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Why we upgrade our PC?

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October 29, 2009 12:15:13 PM

I am running XP Pro on a P4-2.66G-3G of RAM-ATI X1650 Pro AGP/512MB PC built 6 years ago. Here is my observation:

1. The speed is fine if I just surf around and there is no other heavy duty applications running;
2. The speed suffered if I surf while backing up my data;
3. No problem to view videos on youtube;
4. CS3 tends to be slow but it works;
5. It took less than 3 hours to use the OCR function in Acrobat 8.0 to convert a 780 pages PDF book;
6. Compilation is about 30% slower than my laptop, 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo and 2G of RAM. However, that translate into 15 minutes longer, I do not do this kind of front-to-back compilation everyday;
7. Things I can't do: I can't run video intensive program like the Directv viewer so I can watch the recorded program from my PC. I have no problem doing that from my laptop;
8. Experienced frame dropped when watching US Open from PC;

Given the PC was built in early 2003, I consider it still delivers good performance should I want to use it for "surfing", "surfing" only. Here is something I dont understand, why people upgraded their PC every 3-4 years? What applications you run led you feel your PC was so powerless?

Please share your opinions, thanks.

More about : upgrade

October 29, 2009 2:18:45 PM

I want the best of the best. Plus I'm rich.
October 29, 2009 4:36:54 PM

I upgrade yearly... Videogames.

I usually keep a system for 3 years time...

My latest would be the following.

Athlon X2 5200 @ 2.7Ghz
Asus M2N-E
2Gig ram DDR800
500Gig WD HDD
8800GTS320

Got that about 2 years ago.
Sold the cpu, ram, videocard, psu in a case to a friend for like 250$ (friend price)
And maxed out the mobo.

current
Phenom9950 @ 2.73Ghz fsb210
MSI GTX260
2x320Gig HDD Raid0
4gigs ram ddr800
600W OCZ PSU that does a fairly good job.

The upgrade didnt cost me much and the performance gains is great
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October 29, 2009 4:50:44 PM

jjyu2000 said:
I am running XP Pro on a P4-2.66G-3G of RAM-ATI X1650 Pro AGP/512MB PC built 6 years ago. Here is my observation:

1. The speed is fine if I just surf around and there is no other heavy duty applications running;
2. The speed suffered if I surf while backing up my data;
3. No problem to view videos on youtube;
4. CS3 tends to be slow but it works;
5. It took less than 3 hours to use the OCR function in Acrobat 8.0 to convert a 780 pages PDF book;
6. Compilation is about 30% slower than my laptop, 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo and 2G of RAM. However, that translate into 15 minutes longer, I do not do this kind of front-to-back compilation everyday;
7. Things I can't do: I can't run video intensive program like the Directv viewer so I can watch the recorded program from my PC. I have no problem doing that from my laptop;
8. Experienced frame dropped when watching US Open from PC;

Given the PC was built in early 2003, I consider it still delivers good performance should I want to use it for "surfing", "surfing" only. Here is something I dont understand, why people upgraded their PC every 3-4 years? What applications you run led you feel your PC was so powerless?

Please share your opinions, thanks.



I do not know what part of the world you are in.

We use computer everyday, and it has to be able to process instructions fast. it just does not make sense that you save a few dollars by not upgrading to a faster pc and ending up paying more later if you weigh in waiting time and electric bills.
October 29, 2009 5:16:26 PM

1 gamers - friend of mine spends more on video cards than i do on everything

2 video editing - it takes up to 4 days for my system to render sony vegas files

3 cad-

4 graphic design- I once waited 2 days for maya to render a graphic just to realize i hadn't even finished it

4 power users - just because I have expression web uploading a web site, media player playing music, ff online for school, and am working with a excel database; does not mean i want the cd i'm ripping in the background to skip.

And every year i find new or better apps to accomplish my needs, hence the need for more power.

October 29, 2009 5:22:23 PM

If I were to just surf the net, and do nothing else, I can assemble a PC today and use it for the next 8 years to surf the net. But apart from surfing, I play games. No matter how much i spend on a PC today, I will be forced to upgrade 12-16 months from now. hence, I upgrade
October 29, 2009 5:36:26 PM

Monitor sizes have been steadily increasing which requires more graphics power to maintain the same frame rates. Graphics cards have been increased in power much faster than CPUs for the past several years. Games have been taking advantage of the rapid increase in graphics power and screen size to the point that many 3-5 year old graphics cards cant run a newer game on a newer monitor.

October 29, 2009 5:57:02 PM

I don't need a reason to upgrade. I upgrade because I can.
October 29, 2009 6:22:56 PM

jjyu2000 said:
I am running XP Pro on a P4-2.66G-3G of RAM-ATI X1650 Pro AGP/512MB PC built 6 years ago. Here is my observation:

1. The speed is fine if I just surf around and there is no other heavy duty applications running;
2. The speed suffered if I surf while backing up my data;
3. No problem to view videos on youtube;
4. CS3 tends to be slow but it works;
5. It took less than 3 hours to use the OCR function in Acrobat 8.0 to convert a 780 pages PDF book;
6. Compilation is about 30% slower than my laptop, 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo and 2G of RAM. However, that translate into 15 minutes longer, I do not do this kind of front-to-back compilation everyday;
7. Things I can't do: I can't run video intensive program like the Directv viewer so I can watch the recorded program from my PC. I have no problem doing that from my laptop;
8. Experienced frame dropped when watching US Open from PC;

Given the PC was built in early 2003, I consider it still delivers good performance should I want to use it for "surfing", "surfing" only. Here is something I dont understand, why people upgraded their PC every 3-4 years? What applications you run led you feel your PC was so powerless?

Please share your opinions, thanks.


My 6 year old daughter had a setup similar to this and always complained about how slow it was. It was slow. I couldn't even stand surfing the net on it. I bought a new computer and gave her a hand me down that is much faster. I think the biggest problem is the 512 KB of memory. The memory was always maxed out. I still have the computer for spare parts.

You seem to be an unusually patient person.

I can easily afford any upgrade, but my wife wants to move to a 5 bedroom upstairs house and around here that's over a mil so I have to save.
October 29, 2009 9:26:46 PM

KidHorn said:
My 6 year old daughter had a setup similar to this and always complained about how slow it was. It was slow. I couldn't even stand surfing the net on it. I bought a new computer and gave her a hand me down that is much faster. I think the biggest problem is the 512 KB of memory. The memory was always maxed out. I still have the computer for spare parts.

You seem to be an unusually patient person.

I can easily afford any upgrade, but my wife wants to move to a 5 bedroom upstairs house and around here that's over a mil so I have to save.


If I have to complain about the slow speed when it comes to surfing, I would say it is the ISP as the bottleneck. Of course with my 6 years OLD setup, watching movie and coding at the same time would take forever, I am not supposed to be distracted anyway. :-) So that wouldn't be a problem.

I forgot to mention I had two 22" LCD attached to it. Regular tasks are fine. Since I have more real estate on the screen, I can't run too many things at the same time. That bugs me.
October 29, 2009 9:30:26 PM

jjyu2000 said:
That bugs me.


...and thats exactly why we upgrade

October 29, 2009 9:33:47 PM

htoonthura said:
I do not know what part of the world you are in.

We use computer everyday, and it has to be able to process instructions fast. it just does not make sense that you save a few dollars by not upgrading to a faster pc and ending up paying more later if you weigh in waiting time and electric bills.


Well, I live inside of eastern standard time zone, so I am among the people who go to work while forks in other time zone are still resting. I really dont know how fast is fast enough when it comes to surfing, or typical tasks. I guess we dont watch video a lot as we open up Excel or Word? Yes, a powerful PC gives you options when you want to do these, and mine has limited my wish list to the minimum.

It really comes down to how to balance the cost and pleasure.

For folks saying you wanted to upgrade because you could, let me tell you this: I own 25 hard disks (working) and have built five PCs in the last 15 years. I know how you feel. I guess you will share my feeling in less than 15 years.
October 29, 2009 9:36:11 PM

xbonez said:
...and thats exactly why we upgrade


I agree! Just like the famous debate on how many cores are enough, my question is how often is enough. You know this commodity is depreciating every week, if not every day.
October 29, 2009 11:01:25 PM

I usually keep my computer around 5 yrs...the only thing I upgrade is the memory. After that I rather have a complete new computer and pass my old rig to the wife. ;-)
November 4, 2009 3:52:18 PM

I usually keep my computer updated for gaming, but there is also the factor of wanting seemless navigation whilst running apps that aren't games.

I very much got a taste to remind me why I upgraded when I started working at my new job: the computers they provide are running hardware that would have been decent 4-5 years ago. Due to this, my computer feels slow, and, well, actually IS. However, this is just a big reminder that I keep my computer up to date because I am a "power user" and generally have 10-20 apps running at a time, often including a game.
November 4, 2009 4:08:25 PM

well as software becomes more demanding, hardware needs to keep ahead of it or we run into ICDTNT(i cant do that new thing), lets see you run vista on your pc ,you will hate you pc after the first minute
November 4, 2009 4:20:10 PM

I like to overhaul every 3-5 years, with minor upgrades--new HDD, GPU, or RAM usually-- in between. However, since I have only recently become computer literate (had friends or, earlier on, my dad build them for me) I find it somewhat difficult to not upgrade; since I'm always reading about the newest and best hardware. For instance, I bought a Radeon 4870 GPU back in August. On my 19inch LCD, it can play, so far as I know, any game on highest settings, so the card suits my needs perfectly. When the new 5870's came out, however, I felt the need to upgrade, since they had double the power that my card had. While I resisted the urge, I did seriously contemplate it for several days. I am still giving serious thought to upgrading my CPU, a Phenom X4 9750@2.4 Ghz, but I think I will wait until AMD's 6 cores for that!
November 5, 2009 1:14:31 PM

@ 1st duke: yeah, no point going for the 5870. not only is it overkill for a 19" LCD, it'll also be severely bottlenecked by your current processor.
November 6, 2009 9:11:14 PM

For those who play games, more frequent upgrade is understandable. However, for the group who basically use PC to surf internet, I really dont see the needs to get a new one every 3-4 years. I have invested money in dual monitors. I think it is very useful. I can have multiple applications on the screen. In my case, I have Excel on one side and firefox on the other..... And these investment definitely can outlast the PC itself.
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