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How much improvement will I get if I upgrade CPU/Mboard?...

Last response: in Systems
a b B Homebuilt system
September 24, 2004 10:53:59 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)


I currently have an AMD XP3000 (Barton) on an MSI K7N2 Delta board with 1Gb
DDR RAM (2 x 512Mb PC3200). HDD's are WD1200JB (master) + WD2500JB (slave).
Graphics card is an ATI AIW 8500DV.

When I first got it, it seemed that my PC could (at last) keep up with me -
but now I find thats worn off and again I'm having to wait for it to catch
up. ( BTW I regularly defrag and clear out clutter).

I'm just wondering where I go from here in terms of getting the most bang
for my bucks.

My main use is photo, video & music editing and drawing. The only "games" I
play (but not very often these days) are flight sims. So most of what I do
is very CPU and graphics intensive.

I'm so pre-occupied with work I dont have the spare time (or brain capacity)
to trawl the net for reviews so I would be very grateful for any suggestions
of hardware I should look at.

I have no specific loyalty or preference for AMD or Intel - just whichever
can provide the best (real world) performance for my purposes.

Thanks for your time.

a b B Homebuilt system
September 25, 2004 1:15:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

You say you are waiting for the PC to catchup...
o If that is I/O then WD 10k-rpm Raptor exist
---- very fast sustained data-transfer, very low latency
---- for photo & video editing those parameters are important
o If that is CPU, then you're nearing law of diminishing returns
---- yes there are faster CPUs, but at escalating price
---- vis., a good CPU upgrade is 2x-4x faster

If it's "interactivity" a dual-CPU setup is generally popular:
o Dual Athlon MP boards still exist, and at a good price point
o However, dual high-speed MP CPUs are not exactly cheap

One area perhaps omitted at first glance is memory:
o Yes, you have 1GB of ram
o However, how big is your data-set?

Photoshop is memory hungry, but memory available to it from an
upgrade is somewhat "non-linear" as you near 4GB for example.
If you are using lots of big film-scans (negatives etc) then your
image file is likely to be very large - but less so if target is video.

If you are constantly editing streaming video, the HDs may be the
bottleneck - if it's MPEG compression then it could be the CPU,
the P4 is generally accepted to be quickest at that application.

Dual-Xeon offers you the P4 core re MPEG & better "interactivity"
of dual CPUs - but that is more a commercial solution re high cost.
The Xeon is also relatively old in the tooth & somewhat pricey.

Memory technology isn't that big a bottleneck - it's hard to tell the
difference in reality between say DDR266 & DDR400 for example,
whereas benchmarks may suggest a more noticeable difference.

You need to identify which bit is causing the wait :-)
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