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  upgrade suggestions 
 Date Written 
Juan Pena Feb 01, 2013, 04:37pm EST Report Abuse
hello all:

I am glad this site is still up and running even if, as most websites, traffic has come down notoriously. We have to share our e-time among so many e-sites nowadays!

Anyway, I am about to upgrade my computer, and I thought it wise to come here for recommendations.

This is what I have now:

Windows: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition, Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1
Memory (RAM): 5888 MB
CPU Info: AMD Phenom(tm) II X2 555 Processor, 1 Physical Processors / 2 Cores / 2 Logical Processors / 64 bits
CPU Speed: 3201.1 MHz
Sound Card: Speakers (VIA High Definition A
Display Adapters: ATI Radeon HD 4200 | ATI Radeon HD 4200 | RDPDD Chained DD |
Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer INC. M4A785-M

Hard disk 0 Model Hitachi HDS721010CLA332
Size 1000.2 GB, Rotational Speed 7200 RPM
Interface Serial ATA
Transfer Mode (Current / Max) SATA-300 / SATA-300
Features S.M.A.R.T., APM (Disabled), 48bit LBA, NCQ, AAM
Controller Buffer Size on Drive 29999 KB

hard disk 1 Manufacturer Hitachi
Model Hitachi HDT721010SLA360
Size 1000.2 GB
Rotational Speed 7200 RPM
Interface Serial ATA
Standard ATA8-ACS | ATA8-ACS version 4
Transfer Mode (Current / Max) SATA-300 / SATA-300
Features S.M.A.R.T., APM (Disabled), 48bit LBA, NCQ, AAM
Controller Buffer Size on Drive 15001 KB

What I use my comp for:

I teach Business Communication, so most of the time I use MSWord and PowerPoint for audiovisual presentations. I also use Photoshop since I do photography as a hobby.

Reasons to upgrade::

I want to. It must be close to a year with this setup. It works well, but I have bought win 8 (not yet installed on any comp) and I want to install it on a new rig.

I have noticed an expected slowing down above all accessing my pics on the secondary disk.


mmmm.... $300, $400..up to $500.00, for mobo, cpu,memory, maybe hdisk.

So, any suggestion is much appreciated.

thanks in advance,

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Juan Pena Feb 17, 2013, 06:34am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: upgrade suggestions
My past three systems have been AMD. I wonder if I should change and go with Intel now. Anybody wants to elaborate on this?

Since I multitask quite a lot, I guess a cpu with minimum 4 cores is a must. 6 cores maybe?

How about harddisks? solid state is still expensive, above all considering I need to store all my pics, almost a terabyte. Sata III is also a must, I assume? should I be looking for some other feature here?

thanks in advance,

Rick Manson Feb 18, 2013, 01:38pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: upgrade suggestions
I have the same CPU and am surprised you haven't opened up the 2 sleeper cores. I have the same graphics but on a Gigabyte board. I unlocked and turned on the two sleeper cores and have a 4 core system running stable.

As for Intel vs. AMD. The cliffnote on all the benchmarks and reviews are simply that Intel excel a little bit better at video editing and gaming but AMD excel at multi-threading, database and compiling. So it depends what you use it for and since you are not editing video and just photos I would just stick with AMD. AMD chips excel at multitasking better than Intel, at least according to several benchmarks from varying sources I have read. People with video or other specific and comparable computing requirement or also ones who have more money than sense go with Intel. Ones that don't have those specific computing requirements or are on a budget usually go with AMD. Also, last I checked, Intel chips don't support the latest and highest speed DDR 3 ram but AMD does.

For SATA 3 you can always stick with your current rig and install a SATA card.

If I was you I would probably consider installing the Windows 8 on a 2nd HDD and set up a dual boot system and use that machine until noticably better technology improvement become mainstream and affordable in say, another year or 18 months, and not just marginal ones from what you now have.

Juan Pena Feb 18, 2013, 06:52pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: upgrade suggestions

thanks for your comments.

Yes, I tried unlocking the other two cores... rebooted... then just one more.... again rebooted... I did not dare to mess up with voltage and the like, so I decided to just let it go.

Interesting your comment about waiting one more year... did not consider that. Had those two cores worked right, I would not consider buying a new mobo for sure.

Let me think what I will do...

again, thanks,

john albrich Feb 18, 2013, 08:02pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: upgrade suggestions

Whatever you decide:

If you stay with a mechanical HDD for your system drive, here's some HDD partitioning/formatting advice that can substantially increase OS performance, especially as it pertains to the size of the OS partition relative to the size of the entire HDD. You can even do this now at no cost and may see some immediate improvement.

If you go with SSDs, then make sure you read up on synchronous vs. asynchronous implementations. It can be a critical difference when a drive begins to fill-up with information...independent of partition management. Here's an article that also points to other sources on the topic.

Juan Pena Feb 19, 2013, 04:37pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: upgrade suggestions

thanks for the info, very interesting and useful.

For the time being, I am going with "old" sata drives; sdd ones are very luring but still expensive for their storage capacity.

I will give me some more time to think things through.



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