I need help with this computer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Schmitz, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. Mike Schmitz

    Mike Schmitz Stunt Coordinator

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    A few months ago, I was fooling around with my sister's HP Pavilion 6630 computer. After upgrading the BIOS, I tried to update the audio drivers using the files I found on HP's website. Unfortunately, this had the effect of completely mucking up the sound. Sounds come out, but there is a bit of a "hiccuping" effect. i.e. sounds come out later than they should. I tried to restore the original drivers, which were working fine, but using the recovery disk didn't help, and the "hiccup" is still there.
    Before I go on the home page for the Pavilion 6630 computer is here:
    http://www.hp.com/cposupport/prodhom...lion19151.html
    The use and maintenance page is here:
    http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/cposupport...=111&t=use&p=D
    And the Specs, such as they are, can be found here:
    http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/cposupport...Tfile=bph05258
    Now, I was never impressed with this computer in the first place, but I'm still thinking of trying to "fix" it up. Should I try to replace the switching power supply? The current one seems to be only 135w or so. Should I disable the on-board sound and put in a Sound Blaster Live or Audigy? Can I replace the CD-ROM drive with a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive (do they make these any more? I can't find any on pricewatch.com)? I think that I can take out the modem and put in a good 3com (I messed with the driver for the modem too, and it wasn't that good to begin with). And also, would it be a good idea to put in a USB 2 card?
    Are any of these upgrades possible/feasable, or should I give up and spring for a new computer for my sister? (heck! I'm a total amateur at building computers, but I could probably build her a better one...)
    Mike Schmitz,
    Englewood, Colorado
     
  2. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    I'd definitely upgrade the sound card. I have a system very similar to the one you're talking about. I don't care for it much either... but it will do for now.
    Go for a SB Live series card which can be found for very cheap at www.pricewatch.com
    If you are going to do this, you might as well replace the sound/modem combo and put in a new modem so as not to conflict the drivers.
     
  3. Mike Schmitz

    Mike Schmitz Stunt Coordinator

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    So I should get the SB Live instead of the SB Audigy? Just because of price, or is the Pavilion 6630 too underpowered for the Audigy?
     
  4. Thom B

    Thom B Stunt Coordinator

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    It's primarily a price thing. Unless your sister's a hard core gamer or audio editor and has some higher end speakers, a sblive card should more than serve her needs.

    T
     
  5. Rob FM

    Rob FM Second Unit

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    Newegg.com has the Creative Labs SoundBlaster LIVE for $32.00. Not too bad for 5.1 support
    The price goes up to $84.00 for the XGAMER (24 bit multi-channel)
    Finally, the MP3 version is $85.00. includes firewire support (IEEE-1394).
    Good Luck,
    ~Rob
     
  6. Mike Schmitz

    Mike Schmitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay, I'm convinced that getting the cheapest SB Live would be best for this computer? But what about the rest? The motherboard has an Intel 810 chipset, and somewhere in the documentation it mentioned that I shouldn't surpass drawing 120 watts of power. So here's what I'ld like to do:
    • Replace the Power Supply with a 300 watt one (if possible).
    • Replace the Celeron 500 Mhz CPU with a more powerful Celeron, again if possible.
    • Get a cheap SB Live card and install it, disabling the motherboard sound.
    • Replace the current PCI modem with a 3COM #2976 65K v.90 hardware modem.
    • Install a USB version 2 card.
    • Get an external CD-RW drive for USB 2.
    • Finally, after pulling all the data off it, upgrading to a full version of Windows XP home version, wiping the hard drive clean.
    Is it possible to replace the switching power supply in the HP Pavilion 6630 my sister has, or should I look into a pro handling that part? Also, HP's web page for this computer mention that you shouldn't install Windows XP on the 6630, but then provides a BIOS upgrade that fulfills "the minimum requirements for installing Windows XP." Advice, anyone?
    Thanks in advance,
    Mike Schmitz,
    Englewood, CO
     
  7. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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  8. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Honestly, with all the money you're looking to dump into that thing, why not just get a new computer? You could pick up a P4 or AMD Athlon 1.4 Ghz with all that stuff for $800 or less (probably much less if you do some digging).
    Check out www.ibuypower.com
    They let you customize your cpu and they have great customer ratings.
     
  9. Mike Schmitz

    Mike Schmitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, it looks like my suster's going to buy a new computer, specifically the Compaq "CPQ 5423US" that we saw at Circuit City's web site. It looks like a semi-decent computer, for under $1,000.
    My sister's considering Compaq because she heard from someone who used to work from compaq that their computer were much improved from years gone by. Is this true, or are Compaq computers still to be avoided?
    Mike Schmitz,
    Englewood, CO
     
  10. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    Avoid like the plague. Very cheap components and just about as non-upgradeable as you can get. I'll NEVER go the 'big brand' route again after my experience with my HP.
     

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