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Old 01-31-2010, 05:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My little computer needs an upgrade!

I've got a little hp thats been ok but recently is starting slow down so now I need to do something to get it working decent again. Like everyone I do alot of web surfing, listening to music, etc. but it's when I open up Photoshop/any gfx program that its starts getting laggy. I do a ton of photo editing and if I could get this thing working smoothly it would really help my work flow.

So I had this idea: use an extra hdd and install XP on it, then set it up to dual boot. Then that way I could keep all my entertainment on the current hdd and move all editing software to the new one. Would this help at all or is it a stupid idea?

Or is there something hardware related I could upgrade but keep it under or around 50 bucks?

Here is a CPU-Z txt dump of my current setup:

Code:
-------------------------
  CPU-Z version 1.46
-------------------------

Processors Map
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Number of processors	1
Number of threads	1

Processor 0
    -- Core 0
        -- Thread 0


Processors Information
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Processor 1 (ID = 0)
Number of cores		1 (max 1)
Number of threads	1 (max 1)
Name			AMD Athlon 64 3500+
Codename		Venice
Specification		AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 3500+
Package			Socket 939
CPUID			F.F.2
Extended CPUID		F.2F
Brand ID		4
Core Stepping		DH-E6
Technology		90 nm
Core Speed		2204.8 MHz (11.0 x 200.4 MHz)
HT Link speed		1002.2 MHz
Stock frequency		2200 MHz
Instructions sets	MMX (+), 3DNow! (+), SSE, SSE2, SSE3, x86-64
L1 Data cache		64 KBytes, 2-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L1 Instruction cache	64 KBytes, 2-way set associative, 64-byte line size
L2 cache		512 KBytes, 16-way set associative, 64-byte line size
FID/VID Control		yes
max FID			11.0x
VID range		1.100 V - 1.450 V
Features		XD
K8 Thermal sensor	yes
K8 Revision ID		4.2
Attached device		PCI device at bus 0, device 24, function 0
Attached device		PCI device at bus 0, device 24, function 1
Attached device		PCI device at bus 0, device 24, function 2
Attached device		PCI device at bus 0, device 24, function 3

Chipset
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Northbridge		NVIDIA GeForce 6150 rev. A2
Southbridge		NVIDIA nForce 410/430 MCP rev. A3
Memory Type		DDR
Memory Size		1024 MBytes
Channels		Single
Memory Frequency	157.5 MHz (CPU/14)
CAS#			2.5
RAS# to CAS#		3
RAS# Precharge		3
Cycle Time (tRAS)	7
Bank Cycle Time (tRC)	10
DRAM Idle Timer		16
Command Rate		2T


Memory SPD
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DIMM #1

General
Memory type		DDR
Manufacturer (ID)	 (0000000000000000)
Size			1024 MBytes
Max bandwidth		PC2700 (166 MHz)
Part number		
Serial number		FFFFFFFF
Manufacturing date	Week 02/Year 07

Attributes
Number of banks		2
Data width		64 bits
Correction		None
Registered		no
Buffered		no
Nominal Voltage		2.50 Volts
EPP			no
XMP			no

Timings table
Frequency (MHz)		133	166	
CAS#			2.0	2.5	
RAS# to CAS# delay	3	3	
RAS# Precharge		3	3	
TRAS			6	7	

Mainboard Model		NAGAMI2L (0x22B - 0xBBE73C)

Hardware monitor
-----------------------------------------------------

SMSC DME1737 hardware monitor

Voltage sensor 0	0.00 Volts [0x0] (+5VTR)
Voltage sensor 1	1.44 Volts [0x7A] (CPU VCORE)
Voltage sensor 2	3.33 Volts [0xC2] (ATX +3.3V)
Voltage sensor 3	5.13 Volts [0xC5] (ATX +5V)
Voltage sensor 4	12.30 Volts [0xC4] (ATX +12V)
Temperature sensor 0	34C (93F) [0x22] (Diode 1)
Temperature sensor 1	36C (96F) [0x24] (Internal)
Temperature sensor 2	58C (136F) [0x3A] (Diode 2)
Fan sensor 0		2413 RPM [0x8BE] (FANIN0)
Fan sensor 1		1078 RPM [0x1392] (FANIN1)

Hardware monitor
-----------------------------------------------------

AMD Athlon 64 3500+ hardware monitor

Temperature sensor 0	43C (109F) [0x5C] (core #0)

Dump hardware monitor

PCI Device List
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RAM Memory Controller
bus 0 (0x00), device 0 (0x00), function 0 (0x00)
Common header
	Vendor ID		0x10DE
	Model ID		0x02F0
	Revision ID		0xA2
	PI			0x00
	SubClass		0x00
	BaseClass		0x05
	Cache Line		0x00
	Latency			0x00
	Header			0x80
PCI header
	Subvendor ID		0x103C
	Subsystem ID		0x2A3E
	Int. Line		0x00
	Int. Pin		0x00
Capabilities
	HyperTransport Capability
		Offset			44h
		Revision		1.03
		Interface type		Slave/Primary
		Link 0 width (in/out)	16 bits/16 bits
		Link 0 frequency	1000MHz
		Link 1 width (in/out)	8 bits/8 bits
		Link 1 frequency	800MHz
	HyperTransport Capability
		Offset			E0h
		Interface type		MSI Mapping

	designation	A2
	format		DIMM
	type		unknown
	total width	64 bits
	data width	64 bits


DMI Memory Device
-----------------
	designation	A3
	format		DIMM
	type		unknown
	total width	64 bits
	data width	64 bits


Software
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Windows Version		Microsoft Windows XP Professional  Service Pack 2 (Build 2600) 
DirectX Version		9.0c
Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

You say it recently started slowing down?

The first thing you should do is disable programs from starting up when windows starts. This way, they don't load in to memory untill you need them, and things will be a bit snappier. You can do this by going to start, run, and typing "msconfig" into the box. Then click the Startup tab, and disable everything except maybe ATI, or Nvidia control panel, or audio control panel.

Then, if that doesn't help much, try running a spyware scanner. I personally prefer Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, but there are a few good ones out there.

Third, you should make sure your disk is freshly defragmented, and remove all unnecessary junk.


Also, I only see 1gb of system memory. You should upgrade your ram to at least 2gb. You can get a 2gb matched set of memory on Newegg for around 40, or even less. I highly recommend sticking with reputable brands such as Corsair, OCZ, Kingston, or G-Skill.

If you follow these steps, I am confident that your system will be back to the speedy, snappy response computer that you remember from a while back.
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Old 01-31-2010, 10:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

Well progressively slowing down over a matter of months, I think it's because I'm doing more and more editing and I'm starting to notice it more. I'll definitively look into some more ram, I figured that would help but I just didnt know how much of a difference another gig would make.

I defraged a couple months ago, how often are you supposed to do that, and I have Avast Home Edition so is there still a possibility I have spyware?

Also is the whole installing XP on a second hdd and dual booting worth trying at all?

Thanks for the reply!
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

As long as you keep your current XP boot clean from viruses/spyware, and not have so many programs startup with your PC, there isn't any need to get another hard drive and double booting. Just make sure only essential programs start up when the PC starts, like antivirus, things like that.

Another gig of memory will help. I couldn't tell by the info you gave whether the 1gig you already have was just one dimm or two dimms. Make sure you have an empty ram slot(s) if you want to add ram. Not much else you can do for $50. It sounds like you could use a dual core CPU... look at craigslist or ebay and see if any s939 dual cores are for sale... they should cost around $30-$50 depending on the chip.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

I can upgrade my cpu? And keep the same mobo?
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake2k View Post
I can upgrade my cpu? And keep the same mobo?
Yeah, just make sure you get a Socket 939 processor. It's not recommended to upgrade such old technology, but wouldn't hurt.

You could spend around $100 and upgrade to a AM2 (spend a little more and go to AM3) based setup, which is what I suggest. Save a little more money, and make it worthwhile to upgrade.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

So basically I need to clean out unused programs, clean startup list, defrage, and upgrade ram, Then save up enough to upgrade mobo and cpu to a dual core setup. Is it safe to buy these things used/refurbished?
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake2k View Post
So basically I need to clean out unused programs, clean startup list, defrage, and upgrade ram, Then save up enough to upgrade mobo and cpu to a dual core setup. Is it safe to buy these things used/refurbished?
I have had OK experiences buying refurbished Processors from Newegg, but definitely not motherboards. Usually, processors work, but motherboars almost always have something wrong with them.

Also, you said this is a little helwitt packard? Don't upgrade the motherboard. There is a good chance that it's proprietary and it won't fit.

Just do everything on your list, save your money untill you've got 300 to 400, and come back and we'll help you put together a decent upgrade.


Also, if you use your computer often (more than 4 or 5 hours a day) you should defrag your HDD about once every 2 weeks.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

The only s939 CPUs you are going to find will be used. Trust me on that one. E-boy from a trusted dealer would be your best bet.

Check HP's site (if it is a HP) and see what BIOS updates there are for the motherboard before you buy a replacement s939 CPU. They only got up through dual cores on the s939 (4800+ X2, FX-60, and Opteron 185 are the tops if I remember correctly), but if there is not a BIOS to handle them then you are out of luck. Also, check the motherboard specs to see what the maximum TDP (Thermal Design Power) it can handle is; it may only handle up to a 37W or 89W CPU. If the TDP is a limiting factor you would have to find a CPU that fits within that limit.

Since you are running XP 32-bit, it can only recognize up to 3.5GB of RAM. Of course, odds are that your motherboard can only hold a max of 2GB (most older pre-builts are the same... again, check your specs on HP's site). If 2GB is the limit, grab this (it is faster than the RAM you curently have, but the mobo will downclock it... PC2700 is probably the max speed the mobo can run it, anyway):
Newegg.com - Kingston ValueRAM 1GB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Desktop Memory Model KVR400/1GR - Desktop Memory
$32 w/free shipping
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My little computer needs an upgrade!

Well I think I can scrounge together about $300, especially if I sell my current tower on Craigslist. What would you suggest for a $300 setup? Could I still get a better setup then what I have now and a dual core? As far as saving up more then $300 I dont think I will be able to do that for some time seeing as my landlord has decided to not pay the mortgage and the house is being foreclosed, fun stuff lol.

Forgot to mention I already have a hard drive, cd/dvd drive, and case. So I guess all I need is the CPU, mobo, ram, PSU, and cooling if necessary. Also should I look into overclocking at all?
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