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Old 08-19-08, 07:43 PM   #1
Brian
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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
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Old 08-19-08, 08:13 PM   #2
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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
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Old 08-19-08, 08:18 PM   #3
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Post some pics of the doggies and I might divulge.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:18 PM   #4
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I need to tear about the two old machines and see what I can use in this one. Thank you.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:19 PM   #5
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Post some pics of the doggies and I might divulge.
Think about it.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:25 PM   #6
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Think about it.
::utters an "oooOooooOOoohhhh" and backs away::
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Old 08-19-08, 08:25 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:38 PM   #8
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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]
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Old 08-19-08, 08:49 PM   #9
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::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.
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Old 08-19-08, 10:14 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 10:45 PM   #11
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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.
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.
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Old 08-19-08, 11:01 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 08-20-08, 01:57 AM   #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.
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Old 08-20-08, 05:34 AM   #14
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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.
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.
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Old 08-20-08, 05:39 AM   #15
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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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