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Computer Decision ... You make the call!


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#1
crons79

crons79

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I use my current computer everyday for work. I normally toggle back and forth between the internet, excel, and normally some media program (winamp, windows media player, youtube, etc) My computer has been running super slow lately and I was thinking of getting something from a guy down the street who rehabs computers. Tell me which one you would get below...

Current:
800 MegaHertz Pent. 4 processor
192 Megs of Ram
Windows XP

New (to me...lol):
Option 1
2.0 GigaHertz Pent 4 processor
1 Gig of Ram
Windows XP
$100

Option 2
2.8 GigaHertz Pent 4 processor
512 Megabytes of Ram
Windows XP
$100

More memory (Option 1) or higher chipset (option 2)?

Thanks! (in advance)
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#2
DaffyKantReed

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The option with more RAM and a clean install of Windows XP should serve your needs well.

The real bottleneck of most systems is the storage sub-system, IOW, the hard drive. A new 160GB 7200RPM hard drive is ~$40USD. Better is a 74GB 10,000RPM WD VelociRaptor for around $90USD.

Better still is an SSD, which is 2 or 2.5x faster on reads. Writes depend greatly on the controller inside the SSD, and can reach 200MB/sec, which is wickedly fast coming from any hard drive. The downside is they are still fairly expensive.
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#3
crons79

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I was thinking I would notice a better performance from the computer as the work day moves on with more RAM, however I don't think I would notice any significant difference between 2.0 and 2.8 GHZ Processor. Do you think my assuption is right?
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#4
DaffyKantReed

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I would agree. The tasks you list will not tax a 2.0GHz processor very much, even if has a single core.

I go with Option 1 and perhaps add more RAM at a later time. It's pretty inexpensive.
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#5
Ferrari

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Hmmmm... I think I disagree. :)

I do "rehabs" as a side business and sell them on Craigslist, probably similar to what this guy does. The systems you describe seem to be older P4, not newer. I think we're dealing with Socket 478 here, not P4 775 Daffy. ???Maybe??? Meaning that DaffyKantReed's suggestions on hard drives doesn't apply because I'm willing to bet the systems you are looking at require an IDE interface, not SATA like the one's he mentions.

Furthermore, from all the systems I've sold, if I had to guess, the 2.8ghz system probably has a FSB (Front Side Bus) of 800mhz, whereas the 2.0ghz system is most likely a 400mhz (maybe 533mhz) FSB. This is the key to how speedy a system will feel to most users. (Generally speaking).

So I pick Option 2 if, and notice I say IF the FSB is 800mhz. If so, then get that one and add more RAM to it. In case you or he doesn't know, it should state the "System Bus" somewhere in the BIOS, or possibly the processors Bus speed will be listed, but doesn't necessarily mean it is fulfilling the full System Bus.

If they are both 400 or 533mhz, then just go with Option one because it comes with more RAM.

Hope that helps. :)
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#6
DaffyKantReed

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I think we're dealing with Socket 478 here, not P4 775 Daffy. ???Maybe??? Meaning that DaffyKantReed's suggestions on hard drives doesn't apply because I'm willing to bet the systems you are looking at require an IDE interface, not SATA like the one's he mentions.



Could well be Socket 478, but many of those boards had SATA capability using the Intel ICH5R. The Promise 20378 was common as a second SATA controller. This was Q1 2005. At the time there was no performance advantage between the SATA and ATA interface. The fastest 7200RPM hard drives could reach 66MB/sec sequential transfer rates
http://www.storagere...50KLA360_8.html


Four years later sequential transfer rates have doubled.
http://www.tomshardw...iar,2261-7.html


It's only in Q1 2009 when we've saturated the ATA100/133 bus with a 7200RPM HDD.



On FSB: when overclocking I would choose the lowest FSB available for a given clock speed, something like the E5300 at 2.6GHz stock, then choose to increase the multiplier, rather than raising the FSB. This resulted in a more stable OC than did a higher FSB and a lower multiplier. Synthetic benchmarks could be a little better (10%) in the case of the later.

Memory bandwidth was an important factor, especially with Intel processors, including the Core2Duo series. The general idea was to use the fastest DDR2 you could afford. The unlocked Athlon 64 X2 5000+ Black Edition and similar processors would run fine with PC2-6400 (DDR2 800). I will concede the Intel processors were generally faster at video encoding than any Athlon 64 X2, irrespective of over clocking.


Yesterday, I replaced the X25-M SSD in my laptop with the original Hitachi 2.5" HTS545016B9A300 5400RPM hard drive. No other hardware was changed, and a fresh and tweaked install of Windows 7 was performed.

The results would have made a pawn broker cry.

Reads of 215MB/sec were reduced to 43MB/sec, based on three runs with HD Tune 2.55. I did not test writes, but I suspect those would max out at about the same speed. It's like transferring a file to/from a USB stick compared to writing the same file on a fast hard drive.

I may install XP Pro on the laptop, rather than Windows 7 in the hopes it'll feel a little quicker.
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