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Upgrade for SSD

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March 27, 2012 8:25:12 PM

I've been thinking about upgrading my rig for a while. It just seems sluggish. I don't game much (CIV V, AoE III), but I do heavy multitasking with browsers (3 browsers, 6 tabs each), plus MS Office/dual screens simultaneously. Plus it gets noisy from the fans running due to heat.

I snagged a Crucial m4 128GB on sale to speed things up. I'm wondering if it's worth looking at a CPU/Motherboard update too.

Current:
Core2 Quad Q6700
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX
6GB DDR2-800
1GB Sapphire HD4670
160GB SATA2 & 250GB SATA2 & 750GB HDDS

Goals:
Improve responsiveness/overall performance
Reduce heat (and thus noise)
Reduce energy use

I was thinking I could eliminate the two smaller hard drive and have just the SSD and the 750GB drive. Is it worth it to upgrade the CPU/Motherboard/memory? If so, could I get some suggestions? I don't want to spend more that $250-300. 8GB DDR3 memory kits can be had for $50, so that leave $200-250 for a motherboard/cpu combo.

Any thoughts?

More about : upgrade ssd

March 27, 2012 10:13:45 PM

singingigo said:
I've been thinking about upgrading my rig for a while. It just seems sluggish. I don't game much (CIV V, AoE III), but I do heavy multitasking with browsers (3 browsers, 6 tabs each), plus MS Office/dual screens simultaneously. Plus it gets noisy from the fans running due to heat.

I snagged a Crucial m4 128GB on sale to speed things up. I'm wondering if it's worth looking at a CPU/Motherboard update too.

Current:
Core2 Quad Q6700
GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX
6GB DDR2-800
1GB Sapphire HD4670
160GB SATA2 & 250GB SATA2 & 750GB HDDS

Goals:
Improve responsiveness/overall performance
Reduce heat (and thus noise)
Reduce energy use

I was thinking I could eliminate the two smaller hard drive and have just the SSD and the 750GB drive. Is it worth it to upgrade the CPU/Motherboard/memory? If so, could I get some suggestions? I don't want to spend more that $250-300. 8GB DDR3 memory kits can be had for $50, so that leave $200-250 for a motherboard/cpu combo.

Any thoughts?

I'd save a little more and go with these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... = $110.00
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... = $220.00
Trust me. It's the way to go. Good luck with your upgrade.
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March 27, 2012 10:18:58 PM

Yeah, I'd go i5 too if you could save for it, but if you want/need something now, the 2120 is the way to go on a Z68 for 'future-ability'
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March 28, 2012 3:12:23 AM

A few follow up questions...

1. So nobody recommends the AMD route? The A8-3870k can be had in a combo for ~$200-220.

Going by PassMark averages, the Q6700 rates around 3300, the i3-2120 rates around 4000, and the a8-3870 goes around 4900.

I'm unlikely to upgrade just the cpu unless it's dirt cheap. I'm also not going to be overclocking...would that change any of the recommendations? I notice the Z68 is recommended by a couple of you. Any particular reason by that chipset is better?

2. Given that I work on computers 12 hours per day, I will notice most performance increases (ie swapping in a 750GB hard drive for a 250 GB...I notice the responsiveness increase). How noticeable an increase will an i3-2100 (or 2120) be over a Q6700?

3. Given that I am a heavy multitasker, will I notice a drop-off going from 4 cores to 2? (Windows 7 x64)? Or will the extra memory and core efficiency overcome the loss of cores?

4. On the noise/heat issue: i3 vs i5 vs Q6700 vs AMD A8. Any reason to prefer one over the other?

Thanks for the input!
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Anonymous
March 28, 2012 3:24:39 AM

singingigo said:
A few follow up questions...

1. So nobody recommends the AMD route? The A8-3870k can be had in a combo for ~$200-220.
Going by PassMark averages, the Q6700 rates around 3300, the i3-2120 rates around 4000, and the a8-3870 goes around 4900.
I'm unlikely to upgrade just the cpu unless it's dirt cheap. I'm also not going to be overclocking...would that change any of the recommendations? I notice the Z68 is recommended by a couple of you. Any particular reason by that chipset is better?
2. Given that I work on computers 12 hours per day, I will notice most performance increases (ie swapping in a 750GB hard drive for a 250 GB...I notice the responsiveness increase). How noticeable an increase will an i3-2100 (or 2120) be over a Q6700?
3. Given that I am a heavy multitasker, will I notice a drop-off going from 4 cores to 2? (Windows 7 x64)? Or will the extra memory and core efficiency overcome the loss of cores?
4. On the noise/heat issue: i3 vs i5 vs Q6700 vs AMD A8. Any reason to prefer one over the other?

Thanks for the input!


howdy,
pasmark is horrible :p 
nobody goes with AMD unless they like power hungry underperformers. (oh hate me AMD fanboys!)
since you want to upgrade for an SSD the Z68 is the way to go. for a set it and forget it configuration, think about the SSD caching you get with that. :)  however putting a complete OS and a few prgrams is better if you can use a platter for some size management.

if you really are heavy into multitasking, the i3 would be ok but the quad core i5 would be better. though i am surprised how well my i3 performs compared to the q6600 i had; it surpasses it in encoding for DVDs. (that prolly has to do with the memory and cache of the sata III drive too though.) but i have yet to edit 25 html documents in dreamweaver as i had before.

noise and heat defiantly favor the sandy bridge processors!

hope this helps.

edited for clarification :) 
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March 28, 2012 1:45:13 PM

Anonymous said:
howdy,
pasmark is horrible :p 
nobody goes with AMD unless they like power hungry underperformers. (oh hate me AMD fanboys!)
since you want to upgrade for an SSD the Z68 is the way to go. for a set it and forget it configuration, think about the SSD caching you get with that. :)  however putting a complete OS and a few prgrams is better if you can use a platter for some size management.

if you really are heavy into multitasking, the i3 would be ok but the quad core i5 would be better. though i am surprised how well my i3 performs compared to the q6600 i had; it surpasses it in encoding for DVDs. (that prolly has to do with the memory and cache of the sata III drive too though.) but i have yet to edit 25 html documents in dreamweaver as i had before.

noise and heat defiantly favor the sandy bridge processors!

hope this helps.

edited for clarification :) 


Thanks for the informative reply. Passmark is useful for a general comparison and an overall average. I checked benchmarks on other sites, and they seem to bear that out.

That said, thanks for clearly articulating on the Z68. I think I have some decisions to make...I'm not going to be able to get an i5 and a Z68 board for less that $300. Add the memory and I'm looking at $350-400. More than I really want to spend. Perhaps I can find a way to dump my current board, memory & cpu for some $$$...

Question on the SSD caching: Would it be preferable to set up the Crucial m4 128GB as a caching drive? Or as the main system drive...I do have a ton of music and pictures I would be storing on the 750GB drive. My current boot partition with Win 7, Office 2007, Adobe Web CS4, Steam w/2 games and my other assorted programs is around 80 GB.
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Anonymous
March 29, 2012 12:29:13 AM

singingigo said:
Thanks for the informative reply. Passmark is useful for a general comparison and an overall average. I checked benchmarks on other sites, and they seem to bear that out.

That said, thanks for clearly articulating on the Z68. I think I have some decisions to make...I'm not going to be able to get an i5 and a Z68 board for less that $300. Add the memory and I'm looking at $350-400. More than I really want to spend. Perhaps I can find a way to dump my current board, memory & cpu for some $$$...

Question on the SSD caching: Would it be preferable to set up the Crucial m4 128GB as a caching drive? Or as the main system drive...I do have a ton of music and pictures I would be storing on the 750GB drive. My current boot partition with Win 7, Office 2007, Adobe Web CS4, Steam w/2 games and my other assorted programs is around 80 GB.

yeah i agree that passmark can be used as a relative bench for other systems using it. i've done it myself but i prefer head to head benchmarks with all other components being equal.

since you have a 128Gb SSD it would be better set us it for an OS/program drive. that would give you better performance than setting it up as a cache; which limited to 64Gbs anyhow.

now an i3 would give you comparable performance to your C2Q but an i5 would give you better. while you are upgrading your system, it might as well be an upgrade by scraping up another $52 and getting an i5-2300 for $180.

here a few things:

ASRock Z68 PRO3 GEN3 $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz $127.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz $179.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

the Z68 and i5 is only $35 above your budget of $250 :) 
EDIT:
but a final thought: if you can't do it now without hurting yourself but might be able to in the future. get the i3 and start saving your spare change to upgrade to something MUCH better.
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March 30, 2012 3:22:04 AM

Best answer selected by singingigo.
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