...has 4 ram slots. Two are beige with 1GB total and the other two are blue...What does the color difference in the slots mean? One of the blue 1GB sticks is bad ... Can I still use the remaining 1GB blue slots stick or do they have to be paired?
This machine has a PCI Express slot as well. What would be a good all round video card?
1. Dual channel memory. One color is one channel, the other the other channel (I assume). RAM access will slightly run faster paired in dual channel mode than run in single channel mode. Since HP occupied the Blue channel slots I assume this is the first channel. Unfortunately the manuals for the system were not terribly informative. Perhaps the small writing in white on the motherboard around the RAM can shed more light if you are interested. The program CPU-z
can tell you if your RAM once set up is running in dual or single channel mode. But without a second stick you cannot test this.
2. No a single stick will run just fine.
3. If you want to pair that working stick back up match its speed and timing (CAS)
with the working stick. Or consider upgrading to 4Gb of 800MHz DDR2 with a 2x2Gb arrangement. Or 8Gb with a 4 x 2Gb arrangement if operating a 64-bit OS. [note: A 32-bit Windows OS can only use between 2.8 - 3.5Gb of a 4Gb arrangement.]
4. As for graphics card, HP specs do not supply power output specs of the power supply. I would have to assume it is somewhere between 220W - 305W. And depending upon who made it and the +12V output could limit your choices. Still there can be a lot of improvement over the nVidia 6150 onboard graphics. Depending upon your budget you can install modern discrete GPUs ranging from a $30 HD5450 to a $180 GTX 750Ti that use at most
between 18W - 65W (1.5A- 5.4A) on the +12V rail. For general use I might recommend a HD6450
(18W; this one fanless and 5 yr warranty). Improve video playback and reasonably good at low powered gaming which meets most consumers needs. If you are gaming at a medium level I'd push for the GTX750
[55W plus a factory OC bump, 3 yr warranty].http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/prod ... ct=3436817