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Question Desktop Upgrade (Rebuild) Non-Gaming

maniac5999

Senior member
Dec 30, 2009
497
1
81
It's been a while since I've been around here, but I still don't know any better sources than you guys.

Here's the background: I'm getting old and I don't really game any more. when I do play my slower, older games like Civ, my GTX1060 can run my 4k monitor just fine. I'm now working from home though, and 40 chrome tabs, plus my Bloomberg terminal, Factset front end and Morningstar Direct app can start to pull my desktop to it's knees. I looked at more ram, but my particular Corsair modules are discontinued and DDR3 is getting crazy expensive.

What I have:
i5 4670k (never overclocked well so stock speed)
16gb DDR3 RAM
GTX1060
Corsair 450W PSU
Crappy GMC Case (it only has 1 5.25" external drive bay mounted vertically, and is ideal to fit between my desk legs, so unless you can suggest something else with a similarly 18" or less length, I'm keeping it)
128GB SSD primary drive (older)
3TB Samsung Data Drive (that's a pain to keep cool in the case)
GTX1060 That I'm likely keeping
Wifi card, since a wire would need to be 15' around the footboard, and I'm about 3' to the router through drywall

I'm open to suggestions, and I'm not sure that I'll follow through at all, but I want to hear what people think. My best guess is that mobo/cpu/ram and maybe a bigger SSD are called for, along with better cooling out the back of this case. (I need to control two 80mm fans) I have no specific budget, but I prefer not to go crazy.
 
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MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
391
30
91
Heya,

Check the health/life on that SSD and the HDD. If they're getting old, they may also be full of bad sectors and it's constantly having to deal with that. Realistically your i5 and base platform shouldn't drop to its knees over some chrome tabs. My guess is that it's the security stuff and whatever going on with Bloomberg, Factset and Morningstar Direct perhaps.

You're GPU is fine. It has no effect on this really.

WIfi may also be playing a role in this, the latency is up on Wifi and you're doing 43+ packets any given moment, so that's a lot and will slow down on Wifi as the latency builds up, is this 5Ghz wireless? Or are you operating on a lower band? Also, what router are you using? May want to look into one with beefier guts to handle this kind of operation. Also what Wifi card is this? This can also be a contributor to slow performance if it's not good and hardware based with Intel chipsets.

Overall, if you want to see a change, you may want to do a total platform upgrade.

You can get a substantial upgrade in a Ryzen 7/9 series CPU (AM4), faster memory (DDR4) and overall faster architecture. And upgrade to a 1TB internal NVMe SSD that is much faster. A quality 5Ghz Wifi NIC, quality router to handle the operations (though wired would be superior still).

Very best,
 

maniac5999

Senior member
Dec 30, 2009
497
1
81
Many thanks.
-Yes it's 5ghz, and minus a wall in the way I could literally touch the router from the chair next to the PC. The band I'm using is also pretty clear according to some test sources.
-You'd be amazed at what these things can pull. Bloomberg has MANDITORY THREE FACTOR authentication. (yeah, seriously) and the other two lag a bit behind
-I'm a bit of a tab non-closing slut

Given that, I've got two questions:

If mixing RAM, what do you think about these? Quality generally gets better over time, and the CAS latency numbers look good relative to what I've got. 16 to 32GB is a big deal.

Secondly, what's good for a new SSD? I'd guess I want roughly a TB SATA drive to limit asks for the HDD.
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
391
30
91
Given that, I've got two questions:

If mixing RAM, what do you think about these? Quality generally gets better over time, and the CAS latency numbers look good relative to what I've got. 16 to 32GB is a big deal.

Secondly, what's good for a new SSD? I'd guess I want roughly a TB SATA drive to limit asks for the HDD.
When you're fully operational next time and you feel like it's crawling, open the resource monitor (I think you can access it by typing resource monitor in win7/10, or just access via task manager after an alt+ctr+del) and look to see what your memory usage is and what the CPU is doing and network, etc. Mainly you want to see if you're saturating your memory and it's going to swap file (on HDD) or not. This will tell you whether getting more RAM will matter or not. While faster timings on RAM may sound like a good idea, in reality, it's not going to be a measurable difference in this application, so I wouldn't worry about trying to get faster DDR3 memory and instead just see if you need more memory or not. The main issue would be that you're saturating your memory and its going to swap file for use. But I am willing to bet you are not saturating that 16Gb even with what you're doing. I wouldn't buy more DDR3, even faster RAM won't matter at this level because the limiting factor is the bus of your architecture and the speeds of DDR3 in general; a newer platform would yield much more.

For an SSD, a Samsung EVO 860 or higher 1TB would fit the bill. You can use acronic true image to clone your current system to the new drive, very easy, comes with it I think.

Very best,
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
7,159
2,345
136
It's been a while since I've been around here, but I still don't know any better sources than you guys.

Here's the background: I'm getting old and I don't really game any more. when I do play my slower, older games like Civ, my GTX1060 can run my 4k monitor just fine. I'm now working from home though, and 40 chrome tabs, plus my Bloomberg terminal, Factset front end and Morningstar Direct app can start to pull my desktop to it's knees. I looked at more ram, but my particular Corsair modules are discontinued and DDR3 is getting crazy expensive.

What I have:
i5 4670k (never overclocked well so stock speed)
16gb DDR3 RAM
GTX1060
Corsair 450W PSU
Crappy GMC Case (it only has 1 3.5" external drive bay mounted vertically, and is ideal to fit between my desk legs, so unless you can suggest something else with a similarly 18" or less length, I'm keeping it)
128GB SSD primary drive (older)
3TB Samsung Data Drive (that's a pain to keep cool in the case)
GTX1060 That I'm likely keeping
Wifi card, since a wire would need to be 15' around the footboard, and I'm about 3' to the router through drywall

I'm open to suggestions, and I'm not sure that I'll follow through at all, but I want to hear what people think. My best guess is that mobo/cpu/ram and maybe a bigger SSD are called for, along with better cooling out the back of this case. (I need to control two 80mm fans) I have no specific budget, but I prefer not to go crazy.
Definitely sounds like you are asking a lot from a 4 core processor.

Are you close to microcenter?
3900x - $400
B550
MSI Tomahawk for $180
or Gigabyte Aurus Elite for $150

DDR4- 3200 is fine.
You can get 32gb for about $110

I do recommend chucking the noise maker wraith cooler that comes with 3900x. It fine at keeping temps under control but I found it noisy.
Solid Aftermarket options can be had for 50-80

Everything else can be carried over.


The 128gb drive is still fine for system drive but if you can budget for it's probably worth jumping into the M2 arena and pick up a budget 1tb or something.
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,523
353
126
How full is your primary OS drive? SSDs tend to get significantly slower as more of their capacity is used. If you decide to replace it with a larger drive, make sure whatever you get is not a DRAMless or cacheless drive.

As far as increasing the memory is concerned, have you checked on eBay? You might be able to pick up some compatible modules there for significantly cheaper than buying them from a retail source.

Concerning mixing different brand modules, it has been my experience that as long as you are running the system at stock speeds I doubt you'll have any problems.
 

maniac5999

Senior member
Dec 30, 2009
497
1
81
Definitely sounds like you are asking a lot from a 4 core processor.

Are you close to microcenter?
3900x - $400
B550
MSI Tomahawk for $180
or Gigabyte Aurus Elite for $150

DDR4- 3200 is fine.
You can get 32gb for about $110

I do recommend chucking the noise maker wraith cooler that comes with 3900x. It fine at keeping temps under control but I found it noisy.
Solid Aftermarket options can be had for 50-80

Everything else can be carried over.


The 128gb drive is still fine for system drive but if you can budget for it's probably worth jumping into the M2 arena and pick up a budget 1tb or something.
Close enough to a microcenter. Lockdown makes things slightly challenging though. I may also end up with two desktops in different states, given my SO's purchase of a pandemic house out in the boonies. I may pull items out of my old Phenom II (Yes, That old) HTPC that I don't use to build a desktop up there.
 

pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
7,159
2,345
136
Close enough to a microcenter. Lockdown makes things slightly challenging though. I may also end up with two desktops in different states, given my SO's purchase of a pandemic house out in the boonies. I may pull items out of my old Phenom II (Yes, That old) HTPC that I don't use to build a desktop up there.
I still have a i3-2100 doing HTPC duty that the kids also use for gaming and my old Q9550 rig is being used as a primary desktop and doing a great job of it.
Depending on Phenom II, there could still be some life in it.

For Microcenter, check to see if your still has curbside pickup in place.
 

maniac5999

Senior member
Dec 30, 2009
497
1
81
I still have a i3-2100 doing HTPC duty that the kids also use for gaming and my old Q9550 rig is being used as a primary desktop and doing a great job of it.
Depending on Phenom II, there could still be some life in it.

For Microcenter, check to see if your still has curbside pickup in place.
I dropped $50 on another 16 gb of RAM. I think I've got to dump another hundred into the OS Drive. I'll see how the Phenom still works. It's a 3ghz 4 core with a 64 GB SSD and a TB HDD. Otherwise I think I'm cool. Beyond that I think I can swing another drive without a concern. (as said, money isn't a push, but I dislike spending it)

I had a failed Win10 update a couple weeks back so I'm now back at 50% on the OS drive due to a new install. We'll see how things go.
 
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maniac5999

Senior member
Dec 30, 2009
497
1
81
Update: I got the RAM and installed it yesterday, I actually got a "cannot open page, not enough memory" error in chrome right before the package arrived. I think that I was saturating both memory and the swap file. Starting Bloomberg can still drive the processor to 100% on all cores for 30 seconds but otherwise I normally sit at around 30-50% even when chugging a big excel file. (We're talking 30MB+) To give you an Idea, I'm probably at 2/3 my average weekday workload right now (it is Saturday after all) and I appear to be using 43% of my 32gb.

I'll consider swapping the OS drive, but reinstalling all my programs is always a pain. Some of them actually require calling the vendor for authentication.

Many Thanks All.
 

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