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Challenge - Upgrade or New Build??

Last response: in Systems
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November 24, 2012 10:05:27 AM

Hi everyone!

So, I need some 'real world' advice. I am currently using a system which I built in 2007, and have noticed it slowing down to a crawl. I mainly use it for a lot of desktop publishing and 2d graphic design . Typically I will need photoshop/illustrator/fireworks open at once, and may also run several other office applications, browser instances in the background. I run everything on dual screens. I often have 20+ files open in photoshop.

Please note, I don't do any gaming on my PC (anymore!). What's important to me is application load time, and file read/write.

I have the following setup, and need advice on whether just to upgrade components, or shift the whole system out to a new build:

- Intel Core2 Quad Processor Q6600 (8M Cache, 2.40 GHz, 1066 MHz FSB)
- 2x1 GB DDR2 RAM
- Abit IP35 Pro motherboard
- NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTX (dual monitors)
- 4x Samsung HD753LG 750gb

So my question is do I:

1. Switch out two drives for 2x Samsung SSD 840 series 256gb (system and frequently accessed files), and upgrade to 8gb DDR2 ram; or
2. Bite the bullet and upgrade the CPU and motherboard to something like a Core i7, so I can benefit from Sata3 and 16GB Ram? Do I need a new GPU?

My decision lies really on what's the noticeable improvement between the two.

Or, should I be thinking about something else? (E.g. are there bottlenecks I haven't thought of)?

Thanks!

November 24, 2012 10:40:13 AM

No idea chaps? I thought this was a community of tech fans. ;) 
November 24, 2012 12:29:54 PM

Sorry. This is a holiday weekend in the US and some of us are not up to speed yet.

That said, an SSD and especially more ram would definitely speed up your machine. but it is still outdated and a new system would be a big improvement.

What is your budget and do you like to build your own?
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November 24, 2012 12:57:04 PM

Thanks, yes I can build my own. I just want "fit for purpose". No budget in mind in particular.
November 24, 2012 12:57:20 PM

Should I bother with a new GPU?
November 24, 2012 1:48:17 PM

It depends on what size files u are working with photoshop. Actualy photoshop dont use alot of graphics cards req. integred will be enoguh i think.

i7 + good mb + integred gpu will be good i guess. if not u always can pick 660 GTX
November 25, 2012 1:50:21 PM

Actually your processor is a classic overclocker. I don't know if your P35 chipset can do it (probably not) but I'd look into it and give it a try. That and more ram and an SSD would make your photoshop and other apps run much faster. That's the cheapest route.

As novemberrain said the best rig for those apps would be an I7 but I'd recommend plenty of ram, big ssds, and a higher end graphics card. Probably not doable for under $1500 or so. An I5 minimal rig could go under $1000 but you sound like you need lots of hoursepower. Good luck.
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