Monday (8/11/08) 11:55am - ... wherein Peter wants a faster CPU.
Executive summary: I'm looking to spend $100-$150 on a motherboard + CPU. What should I buy?
Longer description: I've had my computer about five years now, and I'm finally running into applications that peg the CPU. Full-screen video is pretty much a nonstarter, transcoding files is painful, and even rendering certain facebook pages maxes out the processor.
I'd like to spend $100-$150 on a motherboard and CPU. (I realize it's likely I'll have to buy a new cooling fan as well.)
Here are my questions: * Is the CPU the thing to upgrade, or is this one of those cases where "Oh, sure, the CPU is pegging, but that's because you need more than 1GB of RAM"? * Can I get a faster CPU than the one I have for $100-$150? * If so, then what should I buy? * And if not, how much do I need to spend?
Definitely shouldn't be having trouble with full-screen video... I have a similar box at home. When was the last time you reformatted and reinstalled from the ground up? Or are you just running some really hefty software?
You could upgrade to an Athlon 64 with a decent mobo for around what you're looking to spend, but be careful of RAM compatibility; you want to make sure your current RAM will fit the new stuff. A second gig of RAM wouldn't hurt. 1 GB is the minimum these days.
For maybe a hundred more you could spring for an Intel Core 2 Duo, which would be my choice. But again, once you start upgrading the mobo, you're looking at upgrading other stuff too, like RAM.