PC upgrade advice, please.

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  • PC upgrade advice, please.
  • brokensoul
    Member

    Folks, I’m looking at either replacing or getting my PC upgraded.
    I don’t suppose I need anything special (interweb, e-mails, photo storage, MS Word docs).
    Will this spec from a local shop be ok for an upgrade?

    Upgrades:
    Upgrade your old tired computer £—*
    Dual Core upgrade package, includes:
    Intel Pentium G860 Dual Core 3.0GHz 1155 Processor
    Main Board: Socket 1155, DDR3 1600, PCI-Express, SATA, VGA,Audio & LAN.
    4096MB/4GB High end DDR3 RAM (inc. heat sinks)
    Price includes full installation into your original PC case, PC Service, hardware check and software optimisation.
    (Other Parts / Components may be require, these are not included in the initial £—, for example, a new power supply unit may be require, this is not covered by the initial £).

    Thanks in advance.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Re-install Windows. No need to upgrade hardware at all. Hardware doesn’t get slower with time, Windows does though.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Yes, but how many of the penny will it cost?

    To be honest, you may be better off buying a new box from the likes of ebuyer, you could get something that spec for very little money.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Reinstalling from the recovery partition will cost £0.

    brokensoul
    Member

    My PC is old, in my system properties it says;

    Intel Celeron CPU
    430 @ 1.8GHz
    1.80GHz, 0.99GB of RAM

    I’ve yet to go down and quiz him about the price.
    I did call in about a month ago, he said (& his website said) a whole new PC with similar spec to the upgrade would be £200ish.

    brokensoul
    Member

    So, if I got someone to re-install Windows, I’d have a whizzy pc?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    If you do a clean wipe and reinstall, it’d be the same as it was when it was new. It’s really really easy to do, generally speaking. You just need to back up your files, photos etc.

    Caveat – assuming your HD doesn’t have loads of bad sectors. This can make it slower, but that means it’s about to fail anyway, probably.

    disco_stu
    Member

    A 1.8 Ghz Celeron will still be a very slow computer even after a reinstall, have a look at eBuyer for a new one.

    tymbian
    Member

    Apple Mac. I got pissed off with windows 6 years ago, bought a Mac, no viruses, no down time since. Not a fan of its customisable programs, apps etc. but it works every time.

    plyphon
    Member

    Whilst molgrips is correct he is only halfway there.

    Your computer will be as new, and will perform as new, ONLY if you’re using exactly the same software you were when you bought it.

    Which, if you’re using the internet, you’re not.

    As web development has evolved faster and faster websites have ballooned in the number of resources they need from your computer. With the arrival of HTML 5 and the arrival of browser rendered graphics etc it’s even more important than ever to have a GPU accelerated computer.

    Even on STW I’m seeing 6 animated banners currently – this all requires processing.

    So, while it’ll run your old software fine, any up-to-date website will cause you to be back in slowville.

    So, apologies if that was a bit of an overload, but it’s something to help you consider your strategy before you go down the route of formatting and reinstalling only to find out your PC still struggles when you have multiple websites open.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Apple Mac

    Do you get many of those for £200?

    A 1.8 Ghz Celeron will still be a very slow computer even after a reinstall

    Yeah, I was thinking that myself. Ordinarily I’d say chuck some more RAM in it, but you’ll still be stuck with that Pantium CPU.

    That said; I’d need more info to be 100% sure, but you can probably drop a Prescott vintage P4 straight into your PC. You can pick up a 3GHz chip from eBay for under a fiver (I’ve just looked). That and another couple of gig, it’ll be a different machine. The new one you’ve specced will still batter it, but it’ll be ten times the cost.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Pentium 4s came in several FSB speeds. You would have to have a good match. Also some BIOSes won’t accept a chip they aren’t aware of.

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/81002-35-challenging-problem-tosh-northwood

    I’d say get your mate to put together a cheap PC with an AMD APU. An APU is a CPU with a small, but dedicated graphics portion. Only the VERY newest Intel chips have an APU that is even halfway decent. I’d go for AMD in your case, 100%

    You may be able to re-use some of your parts. But I’d change the Hard disk even if you don’t have to, and the PSU. Keep the PSU as a spare, and use the HDD in a cheap external case – but don’t use it to keep files that are not backed up elsewhere.

    Regards

    brokensoul
    Member

    Right, that’s me even more confused.
    😳
    He says about £170 for the upgrade.
    I may just get a whole new one. I’ll then have a spare to take to pieces & mend.

    retro83
    Member

    Have a look on here.

    http://www.ebuyer.com/search?sort=price+ascending&cat=191&store=5&cat=191&page=1

    Just make sure it includes the Operating System, as some don’t (or whack Ubuntu or Mint on it).

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    As web development has evolved faster and faster websites have ballooned in the number of resources they need from your computer.

    So how does his CPU compare to say, an Atom?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Pentium 4s came in several FSB speeds. You would have to have a good match. Also some BIOSes won’t accept a chip they aren’t aware of.

    That link is for a laptop rather than a desktop but yes, that’s a good point. I’d want to check properly what the motherboard supported before making firm recommendations.

    He says about £170 for the upgrade.
    I may just get a whole new one.

    There’s not a huge amount of difference between the two, the “upgrade” there is practically a full PC apart from, what, hard disk, PSU and a box to put it in.

    If you’ve use for a second PC <cough>backups</cough>, there’s an argument for just getting a new system.

    disco_stu
    Member

    So how does his CPU compare to say, an Atom?

    CPU Benchmark is your friend, by the looks of it a 1.8Ghz Celeron is slower than most Atom’s

    tymbian
    Member

    Sorry..I meant to say non-customizable ie. only the Apple endorsed apps etc..

    And unfortunately you can’t get one for £200. The cost of it hurt at the time I bought it ( wasn’t brave enough to tell the wife ). Not regretted getting one.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    I’d really say your best bet is a new machine built around an AMD chip, like this one

    http://www.ebuyer.com/398817-amd-a6-5400k-black-edition-3-6ghz-socket-fm2-4mb-l2-cache-retail-ad540kokhjbox

    You’ll note there are bundles on that page with a Motherboard. Try to get one with RAM also.

    It’s not going to be much for £300 or so, but it will be a lot better than your current machine. 4GB of RAM, or more. DO NOT reuse your old HDD or Power Supply, they are the most likely things to go wrong in a PC and also the things that cause the most damage/hassle when they fail!

    Use a basic branded PSU, like a Corsair or Antec

    http://www.ebuyer.com/185183-antec-380w-earthwatts-green-psu-ea-380d-green

    That should do.

    Then stick a modern Hard drive, maybe…

    http://www.ebuyer.com/319639-seagate-1tb-barracuda-internal-hard-drive-st1000dm003

    These are fast.

    Don’t skimp on those parts!

    Rebuild around that, and for <£300 you’ll have a reliable, balanced and reasonably future-ready machine.

    Lastly, buy Windows 7 OEM – comes with less packaging, but is cheaper.

    http://www.ebuyer.com/259863-microsoft-windows-7-home-premium-w-sp1-licence-and-media-1-gfc-02050

    That’s my suggestion. Get the shop to do all the assembly, or your mate!

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    I’d second the PSU advice, though 380W seems awfully low to me. (But then, I guess a modern CPU requires a lot less power; I’m a bit out of touch, it’s been a while since I last looked at system builds.)

    It’s an oft-overlooked component and will cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth dealing with ephemeral fartabouty problems if it’s underspecced.

    brokensoul
    Member

    Thanks for all the advice, folks. I’ve got to start googling now, trying to understand what you’re all on about. 😉

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Non-technical version: buy a computer.

    (-:

    brokensoul
    Member

    I thought that’s what it meant.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Right, that’s me even more confused.

    He says about £170 for the upgrade.
    I may just get a whole new one. I’ll then have a spare to take to pieces & mend.

    Yup, just buy a new one. Not worth messing about using any 8yr old components in a mish mash of new parts. If its all new, and comes with a warranty (even if only covering the hardware), its added peace of mind. For £150 (excluding an OS) you can get a new machine that will have 10x the computing power of your current machine. You can get a copy of Windows for less than £70, so its a no brained in my mind. In fact, in your situation, I’d throw a bit more money at the situation, to make sure the machine is more future proof. A £150 box now will be comparatively slow in 3 years, spend £400 on an i5 machine with 8GB of RAM and windows pre installed, and it’ll still serve you well in 5 or 6 years time at least.

    As for the suggestion to buy a Mac. Much as I love Apple’s OSX, and many of their machines (lack of upgradability on some is a bit poor mind), its a bit like taking a sledgehammer to crack a walnut given the OP’s requirements. If you’re a graphics professional, or musician, a publisher or even just have a load of cash burning a hole in your pocket, go out and get one, you won’t regret it. But even a basic Mac Mini at £499 would be overkill for the OP’s requirements.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Agreed on all counts.

    I view Mac suggestions like that as Apple Tourette’s. Pick any tech-related topic, someone will just blurt out “get an iPhone” or similar, irrespective of whether it’s an appropriate recommendation or not. Sometimes it’s a very valid suggestion, but often it just appears to be some sort of nervous twitch.

    oliverd1981
    Member

    if the OP was more tech savvy I’d say “get a hackintosh” but that’s just because I’m a windows 7 hater.

    Instead of splashing out on a upgraded desktop I wonder if the OP has considered a laptop or a tablet? Might be a better experience for the casual user. The old desktop will make a pretty serviceable word processor especially with a fresh windows re-install.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Lastly, buy Windows 7 OEM – comes with less packaging, but is cheaper.

    But you can’t re-install it on another machine if yours dies or you want to upgrade.

    Duffer
    Member

    But you can’t re-install it on another machine if yours dies or you want to upgrade.

    This.

    If you buy the retail version of windows, you can install it onto a new machine. Also, if you upgrade your Motherboard in the future, you won’t need to purchase another copy.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    “Can’t” isn’t strictly true. “Not allowed” is more accurate.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I thought it was a bit of a techie fiddle to get it to work on a new machine?

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    IIRC, you can re-activate the key three times and then it’s a ‘ring Microsoft’ job. “I’ve just replaced the motherboard” should suffice as an excuse.

    Probably. Obviously I’d never advocate that and have never done it. Obviously.

    Duffer
    Member

    ok, notwithstanding the above, i’d recommend you buy a proper retail version of Windows!

    Has anyone mentioned that Linux can work fantastically well on older machines…? 😉

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    Huuuuummm…..

    I didn’t know that. Guess I’ve not changed any “important” parts on the machines I built. Gigabyte Motherboards FTW!

    Thanks for the tip!

    brokensoul
    Member

    Thanks for the input, folks. (GFS, I’ve got a Gigabyte Motherboard box kicking about with driver cd roms in, so it looks like that’s what this old machine might have in it).
    I’ve decided to go get a whole new pc, though I’ll just go to PC World in town to get it, right there & then (I can’t do with the suspense of waiting over the weekend 😉 )
    I’ll then have an old pc that I can take to pieces and “mend”. 🙄
    Thanks again.

    Much as it is tempting to trundle down to PC World for a new computer it is most likely that you will not be getting the best value or best machine for your money. As others have pointed out good places to look for pre-built machines that will almost certainly be better spec and value include Ebuyer, dabs, scan, novatech.

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    I concur with Bikingcatastrophe.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    +2.

    Scan’s “Today only” page is worth a browse, there’s often some belting deals to be had.

    nbt
    Member

    I just ordered one of these

    http://www.ebuyer.com/407538-zoostorm-desktop-pc-7873-1076

    £150 for a PC that will be fine for browsing, watching youtube videos and viewing photos.

    I have a legit copy of windows to install but as has been pointed out you can get OEM copies from ebuyer for about £70

    mushrooms
    Member

    Have you asked around the pc shops near you for second hand? Something that’s being thrown out could easily have better spec and be able to run W7.
    I just picked up an old case for free with a Celeron D 2.6 in it and it runs W7 well enough.

    skids
    Member

    IU wouldn’t pay a shop to do that upgrade in the opening post unless they are charging less than £100. It’s something you can easily do yourself. There is no technical skill needed, just follow instructions

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