Classicamiga Forum Retro Edition
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Thread: Upgrading my PC?
Stephen Coates 17:42 16th December 2014
I was wondering whether it might be worthwhile upgrading my computer to get an overall speed increase. I haven't really changed anything (apart from the RAM) since I built the machine in early 2010 (nearly 5 years ago).

Currently I have the following:

Motherboard: Gigabyte P31-ES3G
CPU: Pentium E6300 @ 2.8GHz (socket LGA 775)
Graphics: ATI Radeon HD4550
Memory: 4GB DDR2 (I don't use anywhere near 4GB, and I can't remember the exact specification).

Does anyone have any suggestions for upgrades? I know its a bit outdated now, but I don't mind getting second hand or NOS parts.
Kin Hell 18:39 16th December 2014
Depends on how much you want to spend & what you'd like to do with the PC.
Harrison 02:16 17th December 2014
As Kin said, depends what you want to do with it. looking at your specs you could improve the performance by upgrading the cpu with a second hand one compatible with your motherboard, and also upgrade the graphics card.

I know you use Linux so double check graphics card compatibility before looking for a more powerful card.

For a CPU upgrade, your current E6300 is very old Pentium dual core technology and only has a 2MB cache.

Your motheboard states it has a problem with "FSB 1333 MHz CPU" so best to stick with CPUs which use a 1066 FSB.

I would therefore recommend a Core 2 Quad Q6600 or Q6700 upgrade. It gives you quad cores and 8MB L2 cache. I just looked on ebay and they can be had for as little as 30. These were brilliant CPUs and the Q6600 was my main CPU for some time. The G0 step version could be easily overclocked. I ran mine at 3GHz on air no problem and it still idled at 32 Dec C.

Regarding your graphics card, by todays standards it is nearly too slow to appear on charts. Look here:

You could upgrade to a newer second hand GPU to improve graphics performance for not much money at all because there are a lot of cards newer than yours, but second hand, which will easily out perform it. For example a same era HD4850 is over 400% faster than your current card, and under 40 on ebay. But I would go for something a bit newer like an HD7770 as this is even faster, at about 550%+ faster than your current card, and about 80 on ebay.

Look here for a comparison:
Kin Hell 09:10 17th December 2014
Imo, bin the lot & start again. - Your PSU is out of any warranty @ 5 yrs old. Higher performance parts could blow themselves on an old PSU.

Stay intel & go at least Z87 Socket 1150 mobos; Move over to nVidia & you won't go far wrong. I dare say you'll be marginally impressed.

Again though.... depends what u want to do on it.
Stephen Coates 10:24 17th December 2014
I don't think I would get any significant benefit out of having a whole new system. Therefore it would be a bit wasteful to replace everything. It has been very reliable over the last few years.

I'll consider getting a better processor and graphics card. I'll definitely have to have a good think about graphics cards though as drivers can be a bit iffy in Linux. My HD 4550 seems to have been OK so far though.

I wouldn't mind if it were a bit faster for things like photo editing and web browsing/video.
Stephen Coates 20:01 20th June 2015
I just got a Q6600 processor on ebay for 21. I'll let you all know how well it works. Now to find a new graphics card.
Harrison 00:53 21st June 2015
Nice. You should be pleased with the CPU upgrade, especially under Linux. The quad cores make a big difference for multitasking especially.

For GPU's, since your original question they have moved on again, so you should be able to get something much faster for little money.
Kin Hell 10:54 21st June 2015
I have two of those CPU's here, with Asus P4C800E Mobo & Asus P4C800E Deluxe mobo. There is Lots of RAM available along with AGP Grapics cards. One is nVidia & the other an AMD Saphire Radeon affair. They are all now retired from service and for sale if you're interested.

AGP graphics will be no good to you if your mobo has PCIe of course.
Stephen Coates 02:34 22nd June 2015
This machine has PCIe for graphics.

When did AGP start to fall out of fashion? I still use it in old computers, but I haven't seen it around on newer systems for quite a few years.

I might just get an HD7770 off ebay. They seem quite plentiful .
Kin Hell 08:29 22nd June 2015
AGP has been unavailable for years now. Couldn't say just when tbh.
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