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Thinking about upgrades...


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#1 millipede

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:17 PM

So it's been a while since I had a new computer...  I had to go back and look at some old posts to see that I bought one in February or March of 2011.  Almost 4 1/2 years ago.
We were up in New England recently visiting family and decided to purchase a couple of laptops for the kids' schoolwork up in NH since there's no sales tax.  I decided just to look at desktops while we were there(Best Buy) to have an idea what a new one was going to cost.
What I noticed was that the prices were no less than they were 4+ years ago for just about the same specs...  It was kind of disappointing and shocking even.
What I have now is

Operating System
			Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
		CPU
			Intel Pentium E5700 @ 3.00GHz	44 °C
			Wolfdale 45nm Technology
		RAM
			4.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 398MHz (6-6-6-15)
		Motherboard
			Dell Inc. 018D1Y (CPU 1)	39 °C
		Graphics
			DELL IN2020M (1600x900@60Hz)
			Intel G45/G43 Express Chipset
			Intel G45/G43 Express Chipset
		Hard Drives
			466GB Seagate ST3500418AS (SATA)	39 °C
		Optical Drives
			Optiarc DVD+-RW AD-7250H
		Audio
			Realtek High Definition Audio

(just a quick clip from speccy...)
Anyway... I know SOME of the technology is better, etc... but...  for around what I paid 4 years ago I was finding almost the same systems...  4Gb of memory and 500Gb to 1Tb drives...  Processor speeds haven't jumped up a whole lot either.  Again, I understand that the things are all a little faster in one way or another but 4Gb is still 4Gb of memory and 500Gb, well you know where I'm going.
I don't feel like buying a new computer that's just a LITTLE better for the same amount of money or more would be worth it.
My pc has been a LITTLE slower than I'd like... not quite as fast as a brand new system...  but, I can't afford what they're looking for... just to get a slightly better system than what I have now. 
I've also been considering the windows 10 upgrade that we're supposed to get for free at some point...
So, I started thinking about upgrades... parts instead of a whole new system.
Side note...  it REALLY stinks that monitors still cost so much...  I have a 20" widescreen but wouldn't mind something better...  not to mention, this is VGA and a monitor with HDMI would be nice too...  but, that's not crucial.

So, I started looking...  On Amazon, it looks like I could upgrade my memory to 8GB(the system's max) for about $50 or less.  That's not bad.  And for about the same, I could easily get a 1TB hdd.  So $100 would give me a little boost in memory and storage.
I'm also thinking about a graphics card... this thing only has the onboard graphics.
I have to go and double check the slots I have... I forget which is in there... one is occupied by a tv tuner that possibly could be replaced if need be...
But, I imagine I can get a halfway decent(better than my onboard) card for not too much cash.

What do you think?  Should I do some upgrading? 
If I upgrade the graphics, I'll have to make sure it has a VGA connection OR upgrade my monitor... which I'm not sure I'll do...  I'd like to... but, we just don't have much money.  :/

Since I'm planning on going to windows 10 when I can........  IF I buy a new hdd... I was thinking... should I just do a fresh install of 10 on the new hdd and turn the old one into a slave?

I feel like I had more thoughts or questions...  kids are distracting me...  ha.
Any thoughts on all of this?
Thanks.

 

Edited to add more specs:

This is a Dell Inspiron 560...

 
1 x PCI Express x16 (2.0)
2 x PCI Express x1
1 x PCI

(the tv tuner is currently on the PCI slot

 

And, it has a 300W power supply


Edited by millipede, 09 July 2015 - 09:59 PM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 04:30 PM

Well...I find that "upgrading" is a little different from "buying new components just because".

 

IMO, "upgrade" implies that I can obtain a specific performance increase of some type by spending money...while "buying new components" is just another manifestation of "consumer in action, spending because he/she has been trained to spend".

 

The first justifies itself, IMO...while the second goes on 27-7 around the world and requires no particular intent other than to satisfy whim.

 

If there is no cogent reason for playing with system components...yet you desire to do so...then do it and don't kid yourself that it's anything other than what it is :).

 

Louis



#3 millipede

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 05:36 PM

:/
I don't really feel that I want to upgrade some components "just because"
Some things could be running faster.  Some things hang a little more than they used to...  I'd like things to load faster...  things to hang less often...  the system is over 4 years old...  If I don't buy a new pc some day soon, I do feel a new hdd would be beneficial to help prevent failure... and I have 111GB free right now.  It's not completely full yet by any means but, some extra room would be nice.
Graphics would be more of a want than a need...  Would be nice if some games and stuff played better.  I'm not suffering of course but, I REALLY do not think this is just to "satisfy whim". 

I've wanted a new computer for a couple of years...  Trust me... I don't buy just because I've been trained to.  I hope I don't sound too grumpy... I think I was a bit offended by the reply.

Basically...  I wanted a new computer... a whole new computer because this one could perform better.  I use my computer a LOT...  I don't want top of the line... I don't care about what is new and keeping up with technology...  I just want a better system than I have now.
But as I said... the new computers are not looking worth the money for me right now while I could buy a few new components and have it FEELING like a new computer for a lot less.
I could just sit here and put up with the little things that bother me from time to time...  then again, I could go back to using XP with a 30GB hdd right?  :/

If I "upgrade" my memory and graphics... I WILL see a difference... If I upgrade the hdd... I'll have more storage(I do take a lot of pictures...)

I guess in short... any thoughts on upgrading vs buying a new computer all together?  I do suspect that I'd be happy with the smaller investment of a few new parts...  and it would be less painful financially than a new system.



#4 hamluis

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 06:01 PM

OK...moving topic to System Building/Upgrading :).

 

Louis



#5 millipede

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 06:28 PM

OK...moving topic to System Building/Upgrading :).

 

Louis

:oopsign:
been on here for years now and I guess I never really watched this section... just scrolled down to internal hardware... as that's what I'm looking at.  oops...



#6 millipede

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 10:13 PM

I updated the first post with additional info...  There's only a 300W power supply so that will limit the graphics card IF I choose to get one...  Other things to consider with that are the slots...  PCI, PCI Express(two of them) and PCI express x16
Also... the monitor does have a DVI input so that's another option... or something to consider.    IF I do look at graphics cards, I'm not really interested in top of the line gaming... just better quality than I currently have. 
I think the graphics card is what I'd need the most help with as, I don't think when they're listed on sites they always tell you requirements...  Is there a website or a formula people use to determine how much the power supply can handle?  Obviously I don't want to push it...  and, I also don't need my electric bill going way up.  ha.
Edit: looking on Amazon at new cards that have hdmi and dvi(I think most of those have the vga as well)... some showed power supply requirements, some didn't.  I am thinking(could be VERY wrong) that pci express cards will use less power than pci express x16...???  I see a few cards with 1gb ddr3 for about $33...  which sure wouldn't be horrible.

The memory should be simple... 
Looking at hdd's on amazon at the moment and looking at the WD blue or green, 1TB.  They're both showing 1TB and 6gb/s transfer(I think that's what I'm seeing).  The only thing confusing... I am guessing is a mistake.  Both have that info in the description at the top...  1TB and 6gb/s.    However... in the comparison further down the page, it's showing the green at 64gb storage and 3gb/s transfer. 
Looks like the green would use a little less power?  That might be a good thing...  would they be equally reliable?

 

Edited(again):
I found this site earlier where I got the info on the slots(which I know is correct)... 
It's interesting that the website is about laptop drivers but here they have this info on a desktop...  oh well... that's the internet for you.  At any rate...  it shows that it has "4 x SATAII 3Gb/s connectors"
So a question on that...  are they referring to the connectors on the motherboard or the cables?  If it's on the motherboard then it does not really matter if the hdd's I'm looking at can transfer at 6gb/s....... though, seems most new ones are going to.


Edited by millipede, 09 July 2015 - 10:30 PM.


#7 Buzzsaw

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 02:39 AM

I updated the first post with additional info...  There's only a 300W power supply so that will limit the graphics card IF I choose to get one...  Other things to consider with that are the slots...  PCI, PCI Express(two of them) and PCI express x16
 

** Rest of post deleted for brevity **

 

Millipede,

 

Well, you can do all kinds of piecemeal upgrading here and there, but in all honesty, I don't think you will find much improvement in terms of performance.

 

The Intel Pentium E5700 is a 5 year old dual core processor with NO hyperthreading. It may have been great 5 years ago, but today? Not so much because as you have found out lately, a lot of the newer software are becoming more and more processor dependent, therefore, faster and more powerful processors are needed.

 

I just recommended a new computer build with an Intel i3 4150 processor, which is a dual core processor WITH hyperthreading. Yes, it will outperform that measly Pentium E5700 easily. No, it won't blow the doors off, but you will notice a significant increase in speed and performance.

 

I hate to see you spend money on a piecemeal upgrades only to find out that you really haven't improved your current computer that much.

 

If you are able to spend between $650 to $700 on a new computer system, then I would be more than happy to suggest a new computer build for you. Far better than those crappy computer systems that are being sold in retail stores.


Edited by Buzzsaw, 10 July 2015 - 02:48 AM.


#8 millipede

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 01:39 PM

anyone else have opinions or thoughts?  I can buy a new one at the store for less than that...  I'm sure not as good but, there's no way I could spend that much money...  just no way...  :/



#9 Buzzsaw

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 07:53 PM

anyone else have opinions or thoughts?  I can buy a new one at the store for less than that...  I'm sure not as good but, there's no way I could spend that much money...  just no way...  :/

 

Millipede,

 

Sure you can buy a computer from a retail store, but I will guarantee you that it will not be as good as you think it will be. 

 

For starters, most if not all retail based computer systems will come with bloatware, which will significantly slow down your computer.

 

Then, most of those retail store computers are built with inferior computer components. That's a very well known fact in the computer industry.

 

You are taking a big risk in buying a retail store computer system.

 

You're better off saving up money for a solid computer system build that you can get for between $650 to $700.


Edited by Buzzsaw, 10 July 2015 - 07:53 PM.


#10 millipede

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 08:13 PM

I don't fully agree with you.  All but one of the computers I've ever owned have been store bought...  and I can't complain.  I haven't replaced a single piece of hardware in the one I'm using now.
I understand you're for building your own.  I understand that it might be the best way to go overall... but, I don't feel that is a need for everyone.  TONS of people(actually, the vast majority) own store bought and are happy with them.  Anyway, I understand your position but it's not for everyone.
I fully understand the bloatware...  but, I'm not even thinking about that right now... I'm still thinking of some new ram and a new hdd...  and just MAYBE a graphics card.
I do not do anything fancy... I don't play any high end games.  I mostly just use the internet, play some games on facebook, etc.
I do not NEED a new system... I just wouldn't mind if mine was working just a little better.
A new system is just not an option right now... saving up?  Eh... no such thing here... not for something like that.  We get a decent tax return each year and perhaps next year... or the year after... or... some day...  for now... 
I could build a computer from scratch if I wanted to...  but I don't find that to be a need in any way.
If you don't think it's a good idea for me to get ram and a hdd... that's fine.  But, I'd like opinions for other people as well so don't feel the need to keep pushing the idea.
Spend more money and build your own is similar to the opinion mac owners have... that mac is the best way to go...  but, I doubt I'll ever be able to justify the money for a mac... 
For the AVERAGE computer owner...  most of these details are minor.

Anyway...  Sorry for the rambling.  But I would like to get some opinions from some other people as well.



#11 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 08:25 PM

Upgrade to 8GB of RAM is not a bad idea either, plus ram is cheaper these day. As for the 1TB HDD part, i would say get a 250GB SSD or 1TB SSD, SSD can boot your system performance a lot for older system. Also, SSD have a feature i forgot what it called, but that feature active itself when the SSD are about to die by decrease the write and read speed, once you notice your system getting slower and slower each day then that means your SSD are about to die plus you have time to backup your important documents or files . Unlike HDD, they just going to die randomly, so when that happens all your data are GONE. As matter of fact, SSD use less power compare to HDD and there's no moving part either. 

 

 


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 10 July 2015 - 08:26 PM.


#12 millipede

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 08:37 PM

Thanks for the thoughts.  The SSD's really haven't come down enough in price for me to consider them right now.  The smaller one would be too small...  and the 1TB drives are just too expensive...  As they continue to work on those and push them, they'll continue to come down in price though... eventually...  It's amazing how much data fits on a tiny flash drive today...  I can still remember when a 4GB hdd was HUGE...  ha



#13 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 08:39 PM

Never mind, i know where you are going. That 1TB HDD is not bad consider is less than an SSD price. 

 

Hard drives

http://www.amazon.com/Green-500GB-Desktop-Hard-Drive/dp/B006YLVD50/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1436579389&sr=8-12&keywords=500gb+hdd

 

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-750GB-Everyday-Desktop-Drive/dp/B0088PUFT0/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1436579528&sr=8-7&keywords=western+digital+750gb+7200rpm

 

RAMs

http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Memory-PC2-5300-SNP9F035CK2-8G/dp/B003Y5L2LY/ref=sr_1_10?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1436579556&sr=1-10&keywords=8gb+ram

 

http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-240-Pin-Channel-CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9/dp/B004CRSM4I/ref=sr_1_6?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1436579556&sr=1-6&keywords=8gb+ram


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 10 July 2015 - 08:53 PM.


#14 millipede

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 08:49 PM

The 1TB hdd's I mentioned earlier in the topic were around $50...  that I could probably swing.
My main goal in all of this was to just spend a little money and help things run a little better and see if I can't get a few more years out of this machine... at least. 
The hdd I have now is 500Gb and it only has around 111 GB free... 
I'm not sure how much room windows 10 will be when I get the chance to try that out...  might not be more than windows 7 currently is... but, I do add new pictures and videos from time to time... so, if I do get a new drive I would like it to be 1TB.
I think I would slave the old one long enough to move important files and then just run one drive...   



#15 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 10 July 2015 - 08:56 PM

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-faq-system-requirements-pc.

 

^^^^ That is the preview of Windows 10.


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 10 July 2015 - 08:59 PM.





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