Computers & Electronics

Please HELP: slow computer, time to replace or just upgrade?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 19th, 2021 11:57 am
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[OP]
Newbie
May 16, 2021
1 posts
2 upvotes

Please HELP: slow computer, time to replace or just upgrade?

Hello

I currently have a Full size Cooler Master HAF X case with the following build components
ASUS P9X79 Pro motherboard
Intel i7 3820 3.6 GHz. CPU - Socket 2011 LGA

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 gpu - 2 GB
2 X 4 GB sticks of Kingston DDR3 RAM - 799 MHz

1 TB Western Digital Hard Drive - old and tired
Running windows 10 64 bit OS



The system is slow and cranky
Applications take too long to start and respond

I am not at all hardware savvy or software savvy

I do NOT have any security software protection at all

I run Registry Mechanic and Glary Utilities often

I am NOT a gamer - do NOT play at all

But I use my computer a lot for business and surfing

I need it to be very very RELIABLE and FAST

I DO use graphics software like Corel Draw and sometime Adobe graphics products to fix graphics files

I use a lot of office productivity tools and Customer Relations Management software

I use Acrobat Pro to create and edit pdfs and a lot of graphics file edits

I surf a lot with literally 30 windows open all at once

BUT my computer seems very tired and I think I need an upgrade

I am very confused about whether I should change my entire system or just upgrade

PLEASE advise with detail suggestions on specific hardware



I do NOT mind USED components



I am on a BUDGET


Thank you



Yacob
Last edited by Mars2012 on May 18th, 2021 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added detail to title for clarity
8 replies
Deal Addict
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Dec 20, 2006
1912 posts
1660 upvotes
Get a SSD as your boot drive and more RAM.
Check your motherboard RAM slots, max memory allowed per slot (4, 8 or 16) and lastly, the total RAM allowed on the motherboard.
You might have to get a new PSU (power supply unit).
Try not to have too many programs running in the background esp with your present 8gb RAM
Surfing internet (speed) is limited by your bandwidth plus of course there might be throttle by ISP so keep your tabs as few as possible including downloads.
My life ambition is ....
Live long enough to be as big nuisance to my posterity as they have been to me.
Deal Addict
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Apr 29, 2018
1399 posts
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Have you tried re-installing Windows? It should speed up considerably, specially when combined with the SSD & RAM suggestion
Can't Stop. Won't Stop. Game Stop
Deal Expert
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Apr 16, 2001
15958 posts
2575 upvotes
1. Install Windows 10 clean on a new SATA SSD, and use your HDD for storage.
2. Install a matching set of 2x4GB RAM.
3. I have read multiple reports that Registry Mechanic is now malware and should be avoided.
4. I do not believe the built-in Windows AV is sufficient.
Automatic down-votes: D-Link, TP-Link, Newegg, Canada Computers, any Chinese-owned cellphone, laptop or IoT device.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19871 posts
6047 upvotes
Toronto
The main thing you need is an SSD. Since you are on a budget, I wouldn't necessarily even bother with more RAM just yet. Just get the SSD, say 512 GB or whatever, depending upon what you really need.

Back up all your files (and you should already be doing this anyway) and then install the SSD, and re-install Windows 10 64-bit onto that SSD. Then install main applications onto that SSD too. Depending upon how much data you have, and what kind of data it is, you can either install the data on the SSD or leave some of it on the hard drive, esp. if you don't access it often.

That would speed up your machine tremendously. More RAM would help since you have so many browser tabs open, but overall the SSD would get you 80% of the way there in terms of performance improvements.

For reference, my main Windows 10 machine is a Phenom II X6 1055T with 8 GB RAM and SSD, and it is more than fast enough as my business desktop. Your CPU is significantly faster than mine. I don't usually have that many browser tabs open though.

A 500 GB Samsung 870 EVO SSD is about $80. The 1 TB is about $160. Alternatively, if you want to save some cash, you could get something like a Crucial MX500, which goes for $71 and $124 respectively for those sizes. I run a Crucial MX500 in one of my machines and the performance is fine.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
19871 posts
6047 upvotes
Toronto
So, out of curiosity, I loaded up 30 Chrome browser tabs to check out the performance on my Phenom II 1055T with 8 GB RAM and 250 GB Samsung EVO 850 SSD. I did not pick just simple pages. Most of these had typical amounts of media, and most had a fair amount of ads since I haven't installed an ad blocker. Furthermore, many had animated ads.

- Windows automatically allocated a swap file size of 5.3 GB, and Rainmeter said I was using about 90% of that.
- Out of my 8 GB RAM, approximately 80% of the RAM was used according to Rainmeter.
- CPU usage at idle jumped around from about 25% to 70%. I could feel my Phenom slow down a touch, but it was actually quite responsive overall, and surfing was still fine. Remember though, your CPU is significantly faster than mine.

So I agree that 16 GB would help, but I still think that just getting an SSD alone will get you 80% of the way there in terms of performance improvements even with just 8 GB RAM like me.

BTW, normally when I don't don't have that much loaded in Chrome, my RAM usage is around 30-40%, and my swap usage is about 35-55%.

You may ask, why haven't I upgraded to 16 GB RAM? Cuz this machine can't be upgraded past 8 GB. It's 11 years old. Plus my other machine is a 24 GB iMac.
Sr. Member
Dec 6, 2020
545 posts
541 upvotes
newtechuser wrote: The system is slow and cranky
Applications take too long to start and respond
When you are running your typical mix of software, use Task Manager to see if your system has enough memory available. If you're not sure how to do this, follow this guide.

If your system is memory constrained, then upgrade your memory to 16GB or more. Otherwise, your speed bottleneck is most likely your hard drive and the most cost effective upgrade would be to replace your hard drive with a quality SSD, such as a Samsung EVO.

If you are able to upgrade your RAM and/or hard drive, it is most likely not worth you while to buy a new computer. A new computer that is substantially faster than what you will get from upgrading RAM and drive on your current system will cost the better part of $1000.

When using Task Manager, also check your CPU usage when you have no software running. Usage should be less than 10% when the system is idle (except when Windows is updating in the background). Sustained high CPU use when the computer should be idle would suggest a malware infestation.
Deal Addict
Oct 27, 2007
2272 posts
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newtechuser wrote: Hello

I currently have a Full size Cooler Master HAF X case with the following build components
ASUS P9X79 Pro motherboard
Intel i7 3820 3.6 GHz. CPU - Socket 2011 LGA

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 gpu - 2 GB
2 X 4 GB sticks of Kingston DDR3 RAM - 799 MHz

1 TB Western Digital Hard Drive - old and tired
Running windows 10 64 bit OS



The system is slow and cranky
Applications take too long to start and respond

I am not at all hardware savvy or software savvy

I do NOT have any security software protection at all

I run Registry Mechanic and Glary Utilities often

I am NOT a gamer - do NOT play at all

But I use my computer a lot for business and surfing

I need it to be very very RELIABLE and FAST

I DO use graphics software like Corel Draw and sometime Adobe graphics products to fix graphics files

I use a lot of office productivity tools and Customer Relations Management software

I use Acrobat Pro to create and edit pdfs and a lot of graphics file edits

I surf a lot with literally 30 windows open all at once

BUT my computer seems very tired and I think I need an upgrade

I am very confused about whether I should change my entire system or just upgrade

PLEASE advise with detail suggestions on specific hardware



I do NOT mind USED components



I am on a BUDGET


Thank you



Yacob
I agree with everyone else. Use newegg to order the SSD and eBay if you decide to get more memory.

You didn't mention what your budget was, only that you are on a *budget* which implies you can't spend much $ on upgrades or a *new* computer.

A 240GB is about $45 ish and 500/512GB are a bit more, $60, and up, I am guessing.

32gb of DDR3, 4x8gb sticks, are $100.
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2004
4100 posts
1241 upvotes
X79 boards have lots of memory slots no? If you really want to go cheap just grab a few more used 4gb sticks. Get yourself to 16gb or more and you'll be fine. and +9999 on SSD .

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