So I've come into some Christmas cash, and I've been thinking about taking my PC to the next level for a while now. I just wanted some advice/recommendations on what parts I should be specifically looking for.
My specs, as of now:
OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
Version 6.1.7600 Build 7600
System Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model EP35-DS3L
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz, 3000 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Award Software International, Inc. F5, 7/16/2008
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7600.16385"
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 4.00 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.16 GB
Total Virtual Memory 8.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 5.85 GB
Page File Space 4.00 GB
Graphics Card Manufacturer Powered by ATI
Graphics Chipset ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series
Device ID 68B8
Subsystem ID 2990
Subsystem Vendor ID 1682
Graphics Bus Capability PCI Express 2.0
Maximum Bus Setting PCI Express 2.0 x16
BIOS Version 012.013.000.000
BIOS Part Number 113-HD577AZNF91-113-C01301-007
BIOS Date 2009/12/04
Memory Size 1024 MB
Memory Type GDDR5
Core Clock in MHz 850 MHz
Memory Clock in MHz 1200 MHz
Total Memory Bandwidth in GByte/s 76.8 GByte/s
The graphics card was purchased earlier this year, so I'm in no hurry to swap it (heard that there was no need to, anyway). I've been told that all I need at this point is a new CPU, preferably an i7. Problem is, I was also told my mobo wouldn't be able to house it, so that'll need to be replaced as well.
So just to make sure, I'd like your opinions on the best (but also under budget) upgrades for my PC, and if possible, the cheapest prices I can get for them.
I also tend to max everything out under settings. Most of the time the games work without a hitch, maybe a delay here and there.
An i7 processor is overkill anyway; the current sweet spot is probably the Core i5 760 (at around $200, probably around $300 with a reasonable motherboard). With that, you'd be swapping your bottleneck back to the GPU except in cases of extremely CPU intensive games.
You'll want to also make sure that your RAM is compatible with any new motherboard you buy, too. I'm not positive what you have based on the report you pasted.
For example, I payed $300 for a case, RAM, motherboard, and processor, while most of the i7's are $200 themselves
Nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten
It's been appearing already in Singapore, so it'll probably be available in pretty good amounts right after CES (January 6-9).
What I haven't been able to find out is when exactly it'll hit North America, and at what price. I'm also wondering what kind of mobo I'm going to need, and whether or not there will be a mobo/SB combo to save money.
Alternatively, including a free copy of Portal 2, which is reportedly being built with this processor in mind, would be an equally good bonus.
As for the type of RAM I have, is there a way to look that up in system info or something? I may have the box lying around, but I'll have to check for it.
Yes, I know that at the end of the day no one in this thread is going to be using the graphics which was in it because we're definitely the sort of folks who will buy discrete cards, but shut up. :P
Price and release date info (I can't confirm any of this, we don't find out this sort of stuff internally, this is just one of the sources cited on wikipedia). Socket and RAM info from wiki, not cited.
Well, here's the thing: after having my PC on for a few hours, stuff runs a bit slower than usual: some games have an uneven framerate, and streaming videos sometimes stutter as well.
Usually the way I fix this is simply restart the PC, or re-open Firefox in regards to the streaming videos. I've been meaning to ask if this is a result of (somewhat) aged computer tech, or if it might be some other memory-leaking issue that I could try and fix on my own. Some confirmation here would be nice.
it's a result of whats normally called windows rot, basically just over time you accumulate junk programs/drivers/registry errors/other bloat and windows just sorta slows down. can be easily fixed by doing wipe/reinstall.
Once every couple of weeks I run CC Cleaner, but if there's a better fix, I'm all ears.
wipe everything, as in format the drive and re-install windows so it's clean and fresh.
Yes, make a backup of your save files.
Would that include the secondary drives as well (three in total)?
If that's the case, I'll have to invest in an external TB hard drive before I attempt that.
well to reinstall first you have to format to get rid of windows, but only on the drive that windows is installed to.
it's a step you would most likely have to take anyway if you upgrade mobo/cpu, so might as well try that first and see if your slowdown goes away before you spend money on upgrades.
But first I'll need one of those external drives. This one seems promising. Thoughts?
The biggest speed increase you can do right now is to install a SSD drive for your windows installation.
I'm not familiar with SSD drives; are they more expensive? Budget-wise, I'd prefer to get the cheapest drive available, which seems to be external ones.
As for the reinstall. Windows 7 is a pretty decent OS and I'd be surprised if there was something causing everything to slow down after a couple of hours. I'd be more worried about dust or even loose components etc causing things to overheat.
Also, a general tip is to have a partition on a hard drive solely dedicated to the OS and Programs (not games). Then change all your Documents/Music/Pictures directories to another partition. Usually you can wipe your OS partition without to much of an issue (ninite.com is great for reinstalling all the programs you need). Best to transfer across the Users\XXXX folders as well, a lot of things have a nasty habit of putting savegames/configs etc in there.
I'm convinced "windows rot" is a myth. Maybe it was true in the old Win9x days, but XP and later don't degrade on their own. I had an XP install that was at least three years old and it ran just as well as when it was first installed. If Windows is slowing down it's either hardware related or because you installed something that's slowing it down (on purpose or by accident).