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New build for maximum Windows performance

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June 5, 2011 1:33:40 PM

I'm researching a build that would allow nearly lightning speed of switching between Windows 7 user ID's and also allow me to stay logged in multiple users at the same time without sacrificing performance. What would be the components in order of importance for this purpose? Like 1. CPU; 2. RAM; 3. SSD?

Also I would appreciate specific recommendations for components. I'm only looking to upgrade CPU, Mobo, RAM and HDD (SSD). Budget is $500-1000. Basicaly, looking to spend only as much as it is necessary to make Windows lightning fast.

I'm currently using a 2007-2008 system that loads and switches between users very slowly:

Computer: HP-Pavilion GG755AV-ABA m8100y
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 (Conroe-4M, G0)
2333 MHz (7.00x333.3) @ 2327 MHz (7.00x332.5)
Motherboard: ASUS Berkeley
Chipset: Intel G33 (Bearlake-G) + ICH9R
Memory: 4096 MBytes @ 332 MHz, 5.0-5-5-15
- 1024 MB PC5300 DDR2-SDRAM - Samsung M3 78T2953EZ3-CE6
- 1024 MB PC5300 DDR2-SDRAM - Samsung M3 78T2953EZ3-CE6
- 1024 MB PC5300 DDR2-SDRAM - Micron Tech. 16HTF12864AY-667F1
- 1024 MB PC5300 DDR2-SDRAM - Micron Tech. 16HTF12864AY-667F1
Graphics: MSI R5770 (MS-V214)
ATI RADEON HD 5770 (JUNIPER XT), 1024 MB GDDR5 SDRAM
Drive: WDC WD2500JS-60NCB2, 244.2 GB, Serial ATA 3Gb/s
Drive: ST31000528AS, 976.8 GB, Serial ATA 3Gb/s
Drive: ATAPI DVD A DH16A1L, DVD+R DL
Sound: Intel 82801IB ICH9 - High Definition Audio [A2]
Sound: ATI Juniper - High Definition Audio Controller
Network: VirtualBox Host-Only Ethernet Adapter
Network: Intel(R) 82566DC-2 Gigabit Network Connection

June 5, 2011 3:59:36 PM

I don't see why you'll need to upgrade your current system just for the sake of high Windows experience index. The system is above the recommended requirement, specifically: the 4GB RAM, HD5770 discrete graphic and Core2Duo CPU.

The OS drive, however, will need an upgrade. I don't use SSD myself, but I checked around, you can get a 32GB Corsair Nova Series SSD for $85, just for the OS. Then see if it helps speed up the OS.

But if after using an SSD, you found out that the old Intel platform itself is causing the slow performance, then consider the new Sandy Bridge platform. The new $120 i3 2100 with a $60 ASRock H61M-U3S3 H61 motherboard (USB3.0 + SATA III) and a $55 TEAM Elite 4GB DDR3 RAM in Dual Channel (2x2GB) should be more than enough for your needs. You can keep the graphic card, it's already fine.

Get components (motherboard and RAM module) from more reputable brands if you're not sure with the quality of the ones I recommend. With similar or better features of course, yet higher price. :p 

Good luck! :D 
June 5, 2011 10:29:39 PM

He isn't seeking a higher WEI, he's asking what he needs to be able to have multiple accounts that can switch back and forth quickly. An SSD for the OS drive should do the trick, considering you're at 4 GB of RAM.
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June 5, 2011 10:37:32 PM

Also for an OS drive I recommend 64 GB+ Windows 7 64 bit uses about 25GB when it's loaded with all the basic things you'll want on the SSD
June 5, 2011 10:49:21 PM

^+1, maybe no need for a new system though

You can get an SSD (and probabaly a copy of windows as your hp disks may not install on it) and you should be good to go.

The better question is why are you frequently switching between users, and what applications are you running in each users space.

Best solution

June 5, 2011 10:58:35 PM
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1) You must have enough ram to be able to keep all of your active tasks in ram without paging.
Ram is cheap, get 8gb. Should be about $75. If your apps are many and large, it does not cost much more to go to 16gb, but I would try 8gb (2 x 4gb) first.

2) Get a quality SSD for the os and apps. It WILL make a difference. Plan on spending $2 per gb. I think I would go with the Intel 320 120gb drive.
No real need for the newest 6gb drives, you will not notice the difference. Get a larger ssd instead.

Keep your sata drives for storage and backup.

3) With your budget, look at a Intel 2500K cpu and a P67 or Z68 based motherboard. Together, they should be about $350.
The "K" lets you overclock, so look into an aftermarket cooler that fits your case. It will let your cpu run cooler and quieter. It will let you OC easier and higher. 4.0 should be no problem.

4) Reuse some of your parts. Keep the 5770. You might get something stronger only for fast action gaming.
If the psu is ok now, it should be ok for a sandy build. It is an unknown quality, and if you have some doubts, $75 will get you a good unit from Seasonic, Corsair, XFX, Antec, or PC P&C to name a few top brands.
Reuse the dvd burner. You may need to get a windows-7 license, I don't think the OEM HP license will be easy to reuse.
The case many or may not be reusablle. Take this as an opportunity to splurge on a case that really appeals to you.

5) If you are doing lots of multitasking, consider getting a second monitor. It makes it much easier.
June 5, 2011 11:05:20 PM

^ I think that's a bit much. I'd start with a good SSD and see if that meets your needs, if you need more come back and we'll look again.
June 6, 2011 3:04:59 AM

Very helpful responses, guys. Much appreciated <3
June 6, 2011 7:49:14 AM

Best answer selected by stepit.
!