Starting off by saying I'm a Window fan. My Y10 daughter is currently using a Medion Akoya P6642 Laptop with a NVIAD Geforce GT425M graphics card, Intel i5 2.53Ghz Processor and 4 GB Ram running Windows 7 Home Premium. She uses this obviously for her GCSE work but also for playing The Sims game on. Everything runs fine homework wise but all too often nowadays she gets BSOD when running The Sims.
Everything is patched up to date yet this increasingly continues to happen. I'm thinking the machine is pinched on RAM with the ever bigger The Sims and realise the only way to upgrade the RAM is to go to a 64 bit OS. No answers on The Sims forums etc that we haven't tried - I think. The Laptop is just about 3 years old now. I think the only way to upgrade this machine is to replace the motherboard and OS, am I wrong?
Music is one of her major subjects so (groan) a Mac might be a logical way forward but then she would need to buy the Sims and presumably Office for one of those as well.
No huge budget available but what are the recommendations from here please.
I'll be honest, that machine and spec is more than enough for that workload - there are few games out there that need more than 4GB of RAM yet and the SIMS isn't one of them. My first call would be an OS reinstall on a nice new SSD if you're prepared to spend a little, go 64bit and make sure you use the latest drivers etc. See if you can crack it open and check the cooling vents are dust free - discrete graphics cards in laptops can get extremely hot and need to be well cooled.
No worries. You could save yourself a fortune here with a bit of tweaking. As she gets BSOD when playing games, it's most likely a graphics card heat or driver issue. That'll either be bugs or heat. Get the newest drivers on there, and blow out the cooling vents on the card (should have a fat copper cooler on top). Worst case, the GFX card may be damaged - modern discrete cards tend to use a standard format which can be swapped out for an Ebay special - it's unlikely this is the case though.