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Upgrading the mother in law's Biostar PC

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#1
About ten years ago my mother in law took advantage of a government scheme to buy a PC on zero interest payments. Shame she didn't consult me, because she ended up with an Intel E2140 on a Biostar P4M-890-M7SE mobo, with 512Mb RAM and Vista Starter.
To say that it ran like a slug would be doing it justice and so I upped the RAM to 2.5Gb and eventually the OS to Win7. Anyway, she didn't seem to mind the limitations and at the grand age of 82, began to teach herself how to use the machine and she's done very well indeed.
Fast forward to this week and I remembered that I still had the Asus F1A75-M (A4-3420 CPU) mobo that my brother gave me, after upgrading his PC when I was in the UK last year, so, rather than sell that for peanuts, I built it up with 8Gb DDR3 and a 250Gb HDD, using a very nice case I've had for ages and could never throw away for sentimental reasons. Now she's tearing along with Windows 10, a wireless mouse and a much improved keyboard (you could no longer see the writing on the keys on the old kbd).
I took the old Biostar PC back home with a view to upgrading it to sell on as usual, only to find that it has a max memory limit of 4Gb. I have to admit that this took me aback somewhat and maybe I'm showing my ignorance here, but I haven't seen that kind of limit since the days of Pentium 4.
I'm aware that Biostar motherboards tend to be lower down the scale in terms of features and are generally at the cheaper end, but 4Gb? In its day, it was touted as a gaming PC motherboard, but that memory limit really got me scratching my head. I even had a look to see if a newer BIOS had addressed that issue, but since the latest BIOS info page gives no info on what, if any, major changes had been applied, I decided to leave well alone. Besides, the only option is floppy BIOS update, which really isn't worth the risk, if there's no perceived advantage
Suffice to say that she got a pretty good deal and I ended up with a crappy Biostar, and three buckets of pebbles as consolation (which are probably worth more than the mobo). At least pebbles are always handy.
 

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eidairaman1

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#3
4GB is still viable for General use, Youtube, Office Productivity. Audio.

I resurrected a A64 3200 in 2016 for use
 
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#4
it was touted as a gaming PC motherboard
Solitaire is a game too you know.

Send the pebbles to TSMC. With some baking, they may be able to cook you up some better silicon. :p
 

droid-I

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#5
VIA chipset P4M890, integrated graphics, yes 4GB is max for that, regardless BIOS update.
I assume that board does take a BIOS update via USB flash memory also.

If you just want to play, guess it could be still a good desktop machine except for modern gaming.
E.g an E6700, E6600 C2D. 2x2GB of PC2-4200/DDR2 533MHz RAM and a moderate discrete PCI-e GPU.
Obviously a small boot SSD will help a lot for any lag.
4GB even works with 64bit W10, in average desktop usage.
 
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Audio Device(s) Supreme FX on board
Power Supply Corsair RM850X full modular
Mouse AFX LMO216
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Software Windows 10 x64
Benchmark Scores 3DMark 4053 (lower with freesync off)
#6
No, no. I need the pebbles for garden design, so in the end it was a fair trade.
The Biostar page says press F12 to flash the BIOS from a pen drive, but guess what? Nothing. Anyway, the only way is floppy and I really can't be arsed.
I put 3gb of RAM in it, Win 7 x64 and I'm going to shift it out asap, as there's always a market for PCs like these down here. DDR2 is getting costly, anyway.
Needs tidying up first...
biostar.jpg
 
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