Advice for minor upgrade: Bang for buck.

Gigabyte Ga-p35-ds3r motherboard
April 16, 2011 at 03:06:38
Specs: Win7, E7500 / 4GB
It's been quite a while since I last posted, but here goes.

My current computer isnt too bad, its been a looong time since I last upgraded this machine and I'm noticing start up times are not quite what they should be. I know that upgrading my O/S drive to an SSD is probably the best solution but I'd rather put up with slow start up for another year than re-install everything.

My graphics and processing needs are small, I barely play graphics intensive games anymore so my 9800GT is still more than what I need, I have 4GB of DDR2 so thats plenty given I'm running 32bit windows. The oldest and slowest thing is my hard drives, I have 2x320GB WD's in my case one for files and one Windows/Programs. I also have an external 500GB drive with all my videos. All these are around 75 - 85% full.

So I'm considering removing one of the old 320's from my tower and replacing it with a 64GB SSD and installing a PCI-E USB 3.0 card with a 1 or 2TB external drive, move all my files to that and use the SSD for the swap file and select programs.

Would this be the best way to get more from this system? Mostly I want to see an improvement in start up times and file transfer speeds as transfers of 10GB are becoming fairly common now days and it just sucks when the bulk of your storage is on a USB 2.0 drive.

I was also thinking perhaps a quad core CPU might speed things up but I'm not so sure if extra cores will help, My 3GHz E7500 seems ok for now.

So with bang for buck in mind (and without having to re-install windows) is this the best way to speed up start times and improve file transfers?

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#1
April 16, 2011 at 03:42:46
If you are willing to spend that much just get a new system and clean the junk off the old one.

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#2
April 16, 2011 at 04:42:37
SSD's are cheap. I'm looking at $119 for a 64GB SSD and probably $100 for an external USB drive. So maby I should say the budget needs to stay below $240, a new system makes no sense at all. Windows is well maintained, no unwanted startup programs etc. I know computers well, I'm just wondering if anybody has any thoughts on using an SSD for the swap file and programs.

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#3
April 16, 2011 at 05:23:51
Startup times may improve by a second or two but nothing you'll notice. And external drives are always slower than most internal ones.

Run CCleaner and live with it. (Your current system state.)

I don't mean this in a mean or wise guy kind of way at all, but I think like most of us you're just bored with what you have. It's not a slam, it's just that most of us get used to what we have and nothing on the market blows our minds right now so we look for a way to soup it up.

Relax. And smile. It'll pass.

Old people don't need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use.

Homer Simpson


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#4
April 16, 2011 at 05:35:49
Heheh, I think your probably right now I think of it. Perhaps I should get an E-SATA drive running instead of this USB drive. I'm just tired of waiting for file transfers.

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#5
April 16, 2011 at 07:16:06
"SSD's are cheap. I'm looking at $119 for a 64GB SSD"

That's cheap? For the same price you could have two 1TB HDDs & still have change left over. To put it another way, the difference is $1.86 per GB vs $0.06 per GB.

You have DDR2-800 & your board supports 1600MHz FSB, have you considered overclocking your CPU to 3.2GHZ (8 x 400MHz) while maintaining a 1:1 ratio?


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#6
April 16, 2011 at 07:40:23
By SSD's are cheap I mean compared to the $700 it cost for 64GB around 2 years ago. Also space isnt the only consideration, speed was my main consideration.

As for the overclocking idea I suppose I should give that a go. But I've never had a decent stable overclock from this board with this CPU or the E4500 before it. I'll give it another go now. Thats probably the best thing to do for now I suppose, thanks for the suggestion.

(EDIT: Now running at 3.2GHz 8x400MHz, I'll test it later I suppose. Right now I'm going to bed. Thanks!)

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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#7
April 16, 2011 at 08:53:50
My comment regarding the 1TB HDD options isn't just about capacity & cost, it's also about performance. Most large HDD are using 500GB platters with a 32MB or 64MB buffer. I don't know which model 320GB HDDs you have, but if they're older models with 160GB platters & an 8MB buffer, they won't perform nearly as well. And being that they're "75 - 85% full", the read head has to scour the entire plater to find the data.

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#8
April 16, 2011 at 10:28:49
Systems seem to fail as a system and not as single point components.

The issue is your hardware needs to be upgraded as an entire system and not piece by piece. You'll just waste money.

The fastest ram and processor on the fastest motherboard in my opinion bring the best results.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#9
April 19, 2011 at 22:44:01
The overclock seems to be holding fine this time. @ mickliq, I think you are probably right about my internal drives, I think they are 8MB buffer models. I may buy a 1TB WD Black to replace one of the 320GB drives to help me with my storage issues and have it as my swap drive. Probably the best way to go.

Thanks for your views and input guys, you stopped me from wasting my money and I have the best option now for what I want. Muchly appreciated.

(EDIT: I googled the model numbers on my hard drives and it turns out that my drive for my files and the page file is an 8MB drive with transfer rates of 59MB/s. My C:\ Drive is better, 16MB Cache with 85MB/s transfers. I bought a 1TB 64MB drive to replace the slow drive. Thanks again.)

Mattwizz3
P35-DS3R
4GB DDR800
E7500


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