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Sister want's to update her computer?

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July 11, 2012 8:36:57 PM

My sister currently has a compaq presario pc (http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Docume...)

she wants to upgrade her computer to make it faster, but the motherboard poses some limitations. So i was thinking I could get her a new motherboard, processor, ram, ssd, and maybe a new power supply and video card if needed. Is there anything else thats needed? She'd probably upgrade to windows 7 64 bit as well. She uses the computer for school programs, internet, music, movies, etc, but not gaming. The two criteria that matter most to her are that her computer is fast and has a lot of space for files/programs. Anything else she should get? Thanks.

More about : sister update computer

a c 75 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 8:43:00 PM

how much are you spending and do you need OS or monitor
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a c 245 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 8:54:31 PM

One of the very best general performance upgrades is to use a SSD for the os and some apps.

I would also up the ram from 2gb to 4gb or more.

If you want to use >4gb of ram, then you need a 64 bit os.
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July 11, 2012 9:03:51 PM

money isn't a concern, but I wouldn't want to spend more than 500$. I do not need a monitor, or anything else, and the price of OS is negligible (she's a teacher, so she gets discounted microsoft products). The thing with getting an SSD drive is its expensive for the amount of memory on it. I don't think I'd get one that has more than 120gb.
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July 11, 2012 9:07:05 PM

also, how would I go about getting rid of vista from her hdd? do i just set the SDD as the boot device, install windows 7 64 bit on it, and leave vista on the HDD?
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July 11, 2012 9:08:53 PM

another thing, the most intensive program she uses is photoshop, but its on her HDD. can i somehow move it onto the SDD? along with other programs from the HDD?
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Best solution

a c 75 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 9:14:34 PM

i ripped the OS right out of the part selection as you said microsoft products are really cheap for her

8gb of ram and a i5 3450 can be a killer combo for multitasking

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bQ5A
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July 11, 2012 9:21:28 PM

what about an i3 processor? I fully intend on getting 8gb of ram, since ram is dirt cheap now.
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a c 245 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 9:26:26 PM

Yes, in fact if you have vista, a change to windows 7 64 bit will be a very good thing.
Photoshop can use lots of ram instead of hdd workfiles, so upgrading to 8gb would be very good.

I think the windows easy transfer program may be available on Vista. Use it to export the files and settings.
Install windows 7 64 bit on the SSD(do not leave the old HDD connected), and import the files and settings. Only the apps will need to be reinstalled.

Then, you can use the old HDD for overflow and storage. You can clear out the whold drive if you want. Or, just delete selective files and use the rest. I find you can store lots of stuff on 120gb. It is the storage for video files that takes up lots of space, and those files is best kept on a hard drive.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 9:27:44 PM

i5s are just better. a physical core will always be better than a virtual core that the i3 has.

i3=2 cores 4 threads. 3mb of cache
i5=4 cores 4 threads, 6mb of cache

if you want the system to last a little longer, going for the i5 is a good idea.
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a c 245 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 9:33:53 PM

A i3 of some sort is really a very capable cpu. Only if you will be running cpu bound multithreaded apps would a quad core be more appropriate. Ahything from a $50 G530@2.4 to the $150 G 2130 @3.4 could work.

I space an issue?
Would you consider a M-ATX ir even an ITX build?
Here is a great little lian li ITX case, check oyt the dimensions:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 245 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 9:36:00 PM

AlexJakes said:
what about this http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bQ5A ?
thanks for the advice geofelt!


Perfect.
I have not seen that case before, it looks great.
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July 11, 2012 9:41:08 PM

a micro atx would be fine, im not sure about itx. I'm reusing her case which is a mid atx tower. I really like the motherboard that BigTroll had on pcpartpicker. It's fairly cheap with on board video.

The thing im not sure about an i5 is that if its needed. This won't be my computer, and my sister says she uses photoshop 5-10 a month, and spends the rest of her time on the internet, itunes, word processors, etc. Does this warrant purchasing an i5? also, 1st or 2nd generation cpu?
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a c 75 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 9:42:14 PM

the case has been around for a little more than a year. the problem was that it was s cheap and people just ignored it
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July 11, 2012 9:44:15 PM

geofelt said:
Perfect.
I have not seen that case before, it looks great.


crap, thats the link BigTroll posted, not the one I had. The one I had was and i3 processor instead of an i5, and without the case and optical drive. But i think i'll get that msi motherboard.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 9:45:03 PM

AlexJakes said:
a micro atx would be fine, im not sure about itx. I'm reusing her case which is a mid atx tower. I really like the motherboard that BigTroll had on pcpartpicker. It's fairly cheap with on board video.

The thing im not sure about an i5 is that if its needed. This won't be my computer, and my sister says she uses photoshop 5-10 a month, and spends the rest of her time on the internet, itunes, word processors, etc. Does this warrant purchasing an i5? also, 1st or 2nd generation cpu?


i5s can help a little in photoshop.

btw i5s are 3rd generation i series. if you dont need the case, just take it out
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July 11, 2012 9:54:04 PM

alright thanks guys, you've given me a lot to think about.
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a c 245 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 9:57:32 PM

AlexJakes said:
a micro atx would be fine, im not sure about itx. I'm reusing her case which is a mid atx tower. I really like the motherboard that BigTroll had on pcpartpicker. It's fairly cheap with on board video.

The thing im not sure about an i5 is that if its needed. This won't be my computer, and my sister says she uses photoshop 5-10 a month, and spends the rest of her time on the internet, itunes, word processors, etc. Does this warrant purchasing an i5? also, 1st or 2nd generation cpu?


Currently there are no ivy bridge desktop duo cpu's available. Supposedly 3rd qtr.
The big advantage will be better integrated graphics.
I would not go with older socket 1156 chips.

I don't think the cpu, either i3 or i5 will be a big issue.
It is the ssd and ram that will really make the difference.
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July 11, 2012 10:19:03 PM

Look where she's coming from. An i3 with an ssd will seem like lightning speed.
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a c 75 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 10:32:29 PM

but a i5 would be faster....
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July 11, 2012 10:32:56 PM

and an i7 even faster?

not everyone NEEDS an i5 or i7. Not every one is going to be a hardcore gamer or professional artist.

Also since, you're going to be using the same case, are there any size restrictions for the PSU?
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a c 75 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 10:43:12 PM

the psu is 400w. its the size of a 140mm fan

she will be doing a bit of photoshop so a i5 would be better than the i3. i7 would be too much since she wont be doing too much photoshop
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a c 75 V Motherboard
July 11, 2012 11:13:45 PM

i seriously dont trust biostar. the power supply i had was much better too
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July 12, 2012 1:08:31 AM

Why don't you trust biostar? Also that PC power and cooling PSU costs more and it's not miles ahead of the corsair.

This is for a mainstream desktop, his sister is obviously not an enthusiast.
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July 19, 2012 5:52:40 AM

Best answer selected by AlexJakes.
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!