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  #1  
Old 11-05-09, 09:50 AM
masterofinsanity masterofinsanity is offline
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what to buy?looking to upgrade.

i'm looking at upgrading my system to something a bit more faster.its gotta be a cheap ebay job tho lol, looking at spending around a ton.

can someone tell me in simpleton terms what quad core means?

i currently have a p4 2.8ghz what cpu/mobo combination should i be looking at to go faster as all these core duos etc are confuddling me.

You can see what i currently have in my sig.

and i only really use it to browse the internet so don't need anything special.

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  #2  
Old 11-05-09, 10:02 AM
Mul. Mul. is offline
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Hi there,

If your main system uses are web browsing, general media music and video etc, I can't really see how your existing setup isn't up for the task? I have an Atom 1.6GHz/1GB/160GB laptop, which serves fine for the same and I have a Small Form Factor P4 3.0GHz/1GB/20GB desktop at home too that also does the job just fine. A clean Windows installation is probably all it takes to speed things up

A Quad Core CPU is essentially like having four single core CPU's in a single package. When an application is programmed with multicore hardware in mind, each core can handle part of the task and the idea is that it'll get the job done quicker. Due to inefficiencies at a software and hardware level, the performance scaling from single core to quad core of the same type of CPU is not 4x and it'll vary.
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  #3  
Old 11-05-09, 10:09 AM
masterofinsanity masterofinsanity is offline
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the system i have is fine but there is always room for improvement lol.
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  #4  
Old 11-05-09, 10:13 AM
Mul. Mul. is offline
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I certainly understand where you're coming from but I just wanted to make it clear that you may not see a notable improvement in general performance although things may feel a bit more snappy and responsive with a dual core.

Any chance you know the brand and model of your power supply unit?

Is it from this?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Blue-Warrior.../dp/B001NFSJIG

If so I'd urge you to change the PSU at least if you plan on upgrading your setup.
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  #5  
Old 11-05-09, 10:29 AM
masterofinsanity masterofinsanity is offline
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thats the one, i do have another psu which i've just put in another tower which i'm gonna swap over anyway 650w i think it is.coloursit make?
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  #6  
Old 11-05-09, 10:35 AM
Mul. Mul. is offline
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Beware that the output of a Power Supply Unit doesn't mean a lot. Manufacturers are often very generous about how they rate their power supply units and shockingly many manufacturers including ColorsIT have PSU's that cannot continuously operate at the specified rated Power Output. I wrote a tutorial about Power Supply Units elsewhere but I've quoted it below as I think it might be useful reading for you

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mul.

What is a PSU?

PSU. Power Supply Unit. A Cube/Cuboid shaped transformer mounted inside your case, towards the rear. Electricity supplied to your home is AC (Alternating Current). This is no good for a computer and as a result a transformer is used to convert Alternating Current to Direct Current. The Voltage is also stepped down from 110V/240V to split Voltage rails inside the computer of +3.3V, +5V, +12V, which in turn power certain components within the system. Without any argument it's the heart of a Computer.

Some data you need to understand.

Power- Energy transferred per unit time. Power Supplies are advertised by the amount of Power it can deliver to the components. Units in Watts (W)

Voltage- Energy transferred per charge carrier. You may need to understand the importance of the 3.3V, 5V and 12V rails.

Current- The flow of electricity to components. Units in Amperes (A)

Efficiency- ((Power Drawn From Mains) / (Power Effectively Used)) * 100%

where > 75% is ideal.

Anyway, that's more than enough background information for now. Lets move on.

What Determines a good PSU?

In short. One that's less susceptible to failure. Let's expand on that. What are the traits of a PSU that's susceptible to failure?

- Low Quality Internal Components. Difficult to judge as a consumer but sub $40/£30 price tag should ring alarm bells.

- Low Efficiency. This is infact a consequence of the above factor. The Conservation of Energy Law states that within a closed system, Energy (Power) cannot be created nor destroyed but are transferred in different forms. No Transformer can be 100% efficient. Inevitably, while some energy is transferred effectively as Electric Energy, some is transferred as heat or possibly sound. The latter two forms of energy transfer is effectively wasted or useless. A good PSU will waste less energy while a poor PSU will waste more energy. A PSU with a poor efficiency will always have to work harder to deliver the same power to the system components and this in turn can lead to failure.

Example.

A given system required 400W under load to function. We'll use a hypothetical PSU with a 80% efficiency and another with a 65% efficiency.

The first PSU needs to draw 400 / 0.8 = 500W from the Power Socket/Mains.

The second PSU needs to draw 400 / 0.65 = 615W from the Power Socket/Mains.

This in turn actually makes your system more expensive to run in terms of Electricity Bills.

The above are factors that make PSU's more susceptible to failure.

What Happens When A PSU Fails

Sometimes a PSU shows symptoms of imminent failure. This may include system lockups, unexpected system restarts but also unexpected shut downs. More than often this occurs when the system is fully loaded, running a game or other intensive application. Eventually this can also happen when a system is just idling as a PSU continues to deteriorate. On the other hand, PSU failures can be imminent as well. In short, when PSU's fail there is a risk of it producing a surge effect that can damage or destroy other components within the system. Quite often the Motherboard is the first victim, followed by CPU, RAM and Disk Drives. This tends not to happen with well built PSU's.

Trusted PSU Vendor List

My honest advice would be not to choose any brands other than the ones mentioned below. There may be some brands that I've missed out but you cannot go wrong with this selection.

Akasa

Corsair

Enermax

Fortron Source (FSP Group)

OCZ

PC Power & Cooling

Seasonic

Tagan

Thermaltake (Toughpower Range Only)

MUST Avoid List

Aspire/Apevia

iCute

ColorsIT

Hiper (Early Batches)

Qtec

Raidmax

Finally a list of PSU Brands and Models that are 80 PLUS certified

http://www.80plus.org/manu/psu/manu_psu.htm
But in a nutshell, it's got to be a quality brand or else you're putting your system at great risk. Even a Corsair CX 400W PSU is likely to outperform the ColorsIT unit.
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  #7  
Old 11-05-09, 10:48 AM
masterofinsanity masterofinsanity is offline
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very interesting cheers for that!
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  #8  
Old 11-05-09, 10:57 AM
Mul. Mul. is offline
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Not a problem. Essentially as far as upgrades go you've got a couple of options

1) Invest in an "interim" upgrade. This would entail moving over to a current socket platform that'll allow you to carry out easy upgrades later on. Perhaps, by opting for a new PSU, AMD 780G/790GX based motherboard, 2GB PC2-6400 and a fairly standard £30-50 dual core CPU. That'll set you back around £150 and you'll be left with a faster setup. You can then move on to drop a high end CPU like a Phenom II X4 955 3.2GHz Quad or whatever's around at the time and then gradually a graphics card and so on.

2) Invest in parts that last. When I mean parts that last, I'm talking about the sort of hardware that doesn't get replaced after multiple upgrades. This includes quality cases, power supply units, reliable and quick Optical Drives and Hard Disk Drives, Sound Cards. I personally bought myself an Antec Sonata II Case back in 2006 for silence, minimalistic looks and generally decent build quality. It saw four motherboards over three sockets, four different graphics cards and eight different CPU's before getting rid of it just last week.

Personally I'd go with a bit of both ideas if money allows.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-09, 10:59 AM
masterofinsanity masterofinsanity is offline
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i like the idea of No1 thanks for the advice, i'll get looking
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  #10  
Old 11-05-09, 04:11 PM
zak4994 zak4994 is offline
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Simple things such as defragmenting and removing temporary files can also help a lot.
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