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Upgrade or buy new?


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#1 willythecat

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 09:21 PM

Ok, me being a grouchy old bu33er, need some of you whizz kids out there for some advice, because l'm getting a bit past it, and am trying to keep up. Sorry this post is soooooooo long.

At the moment, l'm really happy with my setup and l don't particularly want a new computer but, things need upgrading, so do l upgrade or buy new?
I'm not into gaming but do frequently run video conversion programs that use a lot of memory so other programs are fighting for space (ram).

My current setup is, and here goes -

Tower case fitted with 10 usb sockets and 2 more available slots for fitting another two drives.

Board: MSI MS-6712 1.0 Bus Clock: 100 megahertz BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. Version 07.00T 04/02/01
Processor: AMD Athlon 1.25 gigahertz
1gb Memory (expandable to 3gb)
Display: NVIDIA RIVA TNT2 Model 64/Model 64 Pro
Maxtor 6E030L0 Internal Drive (30.75 GB) - Contains just the OS and some other programs
MATbleepA DVD-ROM SR-8584A [CD-ROM drive]
TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S202N [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]
Maxtor 3200 External Drive (250.99 GB) - Contains all files and backups
OS - Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack

I need to up the ram to at least 2gb but that will mean junking what l have and having to buy another
2 X 1gb sticks because my current ram is incompatible.
I am also thinking about upping the internal hdd to around the 100gb mark.
Screen wise, l'm also using an old style monitor which is more than adequate, a new one would be nice, but is not essential.

New systems seem to be have all whistles and bells attached, with "pre-installed" software, but what happens if there's a problem? With my system, l have all the original OS diskd to easily do a restore!
I'm on a really tight budget but, if it means spending a little more money to get a new system, then l'll consider it.

So, any advice?

Regards

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#2 LouieChuckyMerry

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 02:43 AM

Hello. From my knowledge, RAM is much more necessary for running applications (i.e., video conversion programs), while the processor (i.e., single-, dual-, quad-, etc.-core) is much more essential to gaming. Surely a multi-core processor is helpful when it comes to running programs, but as far as I know it's not as useful for apps as it is for gaming (although it surely is beneficial to running multiple applications). And, given the relatively low cost of external hard drives--many name-brand 1TB external drives are less than $80; try Googling "Western Digital", "Seagate", "LaCie", "Maxtor", "etc." + "review" and check things out--upping your HDD seems pointless; actually, keeping the majority of your media externally frees your system to run faster. Anyway, RAM is pretty cheap nowadays (try newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, zipzoomfly.com, compuplus.com, and anything else Google spits out in conjunction with your needs), and even a processor upgrade from single- to dual-core is not so expensive, and certainly would make your video conversions swifter (but be sure to keep in mind that the higher the processor speed in GHz the more efficient the processor; shoot for at least 2 GHz if possible). If you only use your monitor for computing, as opposed to gaming and-or video watching, and you're happy with your basic system, then I see no reason to purchase a new PC. Hopefully a more knowledgeable poster will contribute information that considers your motherboard, as I'm not yet to that level. I hope this helps, and sorry for the soooooo long post :blink: .

#3 willythecat

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 03:25 AM

Thanks Louie,
That made for a good read and was really helpful.
Think l'll go down the path of upgrading the ram first and will then have a look at processors next, but not immediately.
(just didn't want to start forking out loadsa dosh upgrading everything when for a little bit more l could have bought a new system).
Thanks again for your help.
Regards

#4 LouieChuckyMerry

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 12:20 AM

You're quite welcome, and I'm glad to be helpful here for a change. By your syntax and grammar I reckon that you're from the UK (but please correct me if I'm wrong), so perhaps my previous suggestions for online purchasing of RAM and processors don't fit your needs. No matter, Google is surely your friend, as any combination of words (considering your needs and location) will typically guide you to a reasonable place for purchasing such. Enjoy your upgrades.

#5 hamluis

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Posted 25 November 2009 - 04:34 PM

I pretty much agree with what has gone before...with the exception that I think prices are so low right now for compnents...that it's prudent for everyone without at least dual-core processing...to think about an upgrade/replacement of older motherboards/CPUs.

I don't believe in buying "brand name" systems for myself, although I do so for others (as gifts) because I know that they are not likely to be interested in maintenance, repair, replacement of components, etc.

They want a TV that does sophisticated things :blink:, and since I cannot give them that, I give them systems covered by warranties.

Putting a new motherboard/CPU/RAM combination in your current case...doesn't require anything more than the ability to read and follow instructions. At this time of year...it's pretty easy for me to find motherboard bundles I'm interested in and it should be so for you.

Example only: http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/Search...&CatId=2956 Add your drives to that system and buy a new PSU and applicable RAM...you would have a "new" system in your old case...that would be considerably more adept than your current system.

And, you would be forced to get either an XP CD or move on to Windows 7 (which I believe to be the better alternative for most).

Louis




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