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Have You Upgraded Your Computer Recently?

Discussion in 'The Tech Room' started by Kevin Muldoon, Jul 30, 2014.

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  1. I got my 27" iMac at the start of 2010. It has an i5 processor and came with 4GB of RAM. In the beginning, 4GB of RAM was sufficient, but recently it has become unbearingly slow; perhaps due to increased RAM usage in the latest versions of OS X. Every time I opened up Word it would slow down to a halt and I could not do anything for up to ten minutes.

    The activity showed that I was using 3.99GB of RAM. Clearly, I needed more. I was tempted to purchase four 4GB modules to take me up to 16GB of RAM, or just purchase two 4GB modules and use the existing installed 4GB of RAM to take it to 12GB of RAM.

    However, I had two 2GB modules that had been sitting for over a year because I upgraded the RAM in my Lenovo laptop and not sold the old RAM. They are not the exact same type of RAM, but they are working fine as they have been installed in a pair. I now have 8GB of RAM. It's still not a lot for this type of machine, though I only seem to use 6GB to 7GB of RAM on most occasions and very rarely game on my mac. Best of all - this upgrade didn't cost me a penny. Clearly, I should have put the leftover RAM in my iMac last year :)

    The difference in loading times and navigating between programs is amazing. I didn't realise the lack of RAM was causing my computer to throttle so much. OK I did...but I kept being lazy and not making a point of ordering more RAM. It would only throttle when I opened too many applications or when I opened a hungry application such as Microsoft Word. So I wasn't at the point where I couldn't work because of it.

    Despite being four and a half years old, I can't see me replacing my iMac until it fails. It's still super quick and the programs I use every day use up very little RAM. So I honestly believe I could get ten years life out of it - maybe more. Coming from someone that used to constantly upgrade their PC, that is nothing short of amazing.

    Upgrading the hard drive is not really something on my radar as it requires me to take the screen right off the computer. It seems like it could be a tricky job. But I must admit the idea of putting in a faster SSD or a hybrid hard drive appeals to me. But if I'm honest, I don't really need it.

    The only other thing that I would consider doing next is installing Windows on it using bootcamp. I have been using a mac for years, but I still feel that Windows is the most practical solution for working online. Each to their own I guess.

    Have any of you upgraded your computer or laptop recently? Would love to know what you guys have done to improve your computers and make working online more efficient.

  2. Now I'm using Lenovo 3000 N200 laptop (8 or 9 years old) and it's painful experience.
    But I will be buying new PC next month. Budget is $1000 and it will be just enough to get i5 4670k, 16GB RAM, 128GB SSD drive, 1TB HDD, some H87 chipset based motherboard and 24" display, no graphic card at the beginning. On September/October I'll add graphic card and next 16GB RAM :) so in spare time (God help) I'll be able to play some games.
    Jay Mayu likes this.
  3. That sounds like a beast. The 128GB SSD will help it fly.

    You could probably get more than 1TB pretty cheap now.
  4. I have 500GB external drive so no need to buy bigger one :)
  5. You know, it is not only about upgrading your hardware with computers. I have personally never had a Mac, so can not comment much on that side of things. However, from a PC owner, i always try to find programs or processes to stop, when i am not using it. And running maintenance programs to keep my machine running as smooth as possible.

    Extra RAM is good, in all practice and usage. However, your computer slowing down maybe an issue, other than solving it by upgrading hardware. You maybe just prolonging an underlining problem, who knows.

    My current system, seeing that i want to show off, and compare with others that will comment in the future:

    Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (Was Windows 8, hated it)
    Intel i7-3770 3.4GHz with 8 CPUs
    12GB Ram
    AMD Radeon HD 7700 series
    500GB HD with 400MB reserved backup space, with 2TB Second HD
    And only 32GB SSD

    I have found to keep your online endeavors going, you must have a decent internet connection, with always clearing cookies and temp files and stuff. And Anti-virus is a must, regardless if your just browsing or more heavy duty stuff like running a business. Always scan links, files and everything. If you do not know what it is, and do not know where it came from, do not touch it, trust me on that.
  6. I have few very non-essential apps running. I don't even have anti-virus. Chrome and skype and todoist are normally on. I also use FileZilla, Photoshop, and a Text Editor such as Text Wrangler (or Textpad on my Windows laptop).

    Your computer sounds very fast. Without doubt that CPU is a beast; at least in comparison to mine. You can tell it is used for gaming :)
  7. As far as you know. I always thought that until I did a little checking.

    On a normal PC or laptop, press ctrl + alt + del, then select task manager. Go to processes, and that is what your computer is running at the moment. And it can, at times be huge CPU usage, and RAM.

    When first booting up computer, there is usually not a lot, but if the computer is not looked after right, it can be huge.

    That is just one way. Startup programs is another sucker of speed and performance.
  8. Certainly not the best, not by far. But it is a beast. And an untamed one at that, so far.

    Have you noticed, or is it me, that they have characteristics like Cars, or even living creatures?

    Don't want to go off topic, much, however they have little twerks and odd behaviours, like some things only work, when it wants to, not when you want it to.
  9. Going from Windows to Mac soon. They announced that Retina is now standard in the Macbook Pro range. May just drink enough tomorrow night so that the £999 I have to spend on it won't hurt.

    (Comes straight out of the business account by the way. I won't cry **too** much)
  10. Last week I upgraded my Mac mini to $599 version. Especially because my old mac mini couldn't cope up with the latest xcode 6. It has 4GB RAM and i5 processor. But it works just fine. It perfectly fits my iOS app development needs.

    In my experience, Skype is a nasty beast. It kills so much of processing power and memory. Also Chrome will swallow big chunk of memory if multiple tabs are opened.

    So far my new mac mini is behaving well with Xcode 6 and Yosmite.
    Kris Hoja likes this.
  11. Yeah all tech products seem to get some gremlins in their systems from time to time. Not sure why it happens.
  12. Anybody know if it's worth getting AMD A10 instead of Intel i5 4590 or 4670k?
    AMD has better integrated graphics, and it's much cheaper. i5 has better performance, but it's quite pricey.
    I'll be using mainly Photoshop and some occasional gaming (like once per month).
    Any thoughts?
  13. I would probably go with the i5, even though they are pretty much similar. If it is laptop, then i would go with i5.

    If desktop, then either will do for what you need it for.
    Kris Hoja likes this.
  14. Thanks George.
    George Dinmore likes this.
  15. I'm using Windows 7 32bit which can only use 4GB RAM so that is all I have.

    I should upgrade to 64bit and stick some more RAM in their but not sure how resource hungry 64bit would be in other areas?

    The CPU is just i5 2.40 GHz

    The laptop case is now coming apart and if I press down too hard the machine turns off so might have to get a new one soon anyway. I've had it about 3 years I think so its done me well for a budget buy.

    The macs are a fair bit cheaper in Thailand - I think the top end Macbook Pro is about £400 / $650 cheaper in Thailand than the UK (check before booking your flights!) so they are tempting me a little. But I've never really used a mac and think it would take too much effort to re-learn everything.
  16. @Joe F - OS X is very easy to use. You will be comfortable using a mac after a few days. I still prefer Windows, but you can find apps for macs for most things, so it is not usually a problem.
  17. @Joe F - I am totally sure anyone could just pick up a Mac and use it. I just got rid of my iphone for a different phone, cos it was just boring and simple. And that is just me.

    I like a bit of complication, it keeps me on my toes. And i have used Mac in Apple store, and never had no issues, everything was so easy and simple to use.

    You also can use Windows 64 bit on your laptop, just by seeing you have an i5 and is 2.4Ghz. I would not waste money on upgrading if it is falling to bits mind :)
  18. Thanks, I might think about an upgrade, although you are right about it not making sense if it falling to bits!

    I've just seen that you can swap out the DVD drive and replace it with a hard disk caddy so I could put the current disk there, and then get a SSD for the main drive.

    Or maybe I will just buy a Macbook Air as the battery like is still too short on this one!
  19. Replacing the DVD drive with an SSD drive would definitely give you a performance boost....but only by so much. You would still be using the same CPU and same amount of RAM etc. It depends on what is slowing your computer down.

    If the hard drive is slow, you could replace your default hard drive with a hybrid SSD/HDD drive. But if you really want to boost your performance, a new computer could be the way to go.
  20. Finally this will be my new PC, next month I'll add another 8GB RAM and in October 2TB HDD

    Zalman Z1 MIDI TOWER USB 3.0, BEZ PSU.
    Asus H97M-PLUS.
    GoodRam DDR3 8GB 1600MHz CL10 Play.
    Kingston 2.5'' SSDNow V300 120GB (Serial ATA 3) 7mm.
    Intel Core i5 4590 3,30 GHz BOX.
    Thermaltake Smart SE 530W Modular
    25" LG 25UM65

    Total price $1010
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