Boost My Brain

Published Date
01 - Jun - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Jun - 2006
Boost My Brain
I want to upgrade the memory to 512 MB or higher. On opening my PC, I found that I have two 128 MB modules. My question is, what should I be looking at before buying the memory modules? What frequency modules will I require for my motherboard, and what will be the approximate price?
Hari Raj K

Motherboards based on the Intel 865 chipset support dual-channel memory capability, and that's the reason you have those two 128 MB memory modules. For your motherboard, therefore, I'd suggest you opt for two 256 MB modules instead of one 512 MB module, so as to take advantage of dual-channel mode. These boards support DDR 400 MHz modules, so while buying, you will have to specifically ask for DDR 400 MHz. The approximate price of 256 MB DDR 400 MHz memory modules is around Rs 1,000. Opt for modules from brands such as Kingston, Transcend or Hynix.

The Brand Matters
Q. I have a budget of around Rs 1,100 and want to buy a pen drive. What is the maximum capacity that I can get within my budget, and what brand should I opt for?
Ashad Ullah

I think you need to be a little careful when buying a pen drive. The market is full of spurious drives that cost a third of what good, branded stuff costs. I suggest you buy a drive from a branded player such as Kingston or Transcend. For Rs 1,100, you will get a 512 MB branded drive.

Not Quite Music To My Ears
I bought an MSI MEGA 533 MP3 player, but I'm not satisfied with the bundled earphones-they are too tinny. Please recommend good earphones!
Tanmoy Mallivk

You're right-most MP3 players are bundled with bad earphones. I would suggest you buy original Sony earphones for your player: visit Planet-M or any other good music store. Sony has some quality earphones called Fontopia, and you can get them from shops selling foreign goods-or you can import them from the US via your friends. There's quite a range in the Fontopia series, and prices range from $15 to $49 (Rs 700 to 2,300).

A Burning Question
I have an Intel Pentium 4 3.6 GHz processor on an Intel 915GV/GL motherboard with 256 MB of RAM. I have a CD-ROM drive I would like to upgrade to a DVD-Writer. What brand?
Via e-mail

I recommend either a Lite-On or a Sony DVD-Writer for your system. The Lite-On SHOW-1693S is the model you should be looking for. If you're unable to locate a Lite-On dealer in your area, opt for the Sony DRU-810-it's comparable to the Lite-On in all respects, and is widely available. 

On An Equal Note
I want to buy a laptop primarily for home use. I will be using it of for photo editing, converting songs, surfing, and word processing. I have two models in mind-the HP Pavilion DV1615TS (1.7 GHz, 2 MB cache, 400 FSB) and DV1624TN (1.66, 2 MB cache and 667 FSB). The other specs are pretty much the same-80 GB HDD, 14-inch WXGA and so on. Which model should I opt for? Do you know of any better models? Rs 50 to 60K is what I'm looking at.
Madhabi Roy
Any current-gen laptop with sufficient processing power will be good enough for your needs. Of the two HP models I would suggest the DV1624TN, because it has the latest Intel Core solo processor and the supporting 945 chipset. The other model is based on the older Sonoma platform-nothing wrong with it, but it is an older platform. As far as other vendors are concerned, you can look at IBM (now Lenovo), Toshiba and Fujitsu. And regarding after-sales service, HP and IBM have the upper hand.

Power For My Tower
I want to buy a UPS. I have a typical PC setup with a CRT monitor; can you help me select the right one, and also tell me about the important aspects of a UPS?
Karthik S
Apart from backup power, a UPS should also provide voltage regulation. This is an area not many brands are good at. I personally have been using APC's BackUPS ES for two years now and haven't come across any problems; moreover, it also has automatic voltage regulation. It costs about Rs 2,500.

Obsolescence Alert
I need some advice on graphics cards. I have a budget of around Rs 16K. I can't decide between the GF6800XT 256MB, GF6800XT 512MB and the GF7600GT 256MB. My card should last me a good two years at least. What do you suggest?
I was also wondering if it's better to opt for an integrated solution now and buy a card later, when dx10 is supposed to be out with Vista. Finally, which is a better combo-the AMD X2 3800 with DDR400 RAM or a Pentium D940 with DDR II 667 MHz RAM?
I'd say the GF6800 series is already outdated to a certain extent. You can very well go for a GF7600GT card-these are the latest, and are fast enough to run most games. I don't think it will last two years, though! If you can delay your purchase by a couple of months, get a GF7800-based card.

Of the two processor-RAM combos you've mentioned, I'd recommend the AMD X2 3800 for performance.

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