "customize" or something like that and then go to "display settings" or something like that. It's self explanitory from there.

    As far as the ram goes, avoid mixing ram. And if you mix RAM brands, make sure that the stuff is the same size and speed. Especially the speed. You could probably get away with different sizes, but it is critical that the speeds be the same.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post

    What's frightening is how coherent Hickey was in posting that.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Who installs a pair of 128s? Really. It's a P4, with a pair of 128s.

    [taps fingers on desk while waiting]

  9. #9
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tude View Post
    ::utters an "oooOooooOOoohhhh" and backs away::
    Yes, let me just check and see how many pictures of my dogs are on this machine.

    [blink]

    Done. Zero.

  10. #10
    AEO
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    ew, P4 in this day in age...

    and 256MB total... even more ew...
    excuse me while I shoot myself in the foot with a 50 cal.
    Food for thought: if you aren't dead by 2050, you and your entire family will be within a few years from starvation. Now that is a cruel gift to leave for your offspring. ;)
    http://sanfrancisco.ibtimes.com/arti...ger-photos.htm

  11. #11
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Damn dude, I have more ram in my 1999 IBM laptop that I am using and it's a P3 500. As far as the memory goes, determine the speed that motherboard will accept, determine the max amount of memory it will take, break out credit card, buy memory, install when delivered. Too bad, I just got rid of some, but PM me with the type and and I might be able to score some 256 or 512 at work I know they are not using. I needed the little plastic cases to mail the ones I just sold on ebay and the guy tried to give me 2 sticks of 256 which I did not need.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2003 Trek 7300 | 2011 Raleigh Record Ace - Steel is real
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  12. #12
    Lone Star Tex_Arcana's Avatar
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    At least I feel better about my cheapo mail order computer. For $149

    It does work really nicely though. Much better the the Fry's house brand piece of ^*#%. Cheaper too.

  13. #13
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    Its pretty cool how much performance you can get from a low end PC, once you get the RAM maxed out.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    ew, P4 in this day in age...

    and 256MB total... even more ew...
    excuse me while I shoot myself in the foot with a 50 cal.
    If you wanted to keep with the theme, you'd shoot yourself with a .380 instead.

    All I use this machine for is browsing, email, and I usually have a spreadsheet open. So it's not like much is needed. But 256 is less than much.

    Brian - yes, even my laptop has more RAM. But after going through 5 of them, I realize I hate laptops.

  15. #15
    Senior Member gabdy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    My reliable dinosaur gave up the ghost, so I picked up another used PC. I'll worry about data recovery later, right now I have some other questions.

    1) Two run dual monitors, do I just need to install a 2nd video card? Or is there more to it?

    2) I seem to recall that RAM should be replaced in pairs. Can I just fill up all the slots with the RAM that I have and cross my fingers, or do I need to buy some more matching sticks?

    Any help is appreciated, as long as it's something other than telling me to get a Mac.

    Thanks,

    Brian
    1) No, your best off buying a new card with dual outputs, ebay etc for cheap decent cards. To have 2 cards you generally need 2 identical cards, and depending on the model of the PC AGP or PCI-e\x you may not have enough slots.

    2) Yes, at least try it, it will just blue screen and shutdown if it doesn't work. Modern RAM will ran faster with matching pairs, but if mixed and are compatible with the PC, all the ram will just run at the speed of the slowest card.

    But running 2 video cards with mismatched ram on old hardware can be a headache.
    Last edited by gabdy; 08-20-08 at 05:50 AM.

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