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Author Worth replacing Motherboard? Upgrading PC
Jambo
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   8th Sep 14 at 16:51   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Usual stupid n00b PC questions from Jambo.


Not really wanting to shell out for a new PC, love the case I have already (Dell inspiron 531) but this is now an old machine. Purchased in 2008 it runs an AMD dual core 2.9ghz processor and 4GB RAM (Maxxed out). Its running Windows 7 and an SSD. It is ok, but struggles when I am running iTunes, a couple of internet windows and say Microsoft office. The CPU usage meter Just used to sit at 97% even with nothing running but desktop and one gadget. I did some Googling and found there is a slight issue with Win7 and needs a process restarting to stop this happening all the time. I did this and it improved immensely, however more than two things open and it starts to clog up.

Got me thinking that I like the case, don't need flash features, have the HDD and PSU so all I really need is a motherboard essentially? (And possibly graphics card etc)


So what I am asking (Dom I am looking in your general direction) is if this is worth it, or just more hassle than its worth and to just remove SSD and get a new machine all together? I am unsure of what is needed bar the motherboard but I do nothing more fancy than use iTunes for music/video, internets (multiple windows) Office, Google Docs, SNES/Megadrive emulators and basic photo editing (pixlr/paint). I have speakers, sound is currently great and no real need for anything fancy. Just something more powerful that will last a bit longer.


Thoughts and suggestions please folks....
chris_uk
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8th Sep 14 at 17:20   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

well.. if you want to upgrade your board you want to do so to fit a faster CPU.. so chances are your RAM will also need changing, but might also mean your PSU might need changing aswell.

you will be fine to stick with your SSD tho, that will slot in just fine.

i would recommend an i3 or i5 personally, get some decent 1600mhz ram in there 4/6gb will do fine and a new 500W psu and you will be good to go.

Richie
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8th Sep 14 at 17:23   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

... I think considering the workload you do an upgrade is pointless. I would do a rebuild (I'm guessing you are running the bloated Dell image?) and up the RAM to 8gb.
Jambo
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8th Sep 14 at 17:30   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

RAM is currently 4GB and the maximum it will take. Yeah speed is the reason really, so ideally I would up to 8GB I guess. i5 or AMD equiv is what I had in mind, cost dependant. Only worth doing if it is a fair amount faster and will last me that bit longer.

No Dell bloatware, was a fresh install on the SSD of Win7 from Microsoft not dell. As mentioned, RAM is maxed out
Dom
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8th Sep 14 at 19:45   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Firstly i'd double check the 531 uses standard fixings and components; last time i ripped apart a Dell (3/4 years ago), a lot of it proprietary parts.

But tbh, i'd look at a barebone (usually just needs RAM and a HDD) or complete system and just carry over your SSD (+ monitor, KB/M, accessories etc).
Jambo
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8th Sep 14 at 20:01   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Just did that Dom managed to get a decent price on an i7/16gb ram system. Just not specced HDD etc.

Seems the best way to go!

Not a bad price:

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/barebones/bb-44608.html

Manage to find a build your own i7 with 16gb ram for 370!

[Edited on 09-09-2014 by Jambo]
Jambo
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9th Sep 14 at 09:57   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Can anyone explain the advantages of different graphics cards?

I want HDMI output for my TV, but aside from that I don't really play games (Well SNES/Mega drive so not really HD stuff ) so I doubt I would need an all singing all dancing one?
chris_uk
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9th Sep 14 at 14:34   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

You wont need an all singing one no.. get an nvidia card tho, less driver problems, expecially to the inexperienced. Plus most things just 'work' with nvidia. No fucking about.

Also just to add, what speed is the ram? Its all well and good having a million gb's but unless its any decent speed its meaningless. You want 1600mhz or higher imo.

[Edited on 09-09-2014 by chris_uk]
Jambo
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9th Sep 14 at 14:41   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Thanks Chris, I will do another build this evening and see how I get on! Didn't know there are different RAM speeds so thats helpful.

Think my Dell has an NVIDIA graphics card and that has been spot on.
Dom
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9th Sep 14 at 19:55   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Shame the motherboard they use doesn't offer HDMI like a lot do; would save you having to get a separate GPU.
You might be able to get away with something like a HD 5450 or GeForce 210 but a R7 240 or GT 730 would probably be a better bet tbh.
Jambo
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10th Sep 14 at 10:53   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

I will search around then Dom. Cheers
chris_uk
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10th Sep 14 at 11:32   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Most boards come with an onboard gpu. Which will do the basics but even a 1gb geforce card can be picked up for peanuts.

Eg

http://www.cclonline.com/product/72759/01G-P3-1313-KR/Graphics-Cards/EVGA-NVIDIA-GeForce-210-1GB-Graphics-Card-Passive/VGA0464/
Balling
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10th Sep 14 at 11:40   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Mac Mini is 499 if you want a no hassel solution and never have to worry about drivers and bloatware again.

Mrs. Balling's 2006 MacBook is still rocking with an SSD upgrade. Only 2GB RAM, a C2D and none of this "getting slower with age" nonsense.

Just saying.[/controverse]


Dom
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10th Sep 14 at 11:43   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Balling
.....no hassel solution....


Shame the Macs i manage don't keep to that moto



quote:
Originally posted by Balling
.... none of this "getting slower with age" nonsense.


Now you're just BS'ing us Balling

[Edited on 10-09-2014 by Dom]
Jambo
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10th Sep 14 at 12:18   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Oooooh!! Mac Mini!! Now there is a thought.

I have just recently purchased an Acer Win8 touch Laptop. So im sorted with Windows, and seeming as I largely use Google docs and iTunes it would seem a Mac might make sense...

I have an iPhone and iPad as well as two iPods so this would further integrate them. Hmmm, got me thinking now!
willay
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10th Sep 14 at 12:24   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

If you have recently purchased a laptop, why do you need another machine?
Jambo
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10th Sep 14 at 12:32   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Laptop is portable and used for mainly work purposes and day to day bollocks.

The "main" PC is more of a media centre for photo's videos, gaming (old school) and my stereo Its hooked up to my tv so no need for Chrome cast or any of that jazz I just play straight off.

Definately liking the idea of the Mac Mini, it will save space too as the current setup is in the way and I have a spare hole on my Ikea bench in the living room.

Could use the laptop I suppose, but no where to leave it plugged in other than the floor
Balling
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10th Sep 14 at 13:03   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Dom
Shame the Macs i manage don't keep to that moto
I'm assuming the issues you're having will be completely unrelated to the workload Jambo has described in here?

Anyway, I meant "no hassle" as in "plug and play".

quote:
Originally posted by Dom
Now you're just BS'ing us Balling
Everyone I know who use a Windows based computer complain it's getting slower as years progress. Couldn't tell you why or if it's all made up, wouldn't know, don't care. My little brother seems to replace his laptop every two or three years when it becomes unusably slow. Then his knowledge on the subject extends to even less than mine, so again, might be user error. All I can say is that the 2006 Mac we have in our household performs as new. Even better, obviously, since the SSD upgrade.

All the things James describes in his first post, my wife does too (except the emulator) on a lower spec laptop with no issues at all.


Dom
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10th Sep 14 at 14:26   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Balling
I'm assuming the issues you're having will be completely unrelated to the workload Jambo has described in here?

Hardware issues, dodgy Wifi usually; piss-poor Apple software like Mac Mail which one day might actually work with Exchange and corruption, usually keychain or permissions, is what i tend to encounter on a weekly basis.

But this is all in business environments, so i guess you're right in that it being slightly unrelated.


quote:
Originally posted by Balling
Everyone I know who use a Windows based computer complain it's getting slower as years progress. Couldn't tell you why or if it's all made up, wouldn't know, don't care. My little brother seems to replace his laptop every two or three years when it becomes unusably slow. Then his knowledge on the subject extends to even less than mine, so again, might be user error. All I can say is that the 2006 Mac we have in our household performs as new. Even better, obviously, since the SSD upgrade.


I've had the same complaints from the companies Mac users; hence why i tend to reinstall them a few times a year. But that'll happen with every system and OS considering newer software/OS's become more power-hungry and featureful (aka bloaty).

And you can't really compare your upgraded '06 Mac as i suspect it'd be a different story if you switched back to your HDD with a few years worth of use on it. Similarly, my eight year old Dell Laptop is perfectly fine and that's using the original 5400 spindled HDD; if i stuck an SSD it in, it would fly.

TL;DR - Mac/OSX (now) have just as many issues as any other hardware/OS.
Jambo
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10th Sep 14 at 15:56   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

How do the Mac's perform? The mini has an i5 or i7 and only 4GB RAM, but I am guessing this is setup/used in a slightly different way than PCs?

Entry level one sounds like a good price point tbh.
Balling
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10th Sep 14 at 16:07   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Pretty sure you can upgrade RAM later, so just try out 4GB and upgrade if you feel the need.

Same goes for HDD. Fit your SSD and use original drive as external storage.

Edit: yeah, definitely og for the entry level. Seems best value.

[Edited on 10-09-2014 by Balling]


Balling
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10th Sep 14 at 16:12   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Dom, my sample size will be much smaller than yours, but over the last decade most of my family have switched to Mac and all the phone calls with strange computer issues have completely stopped.

These are all people using their machines in the same manner as James will.
In other words, Apples core demographic.


Jambo
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10th Sep 14 at 16:28   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

The size is also appealing. Will post a pic when I get in to show the problem this will solve!
Dom
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10th Sep 14 at 16:43   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

quote:
Originally posted by Jambo
How do the Mac's perform?


Go back to the PowerPC era and Macs had the upper-hand (experienced this myself with G4's and using Avid/Digidesign music software); but now the hardware is near enough identical to what you'd find in a PC, so any performance difference is purely down to the OS used.
Saying that, benchmarks for Adobe products seem to indicate they better perform under Windows than OSX but you could be cynical and say Adobe favour (and optimise their software better for) Windows due to Apple's grudges against them (Flash etc)

Short answer - you probably won't notice much difference when you're watching porn or cat videos


If you do get a Mac Mini then i'd purchase the current model as the refresh is likely to follow the steps of other Mac refreshes, so soldered-in RAM etc. And if you can, find someone in education so you can use the HE discount.
Jambo
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10th Sep 14 at 16:51   View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Thanks Dom, porn and car videos is basically boxes ticked. I have head macs are good for video editing which is something I am keen to mess about with. Integration with my apple devices would be nice too, I could be wrong but I would hazard a guess that iTunes runs better on a mac than PC equivillant too.

Here is my current setup, you will see the void for the Mac and space consumed by the PC!


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