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I need advice on which processor to buy


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#1 Warthog-Fan

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 05:14 PM

Gentlepersons,

 

My current desktop computer is over 5 years old. It came with Windows 7 Pro 32-bit OS and 2 GB of memory. It has an Intel Dual Core E5300 processor running at 2.6 GHz. I'm not sure how much longer it is going to last and over the years with all of the updates that Microsoft has made to the OS plus having to run anti-virus and anti-malware, the system has slowed down A LOT. A system SHUTDOWN or SWITCH USER used to take seconds, but now it sometimes takes a minute or more. Also, web pages take much longer to load than they used to and some of the pages that have a lot of embedded videos or ads are so slow that you get disgusted waiting for them to become usable, Since I may be forced to buy a new system unit anyway if this one dies, I thought that I'd spare myself the pain of having to recover from a crashed computer and just put together a new one.

 

I purchased a copy of Windows 7 Pro 64-bit from eBay and now I need a system unit to install it in. There are a number of Intel processors available, and I'm not sure which one to buy. I do not play any games, or do anything that requires high power processing. What I mainly want to do is put together a computer that will continue to provide high performance over the next 5 years that Microsoft will be supporting and patching Windows 7. I'm thinking that a Core i7 would be overkill, but will a Celeron or Core i3 really give me a significant improvement is performance? I was thinking of a new motherboard with 16 GB of memory.

 

What suggestions can some of you make?

 

Thank you.



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#2 jonuk76

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Posted 13 October 2015 - 08:28 PM

A current generation i3 (e.g. the i3-6100 3.7 Ghz) would give a significant performance improvement over a Core 2 Duo generation processor.  It also has a fairly decent GPU built into it, giving more than enough performance for non-gamers.  I think that would be a really nice CPU for general purpose use for quite a few years.  The Pentium G4500 is also going to be decent (bit slower, lacks hyperthreading vs i3).

 

Example part list using this CPU - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/w4pLQ7

 

Usually you guys in the US get the new stuff first, but while the new Skylake range of processors (of which that is an example) are in all the usual retailers over here, seems there aren't many stockists in the US yet, and the pricing seems a bit high.  Maybe worth holding on for a little while if going this route, until more retailers get stock and price competition opens up.

 

Here's an example using the previous Haswell generation parts (a Core i3-4170 3.7 Ghz) - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3BvQJx

 

This is still pretty good.  The onboard video is not as good as on the Skylake, but CPU performance is not far off.

 

Simple benchmark comparison for info - http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=1098&cmp[]=2522&cmp[]=2617

 

EDIT - Just FYI general system slowdown isn't always down to ageing hardware.  Old Windows installs can get bogged down with junk which can be cleared up with some work (or if particularly bad, a clean install).


Edited by jonuk76, 13 October 2015 - 08:31 PM.

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#3 Warthog-Fan

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 12:49 PM

Jon,

 

Thanks for all of this information. The CPU Mark for the i3-6100 is almost four times that of the CPU in my current computer so the i3 might be good enough. The cost of the collection of parts from the first pcpartpicker that you posted is right in line with what I was hoping to spend. It also answered my question about whether or not to buy a solid state drive. I assume that when using the SSD, that I should make it the Boot Drive and set up the HDD as the secondary drive?

 

Yes, I was aware that an old installation of Windows sometimes is encumbered by "junk" that collects over the years. Unfortunately, I don't have the expertise to figure out how to clean it up. I'm hoping that the new hardware with a new OS and a change from the a 32-bit to a 64-bit version of Windows 7 will give me the improvement I need until I'm forced to upgrade to Windows (?) or whatever Microsoft is calling their OS that they are selling at that time.



#4 jonuk76

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 03:23 PM

No problem.  I'd estimate speed of an i3-6100 to be at least double the E5300 in all applications, and in some cases (e.g. media encoding, multi-threaded applications) a lot more.

 

I would indeed suggest using the SSD for Windows, applications, and using the HDD for bulk storage.  It depends on needs of course.  If you don't store a lot of 'stuff' then you might get away with just an SSD, but personally I like to have extra storage, and HDD's are pretty cheap at this time.  It's important not to fill an SSD because it impacts badly on it's performance.  It's quite easy in Windows 7 to move "Documents" "Music" etc. folders to a secondary drive.

 

SSD's make a very noticeable difference to load times and general responsiveness of the computer, IMO.  Of course, going from 2Gb to 16Gb will also make a big difference.  2Gb is very usable for a Linux system, but with a fully patched Windows 7, and say Chrome or Firefox with a few tabs open, you are already likely to be using all the available memory.


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#5 Warthog-Fan

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 03:54 PM

Jon,

 

Thanks again for this extra information. It has helped me a lot in deciding what to buy and will have saved me money before I'm done.



#6 jonuk76

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Posted 14 October 2015 - 05:35 PM

You're welcome :)


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