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CPU upgrade worth it?


NanLaew

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I have a legacy (under the) desktop that I built about 8 years ago. It's has an ASUS P7H55-M PRO mobo running Windows 7 Home 64-bit, has 4 Mb of RAM on an Intel Core i5-650 CPU. It's the family computer, used for homework, surfing the next and a bit of low-intensity gaming.

 

It's getting a wee bit pokey and I am considering doubling the RAM and possibly migrating the o/s to a 250 Gb SSD. That bit of hardware, an added 4 Mb of RAM and an update to Windows 7 64-bit worked wonders on a slightly newer home-build (different mobo) that was also getting glacial.

 

I think the SSD and RAM should do the trick but looking at the CPU currently installed, it's only 2-core. Is there any benefit from upping the CPU to i5-760 which is 4-core or even possibly the i7-880 which is 4 core/8 theads?

 

I checked a website that does mobo/CPU compatibility and both of the above are tested and acceptable options and the mobo will support them. Both 'new' CPU's are also discontinued but used ones can be had for around US$50 online so just wondering if anyone thinks a CPU overhaul is worth it.

 

Thanks!

NL

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Your idea on Ram and SDD is sound. I personally wouldn't worry about the CPU for your purposes. You are unlikely to see any improvements unless you start using the computer for some more serious number crunching or video / photo editing and then your improvement would be negligible. I would keep the extra $50 US and save it for a new upgrade in time.

 

On the ram, be sure you have the memory sticks in multiples of two so it will run in "dual channel". Also make sure you have the SSD running in AHCI mode. This is set in the motherboard BIOS. You may need to boot windows into safe mode after changing the mode so the correct driver load

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Ram + SSD will work and if you can find a CPU for 50$ why not wont make a huge impact, like the SSD (most) and ram.

 

But its only 50$ so why not if it fits. 

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Your motherboard is good, and your ancient i5 is on par with current i3s, so pretty good. Don't worry about cores, many programs don't make use of all of them anyway.

 

Do the following:

 

1. Go up to 8Gb ram, bearing in mind that your mobo only supports DDR3 upto 2166. This can be bought for peanuts at fortune town. As mentioned, buy 2 sticks of 4gb DDR3 2166.

2. Find your windows key: https://www.howtogeek.com/206329/how-to-find-your-lost-windows-or-office-product-keys/

3. Backup any important files.

4. Put in an SSD an reinstall windows.

5. Ignore anyone telling you to buy a laptop because they suck.

 

Your PC should be twice as fast.

 

Half of the improvement will come from refreshing your OS, the other half from hardware upgrades.

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Thanks for the replies so far.

 

The laptop isn't an option as this small profile desktop is in the lounge where use can be casually monitored. The oldest niece has a laptop which never sees the light of day and that's exactly why the other kids won't be getting any laptop from me.

 

Regarding the cheap CPU upgrade, the timing is good since I have a buddy coming over from the US... but then again, I may spend the 50 bucks on something nice for me instead... like an i7 CPU to upgrade MY old i5 laptop.

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12 minutes ago, pr9spk said:

Your motherboard is good, and your ancient i5 is on par with current i3s, so pretty good. Don't worry about cores, many programs don't make use of all of them anyway.

 

Do the following:

 

1. Go up to 8Gb ram, bearing in mind that your mobo only supports DDR3 upto 2166. This can be bought for peanuts at fortune town. As mentioned, buy 2 sticks of 4gb DDR3 2166.

2. Find your windows key: https://www.howtogeek.com/206329/how-to-find-your-lost-windows-or-office-product-keys/

3. Backup any important files.

4. Put in an SSD an reinstall windows.

5. Ignore anyone telling you to buy a laptop because they suck.

 

Your PC should be twice as fast.

 

Half of the improvement will come from refreshing your OS, the other half from hardware upgrades.

Good tips.

 

Yes, my office desktop which runs an obsolete i5-2500 was the one I mentioned in the OP. The difference after the SSD, RAM boost and fresh install Win7 64-bit OS was incredible. So much so, I gave up the idea of upgrading it to Win 10 which was the original plan.

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The sandy bridge i5-2500 was and still is one of the best CPUs ever manufactured. Still going strong today, it is a legendary piece of hardware.

 

I got 8 years of very intensive use out of my sandy bridge i7-2600 and sold it for quite a tidy sum before I moved to Thailand. Overclock your i5-2500 to 4.9Ghz and you could beat some modern processors!

 

Sandy bridge CPUs are not obsolete yet.

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I'd confirm the price of used RAM first before committing to anything else. Small sizes that no-one wants are dirt cheap but larger RAM may not be. RAM new has been pricy of late so can flow through to used prices. Be careful how much you invest into an eight year old computer.

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You're looking at about 2000 baht for new ram. Yes ram prices have gone ballistic lately but still its cheaper than doing a full upgrade which would be at least 15k or more. But nobody wants DDR3 which puts you in a good position.

 

Don't buy used ram.

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12 minutes ago, kkerry said:

I'd confirm the price of used RAM first before committing to anything else. Small sizes that no-one wants are dirt cheap but larger RAM may not be. RAM new has been pricy of late so can flow through to used prices. Be careful how much you invest into an eight year old computer.

I have 2 x 2Gb of Corsair XMS3 RAM currently installed and planning on getting two more of the same to give me 8 Gb which should be enough. Pricing it in the US (since I have a buddy coming over) versus shlepping down to Bangkok as I am up in Udon. Looks like it's under 40 bucks for the 2 sticks. Pretty sure I can get cheap as chips used or even 'new' Chinese RAM for cheaper in Bangkok but not wanting any flaky, non-genuine RAM.

 

I built this one for under 14k baht and apart from the add-on VGA card that died a couple of years ago, it's been good, just seems to be slow compared to my recently revamped office one. It also cost about the same when I built in about 18 months after the first one, hence it got the better CPU.

 

So about 1300 baht for more RAM and around 2000 baht for the 250Gb SSD. Cheap upgrade with a great performance boost based on my earlier experience.

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2 hours ago, NanLaew said:

I have a legacy (under the) desktop that I built about 8 years ago. It's has an ASUS P7H55-M PRO mobo running Windows 7 Home 64-bit, has 4 Mb of RAM on an Intel Core i5-650 CPU. It's the family computer, used for homework, surfing the next and a bit of low-intensity gaming.

4MB or RAM is a serious problem. My Windows 3 PC was working with that but Windows NT needed already 12MB.

But with 4GB it should be ok. ? 

Sorry, I had to do this.

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The SSD will make the biggest difference.

I suggest you change that first.

If the PC works a lot better with the SSD then maybe you should also update the RAM. You can see in the task manager how much RAM is actually in use. If you use only one or a few programs at the same time 4GB will work. With many programs open at the same time more RAM makes sense.

You have already 64bit Windows. Good, because the 32 bit version does not support more than 4GB.

 

And in case the SSD does not make a big enough difference then you can remove it again and use it in another (maybe new) PC.

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If you're running windows 10 and a few other programs, your ram usage will be several GB.

 

'If you're running a 32-bit operating system then with 4GB of RAM installed you'll only be able to access around 3.2GB (this is because of memory addressing limitations). However, with a 64-bit operating system then you'll have full access to the whole 4GB. ... All 32-bit versions of Windows 10 have a 4GB RAM'

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3 hours ago, NanLaew said:

I have 2 x 2Gb of Corsair XMS3 RAM currently installed and planning on getting two more of the same to give me 8 Gb which should be enough. Pricing it in the US (since I have a buddy coming over) versus shlepping down to Bangkok as I am up in Udon. Looks like it's under 40 bucks for the 2 sticks. Pretty sure I can get cheap as chips used or even 'new' Chinese RAM for cheaper in Bangkok but not wanting any flaky, non-genuine RAM.

 

I built this one for under 14k baht and apart from the add-on VGA card that died a couple of years ago, it's been good, just seems to be slow compared to my recently revamped office one. It also cost about the same when I built in about 18 months after the first one, hence it got the better CPU.

 

So about 1300 baht for more RAM and around 2000 baht for the 250Gb SSD. Cheap upgrade with a great performance boost based on my earlier experience.

 

 

 

For your PC, I would do the upgrades in order of SSD, Clean install of Windows 7 64 bit, Video card(if some gaming involved), CPU and then possibly RAM.

 

The main reason why people needed RAM in the old days, was because HDD were so slow. Therefore you really wanted everything to open in RAM. 

 

But with the advent of SSD, you didn't need as much RAM for everyday general usage, as everything happens so much more quickly.

 

The i5-650 is not going to be the bottleneck on the system, unless with reference to gaming. But dependent on the game, a Graphics card will likely be more useful in that case.

 

So SSD and a clean install of the OS in the first instance. Then you can decide if and where there is the next bottleneck.

I would upgrade to Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate when running the clean install. Ask for instruction of how to do this, after you admit that you were were wrong about the 500 baht per night new apartment. ? A simple firware upgrade is all that is necessary.

You can leave the old HDD in as a storage drive.

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If you need more RAM or not is easy to answer.

More RAM is only used if you use many or "big" applications at the same time.

When the PC starts up it will very likely use less than 4GB. It won't start any fast even if you have 16GB.

If you start the PC and it's fast but after you open a lot of programs (or internet windows) then it's slow then that it most likely the RAM.

You can check in the task manager how much RAM you actually use. If you have 4GB and your PC tells you less than 3GB is in use (even if you open a few windows) then don't worry.

Just look a the task manager when you open program and you will soon see how much RAM is really used.

Here is a random picture of the task manager. I think it's from Windows 7.

 

TaskManager.png.0039cccb2e515a8930c84484b13517dd.png

 

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1 minute ago, Thian said:

But make sure you get the fastest SSD since they are not all  fast.

Even the slowest SSD will be at least 10 times faster than what he has now.

 

Recently I read an article in a computer magazine that by now most SSDs are so fast that it does not really matter anymore if you have a very fast or a very very fast one...

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1 hour ago, KneeDeep said:

 

 

 

For your PC, I would do the upgrades in order of SSD, Clean install of Windows 7 64 bit, Video card(if some gaming involved), CPU and then possibly RAM.

 

The main reason why people needed RAM in the old days, was because HDD were so slow. Therefore you really wanted everything to open in RAM. 

 

But with the advent of SSD, you didn't need as much RAM for everyday general usage, as everything happens so much more quickly.

 

The i5-650 is not going to be the bottleneck on the system, unless with reference to gaming. But dependent on the game, a Graphics card will likely be more useful in that case.

 

So SSD and a clean install of the OS in the first instance. Then you can decide if and where there is the next bottleneck.

I would upgrade to Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate when running the clean install. Ask for instruction of how to do this, after you admit that you were were wrong about the 500 baht per night new apartment. ? A simple firware upgrade is all that is necessary.

You can leave the old HDD in as a storage drive.

Good idea regarding the video card. I removed it to replace the one I had in my office desktop when it died. I can hit the used parts guy in the local IT mall and get a used, working, low-end (think NVIDEA GeForce 210) one for about 800 baht although I see new ones are only around 1250 baht on lazada. It's all low-end gaming BTW.

 

Thanks for the clue on the SSD reducing the need for more RAM.

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9 minutes ago, NanLaew said:

Good idea regarding the video card. I removed it to replace the one I had in my office desktop when it died. I can hit the used parts guy in the local IT mall and get a used, working, low-end (think NVIDEA GeForce 210) one for about 800 baht although I see new ones are only around 1250 baht on lazada. It's all low-end gaming BTW.

 

Thanks for the clue on the SSD reducing the need for more RAM.

 

Forget about the 210. It's ten years old. The 710 is more up to date and should be around the same price.

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2 hours ago, KneeDeep said:

 

 

The main reason why people needed RAM in the old days, was because HDD were so slow. Therefore you really wanted everything to open in RAM. 

 

But with the advent of SSD, you didn't need as much RAM for everyday general usage, as everything happens so much more quickly.

 

 

This is not true. If you understood how modern machines work and wrote a few programs for them, you would see why.

 

The quote above is utter garbage and should be ignored.

 

I have been writing programs for modern computer hardware for years, if anyone wants real advice about computers, send me a message. If you're local I will help you out for a bottle of Leo.

 

Or maybe for free if your wife is kee niao (I understand because mine is also).

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4 hours ago, pr9spk said:

This is not true. If you understood how modern machines work and wrote a few programs for them, you would see why.

 

The quote above is utter garbage and should be ignored.

 

I have been writing programs for modern computer hardware for years, if anyone wants real advice about computers, send me a message. If you're local I will help you out for a bottle of Leo.

 

Or maybe for free if your wife is kee niao (I understand because mine is also).

 

 

Oh dear...another expert.

Why don't you simply explain why he would need more RAM for "It's the family computer, used for homework, surfing the net and a bit of low-intensity gaming", taking into account that he is fitting a solid state drive?

 

It shouldn't be difficult since "you've been writing programs for modern computer hardware for years"

 

Unless he is opening massive spreadsheets or running databases, he likely doesn't need it and the money may better be spent on a graphics card.

 

If you disagree, explain why on the open board in so we can discuss it. Explain the likely performance benefit for a likely scenario with an SSD in situ, for increasing RAM or alternatively fitting a Graphics card.

 

Give us the benefit of your experience.

 

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6 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

Even the slowest SSD will be at least 10 times faster than what he has now.

 

Recently I read an article in a computer magazine that by now most SSDs are so fast that it does not really matter anymore if you have a very fast or a very very fast one...

NVME SSD's are the fastest but the motherboard needs to support it.

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8 hours ago, Thian said:

NVME SSD's are the fastest but the motherboard needs to support it.

I had one in my old computer 3-4 years old and now I got one in my new computer 2 months old. I must say i like them a lot. I don't even have a harddisk in there anymore my 2 TB m2 ssd is enough. I also have a NAS drive that has 5 disks of 6 tb for other data and movies as a network drive.

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16 hours ago, KneeDeep said:

 

Forget about the 210. It's ten years old. The 710 is more up to date and should be around the same price.

Noted. As long as it still has the low-profile option.

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3 hours ago, NanLaew said:

Noted. As long as it still has the low-profile option.

https://www.msi.com/Graphics-card/GT-710-1GD3H-LP.html is the one and the cheapest.

 

https://www.shop.bt.com/products/msi-geforce-gt-710-1gb-ddr3-dual-dvi-d-hdmi-graphics-card-gt-710-1gd3h-lp-BWGD.html

 

 

 

 

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Personally, I would get something better within budget, such as this; https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ASUS-GeForce-GT-710-Silent-Graphics-Card-2GB-GDDR5-VGA-DVI-D-HDMI/283118260901

 

More Video RAM(2 GB as compared to 1GB) and better memory bandwidth(GDDR5 as opposed to DDR3).

 

Will improve streaming and the 'low intensity' gaming beyond the addition of an extra 4GB of DDR3 RAM.

 

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You can buy new if you prefer; https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gigabyte-GeForce-GT-710-2GB-GDDR5-Single-Fan-Cooling-Low-Profile-Graphics-Card/282869457511

 

You can save money by just getting a 120GB SSD instead of 240/250 GB if you have a fixed budget in mind.

SSD as Boot drive and secondary HDD as storage.

 

It's about balance for what you actually use the machine, not just maxing everything out.

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On 8/29/2018 at 7:17 AM, pr9spk said:

Your motherboard is good, and your ancient i5 is on par with current i3s, so pretty good. Don't worry about cores, many programs don't make use of all of them anyway.

 

Do the following:

 

1. Go up to 8Gb ram, bearing in mind that your mobo only supports DDR3 upto 2166. This can be bought for peanuts at fortune town. As mentioned, buy 2 sticks of 4gb DDR3 2166.

2. Find your windows key: https://www.howtogeek.com/206329/how-to-find-your-lost-windows-or-office-product-keys/

3. Backup any important files.

4. Put in an SSD an reinstall windows.

5. Ignore anyone telling you to buy a laptop because they suck.

 

Your PC should be twice as fast.

 

Half of the improvement will come from refreshing your OS, the other half from hardware upgrades.

 

Why would he do that if he is installing Windows to a completely different drive?

He won't be re-installing Windows, since it isn't installed to the SSDin the first instance.

He will be clean installing Windows to the solid state drive, making sure that AHCI is enabled beforehand. Disconnect HDD temporarily, so as not to accidentally write to the drive whilst installing Windows.

All 'important files' will still be on the HDD. The HDD can be reconnected as a storage drive afterwards and any necessary data can be transferred to the SSD Boot drive.

Once all data has been moved over, one can format the drive and use it as internal storage.

 

Be careful of claiming to be an expert and denigrating the advice of others. You will come unstuck. Best just do the work and let the results speak for themselves..

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