# What is the best CPU available?

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June 30, 2008 12:00:24 AM

I would like to purchase a new computer for my family, and slowdown has always been an issue.
The computer they use currently holds a Pentium 4 @ 2.8 Ghz. CPU.
Buying a new computer, I know I should get enough Ram to help slowdown, but I would really like to know what would be the absolute best processor I could purchase without it being too expensive.
I don't want it to be mid-ranged or anything, but it doesn't need to be the most powerful/expensive processor available, just the all-around best. Intel/AMD, I don't really care. In my personal, non-family, computer, I have an Intel E6600 @ 2.4 Ghz, which is great, but still has its slowdown moments. I need a processor that eliminates slowdown as much as possible. Any help/ Newegg products would be greatly appreciated.

June 30, 2008 12:20:49 AM

It totally depends on what you plan to do with it. I would go with the Q6600 or Q9450. Is there a budget constraint?
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2008 12:21:59 AM

What are you doing when the slowdowns happen? How long do these slowdowns happen? How old is the OS install? There are so many factors that will cause a computer to slow down, software and hardware wise.
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June 30, 2008 12:29:45 AM

Q6600 with 4GB RAM, use Vista 64-bit or XP.
June 30, 2008 12:36:50 AM

q6600=$100 q6700=$200 phenom be=$230-250 tri=not really worth it. dual=wolfdale 8xxx only$200ish

yes this is a half @s5ed response...
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2008 1:58:18 AM

Q9450 is a great CPU for $300 or so. June 30, 2008 2:04:58 AM Does "best" mean fastest? That would be QX9775, at$1.5k.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Q6600 is the best bang for the buck, at $190. Q9450 is the next step up, although it's nowhere nearly the best bang for the buck, as it's a large price increase for a small performance increase. a b à CPUs June 30, 2008 3:07:50 AM Well, you could always go with a 9770 for$90 less...

As for Q6600 vs 9450? I think the 9450 is worth it for the 45nm (oc's better, lower power) and larger cache. If you're on a budget though, the Q6600 is certainly a good choice.
June 30, 2008 3:23:31 AM

Q6600 is definitely a good choice if you are on a budget.
June 30, 2008 3:33:31 AM

the best i will buy is the Q9450 but the best of the best now is still the QX9775!
June 30, 2008 3:42:47 AM

albundy2 said:
q6600=$100 q6700=$200 phenom be=$230-250 tri=not really worth it. dual=wolfdale 8xxx only$200ish

yes this is a half @s5ed response...

true it is....half!
but also on good CPUs

A relevant question would be are you purchasing parts to build/custom build or a box from manufacturer like HP/Dell or something like that~
Your own build or custom build means you want to look at the what the cpu will need to go with it for a motherboard and ram......

(do 2 halfs of an @s5 make a whole one?)
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2008 3:46:04 AM

I believe the WateryBridge Intel Processor which has 8192 cores and a core speed of 4 terahertz (its a new model the military just got... its 5 generations after sandybridge.... it only works in the X118 mobo) costs only 1.768 trillion

for normal people the q6600 or the q9450 =D
June 30, 2008 4:05:02 AM

Obviously, OP has no further information to impart.
June 30, 2008 4:06:53 AM

albundy2 said:
q6600=$100 q6700=$200 phenom be=$230-250 tri=not really worth it. dual=wolfdale 8xxx only$200ish

yes this is a half @s5ed response...

Could you let me in on where you can get a Q6600 for only $100. The cheapest I've ever seen them was around$180 for the OEM model.
June 30, 2008 4:11:51 AM

-There isn't a serious budget constraint, I just can't spend over $500 on a CPU.. that'd be ridiculous -General computer use/ minimal gaming -I'm just sick of my computer being unable to handle opening files and more than one application -These slowdowns generally happen when I'm using more than one application or trying to browse a folder with pictures/vids in Thumbnail view. And when I do this, the computer will freeze, and I'll wait about 5 minutes before I can do anything. -I'm looking for a processor that will make my computing experience hassle-free June 30, 2008 4:14:29 AM Thank you for all your answers btw June 30, 2008 4:26:01 AM Q9550 it is$500 I think  , if you want the highest speed but not paying ridiculous price for a quad core(Qx9770).
June 30, 2008 4:35:27 AM

BehaCepa said:
-There isn't a serious budget constraint, I just can't spend over $500 on a CPU.. that'd be ridiculous -General computer use/ minimal gaming -I'm just sick of my computer being unable to handle opening files and more than one application -These slowdowns generally happen when I'm using more than one application or trying to browse a folder with pictures/vids in Thumbnail view. And when I do this, the computer will freeze, and I'll wait about 5 minutes before I can do anything. -I'm looking for a processor that will make my computing experience hassle-free I agree with you that spending$500 on a processor is excessive in most cases. The only time a processor that expensive can be warranted on a desktop for home use would be if you were planning on doing some serious gaming and wanted to use all of the high settings and high resolutions. That doesn't sound like what you're looking for judging by this post.

It looks to me like you do a significant amount of multitasking and that is causing the slowdowns. My recommendation would be to get the least expensive quad core platform you can get.

I'd recommend you pick up an AMD Phenom 9600 from Newegg for $170 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103244 and a motherboard with the 780G chipset. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2010200022%201070930149%20107191003%201071937261&bop=And&Order=RATING This will be cheaper than the Intel route as the Q6600 from Newegg costs$190 (for the OEM version with no fan included), and comparable Intel motherboards cost more (at least $10 for the G35 chipset depending on model) and have inferior graphics capability. I'm basing these recommendations under the assumption that you will not be overclocking, and that you do not plan on doing a lot of serious gaming. If you plan to overclock the CPU or you want to do serious gaming then the Intel setup is a better choice even if it is more expensive. a b à CPUs June 30, 2008 4:38:06 AM I would not get a phenom right now, as they are slower and generally hotter running than the Intel quads (especially the 45nm intels). a c 331 à CPUs June 30, 2008 4:41:33 AM If you do heavy multitasking, then any of the mentioned intel Quads in the$200 range would serve you well. If you are only doing a couple of things, then a duo like the E8400 would be fine. It is considerably faster than the E6600 which you liked.

The key is to have enough ram to hold all the tasks in memory at the same time. As cheap as ram is today, 4gb would be a minimum, and 8gb, even better.

If your work is hard drive intensive, then look for several smaller drives instead of one huge drive. The reasoning is that each drive can be more isolated to it's own particular task, and run more efficiently.
June 30, 2008 4:46:27 AM

Thank you Just_An_Engineer, all I need is something to ease my freezing and long waiting pains, so I'll take yours, and everyone's recommendations into consideration. Thanks a bunch
a b à CPUs
June 30, 2008 5:00:41 AM

What geofelt said is true - the E8xxx series are quite nice for lighter usage, and in many cases actually faster than the Qxxxx for single threaded apps. So, depending on what you really want, that could be something to take into account.
June 30, 2008 5:34:36 AM

BehaCepa said:
-There isn't a serious budget constraint, I just can't spend over $500 on a CPU.. that'd be ridiculous -General computer use/ minimal gaming -I'm just sick of my computer being unable to handle opening files and more than one application -These slowdowns generally happen when I'm using more than one application or trying to browse a folder with pictures/vids in Thumbnail view. And when I do this, the computer will freeze, and I'll wait about 5 minutes before I can do anything. -I'm looking for a processor that will make my computing experience hassle-free 5 MINUTES?!!? There is absolutely no justifiable reason for the PC to freeze when doing those things, slowing down maybe but a 5 minute freeze is unacceptable. I am running an E6750 and 2GB of RAM at this very moment, at stock I just reinstalled windows a day ago and as a rule I reset all overclocks so that there are no driver errors, and I have never had a slowdown like that happen. I run an active virus scanner, AOL desktop, firefox with 1-10 tabs, speedfan (I'm obsessive about seeing my temps.), Xfire, more often then not some music player with my music library open in a Windows folder, and on top of all this I game. NEVER have I had such a problem, though the closest thing was that at start up and shut down the PC would drag a$$for a minute or 2, but upgrading to a SATA hard drive fixed that totally. All this and I run Vista Ultimate 64! I think the problem is more that the PC needs cleaned and you need to research PC maintenance. Hell, I'll give you a brief run-through: Things to do: -Defrag ATLEAST once a day -Run disk cleanup ATLEAST once a day (preferably a program called Ccleaner as well) -MONITOR TEMPERATURES!!! (this will be the dividing line between a overheating, slow, and dying PC and a cool, fast, and stable one) -Virus scan ATLEAST once a week (A great free virus scanner is Avast) -Spyware scan ATLEAST once a week (Spyware detector is good, but not free, and the name is not exactly creative) -Firewall (Window's firewall works fine if you also have an active virus scanner like Avast in the background) -Make sure you do not have tons of unused programs running at once. Hit RUN, then type in msconfig, hit enter, click the startup tab, then click off what you do not need, MAKE SURE NOT TO CLICK OFF WINDOWS OPERATING SYSTEM, yes idiot Microsoft put that there just to pi$$ us off I think, and yes I have done it by accident. Anyway 95%+ programs do not need to be running at start up to work, if you need to listen to music with winamp then, CLICK WINAMP! -*MOST IMPORTANT AND OVERLOOKED!* Windows gets fragmented and generally messy pretty quick and this can not be fixed with out reinstalling windows, which you should do ATLEAST once every 2 years, but there is one single way to help. DO NOT DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL EVERY SINGLE WINDOWS UPDATE!!! If it is not broken then don't fix it, research all updates and THEN decide whether to install it or not. Things not to do: -do things that are generally related to viruses, spyware, and adware, naughty websites included. If you must then I guess just make sure your PC is locked down tight. -Use desktop shortcuts, or more than ABSOLUTELY necessary. It always pains me to see some one's computer and see half the screen filled with short cuts. Honestly that slows the PC down a lot, more so old ones but this definitely still applies, if you need to access a program go through the start menu, it is not THAT much of an inconvenience, not to mention the performance boost. -Screen savers, a nice flashy screen saver is nice but if it is so flashy it is taxing your computer then it is not worth it. -Did I mention not to install every windows update? I'm sorry if you already know some of this, I am just trying to help, no offense was meant. Besides even many enthusiast and system builders have atleast 3 of those bad habits, or even more! I would recommend either a E8xxx dualcore, more for gaming and getting the most out of your money, or get the Q6600 or Q9450, the Q9300 is a waste compared to the Q6600. None of those will offer a substantial boost over your E6600, but some 800 Mhz + RAM with some decent timings will help, either get 2x 1GB sticks or 2x 2GB sticks for best result. Unless you plan on SLI'ng Nvidia GPUs then say NO to a Nvidia motherboard. I recommend the P35/P45 or other Intel motherboards. Also as I said above a nice new SATA hard drive can really make the difference, since the hard drive is supposed to be the largest system bottleneck. Hope this helps, feel free to ask some more questions. Oh, and sorry for the long a$$post. June 30, 2008 6:13:27 AM I agree with The_Blood_ Raven. I'm using 4200 x2 with 2gb of ram which is fairly doing well. Believe me it's not only the hardware that matters. Check your installed software. Norton AV could mostly the culprit if you use. Use nod32. It's better than Norton and many other "leading" antivirus softs. e6600 with 2gb of ram should be very much fine. Check the startup programs by typing msconfig in Run from start bar. disable whatever you suspect you wont need from start up like quicktime. powerdvd service etc except for the AV you are using. A 2 year old harddisk should not be the cause for the system slowdown. The problem is not at all woth your processor. TRY REINSTALLING YOUR OS. Save money for now and don't buy anything. If at all you need to buy something, buy some ram and that's it. June 30, 2008 7:23:21 AM You should install every critical Windows update... the others are optional, but always make sure you get the critical ones. Some of the optional ones will be necessary depending on your hardware. Never install drivers from Windows Update unless you can't get it anywhere else. Get a good defrag program and use it at least once a week; there will be some that allow you to schedule daily defrags at a time when you're not using the computer... that is a good idea. If you're using Windows XP, a registry cleaner isn't a bad idea either. The idea is to keep the system up and running with as few reloads as possible. Don't forget to get some sort of back-up system in place, as I'm sure there will come a time when you need to reload. Windows doesn't get any more fragmented than anything else on the drive... it's the registry that will bog your comp down. A program like RegScrubXP will stave off the reload monster a while longer by removing the dead weight from your registry. There isn't really any good registry cleaners for Vista yet, however. Make sure to keep your motherboard's BIOS up to date as well... you'd be surprised at how much a BIOS update can fix sometimes. One screensaver isn't going to bog your system terribly unless it happens to be running. But if the screensaver is running, you're not using your computer anyway. Avoid those "free" downloads from those little ads that pop up from time to time... they are usually loaded with spyware and can slow your system down considerably. June 30, 2008 7:49:55 AM Something is seriously wrong with your computer other than an outdated/inept CPU. Could be very poor maintenance, malware, corrupt windows installation, or bad hardware just to name a few. The maintenance suggested by Blood_Raven is good albeit a bit extreme for my taste (I defrag once a week at most, it's not nearly as important with ntfs as it was with fat). If I was having those problems on a properly maintained computer, my first guess would be a bad hard drive and/or a corrupt windows installation. Download Seatools or a similar program for your hard drive to check it before you do anything. I would make sure S.M.A.R.T. is enabled and check the hard drive status either through Seatools or speedfan. Check Event Viewer in Administrative tools to see if it tells you something useful. Checking the memory with memtest86+ and the cpu with Orthos dual prime would be a good idea as well. Try reinstalling windows if your hardware checks out. Good luck! June 30, 2008 10:06:31 AM Just pick up another two of the HDs you have, and upgrade to a Q6600 or an E8200 and OC it... maybe more memory, let me check what you've got maybe 2gb/3gb June 30, 2008 1:13:15 PM pcgamer12 said: Q6600 with 4GB RAM, use Vista 64-bit or XP. If you want to totally future proof yourself go with 64-bit. However, there will be some compatability trade-offs. My recommendation would be to go with 32-bit Vista and 3 to 4 gigs of RAM. I would recommend you get a quad core (to future proof yourself). I would either go with the top of the line AMD choice or the Q6600 or greater. AMD's top offering competes with the Q6600. If you're willing to shell out more money on a CPU you'll have to go with Intel because AMD doesn't have any offerings better than the Q6600. 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O17 - HKLM\System\CCS\Services\Tcpip\..\{DA6FFC8C-1200-4317-8CC3-26337B6F983C}: NameServer = 192.168.15.1,192.168.15.2 O18 - Protocol: skype4com - {FFC8B962-9B40-4DFF-9458-1830C7DD7F5D} - C:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\Skype\SKYPE4~1.DLL O20 - AppInit_DLLs: C:\PROGRA~1\Google\GOOGLE~2\GOEC62~1.DLL O22 - SharedTaskScheduler: IE Component Categories cache daemon - {553858A7-4922-4e7e-B1C1-97140C1C16EF} - C:\WINDOWS\system32\ieframe.dll O23 - Service: Adobe LM Service - Adobe Systems - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe Systems Shared\Service\Adobelmsvc.exe O23 - Service: AOL Connectivity Service (AOL ACS) - AOL LLC - C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\ACS\AOLAcsd.exe O23 - Service: AOL TopSpeed Monitor (AOL TopSpeedMonitor) - America Online, Inc - C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\TopSpeed\2.0\aoltsmon.exe O23 - Service: Apple Mobile Device - Apple, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe O23 - Service: ##Id_String1.6844F930_1628_4223_B5CC_5BB94B879762## (Bonjour Service) - Apple Computer, Inc. - C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe O23 - Service: FLEXnet Licensing Service - Macrovision Europe Ltd. - C:\Program Files\Common Files\Macrovision Shared\FLEXnet Publisher\FNPLicensingService.exe O23 - Service: InstallDriver Table Manager (IDriverT) - Macrovision Corporation - C:\Program Files\Common Files\InstallShield\Driver\1050\Intel 32\IDriverT.exe O23 - Service: iPod Service - Apple Inc. - C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe O23 - Service: McAfee Services (mcmscsvc) - McAfee, Inc. - C:\PROGRA~1\McAfee\MSC\mcmscsvc.exe O23 - Service: McAfee Network Agent (McNASvc) - McAfee, Inc. - c:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\mcafee\mna\mcnasvc.exe O23 - Service: McAfee Scanner (McODS) - McAfee, Inc. - C:\PROGRA~1\McAfee\VIRUSS~1\mcods.exe O23 - Service: McAfee Proxy Service (McProxy) - McAfee, Inc. - c:\PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\mcafee\mcproxy\mcproxy.exe O23 - Service: McAfee Real-time Scanner (McShield) - McAfee, Inc. - C:\PROGRA~1\McAfee\VIRUSS~1\mcshield.exe O23 - Service: McAfee SystemGuards (McSysmon) - McAfee, Inc. - C:\PROGRA~1\McAfee\VIRUSS~1\mcsysmon.exe O23 - Service: McAfee Personal Firewall Service (MpfService) - McAfee, Inc. - C:\Program Files\McAfee\MPF\MPFSrv.exe O23 - Service: NVIDIA Display Driver Service (NVSvc) - NVIDIA Corporation - C:\WINDOWS\system32\nvsvc32.exe O23 - Service: PnkBstrA - Unknown owner - C:\WINDOWS\system32\PnkBstrA.exe -- End of file - 8804 bytes June 30, 2008 2:00:02 PM I know I have a lot of AOL crap, and I use Rocketdock, so I don't have any Desktop items. -To The_Blood_Raven, I do most of the things you recommend, and nothing you say not to. -Just to let everyone know, this is all a great help a c 331 à CPUs June 30, 2008 3:13:43 PM To get an idea if RAM or the CPU is an issue, start the task manager. (alt/cntl/delete) It will display a history of RAM and CPU usage. If cpu or ram is over 65% utilized, then more ram or a better cpu may be justified. More likely, something is running that you don't expect. look for more details on what is causing it. Select the performance monitor, and look for tasks that are using lots of resources. a b à CPUs June 30, 2008 3:37:22 PM Quote: Things not to do: Use desktop shortcuts, or more than ABSOLUTELY necessary. It always pains me to see some one's computer and see half the screen filled with short cuts. Honestly that slows the PC down a lot, more so old ones but this definitely still applies, if you need to access a program go through the start menu, it is not THAT much of an inconvenience, not to mention the performance boost. Explain to me how shortcuts slow down your computer? They just show the home path/location for the original .exe (or other file extention) and launches it that way. Its like ordering McDonald's at the drive through or at the counter. Both get you the same product, and neither is really slower than the other. You either have to browse to the file location (super slow) or Windows has to launch the file path (fast). Either way, your food is still sitting under the heat lamps, getting rancid. June 30, 2008 3:48:43 PM Yeah,, I would say do a fresh OS install and see how things run for you. It might allow you to put off another PC for a little while longer. Or , just build a new one! Its fun why not... if you have the money ! a b à CPUs June 30, 2008 4:09:42 PM It is true that keeping huge files on your desktop slows your computer down. Shortcuts shouldn't though. June 30, 2008 4:29:10 PM I'd say do a fresh install of the OS also. And really, defrag once a day? F*** that, maybe once every couple of weeks, or once a month, but once a day? If you wanna try some things before you do a fresh install: 1. type msconfig in run command prompt and click startup tab and uncheck everything you don't need to start when you login to your computer. that will help for sure. 2. Then I'd chkdsk /r ( in cmd prompt) your hard drives. or if you go through windows it's error-checking under properties\tools when you right click on your hard drive/partition. tell it to fix all errors automatically 3. Defrag everything once you've chkdsk'd everything. If all that does nothing for you, then I'd do a fresh install of the OS. I'd atleast try all of this before building a new computer if your sole purpose of building this new computer is because your h!t runs too slow. That's what I would do first anyway. EDIT: I guess I could add that all that I just said pertains to Windows XP which is what I'm assuming your running on a P4 2.8Ghz machine. If you're running Vista than I have absolutely no effin clue cause I've never used Vista. I'd also ask you why the hell you're running Vista on that machine. But I think I'm safe assuming you're running XP, right? a b à CPUs June 30, 2008 5:04:09 PM If you're running vista, all of that still applies (use the start search bar instead of run for msconfig and cmd.exe, but other than that...). Of course, if you're running vista on a P4, I would have to question your sanity... June 30, 2008 5:08:21 PM Yeah I am a bit extreme about some of these things, but hey I have too much time on my hands. Shortcuts do not slow the computer down because of their function, they slow it down by being, more or less, extra complicated pictures on the screen that must be loaded when going from a non-windowed program to the desktop. It mostly matters in instances such as when you exit a game, the PC must load every shortcut again and if the game was taxing your hardware then that can make a slowdown, albeit not 5 minutes. Again this is more for older computers (say P4 2.8GHZ?), but it still applies today as I see there is a limit to how many shortcuts you can have. After about 10-20+ (depending on hardware) you can run into problems. It is a general idea, but very helpful to older computers that run P4s or equivalent, it also makes you desktop look nicer! Also for all the people who do not think defragging once a day is good, consider this. Most computers take HOURS to defrag, but nice I keep it up so nicely it takes me 1-5 minutes at most, that is something you can do everyday. I strongly recommend to start this practice after an install of windows, because it it very hard to get defragging to that speed when it takes HOURS to do it once. Again there is a limit to everything and if you have more than 70% of your hard drive filled, then I would back off a bit so as not to damage or corrupt the hard drive and data. A strict defrag schedule can really help at times, especially after installing or uninstalling a large program. June 30, 2008 5:21:38 PM arson94 said: I'd say do a fresh install of the OS also. And really, defrag once a day? F*** that, maybe once every couple of weeks, or once a month, but once a day? Total agreement. If your computer starts to slow down a fresh OS install can do wonders. I also agree that at most I would defrag once a month. Defragging daily is just going to put unneeded wear on your HD and cause sectors to go bad earlier than they need to. June 30, 2008 7:05:54 PM cjl, thanks for that little tidbit about Vista, I wasn't sure if it still applied. I've yet to even touch a box with Vista on it. I know I'm going to have to one of these days though... TC, thanks for the back up lol. Well Blood_Raven, I can't say that defragging every day wouldn't lower your defrag times down to 1-5 minutes as I've never tried that often; but if it does, then yea it wouldn't be that much hassle or wear and tear on your HDD. Of course, I tend to have more faith in Windows that most other people so what can I say ya know lol... And I agree about not keeping your desktop cluttered with unecessary shortcuts. even worse is when people store a$$loads of files, large or small, on the desktop itself. Just uncalled for. Sweet, I'm an enthusiast now. woohoo! July 1, 2008 12:12:14 AM Ha, arson94 I forgot about that one. Once I was fixing a PC that a friend's father used and it had all his music on the desktop..... must have been 50+ songs. It had been proven that as long as the temps are reasonable a hard drive will not be damaged from defragging unless it is over 75% full, then there is a chance, and if the hard drive is 85% full then there WILL be damage unless Windows or the program you are using realizes that and only partially defrags. July 1, 2008 12:24:26 AM Diskkeeper recommends defragging daily to keep your hard drive defragged so that you don't have to wait an hour for it to finish. It's not going to put any more wear and tear on the drive than normal use would. July 1, 2008 12:27:37 AM The_Blood_Raven said: Ha, arson94 I forgot about that one. Once I was fixing a PC that a friend's father used and it had all his music on the desktop..... must have been 50+ songs. It had been proven that as long as the temps are reasonable a hard drive will not be damaged from defragging unless it is over 75% full, then there is a chance, and if the hard drive is 85% full then there WILL be damage unless Windows or the program you are using realizes that and only partially defrags. Curious, do you have a source for that? Are you talking about physical damage or filesystem corruption? a c 114 à CPUs July 1, 2008 2:57:08 AM pshrk said: Curious, do you have a source for that? Are you talking about physical damage or filesystem corruption? I don't know about physical damage or file system corruption but if the hard drive is 85%+ full XP cannot do a complete defrag To the OP: If you are not using AOL go ahead and remove all this stuff so these processes will not be running in the background ... C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\ACS\AOLAcsd.exe C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\TopSpeed\2.0\aoltsmon.exe C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\1158890330\ee\aolsoftware.exe C:\Program Files\America Online 9.0\waol.exe C:\Program Files\America Online 9.0\shellmon.exe In Program Access and Defaults use the 'Change or remove Programs' menu to remove the AOL stuff. The other backgroud processes which jump out to me are your Apple stuffs. I don't do the iPod thing but I don't think these services need to always be running in the background: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Mobile Device Support\bin\AppleMobileDeviceService.exe C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunesHelper.exe C:\Program Files\iPod\bin\iPodService.exe AFAIK the Apple stuff can be launched manually when you need it (but you need to verify this as, once again, I'm iPod ignorant ) RocketDock.exe does not have to be running in the background and can be launched manually when you need it. I think you need to be concerned with programs you have installed which automatically try to update themselves in the background. I think that may be part of your problem. At certain times all this background action reaches a 'perfect storm' in slowing down your system ... Also, McAfee is a known resource hog - even worst than Norton. AVG Free works for me along with the Zone Alarm firewall. I use Adaware and Spybot Search & Destroy for malware ... July 1, 2008 4:10:35 AM Wisecracker said: Also, McAfee is a known resource hog - even worst than Norton. AVG Free works for me along with the Zone Alarm firewall. I use Adaware and Spybot Search & Destroy for malware ... I totally agree!!! I Can't stand either McAfee or Norton, both are complete junk and only cause problems while slowing down your computer alot. It's too bad, Norton actually used to be good. Microsoft update, Firefox, AVG Free is all I need to keep me safe. July 1, 2008 11:38:40 AM pshrk said: I totally agree!!! I Can't stand either McAfee or Norton, both are complete junk and only cause problems while slowing down your computer alot. It's too bad, Norton actually used to be good. Microsoft update, Firefox, AVG Free is all I need to keep me safe. Agreed. Norton and McAfee = Bloatware July 1, 2008 3:30:23 PM Zoron said: Diskkeeper recommends defragging daily to keep your hard drive defragged so that you don't have to wait an hour for it to finish. It's not going to put any more wear and tear on the drive than normal use would. I used Diskkeeper for quite a while. I stopped when I lost my first HD. It was a somewhat older drive, maybe 4-5 years old, but I suspect the daily defrag may have been too much for it. Now I just use jkdefrag, which is freeware, and I just run it manually every week or so. July 1, 2008 7:13:50 PM If you have NO budget, then this high end cpu is for you lol: Intel Skulltrail Motherboard with 2 QX9775 Core 2 Extremes @ 3.2GHz. Price:$3600 for only Proc and Mobo.

The best processor for price-performance ratio right now is the Core 2 Duo E6850. 3.0 GHz, and pretty cheap. No, not a E8400, but an E6850. Here's some rank ups:

1. E6850
2. E8400
3. Q6600
4. E8500
All of these are under 250\$ on Newegg. Shipping may vary.

I'm also getting a 2.8GHz pentium 4 so that I can update my bios for my E8400. My mobo needs bios update for 45nm cpus D:
July 1, 2008 8:03:11 PM

snarfies1 said:
I used Diskkeeper for quite a while. I stopped when I lost my first HD. It was a somewhat older drive, maybe 4-5 years old, but I suspect the daily defrag may have been too much for it. Now I just use jkdefrag, which is freeware, and I just run it manually every week or so.

If the drive was 4 or 5 years old... it may have already been dying anyway. There's really no way to tell if daily defragging killed it or not. (I'm leaning towards not). If anything, defragging will save wear and tear on your drive, because it makes the files contiguous instead of bits and pieces of it all over the drive. It will not cause premature failure and it's no harder on the drive than normal daily use.
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