4 GB DDR
EVGA NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS 512mb GPU 98
Dual Monitor Desktop
Win XP Media Center PRO 32-bit SP3
12 Mbps AT&T U-verse broadband
So, my computer is old, and had been running slower and slower, and freezing up regularly, with the CPU staying at, or near 100%, and the fan on the video card running much of the time (all of the time when the computer freezes up for minutes at a time)
I figured it was time for a new one, so I've been speccing one out, but money is REALLY tight right now, so the budget is minimal.
In the meantime, out of curiosity, I went to pchelpforum.com to see if anything could be done to improve my current computer's performance in the meantime.
A week of their working with me later, and WOW! The difference is amazing. The fact is, it has never run this well, and apparently, there is still more to be done.
The only problem I'm still having is slightly jerky video playback. When it gets jerky, the audio distorts, as well.
According to Windows Task Manager, my memory usage never goes above 2.0 GB, and very seldom gets there, so I don't think the issue is RAM.
Also according to the Windows Task Manager, my CPU use is WAAYYYY down. Previously, at idle, with no programs open, it showed 30-50% usage. Open a couple of Google Chrome tabs, and it shot up to 80-100%. Now, with nothing open, CPU usage is between 0-3%. Open a couple of Chrome Tabs and it still doesn't go above 50%. I have 7 Chrome tabs open right now, along with MS Office, Freecell, and Speccy, and it sits around 13% usage, occasionally jumping up to 40%, or so.
The only time it gets dicey is when I watch youtube videos, or online TV shows/movies. When I do so, the CPU usage jumps to 80-100%, and when it stays at 100% for awhile, the fan on the video card comes on. During this process, the video begins to get jerky, and if the fan stays on for a long time, the computer will eventually start freezing up. Watching Speccy, I see the fan comes on when the temp exceeds 51 C (it normally stays around 49 C).
With the exception of the video playback, the improvements in my computer's performance are more than acceptable. If I could find a way to bring the video performance up to the level of the rest of the system, I could see myself getting another 6-months to a year's use out of my current computer, allowing me to get out of my current financial bind, and have more budget to work with on my upgrade.
I'm wondering if a video card upgrade would help? If I could spend 50-60 bucks there, and get 6-months or more out of my rig, it would be well worth it to me.