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More of a general question ... general vs. gaming pc

Last response: in Systems
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July 5, 2012 10:51:47 PM

I looking at a replacement for a 2005 PC with an AMD Athlon 64 3500+ CPU, ATI Radeon XPress 200 IGP, 7200 RPM SATA HD, 2GB RAM and WinXP. I use the PC for web browsing, streaming video, mp3 music (listening and ripping), Excel ... but not gaming.

I'm looking for a PC that feels a lot faster with Win7, maybe 4-5 times faster and not seeing 100% CPU usage in Task Manager when I move from one page in this forum to the next (for example) that makes it seem like the PC is locked up. I also want to move up to a 23"-24" HD screen at high resolution.

My questions ...

> What sort of CPU would make sense to get to be much faster ... A Celeron dual core, Pentium, Core I3 ... maybe more. I'm trying to meet the need without going broke. I'm getting that gaming is less CPU and more GPU, is non-gaming the opposite?

> Is there a significant gain in a general use PC when you add a GPU or is integrated graphics enough to be fast (it is all I have now and 7 years old at that)?

> Would an SSD make a difference in a PC like this ... say 60GB for the OS?

At this point I'm trying to come to terms with the general idea of an appropriate combination of CPU, GPU (optional) and SSD (optional) to get something that doesn't suck for the near future (5 yrs or so). From there I think all the build examples would make sense to me!

Thank in advance for input ...
a b à CPUs
July 5, 2012 10:57:44 PM

If you don't play games, the Pentium G series CPU would do just fine...

No need for a GPU, integrated graphics is fine.

SSD would be overkill, save your money there...
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July 5, 2012 11:01:26 PM

What would help more is to fill out the sticky at the top of the new build forum on how to ask for advice.

If we knew your budget, purpose and any components that could carry over, we would be able to help much better.
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July 5, 2012 11:13:30 PM

An SSD is the one thing that will make your computer *feel* faster. A fast CPU will be hamstrung by slow (comparatively) mechanical hard drives. I put an SSD in a Atom N270 netbook and it was usable.

A new CPU will make your computer actually faster and just about any modern, multi core processor will make your computer feel faster but a new CPU in combination with an SSD will be a revelation.
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July 7, 2012 6:54:09 PM

cranked said:
What would help more is to fill out the sticky at the top of the new build forum on how to ask for advice.

If we knew your budget, purpose and any components that could carry over, we would be able to help much better.


Approximate Purchase Date: Next 30 days

Budget Range: Whatever it costs for the PC that meets the need

System Usage from Most to Least Important: web browsing, streaming video, mp3 music (listening and ripping), Excel

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any reputable, can go to MicroCenter at the beginning of August

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: quality parts, no interest in getting to know customer support

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: HD (1920x1080?) on a 23-24" monitor that will be bought too

Additional Comments: The goal is to build a PC that is upgradeable that is at least 2-4 times "faster" than what I have now.
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July 7, 2012 7:00:25 PM

Because it is so damn hot out I've been surfing to get the answer I'm after but really have not had success. It seems like getting a new PC that is 2-4 times better than what I have starts with benchmarking what I have. My PC has a Sandra score of 0.71kPt, a NoveBench score of 225 and a Geekbench score of 1737.

The Geekbench site tells me that a PC with twice the score is twice as fast. Based on this A PC running a A6-3500, Athlon II X2 250 or Celeron G530 would be twice as fast ... and all these CPUs seem like they should be way better than that.

The goal is to get a new PC for the least possible spend that is significantly better than what I have now. If I replace my current box and it isn't much better that would be pretty sad.

JimR
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a b à CPUs
July 7, 2012 7:01:09 PM

If you can go to Microcenter, get the Phenom II x4 combo. You get a Phenom II x4, and free mATX motherboard. However, the integrated graphics on it are bad. You can get a cheap $20 PCIE card and it should be no problem.
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July 7, 2012 8:14:29 PM

obsama1 said:
If you can go to Microcenter, get the Phenom II x4 combo. You get a Phenom II x4, and free mATX motherboard. However, the integrated graphics on it are bad. You can get a cheap $20 PCIE card and it should be no problem.


Is there someplace I could get a sense of how much "faster" this CPU/MOBO would run compared to what I currently have? I assume it has to be faster but if I knew that a CPU/MOBO/GPU costing less than $100 would be ten times better than what I have I would jump.

The other I don't get is a sense of what I would get for even more of a spend. If I knew that $100 combo would be 3 times faster (nice) but a $150 combo would be 15 (awesome) I would put down the extra $50 in a blink.

With all the builds I'm reading there is no cluse on how these combinations perform. Only that spending more gets more (the builds show that) but not a whole lot more.

I should be embarrassed to confess this here but at the end of the day I'm looking for a little fun building a PC and no misery after ... no tweaking, RMAs, continous upgrades or the like ... just 6 years of use with no fuss.

I won't be the cool kid on the block (site) ... a man's got to know his limits afterall!
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a b à CPUs
July 7, 2012 8:37:34 PM

You can get an Intel i5 2500K + mobo for $220, and the integrated graphics will be good for web browsing, and late on, you can add a GPU. It will be a lot faster than what you currently have. About 10-11x faster.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

i5-2500K--6738 score
Athlon 64 3500+--562

It's a lot faster.
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July 7, 2012 11:51:31 PM

obsama1 said:
You can get an Intel i5 2500K + mobo for $220, and the integrated graphics will be good for web browsing, and late on, you can add a GPU. It will be a lot faster than what you currently have. About 10-11x faster.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

i5-2500K--6738 score
Athlon 64 3500+--562

It's a lot faster.


I started down the path of trying to understand how to use the Passmark CPU scores (which are the same numbers 'ish) to estimate how much faster a PC with a new CPU would be compared to what I have. Folks here said the numbers are useless ... you are saying they are good ballpark preditors.

The Geekbench website (where I could test my PC) suggests if I had a PC with a I5-2300 CPU it would about four times faster ... although with everything else new there would be across the board improvement.

So I think it really comes down to this ... if I am looking for a new PC at least four times faster than my 2005 Athlon 64 3500+ CPU do I build a PC with a Celeron G530 CPU or a I5-2500K CPU?

Everything else will be the same no matter what.
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July 8, 2012 1:19:14 AM

The Celereon G530 is a bit weak, but it is faster. I think if you get a Pentium G620, it will satisfy your needs.
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