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Minnesota!
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Hello. My computer isn't the greatest, and I have a few questions. First off, it is a HP Pavilion a6242n Desktop, with Windows Vista 32 bit SP2. For the processor, it has a AMD Dual Core 4 gigs ram. If I added more ram, would it make my pc faster? It is technically a gaming pc, but compared to regular home pc's now days, they make it look like crap. It can only handle minecraft on tiny at about 0-10 FPS. I can't get a new pc right now, but is there any way I can make what I have faster and more reliable?
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Andrew K.

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Hello. My computer isn't the greatest, and I have a few questions. First off, it is a HP Pavilion a6242n Desktop, with Windows Vista 32 bit SP2. For the processor, it has a AMD Dual Core 4 gigs ram. If I added more ram, would it make my pc faster? It is technically a gaming pc, but compared to regular home pc's now days, they make it look like crap. It can only handle minecraft on tiny at about 0-10 FPS. I can't get a new pc right now, but is there any way I can make what I have faster and more reliable?

I'm new here but I believe I can give you quite some good information based on the information you provided. I'm looking at your computer specifications right now the pc itself isn't that bad. If you wanted to upgrade this board to its max ram wise you would most likely want to go with a 64bit operating system. But that won't make your gaming run better the problem with this computer is the video is an onboard video its very limited I personally have the exact same motherboard and I got a better video card I get around 30-40 FPS playing Swtor and I get around 70 FPS playing existencero which has a bit better graphics then minecraft. So your main problem is video if you want to make your current pc play games better then consider upgrading to a better video card like for example I'm using the nvidia 9400 GT 1GB DDR2. But you could go even better then that if you wanted if your looking to play even more graphic games.
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Minnesota!
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This is the video card I have: NVIDIA GeForece 6150SE nForce 430
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Andrew K.

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Yeah that's the video card which is onboard. Onboard video cards come with crappy GPU's and take memory out of the ram to do there processing in general their slow and will never compete with a newer card. Not to mention that particular video card is like 4-5 years old. If you went ahead with one of the 9000 series nvidia's or better your FPS would increase by alot and your overall gaming wouldn't lag. I would show you a screenshot from a newer game played with the 9400GT but I don't want to spam the board.
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Minnesota!
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Minecraft is supposed to be pixelated, but are you sure a new graphics card would work? And how would I install it. Could I add an extra monitor?
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Andrew K.

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Well since its an onboard video card you would want to disable the onboard one you do this by reseting the computer and entering the bios setup its either f2 or f11 on HP's I forget. But if your going to go SLI with two monitors I would get two good pci express 16x video cards and not use the onboard which wouldn't work since its not SLI certified. And FPS always has to do mainly with your video ram when runing a game. Unless minecraft takes 4gbs of ram because of a major memory leak there is no way you will ever need much more then that. I'm running 32bit vista ultimate takes around 1.3gbs to run all of my program processes that leaves almost 3 gbs for gaming a window for starwars the old republic is about 1.6gbs cause it memory leaks like a hoe but i still manage to keep msn up 24/7 and open other pages and listen to music. If you told me you only had like 2gbs or 1gb i would say sure ram would do it but knowing your onboard card sucks because i have the same card i can bet that if you upgrade your video and your gaming is gonna see major improvements. If your ram was low you would be seeing stuff like opening IE and get like memory errors or like using your normal programs outside of games you would notice lag or not loading or memory errors but if all of that is fine then its video only. There is sites that let you check to see if you can run certain games with the video card you have just search google and try one to see what it says but I know that video card can barely run world of warcraft which is a pretty old game and thats with lowest settings.
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SE USA
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Minecraft is supposed to be pixelated, but are you sure a new graphics card would work? And how would I install it. Could I add an extra monitor?

yea it looks crappy, but theres a thousand things that it has to do to make it run in 3d in real time, that onboard card, like all, is on the edge of functional (and I bet the box says "great for gaming" heh)

ok first your computer only has one pci express slot, forget SLI and frankly its like putting a v12 in a Volkswagen, your goal is to improve performance, not making the most uber game rig evra

second pretty much anything you stick in there is going to suck down some power, you will need a new power supply as the 250 watter in there now would be maxed out even with a lower end video card. you could try but it will eventually kill your power supply ... I tried it and it actually lasted about 5 months before death. Also dont get a cheap power supply, pay a little extra and get something decent with a lifetime warranty.

third 4 gigs is fine

your going to end up replacing nearly a third of your computer, but if you get decent stuff now, it will last you a while, and getting a decent video card, and power supply now, then in a year or two getting a better motherboard and power supply helps you "stay in the game" without breaking the bank all at once

what range of money are you looking to spend

 
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My advice is to not upgrade an older computer platform (unless it's something relatively minor), but to rather work on building a new computer that will maintain its gaming relevance longer.

I've dumped tons into older systems to maintain backwards comparability among components that could have gone to newer ones and have cost roughly the same amount in the long run anyway.

Not saying you're necessarily in that same kind of situation.
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SE USA
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eh its a power supply and a PCI-e video card, both will be in use for a generation or 4 more
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Yeah, you're probably relatively safe there.
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