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What Really Works for My Needs?


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22 replies to this topic

#1 Mozart7

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Posted 22 June 2017 - 11:00 PM

Hello good people, I've been using a Gateway, probably 6 or so years old, with only 6 GB of memory. I do a lot of research & need to keep many tabs open so I can cross reference. At times, I may have 20-30 tabs open on multiple windows

 

Obviously my computer becomes sluggish & freezes quite a bit. I have pretty fast service so I think the problems are related to all the open stuff

 

I'm going to buy a new computer but need one with the means to handle many open tabs & windows. My thought is to buy one with 16 GB of memory

 

My price range is around $600 - $800

 

My question is this, is it simply memory that causes the sluggishness & the freezes, & is there other things I should get in a computer that will help with these problems?

 

Thank you in advance

 

 



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#2 MadmanRB

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 03:03 AM

Well you could start off small, memory was a good idea as boosting the amount of ram can be a good thing.

But your hard drive may be suffering old age.

Do you defrag or clean your computer of dust?

Lets try the less costly methods first before throwing out hardware suggestions.


Edited by MadmanRB, 23 June 2017 - 03:04 AM.

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#3 ranchhand_

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 09:24 AM

Sounds like you are not a gamer, nor do you run videos or do graphic editing, etc. all of which require large resources. So I am picturing lots of Excel spreadsheets, PDF files open, Word documents etc. as you do your work.

If that is the case, Here is a unit that will more than fit your needs; it is a low-range gaming machine so it will handle what you need without a problem. This does not come with a monitor, so you will need to use your old one. From the picture, this has only DVI video port so if you have only a VGA (D-sub) port on an older monitor you will need a VGA to DVI adapter, they only cost a couple of bucks. No big deal.

I see at least four USB3 ports (two on the side and two on the rear) which is good and several USB2 ports.

It has a Gigabyte motherboard which is good, not a generic junk board that so many manufacturers use now.

It has a separate video card which is great and will add a lot to its performance; when you connect use the lower DVI ports.

It appears to also have integrated video on the mother board, so if for any reason your video card fails in the future you still can switch to the on-board video and keep going.

It has 16gig of DDR3 RAM.

It seems to be getting good users' reviews so you might want to read them along with questions from viewers. Actually, I build my own computers, but this unit has a lot of computer for the money.

Newegg has 30 day return policy and exchange if you have a problem with the computer. You can just call their 800 number and in most cases they will send you a prepaid return label. After 30 days you will have to deal with the manufacturer for warranty claims.


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#4 MadmanRB

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:01 AM

Well like I said I personally dont want to shove out new hardware ideas just yet.

As if the computer is 6 years old it may be just a simple fix as sure its a older computer but if it isnt broke then dont toss it out.

Mozart7 is it possible to give us more information on your computer?

Make and model? We have the make as its a gateway but can you give us more details?

To get more info i would use speccy:

 

https://www.piriform.com/speccy

 

how to use it to post info to us:

 

https://www.piriform.com/docs/speccy/using-speccy/publishing-a-speccy-profile-to-the-web


Edited by MadmanRB, 23 June 2017 - 10:05 AM.

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#5 hamluis

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 12:03 PM

To be honest...it sounds to me as if you need to investigate those freezes...rather than assume that the "cure" for such is a new system.  Freezes can be attributed to many things...bad hard drive, overheating, insufficient free space on Windows partition, and various other things.

 

Were this my system, I would take a look at Event Viewer and try to get a clue before assuming a plan of action.

 

Louis



#6 MadmanRB

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 01:46 PM

hamluis I think you and i are on the same page here, seeing what can be done with the hardware at hand first as sure old computers can wear down but start with the simple before going complex.


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#7 Mozart7

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:26 PM

Hey people, thank you for the replies. OK, let's see...

 

As far as my computer, (before doing the Speccy thing) as stated, it's a Gateway

Model # DX4860

Processor: Intel ® Core ™ i3-2120 CPU @ 3.30 GHz

RAM: 6.00 GB

64 Bit Operating System

 

MadMan, I haven't de-fragged in ages & dust abounds inside I'm sure

 

The thing is, it's been slow & bogs down for years, & I'm sure it's filled with crap everyone picks up online. I guess I'd be happy if I could get it working like (somewhat) new, but the small amount of RAM bothers me. It actually works fine when I boot up & have just a few windows open, but as soon as I start opening more windows, it gets sluggish & the problems begin

 

hamluis, it stays cool, no problem there, & I keep all my files & such on a external hard drive, so there's plenty of room, if that's what you mean (Windows partition?) I will look into the Event Viewer 

 

ranchhand, that looks like a good one, just what I may need

 

So anyway, if I could do something to make this piece of %@*# work well, without too much trouble, I'd be happy saving the money. I'm just a little leery as I've had other computers that I kept doing maintenance on, but they always resorted back to the "I'm going to throw this freaking thing out the window!" state

 

Oh, & no, I'm not a gamer & just watch some news & music videos

 

Another odd thing, I have this little box in the corner which shows my CPU usage & RAM. Usage is always low, around 7% or so. The RAM goes from really low to really high, fluctuating often, yet it never seems to matter where it is when the computer is slow or freezing

 

Thanks again!



#8 ranchhand_

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:34 PM

@ Madman & Hamluis: Well, the unit is 6 years old and it's a Gateway. When the mainboard goes? You guys know how long those last.

[EDIT]:  @Mozart7....I guess we both hit the post key about the same time :) If you are using this old unit for your professional work, you need a new one. If this is just a hobby and not critical to your income, I suggest trying to get a few more months out of it as long as you don't pump more than 20% of its original cost into it. The principle of an old car holds true here.


Edited by ranchhand_, 23 June 2017 - 07:44 PM.

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#9 hamluis

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:40 PM

Well...no system is going to operate efficiently...if the user allows dust buildups and neglects basic maintenance.  But if buying a new system is the cure for that...more power to users with the money for such :).

 

Louis



#10 MadmanRB

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 07:45 PM

Well I personally say its a good start to give your computer a nice defrag and cleanout.

That will help with making things a little easier but it may be time to change out or replace the hard drive.

While not a fantastic processor the i3 2120 is near on par with a modern Pentium G4560.

Thats actually a good sign that your computer can still be a great at performing its tasks.

Its ram is DDR3 and while DDR4 by now is better the speeds of 1333 MHz is still a good speed.

If i were to suggest any hardware upgrade it would be a new HDD as it is a good step in the right direction as hey even if you get a new machine you can still use any new drives you buy as bonus extra space to have.

 

if you can give us your speccy we can see how old your hard drive is

 

 

Well...no system is going to operate efficiently...if the user allows dust buildups and neglects basic maintenance.  But if buying a new system is the cure for that...more power to users with the money for such  :).

 

Louis

 

Again i think we are on the same page here hamluis

 

 

@ Madman & Hamluis: Well, the unit is 6 years old and it's a Gateway. When the mainboard goes? You guys know how long those last.

[EDIT]:  @Mozart7....I guess we both hit the post key about the same time  :) If you are using this old unit for your professional work, you need a new one. If this is just a hobby and not critical to your income, I suggest trying to get a few more months out of it as long as you don't pump more than 20% of its original cost into it. The principle of an old car holds true here.

 

No i understand the possibility of wanting newer hardware as who knows how much life the parts have left.

But i again if I were to get any hardware right now its just another HDD, I mean it would not hurt to transfer the newer HDD over to a new machine if the motherboard dies, getting a extra HDD is still good for backup purposes too.

And also extra space


Edited by hamluis, 24 June 2017 - 04:57 AM.
Fixed typo - Hamluis.

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#11 ranchhand_

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 10:12 PM

Well, if this unit is not critical to Mozart's financial income, it wouldn't hurt to investigate a good tune-up. I suggest posting the log that Madman suggested, that would be a good start. Check how much space is left on your HDD and post that. I suspect that the slowdown you have always experienced is a result of the low amount of RAM, and Windows is writing to the scratch disk to prevent system crash so that slows the computer drastically.

If there are any other things contributing to the problem we can proceed from there and investigate. Taking the computer out on the rear porch, removing the side cover and directing a reversed-flow from a vacuum cleaner (IOW blowing out as opposed to vacuuming) with the edge tool attachment can't hurt to get rid of the dust inside it. You will be surprised at the cloud of dust that will be produced.


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#12 Mozart7

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 07:53 AM

Again, thank you all
 
I'll do the "speccy" thing, clean the computer & report back soon


Well, that took all of about a minute. OK, let's see...
 
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1
 
CPU: Intel Core i3 2120 @ 3.30 GHz (62 C) temp
 
RAM: 6.00 Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 665 MHz (9-9-9-24)
 
Motherboard: Gateway IPISB-VR (CPU 1) (52 C) temp
 
Graphics: 2269W (1920X1080@60Hz)
Intel HD Graphics (Acer Incorporated) ALI
 
Storage: 931 GB Digital WDC WD10EADX-22TDHBO (SATA)
"I also have an external hard drive"
 
Optical Drives: HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH70N
 
Audio: Realtek High Definition Audio
 
Oops. just read the "how to post". Do I put the link here?


Edited by hamluis, 25 June 2017 - 10:02 AM.
Merged posts - Hamluis.


#13 MadmanRB

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 08:50 AM

Well by the hard drive information you got a WD green drive.

Yup i think that is your problem, those drives are not meant for speed (I have one myself to serve for emergencies)

Green drives while great at energy consumption are poor at performance and are not even made anymore.

I personally would try to get one of these babies:

 

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIAAEE3XE0745

 

or one of these (its cheaper)

 

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA5AD2NA9155

 

It will be a bare drive (a drive not in its original packaging but are still good to use) but better than what you have.

I would say get a SSD but SDD's right now are pricey and you would need adapters and such probably.

The only thing extra to get here is another SATA cable which are dirt cheap.

 

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119231

 

You will need this to clone your current drive.

Disk cloning is the easiest way to transfer your stuff to another hard drive.

There is even free software to do it with such as Macrium Reflect Free

 

I mean you can still defrag and clean your computer of dust but if you want a hardware solution this is a good bet to lower your woes.


Edited by MadmanRB, 25 June 2017 - 08:51 AM.

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#14 Mozart7

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 08:58 AM

Oops, just read the "how to post". Do I put the link here?

 

Edit: But now after reading your post maybe I should just do that


Edited by Mozart7, 25 June 2017 - 09:02 AM.


#15 MadmanRB

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Posted 25 June 2017 - 08:59 AM

Oops, just read the "how to post". Do I put the link here?

 
Yes thats pretty much how to do it though your initial post does give us something to work with


 

Edited by hamluis, 25 June 2017 - 10:04 AM.

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