Windows 10: Should I upgrade what I have or buy a whole new PC?

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  1.    23 Jan 2017 #1

    Should I upgrade what I have or buy a whole new PC?


    Hello

    Should I buy a new PC or upgrade what I have?

    USE:
    I use my PC for web design, graphics (Photoshop/Xara etc), some 3D design and general purpose business.
    I would like a higher resolution monitor (4K??) with reasonably accurate colours for web/graphic design.

    MY HARDWARE:
    I have a 7-year old PC with:
    - Processor: Intel Core I5 750 2.66GHz )
    - RAM: 8GB ==> (2GB 1066 DDR3 Memory) x4 modules
    - Hard disk: 300GB Solid State Drive (SSD) "INTEL SSDSA2CW300G3 ATA Device" (year: 2012)
    - Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 5770
    - Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster 244T
    [EDIT: Motherboard: Intel DP55WB (MA TX)]

    PROBLEMS:
    My Windows 10 is running fairly slow. My 1920x1200 px monitor is taking 5+ minutes warm up and come to life and I fear needs replacing. My SSD is only about half-full. I run CCleaner to clear out my caches etc. I also run BitDefender Total Security 2017 which probably slows things down a little. I also use X1 search which needs a powerful machine to handle my 15GB of email data...

    Should I:
    A) Buy a new PC (with Windows 10 on it)
    B) Or should I format my hard disk and re-install Windows 10,
    And if the latter, so should I:
    - Upgrade my graphics card? (==> if so, to what?)
    - Add more RAM? (==> if so, to what?)
    - Keep my SSD? (==> if so to what?)
    - If I buy a new PC is 4K too much resolution for a screen that is say 24" to 30"?

    Any thoughts?

    J
    Last edited by ship69; 23 Jan 2017 at 10:33.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    23 Jan 2017 #2

    Gosh! I'm of the mind that 5-7 years is the outside of the envelope for refresh intervals (the time between PC/laptop purchases). You're pushing that envelope pretty hard with your machine, but you can take a "try it and see" approach to things. You monitor could be as much as 10 years old (I see a review on CNET from 2007) and you would probably benefit from replacing it, especially given its warm-up time. I have two 2007-vintage Dell 2707 monitors, and they start right up, so it's not strictly a function of age, either.

    Here's what I would suggest:
    1. replace your monitor
    2. make a backup of your system, then perform a clean re-install of Windows. If you are somewhere in the spectrum of "I'm happy with the re-install" to "I can live with it," keep it and be happy. If you're unhappy, it's time to think about replacing your system, or using it as a second system.

    If you get to number 2, post again to the PC Custom Builds and Overclocking threads and you'll find (and can get) plenty of good advice on components for building a new PC.

    As for memory, please tell us what kind of motherboard you've got, so we can provide input on potential memory upgrades.

    Thanks and hope this helps,
    --Ed--
    Last edited by EdTittel; 23 Jan 2017 at 10:24. Reason: Improve clarity
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  3. Posts : 3,094
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       23 Jan 2017 #3

    I just replaced a 6+ year old computer I built with an ASUS, similar internals and performance. The old one developed an issue with one of the SATA ports that migrated to the HDD, or maybe it was the other way around. Experience has shown me that when such problems creep up there will be more issues later on, no prediction of when. The ASUS is the first new OEM computer I've bought since my first in '92, have built what I wanted. Cost-wise, an individual can usually find an OEM at similar pricing when adding up all the parts one needs to build one, can't get the quantity breaks of the "big guys".
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    23 Jan 2017 #4

    EdTittel said: View Post
    Gosh! I'm of the mind that 5-7 years is the outside of the envelope for refresh intervals (the time between PC/laptop purchases). You're pushing that envelope pretty hard with your machine, but you can take a "try it and see" approach to things. You monitor could be as much as 10 years old (I see a review on CNET from 2007) and you would probably benefit from replacing it, especially given its warm-up time. I have two 2007-vintage Dell 2707 monitors, and they start right up, so it's not strictly a function of age, either.

    Here's what I would suggest:
    1. replace your monitor
    2. make a backup of your system, then perform a clean re-install of Windows. If you are somewhere in the spectrum of "I'm happy with the re-install" to "I can live with it," keep it and be happy. If you're unhappy, it's time to think about replacing your system, or using it as a second system.

    If you get to number 2, post again to the PC Custom Builds and Overclocking threads and you'll find (and can get) plenty of good advice on components for building a new PC.

    As for memory, please tell us what kind of motherboard you've got, so we can provide input on potential memory upgrades.

    Thanks and hope this helps,
    --Ed--

    Hi Ed

    My motherboard is: Intel DP55WB (MA TX)

    Also, in order for default text to be at a sensible size on screen, my Windows "Custom Scaling" is set at 200%.
    In Windows 7 and 8 having a large scaling used to cause lots of problem with layouts e.g. Submit buttons disappearing and on. Does Custom Scaling still cause similar problem in Window 10?

    Out of interest, roughly what budget would seem appropriate to upgrade my system?

    Cheers

    J

    PS. Also is there any merit in considering a replacing my desktop with laptop?
    I have what I consider to be a "perfectly OK" laptop
    Samsung Series 7 Ultra Notebook 13.3",
    Model: NP740U3E-S04UK, with an SSD which I upgraded to 512GB.

    So I don't particularly need a laptop as such and either way it would need to a large high res screen...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    23 Jan 2017 #5

    Monitor scaling works better in Windows 10, but most folks I know set it to 150% rather than 200%. You'll have to ask for input from those who've run it scaled up that high. I myself use 150% on my Surface Pro 3 and it works just fine.

    As for a budget on a PC, I built a Skylake machine in January 2016 with an i7 6700 ($300), Samsung NVMe 950 512 GB SSD ($300), an Asrock Z170 Extreme7+ mobo ($200), and 32 GB DDR4 Memory (4x8 DIMM; $160) but was able to recycle all other parts (case, PSU, graphics card, monitors), so it cost me $960 to put a pretty strong system together. Depending on what you need, YMMV, but if you can spend $800-$1,000 you should be able to build yourself a pretty respectable PC.

    HTH,
    --Ed--
    Last edited by EdTittel; 23 Jan 2017 at 10:48. Reason: Fix date error
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  6.    23 Jan 2017 #6

    By the time you upgrade the components, you'll basically be building a new PC. At that point, when a new CPU, motherboard, and memory are needed I call it a new build and start from scratch.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    23 Jan 2017 #7

    DeaconFrost said: View Post
    By the time you upgrade the components, you'll basically be building a new PC. At that point, when a new CPU, motherboard, and memory are needed I call it a new build and start from scratch.
    Yes, although I could probably get there, I am not particularly technical, and I am starting to thing I would be better of buying a whole new system. Moreover my hardware knowledge is about 7 years out of date!

    From my list of components what would you do in my position?

    And if a whole new unit from scratch, I am guessing that due to economies of scale I would probably be better off buying whole new PC off the shelf, no?

    If doing that, do you have any recommendations of where to find trustworthy reviews (PC Pro A-List: The best tech you can buy in 2017 | Alphr ? Amazon??)
    And/or any individual makes & models that you'd recommend??

    J
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    23 Jan 2017 #8

    If you have more money than time and energy, buy an off-the-shelf system. If money is tighter and you have time and energy, you can still get more bang for the buck by DIY a PC. You should be able to keep using your Intel SSD at a minimum, and possibly your case. As DeaconFrost observes, most everything else will need to be (and absolutely should be) replaced. Sources of good reviews include Tom's Hardware (but they are component oriented and won't be very helpful for off-the-shelf stuff), PC Magazine, CNET, Tech Radar, and Expert Reviews.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    23 Jan 2017 #9

    EdTittel said: View Post
    If you have more money than time and energy, buy an off-the-shelf system. If money is tighter and you have time and energy, you can still get more bang for the buck by DIY a PC. You should be able to keep using your Intel SSD at a minimum, and possibly your case. As DeaconFrost observes, most everything else will need to be (and absolutely should be) replaced. Sources of good reviews include Tom's Hardware (but they are component oriented and won't be very helpful for off-the-shelf stuff), PC Magazine, CNET, Tech Radar, and Expert Reviews.
    HTH,
    --Ed--
    Thanks I have tried following your links.
    Most of all, my problem is knowing just how biased all these reviews might be, but my initial reactions are:

    1. Apple always seems to come out top ==> not relevant to me, I need Windows.

    2. Dell always seems to come second ==> I have had/heard of too many experience of Dell call centres to want to go there again.

    3. Lost of Desktops seem to be these tidy little space-saving boxes or all-in-one machines. But I have plenty of space. And want something purely functional and expandable if required. i.e. A "tower" case?

    4. I don't need any multi-media/ "family" stuff - just business use.

    SPEEDS:
    My current PC seems to take 10-15 seconds to load Photoshop and 22-25 seconds to load Xara (Designer Pro X10), opening msWord takses 4 or 5 seconds, and even re-opening Excel (Office 365) takes about 4 seconds... All of which seems unacceptably slow to me particularly given that I am using a SSD.
    ==> I think I would expect those times to be divided by 3, no?


    Can anyone give me some pointers as to what would be a reasonable to look for in an off-the-shelf desktop. My thinking so far is that I should look for:

    DESKTOP
    - Budget 700??
    - Processor: Core i5 or (ideally Core i7) [ ASIDE: What is Quad Core - do I need that?? ]
    - RAM: 16GB of 133MHz DDR4
    - SSD:
    - [ I should be able to keep my existing SSD, yes? ( 300GB, "INTEL SSDSA2CW300G3 ATA Device") ]
    - [ Should I buy one with a smallish SDD for the operating system itself (would 128GB be enough?) ]

    - Should I have Turbo Z on PCI Express for my SSD?
    - Graphics card: [no idea but it needs to cope with 4K and 2 screens and 60MHz!]
    - Sound card (not needed)

    - CD/DVD reader
    - Tower case
    - USB: "Superspeed USB 3.0"? [Plus ideally say 6 or so USB 2 ports for my keyboard, mouse, 3D mouse, Jabra speaker, printer etc]

    MONITOR
    - Budget 600 ?
    - Ideally larger than my existing 24" screen
    - Resolution: QHD (= WQHD??) (or 4K)
    - Colour accuracy needs to be reasonable (but how measured?)
    - Touch if possible

    Am I on the right lines?

    Cheers

    J
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    24 Jan 2017 #10

    Alas, because you're in the UK, I'd urge you to get assistance from @Fafhrd or perhaps @dalchina as both are quite knowledgable and share your country of residence. Were you here in the USA, I'd urge you to look to the best of our boutique PC builders for what you want. Here, that would be somebody like Origin, Falcon Northwest, Puget Systems, iBuyPower or Velocity Micro, but I don't know about "over there."
    Perhaps somebody else would like to chime in?
    Sorry you didn't find my links relevant: I wouldn't, however, have suggested them if I didn't think they were fair and relatively unbiased.
    Best wishes in your search for PC satisfaction,
    --Ed--
    Last edited by EdTittel; 24 Jan 2017 at 10:34. Reason: Add another boutique vendor
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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