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The Wife's Rig

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Alright guys/gals it's about time I upgrade the wife's machine. I'm hoping to simply upgrade existing hardware since she pretty much just checks facebook/email/web-browsing/and does simple office stuff.

So the problem she tells me (after using my rig a for a few days) is that her computer is "slow". Well I know she just became accustom to the speed of mine, and that hers was always this slow...either way I need to get the wife to stop nagging so it's time for an upgrade!

Here are her current specs:
Mobo:
ASUS M2A-VM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131172

CPU:
AMD athlon 3800+

Memory:

2 GB of slow DDR2 (don't recall make/speed, I just know it's slow)

Video card:
nVidia 8400

What's the best AM2 cpu I can get? Would it be worth just getting this:
Mobo - $38
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157202

CPU - $71 (minus $5.00 gift card)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...scrollFullInfo
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600k 4.8 Ghz 1.45v ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 Intel onboard Mushkin Blackline 10-11-10-28 2133 1.5v 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda N/A Rasa RX360 kit Ubuntu 10.10 
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N/A N/A Raidmax 730 Watt IN WIN Dragon Rider 
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2600k 4.8 Ghz 1.45v ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 Intel onboard Mushkin Blackline 10-11-10-28 2133 1.5v 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda N/A Rasa RX360 kit Ubuntu 10.10 
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N/A N/A Raidmax 730 Watt IN WIN Dragon Rider 
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N/A N/A N/A 
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post #2 of 6
That CPU is certainly faster at peak than the 3800+, but for office apps & internet the benefits aren't that obvious. Now there are two types of 3800+: a single core and the dual core x2 - if she has the dual core I don't think she pushes the CPU too hard.

There are other things you could do that would boost the rig; often on old rigs what makes them feel slow is an OS that hasn't been reinstalled in ages, insufficient RAM and aged HDDs. If the RAM is insufficient and the disk is slow a faster CPU will only stay more idle waiting for data.
*add another 2GB RAM (or at least 1GB); RAM speed doesn't really matter, it's very marginal (from 0% boost for most apps to 3-5% in very few from DDR667 to 800)
*dump Vista (if that's the OS)
*use a faster HDD like the Seagate Momentux XT with onboard flash SSD read buffer- review here; she fits perfectly the usage pattern that will make the rig feel as powered by an SSD
*if you really want to change the CPU, the m2n-vm is compatible with some AM2+ CPUs (Phenom II 920& 940 if I recall and all Phenom I) which should be found cheaply on sh sites - no need to spend for another motherboard; if the CPU is a single core it could use an upgrade

...that's about it in hardware. One last thing, if you plan on installing on that rig a hardware-accelerated browser (IE9, FF4, Ch10+) having a direct compute capable card could make browsing faster (dx10 & dx11) - though the 8400 is dx10 I have some doubts about its compute capabilities.

cheers
Centurion
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Centurion
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dragosmp View Post
That CPU is certainly faster at peak than the 3800+, but for office apps & internet the benefits aren't that obvious. Now there are two types of 3800+: a single core and the dual core x2 - if she has the dual core I don't think she pushes the CPU too hard.

There are other things you could do that would boost the rig; often on old rigs what makes them feel slow is an OS that hasn't been reinstalled in ages, insufficient RAM and aged HDDs. If the RAM is insufficient and the disk is slow a faster CPU will only stay more idle waiting for data.
*add another 2GB RAM (or at least 1GB); RAM speed doesn't really matter, it's very marginal (from 0% boost for most apps to 3-5% in very few from DDR667 to 800)
*dump Vista (if that's the OS)
*use a faster HDD like the Seagate Momentux XT with onboard flash SSD read buffer- review here; she fits perfectly the usage pattern that will make the rig feel as powered by an SSD
*if you really want to change the CPU, the m2n-vm is compatible with some AM2+ CPUs (Phenom II 920& 940 if I recall and all Phenom I) which should be found cheaply on sh sites - no need to spend for another motherboard; if the CPU is a single core it could use an upgrade

...that's about it in hardware. One last thing, if you plan on installing on that rig a hardware-accelerated browser (IE9, FF4, Ch10+) having a direct compute capable card could make browsing faster (dx10 & dx11) - though the 8400 is dx10 I have some doubts about its compute capabilities.

cheers
Great reply! Thank you!
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600k 4.8 Ghz 1.45v ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 Intel onboard Mushkin Blackline 10-11-10-28 2133 1.5v 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda N/A Rasa RX360 kit Ubuntu 10.10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
N/A N/A Raidmax 730 Watt IN WIN Dragon Rider 
MouseMouse PadAudio
N/A N/A N/A 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2600k 4.8 Ghz 1.45v ASRock Z68 PROFESSIONAL GEN3 Intel onboard Mushkin Blackline 10-11-10-28 2133 1.5v 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Seagate Barracuda N/A Rasa RX360 kit Ubuntu 10.10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
N/A N/A Raidmax 730 Watt IN WIN Dragon Rider 
MouseMouse PadAudio
N/A N/A N/A 
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post #4 of 6
basically that. id try for an am2 phenom quad if possible. maybe grab 9500gt for ie9 and things. and defs grab the momentus xt. will make office run smooth as it would learn what gets used most and have the files ready somewhat/know where they are
post #5 of 6
I would look into a better HDD, that would probably make the biggest difference imho. I'd look into getting a WD Black HDD or for a little overkill a 60GB SSD is amazing for around $100.
Godzilla Powered
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Godzilla Powered
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post #6 of 6
i concur, a SSD makes a great difference in a system !
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Sweater
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plextor SSD 128 gb intel 750 ssd nvme 400gb intel 750 ssd nvme 400gb Intel 535 Serie 480gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
western digital black 1tb western digital black 1tb western digital green 2tb Corsair Hydro H100i v2 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
Win 7 x64 Ultimate 24" ASUS PA246Q 22" VW224 24" dell ultrasharp U2412M 
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