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Ageing PC, potential upgrades?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Jonesiani, 27 May 2019.

  1. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    Hi all.

    I have a pretty old PC that I use for minor tasks, very light gaming (old titles), and general office work.

    It’s really starting to grind to a halt now, which is quite annoying.

    I was wondering if there is anything I can to to give it a boost? Or is it even worth it?

    I don’t do overclocking unfortunately. Here is the current spec:

    Intel Q6600 CPU
    GIGABYTE GA-P35 DS3L motherboard
    4x1gb 6400 DDR2 RAM
    MSI 460GTX GPU
    ASUS Xonar D2
    650W PSU
    2 standard hard drives

    Thanks!
     
  2. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2008

    Posts: 11,352

    Adding an SSD would be worthwhile and could be reused if you end up replacing the entire PC.

    I’d also consider get more memory installed if you can get it cheaply enough. I’d be looking at the secondhand market.

    I wouldn’t do anymore than that. It’s too old to sink any significant money into.
     
  3. LuckyBenski

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Dec 2017

    Posts: 4,734

    Location: London

    An SSD will give you the most immediate and noticeable boost, and can be had for £20-30. Adding some RAM should also be cheap and easy.

    If you're gaming, there's an abundance of faster graphics cards, even if you grab a second hand one for £50. Obviously there's is the risk of the CPU not keeping up once you approach even moderately current cards - but it could still be a worthy upgrade if you'll upgrade the CPU in the near future.

    Sadly that CPU shines when overclocked so I would recommend at least trying a mild overclock to boost performance. There will be plenty of guides available. This is assuming you have a decent cooler.

    In reality though I would weigh up cost - a very basic office PC can be had second hand that would outperform this, with an i5-2400 or similar. However that wouldn't be particularly flexible for future upgrades.
     
  4. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    Thanks, does this board support up to 8gb DDR2? I just assumed 4gb was maxed out.
     
  5. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    Thanks! The cooler is one of those arctic thingies, so yeah I guess it could put up with a OC. I might have a look into it
     
  6. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2008

    Posts: 11,352

    Their website says 8GB.

    Overclocking a Q6600 is trivial if the board supports it and you don't try to push things too far.
     
  7. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    I’ll have a look for some video guides :)
     
  8. TerrierHTFC

    Gangster

    Joined: 21 Oct 2009

    Posts: 189

    SSD will transform your day to day experience. I wouldn’t bother with anything else.
     
  9. gEd

    Gangster

    Joined: 25 Jan 2003

    Posts: 439

    Location: South London

    This. An SSD utterly transforms the performance of a PC compared to mechanical drives. You can use a disk cloning app to copy your C drive to the new SSD so you won't have to reinstall windows and your apps.
    That mobo can take 8GB but whether it's required or not depends on RAM usage (check in task manager). It's not worth throwing money at that PC on kit that can't be used in a newer PC down the road.
     
  10. escobarrr

    Associate

    Joined: 26 Apr 2019

    Posts: 8

    Last edited: 27 Dec 2019
  11. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    Can somebody please advise me as to whether or not the following memory will work with my pc spec?

    Corsair XMS2 Dominator 4x2gb DDR2 1066MHz CM2X2048-8500CD5 Memory

    Many thanks
     
  12. bremen1874

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Oct 2008

    Posts: 11,352

    Should do.
     
  13. ninezerofive

    Gangster

    Joined: 20 May 2019

    Posts: 494

    Location: London

    GIGABYTE GA-P35 DS3L, which revision is the board ?

    You could also check second hand market for the CPU upgrade. You could find something more powerful for around 25 gbp mark.

    Here's a list of revision.2 supported cpus:

    https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-P35-DS3L-rev-20#support-cpu

    There's few extreme CPU's that seem interesting and could give you a boost.

    Together with SSD and maybe a bit more ram it might be still valuable for awhile.
     
  14. JasonM

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jun 2009

    Posts: 2,748

    Add an SSD, and upgrade to 8GB, will extend the glide on the machine.

    Could do a small overclock or change to a faster CPU, however above are the most important.
     
  15. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    I believe it’s Rev.1 , although apart from more usb sockets I’m not sure what the main differences are between 1 and 2.
     
  16. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    Cheers, I’m awaiting delivery of a 480gb ssd drive as we speak
     
  17. JasonM

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jun 2009

    Posts: 2,748

    Something I thought about after I posted.

    Probably be fine, however that board is old in years, things like capacitors won't be quite the same as they were when new. If your getting a more powerful processor, it will either be 95w, or 130w category. As said probably be fine, but you would be putting more load/wattage into that older board if replacing the CPU.
     
  18. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    I think I’ll attempt to OC my 6600 first, never overclocked before but there are plenty of videos out there detailing how to OC this cpu on a gigabyte board.
     
  19. JasonM

    Mobster

    Joined: 19 Jun 2009

    Posts: 2,748

    Update the boards BIOS to latest if not already, then look for something in BIOS called CIA2.

    It's automatic overclocking, however it's clever as it only over clocks when the CPU is under load. CIA2 was a forerunner to turbo boost that came on later i5 and i7 CPU's.

    When you enable CIA2 there are different levels, start with the lowest first that gives if I remember a 7% CPU boost. If things are stable then try the next higher setting. One thing CIA2 also over-clocks memory, you might want to eventually down clock the memory, to allow more CIA2 boost.

    https://www.gigabyte.com/microsite/121/tech_20041125_px_cia2.htm
     
  20. Jonesiani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 17 Jun 2005

    Posts: 1,441

    Location: Nottingham

    Thanks for that, I’ll definitely have a play once my new ssd and ram are delivered