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New processor slower than old one?

Last response: in Systems
October 4, 2010 8:54:53 PM

Hey everyone. I just upgraded some parts to my 4yr old desktop system yesterday, namely the motherboard, CPU and RAM. My old PC had a Pentium 4 with 2g of RAM and an ATI Radeon X1300. I upgraded to a Pentium i3 550 with 4g of RAM on an Intel motherboard. I also had to buy a new DVD writer, since my old one wasn't SATA compatible. I haven't bought a new HD (I have a 500g with 2 partitions and an external HD right now) and a new video card yet, because I wanted to see how the onboard graphics would do first.

I'll say, so far I am disappointed and at a loss. I had to reinstall Windows Vista 32, and I haven't reinstalled any programs aside from a couple of drivers, and my system seems to run very slow. Slower than it used to, in fact. I am trying to figure out where I need to start to increase performance. I updated the graphics drivers. I haven't flashed the BIOS because I've never done that before, and I wasn't sure if it was necessary. What to do next?

- Reinstall Windows (I didn't format the partition last time, so it kept my old files as Windows.old)?
- Get Vista 64 bit and format HD partition and install that?
- Get Windows 7?
- Get a new hard drive?
- Get a new video card?
- Put in the old video card??

I'm just trying to figure out where to start. I was going to upgrade the HD and GPU eventually anyway, but I wasn't wanting to do it today if not absolutely necessary. I just don't really understand what is slowing my system down so much.

Thanks a lot for any input! Much appreciated.

More about : processor slower

October 4, 2010 9:13:48 PM

The first thing I'd ask is did you get Vista upgraded to SP1? If you haven't, you might want to let it upgrade and install that - because that fixed a LOT of Vista's problems (Vista is/was a memory hog and 4gb is "almost" not enough for even just Vista to run on). If you have already (or it came with your Vists install DVD) - then if you can - upgrade to Windows 7 64-bit.

Also - what exact Mobo do you have (Intel _______)? Does it have an on-board graphics card (which will share a hunk of your memory - leaving less for Vista)?
October 4, 2010 9:26:55 PM

i have to agree with wolf on this one. Win 7 uses much less memory than vista and having a GPU does help with windows mobility in your RAM bacaus it can off load depending on your GPU memory 512MB-2GB of the video memory that is DDR5 on newer video cards instead of DDR2 or DDR3 depending on mobo (also another important reason to put spcifics on components posted)
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 4, 2010 9:45:59 PM

I think there's more going on here than just the OS, though that may well be part of the problem.

Please provide your full system specs including mobo make/model, hard disk (IDE/SATA, if IDE-to-SATA adapter was used), and verifying that the cpu is an i3 550.

Also please tell us what you see that makes you say ". . . my system seems to run very slow".

Would like to get you an answer - your system should be faster - but I'd rather not speculate.
October 4, 2010 9:57:57 PM

One thing I noticed is that you just reinstalled windows, not reformatted the drive and then installed it. An extremely fragmented hard drive could be cause. You might want to try defragging your hard drive and see if that helps.
October 4, 2010 10:04:18 PM

Thanks so much for all the fast replies. Vista has been doing a lot of updating ever since I installed it, and it looks like it isn't done yet, either.

I suppose what I mean by "slow" is that it has a hard time installing updates/programs, it takes longer than it should to browse through windows explorer, load pictures etc. Basic windows tasks, really. I haven't even installed any games or picture editing software yet, so I am not sure how it does on that.

These are some of the system specs right off System Information.

OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium
Version 6.0.6000 Build 6000
System Manufacturer INTEL_
System Model DH55HC__
System Type X86-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 550 @ 3.20GHz, 3192 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Intel Corp. TCIBX10H.86A.0027.2009.1119.1517, 11/19/2009
SMBIOS Version 2.6
Total Physical Memory 3,252.51 MB
Available Physical Memory 2.03 GB
Total Virtual Memory 6.53 GB
Available Virtual Memory 5.40 GB

The hard drive is a WDC WD5000YS-01MPB0 ATA Device. It's a couple years old.

Name Intel(R) HD Graphics
Adapter Type Intel(R) HD Graphics (Core i3), Intel Corporation compatible
Adapter RAM 1.37 GB (1,470,785,536 bytes)
Resolution 1680 x 1050 x 59 hertz
Driver c:\windows\system32\drivers\igdkmd32.sys (, 8.61 MB (9,024,512 bytes), 8/25/2010 12:31 PM)

I really appreciate all of your responses, thanks so much.
October 4, 2010 10:06:01 PM

So I reckon getting the 64bit version of Vista DVD sent to me for $9.99 by Microsoft isn't going to be much use, I should just get Windows 7 if I'm going to bother with that at all?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 4, 2010 10:35:25 PM

OK, the cpu (i3 550, 2 cores, 4 threads) and memory (3.2GB total, 2.0GB free) are correct, and you are using the cpu's graphics.

I'd appreciate these 5 items for each disk/drive shown in these System Information tabs:

- Components/storage/disks: Manufacturer & Model for each disk listed

- Components/storage/drives: Drive (letter), File System, Size (GB), Free Space (GB) for each drive listed

In the interim, continue applying Windows updates. But hold back on doing too much more because we may want to wipe and start again.
October 4, 2010 10:43:41 PM

Right now I don't have my external HD hooked up, only the internal HD with the two partitions, C: and D:. Windows is installed on C: and I did not format either partition prior to reinstalling Vista. I'm sure that was a mistake, but I was feeling lazy and overprotective over my files :( 


Drive C:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 244.14 GB (262,143,995,904 bytes)
Free Space 128.32 GB (137,787,543,552 bytes)
Volume Name
Volume Serial Number DCFF07C0

Drive D:
Description Local Fixed Disk
Compressed No
File System NTFS
Size 221.62 GB (237,961,736,192 bytes)
Free Space 180.40 GB (193,702,936,576 bytes)
Volume Name
Volume Serial Number 3C06A87A

Drive E:
Description CD-ROM Disc


Description Disk drive
Manufacturer (Standard disk drives)
Model WDC WD5000YS-01MPB0 ATA Device
Bytes/Sector 512
Media Loaded Yes
Media Type Fixed hard disk
Partitions 2
SCSI Bus 0
SCSI Logical Unit 0
SCSI Port 4
SCSI Target ID 0
Sectors/Track 63
Size 465.76 GB (500,105,249,280 bytes)
Total Cylinders 60,801
Total Sectors 976,768,065
Total Tracks 15,504,255
Tracks/Cylinder 255
Partition Disk #0, Partition #0
Partition Size 244.14 GB (262,144,000,000 bytes)
Partition Starting Offset 1,048,576 bytes
Partition Disk #0, Partition #1
Partition Size 221.62 GB (237,961,740,288 bytes)
Partition Starting Offset 262,145,048,576 bytes

a b B Homebuilt system
October 4, 2010 11:06:16 PM

All the disk parameters look fine - no file system or free space issue pops out.

So, if the system is slow we come back to chip set drivers and the OS installation as the most likely culprits.

Really need to know your motherboard make and model - if you don't know it, please download CPUID's CPU-z and run it, and provide (from the Mainboard tab, Motherboard section) manufacturer and Model.

Do you have the driver disk that came with that motherboard?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2010 7:33:10 AM

I'd like to chime in on one thing. Someone had previously said 4 GB is barely enough for Vista. This is completely untrue.

4 GB is plenty for Vista
October 5, 2010 1:21:03 PM

Oh I'm sorry, I thought I had posted it. It's an Intel motherboard, model DH55HC.
October 5, 2010 1:21:55 PM

I used to run Vista on 2GB with my old processor and had very little problems. I figured 4GB would be a good start for right now.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2010 5:29:19 PM

I would re-install the chipset drivers using the latest releases found here:

Nine downloads will appear after you select your OS and select "Drivers". The top 5, marked "Latest" should be installed.

If that doesn't help, I'd do a fresh install of the OS, and update the same 5 drivers after you are done.

As for replacing the disk, the system should be faster than your old one using the same disk. But if you are reinstalling windows, this might be a good time to do both and avoid doing it yet again.

If using a new disk, a fresh install on an unpartitioned new drive is best for you, and - after you are done - re-installing your old drive (to become D & E) would be right.

If you decide to install a new disk, the ones we are currently recommending for speed and value are the 500GB and 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3s. The little guy is linked here:

If you decide to upgrade your OS, Win7 64-bit would be the right choice.
October 5, 2010 7:49:43 PM

Thank you so much. I am installing Vista SP1 right now and I have updated all my latest chipset drivers. I'm going to see how everything does afterwards. By the way, do you recommend SP2 as well?

The HD you linked looks like a decent deal, Twoboxer. Thank you. I think I might get that. As for Windows 7, I am seriously considering getting it and installing it the way you suggested (on a brand new unpartitioned disk). However, I was just going to buy the Windows 7 update and update my 32bit Vista to a 64 bit Windows 7. I suppose for that to happen I would first have to install Vista to the new HD, correct?

Thanks again! :]
a b B Homebuilt system
October 5, 2010 10:25:44 PM

Yes, you would. But no, you should consider the alternative. Instead of installing again and upgrading after buying this for $110:

Buy this for $100:

You don't get to call Microsoft for support - have you ever done that? If so, maybe buy the upgrade if your original Windows disk was a "full" version, entitling you to support. Otherwise, buy the full OEM version, you are now your own OS support Team ( a promotion), and save time and money.

YW :) 
October 6, 2010 7:11:51 PM

I ended up ordering the 500GB Samsung and an OEM version of Windows 7 64bit. Hopefully that will fix some of the slowness, because I'm afraid it's still there.
October 6, 2010 8:26:10 PM

I guess next step would be a new GPU, lol. Why does this seem like a neverending story ;)  What was I thinking.
October 6, 2010 9:11:01 PM

Speaking of GPU, I was considering getting a Radeon 5770 for right now. However, Newegg confuses me a bit with its assortment of 5770's. I can't quite tell the difference, let alone which one would be best to get. Also, is it better to get an OC'ed card or not? Some said they were overclocked...
October 6, 2010 10:55:41 PM

I have a 550W power supply right now.
a b B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2010 2:41:55 AM

At $120 after MIR, its hard to ignore this 5770:

It blows hot air out of the case, but apparently the heat shroud is a tiny bit too big and touches a any card in a third slot. Not an insurmountable problem (piece of cardboard), and if you have nothing else in your case its irrelevant.

Other than that you can choose by warranty or by color if you like:

Neither card makes a 100% effort to get hot air out of the case. The Sapphire looks like it will do it more quietly. The XFX has a double lifetime warranty, the Sapphire 2 years . . . which can be a lifetime in the tech business. IE, the warranty may not be worth as much as it seems at first.

Any of these will work fine - nothing you've said indicates you need or want an OC'd card.
October 7, 2010 5:39:36 PM

Yeah I mostly play older games, like Guild Wars and the Sims 2 (don't laugh). However, I do enjoy WoW and I'm thinking about trying the new Final Fantasy MMO which recommends a GTX 460 I believe. So I'd like something that can handle games at a decent setting, without having to spend $300. The 5770 seemed like a good choice. I think I like the third card Twoboxer posted. Thank you!

I used to know more about case cooling, when I was still married to a tech geek a few years ago. Right now I just have 4 fans in my case, plus the CPU fan, and that's it. One of them seems a bit loud too. I have no other PCI cards plugged in at this time, and the only thing I am considering is putting in my old sound card and getting a Firewire PCI card. Then again, all this Crossfire/SLI talk has my interest caught too, so maybe I should be worried about heat issues?
a b B Homebuilt system
October 7, 2010 5:49:03 PM

sound cards aren't necessary anymore: onboard sound is just fine for all but the sharpest of audiophile ears.

(most onboard sound handles 5.1 surround sound nowadays, if not 7.1 or 8.1! Overkill for my preferred 2 speakers and a subwoofer)
October 7, 2010 6:04:43 PM

I guess I can just retire it then :)  You're right, I really haven't had any issues with the onboard sound of this new setup.
November 2, 2011 10:48:10 PM

Maybe u have a virus, i would format completely and reinstall Windows 7 or XP, If this works install a good antivirus (ESET) to keep it that way. Throw away Vista! if still slow.Try a new GPU (preferred Nvidia), New SATA HHD (Seagate,Western Digital), New motherboard (Gigabyte, ASUS, MSI), Or good brand RAM (Kingston,Cosair,SuperTalent,Transend,SiliconPower,OCZ,GSkill).