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Pentium sandybridge upgrade ?

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September 7, 2012 3:21:44 PM

Hi guys
i recently upgraded from my trusty lga775 platform ( used a E5700 ) to a pentium G620 on a gigabyte ga-h61ma-d2v mobo with 4gb of xms3 ram.... and just last week i finally bought a 128gb OCZ octane ssd which increased my experience index to 6.4 ( mainly due to the primary hard drive increasing to 7.4 and for some strange reason my ram ( which i never upgraded ) also increased from 5.9 to 7.4 )
so with the lowest base score being the G620 im looking for a sandybridge upgrade to replace it .... however with limited funds its gonna have to be another pentium such as the G840 or G850
however would there be a decent enough improvement when moving from a G620 to a G840/G850.... since it wouldnt be worth it if im not gonna see any improvement ...
ive compared the specs of all the pentiums and apart from the obvious faster clock speeds they are basically the same... theres 3mb smartcache and the onboard intel HD graphics ( which i wont use anyway ) are the same
many guys have recommended a core i3 2100 or 2120 ... however they are slightly over my budget .... and from reviews they are not that much faster than the pentiums
i would "funds allowing " go with a core i5 3450.. not being a overclock makes this a ideal chip... and there no doubt this would significantly improve the overall performance of my pc....
so as things stand would you recommend a faster sandybridge pentium ( G850 ) or instead of upgrading the cpu ( which isnt that bad ) upgrade my 4gb of ram to 8gb... ?
would a 4gb to 8gb ram upgrade be worth it... would i see a increase in performance ... the ram i have selected are the "G.Skill 8GB DDR3 1333MHz RipjawsX Memory"( http://www.ebuyer.com/274057-g-skill-8gb-ddr3-1333mhz-r... ) ... any good
the other and final upgrade option would be to buy a second 128gb ssd and run them in raid 0..... the 128gb ssd i allready have has changed my pc,s performance more than i ever expected... boot times are insane and game load times are so quick....
any advice is much appreciated
cheers guys
a c 152 à CPUs
September 7, 2012 3:32:24 PM

WEI is a joke and doesn't mean anything. When someone is concerned about performance of their computer as a whole I recommend using a good benchmarking software program. The Pentium G's are a great a CPU for the price. They are good for everyday use and they can even game. If you already upgraded from a 775 to a Pentium G I wouldn't do any further upgrades. Keep what you have and wait till haswell comes out next year.



a b à CPUs
September 7, 2012 4:24:44 PM

OK, let me see if I can shed some light on what you want to do.

1) The CPU
Generally speaking, for simply browsing the web, watching movies, and listening to music, and doing 'normal' day-to-day stuff you will not see any improvement by upgrading your CPU from your current G620. It is more than fast enough to handle anything that comes through an internet connection in real time.
If you are going into something heavier, like gaming, or photo/video/audio editing, or other content creation or modification then you will not see a massive improvement unless you start adding cores (clock speed is nice, but for these workloads it is more important to have multi-tasking). This means that an i3 would be a little helpful as it adds hyper threading, making it a fake quad core (some programs do not use HT cores, so it does not help with everything), but really you would want an i5 at this point. An i7 is nice for heavy programs that take advantage of HT (specifically CAD and video editing), but games simply don't use the extra cores, so there would be no point. Again, if not doing gaming or other high end stuff, then the money is best spent elsewhere.
Also, your mobo will run the new Ivy Bridge CPUs just fine, so an i3 or i5 Ivy Bridge would likely be the best way to go. The only catch is that depending on when you purchased the mobo, you may need to update the firmware for things to work 100%.

2) System Memory
System memory will always help to the point where it prevents you from running into virtual memory (using the HDD as Ram, which is why your WEI improved when you moved to the SSD). For win7 64bit you really want a minimum of 4GB of ram in a 2x2GB configuration. For most people (even most gamers) 4GB is enough, and there is little point to adding more except for bragging rights.
That being said, there is one huge advantage to having extra Ram with win7 and even more so with win8: Standby and Precaching. Standby is a feature where once you open a program, the program (not user data) stays in the system memory so long as you have more empty memory to work with. This way, if you need to open the program again, it just reactivates those Ram addresses rather than reading from your HDD or SSD again, which makes things very fast. Precaching takes programs you use a lot, and (when your HDD/SSD is idle) starts preloading them into system memory for you. I have 16GB of ram in my system, and the memory is almost always full of Standby stuff, so it is nice to know that it is always working and taking advantage of what is available. 16GB would probably be overkill for what you are doing (it is overkill for 80% of what I do), but an argument is there for having 8GB in a 2x4GB configuration.
Always have Ram in pairs, and go ahead and get the DDR3 1600 as it is only $1-2 more than 1333. It is not a huge performance boost over 1333, but it is typically better quality, and it is definately worth the few dollars to get it.
Stick with gSkill or Corsair (personally I like corsair better), and stay away from ram with tall heat sinks as it can limit future upgrades (and they don't do anything other than look cool in the first place).

3) Everything else
I assume you are using your old HDD for storage, which is fine, though a newer 2TB drive would be nice (or a 3TB drive, though that would require a Bios update).
Without OCing you do not really need an aftermarket cooler
Check your case for extra spots to put fans, and invest in a decent $20-30 6 port fan controller. I have mine inside of my case as it is kinda ugly and I don't change the settings, but it makes fan management much simpler than trying to use mobo controlls or software like speedfan. Once you have the controller, then start investing in good quality silent fans. I have kinda fallen in love with some of the new Corsair 120mm and 140mm fans as they are pretty quiet at low speeds, and yet push a fair amount of air. For absolute silent oporation I like some of the low RPM fans put out by Enermax. They don't move much air, but if you are not OCing, then you don't need a lot of air. Good quality fans will last you for years (like 15+ years sometimes) if they are not abused, so spend good money for good fans, and expect to move them with you as you move up to bigger and better cases over the years.

Hope that helps
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a b à CPUs
September 7, 2012 4:32:23 PM

rds1220 said:
WEI is a joke and doesn't mean anything. When someone is concerned about performance of their computer as a whole I recommend using a good benchmarking software program. The Pentium G's are a great a CPU for the price. They are good for everyday use and they can even game. If you already upgraded from a 775 to a Pentium G I wouldn't do any further upgrades. Keep what you have and wait till haswell comes out next year.

I completely agree. WEI was created in order to help OEMs like Dell and HP better upsell computers. It is useful in that it lets you know if your hardware is all in the same class (ie, less likely to have bottlenecks), but other than that it is a sales tool for OEMs, it is not a judge on weather or not your computer is all that great.

Case in point; Last year I upgraded from a Core2Duo to my current i7 setup (HUGE upgrade, very happy), while my wife's only upgrade was to an SSD. Her computer got the overall lower WEI score, but her computer would run circles around mine for day-to-day tasks. My computer was big on raw computational power (built for video editing), and got a nice fat WEI, but for simple stuff it was very slow.

Upgrading a computer is all about having enough CPU and GPU strength to do what needs to be done, and then upgrading your other parts so that you minimize bottlenecks. A low score does not mean a bad computer, and a high score does not mean that it is going to do what you want it to. Have a goal of what you want to accomplish, and then build around that, not around a marketing ploy.
September 7, 2012 4:37:26 PM

The guys above already said pretty much everything about it. Going from G6xx to a G8xx would be such a marginal upgrade that you'll hate yourself for investing in it. Going for an i3 would be somewhat more noticeable but still not worth the investment.

That being said, I saw the RAM you linked, 1333mhz... I think I remember reading somewhere that the G620 supported up to 1066mhz. I don't even know if that would be a problem or not. Someone here will probably be able to answer that as I know next to nothing about memory controllers.
September 7, 2012 4:54:03 PM

thanks mate
im on many forums,however this is probally the best and most indepth answer ive ever received so many thanks for your time
i shall leave any cpu upgrade for now,and since a second ssd in raid 0 would require a windows reinstallation i think i will go down the memory upgrade path... and the G SKILL pair look good,however im like you when it comes to corsair.. on my old lga775 pc i used XMS2 which is still the best ddr2 ram on the market .....
i think i was opting for the gskill because of the cool heatspreaders... however for stability the corsair xms3 is hard to beat ... costs around £5 more but i think thats worth it
i am using my old sata HDD for storage ... however its only a 300gb sata II which i partitioned into 2 .... that said im not a crazy downloader and dont use torrents so that should do....
finally a quick question on ram... my gigabyte ga-h61ma-d2v only supports up to 1333mhz ram .... so i cant use 1600mhz ram.. so a new mobo may be worth considering .....

anyway many thanks mate... awesome reply
September 7, 2012 5:18:33 PM

Well no... as I said if the G620 only supports up to 1066mhz, it won't use the extra frequency of the 1333, and even less the 1600.

Even if you were to switch to an i3 which would support 1600mhz and swap your motherboard to one that supports it as well, the increase in performance from upgrading to 1600mhz would be rather marginal.
a b à CPUs
September 7, 2012 5:27:29 PM

according to gigabyte's website your mobo does not allow for RAID, so RAID 0 is out of the question unless you are going to invest in a RAID card as well, which can have it's own issues when dealing with boot times, BIOS compatibility, drive compatibility, etc.

DDR3 is DDR3 no matter the speed rating. If you get 1600 and the board only does 1333 then it will simply run your ram at that slower speed. The thought is that 1155 is at the end of it's life-cycle with Haswell coming out next year. Haswell will also run on DDR3 because DDR4 will not be available until the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2014.

So the thought is:
1) you are not happy with the performance of your CPU, so you need a new CPU
2) you want to do RAID which your rig currently cannot do naively, so you need a new mobo
3) you are running SSD (and want to run multiple SSDs), which are being held back by your SATA2 ports, so you need a new mobo
4) a G series Pentium (or even an i3) will not take appropriate advantage of RAIDed SSDs, so you need to up your sights to an i5 anyways
5) You do not have the money for both a CPU and mobo today, so buy the faster 1600 Ram today, then save your pennies for Haswell next Spring/Summer, and then get the mobo and CPU you want, and then move the ram over to the new system (allong with all your other parts.

So you would be looking at ~$75-100 for a good quality motherboard, and then $130-180 for an i5 processor some 7-10 months from now.


Lastly, HDD speed is now based mostly on arial density instead of spindle speed (which is really wierd to me because that was not the case for most of my life). The thought is that if you want your media drive to be faster then you would upgrade to a larger HDD because they are simply faster than smaller HDDs regarless of spindle speed (though seek time is still limited by spindle RPM, but you don't need fast seek time for media playback). But if you are happy with your current HDD then that is fine. It will likely last for quite a few years yet anyways.
September 7, 2012 7:23:51 PM

thanks mate
as i mentioned i appreciate the time you took to answer my question... so it looks like the ram upgrade is the best option .... my boards memory specs are as follows :

GA-H61MA-D2V

2 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory
* Due to Windows 32-bit operating system limitation, when more than 4 GB of physical memory is installed, the actual memory size displayed will be less than 4 GB.
Dual channel memory architecture
Support for DDR3 1333/1066/800 MHz memory modules
Support for non-ECC memory modules

as you see it will only support 1333mhz modules which i currently have . ( and they are running at that speed .. checked cpu-z )
that said since i came from using ddr2(800mhz ) ram the 1333mhz ram is still signficantly better ......

ive narrowed the choice to 3 kits ...

1) Corsair XMS3 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-10666C9 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit ( http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/... )

2) 8GB Mushkin Enhanced Silverline #996770 (2x4GB) 1333 (PC3-10666) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM CAS 9-9-9-24 1.5V ( http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Memory+-+RAM/... )

3) GeiL Enhance CORSA 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 PC3-10666MHz 1333MHz Dual Channel Kit ( http://www.aria.co.uk/SuperSpecials/Other+products/GeiL... )

if it were you which would you buy ?

cheers
a b à CPUs
September 8, 2012 1:29:33 AM

I would only ever buy Corsair, and (if on a good sale) gSkill
!