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Yet another "help my upgrade my friend's 10-year-old Athlon II X4 rig" thread.

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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,620
5,635
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I think that I re-visit this topic, every 3-4 months. I keep trying to convince my friend to upgrade his 10-year-old rig. But it keeps on trucking. Plus, he's got really no money.

I had actually sold him a G4560 rig, with 16GB of DDR4, a 240GB SSD, and a GPU, at a very fair price on an installment plan.

Well, he couldn't follow through with the installment plan anymore, so I got the PC back, and I still owe him for part of what he paid me for it.

Anyways, I was thinking of possibilities for an upgraded rig for him.

He's got an Athlon II X4 3.0Ghz AM3 CPU, 16GB of DDR2, a 120GB SSD that was 80% full, and a little over 10% used up, last time I checked. Still got plenty of life left, but not a lot of extra space. (He also has a HDD, but he doesn't use it really at all, that I can tell. I wonder if it's still spinning. Well, of course it is, Windows 7 would display some pretty serious error messages if it wasn't.)

I built an FX-8320E rig, after buying a replacement mobo for him, and then using it to build myself. I tried to talk him into taking that rig, for $300 (to be paid in the future, when he has spare money). GT1030 2GB GDDR5 version, 480GB Team L5 Lite 3D NAND SATA SSD, Windows 10, although could install Windows 7 64-bit, hardware does support it. (One of the benefits of slightly older hardware, like AM3+ and FX CPUs.)

I forget what it cost me, but it wasn't crazy-expensive, under $500 I think. Pretty powerful for MT things, a little slower in ST tasks than Ryzen or Kaby Lake.

But now I'm thinking and pricing out Ryzen 3 2200G rigs (already got a couple built), and also considering an i3-8100 build, as un-inspiring as those CPUs are, especially with the lack-luster Intel iGPU, that is practically their CPU trademark. Oh year, and having to deal with Meltdown and Spectre, too. What a load of fun.

But I'm wondering, if an i3-8100 can be price-competitive with a 2200G / B350 combo? And how does the performance compare, if you can OC the 2200G to 3.80Ghz or more, and can't OC the Intel i3-8100.

I think, price-wise, the CPUs are comparable.

And the so-called "cheaper" Intel 300-series boards, really aren't that much cheaper. Unlike in the past, there's no $40 H310 boards, they're all like $60+. Which I can get a B350 AM4 board for similar prices, or close to it. (Gigabyte has one for $65.)
 

BSim500

Golden Member
Jun 5, 2013
1,480
214
106
Honestly Larry, if he can't even afford the cheapest possible Pentium, even paying in instalments, then sometimes it's best to just leave it until he can. What does he actually use for it? I mean are you buying it for him for his needs, or buying "for him as if you were him" (a common mistake for gamers / enthusiasts buying for non-enthusiasts with simple needs)? For a simple web / office box and no gaming, I've found you're greeted with much more appreciation just sticking uBlock on for free (effectively speeding up browsing times by up to 500% by avoiding most of the cr*p (instead of trying to brute-force through everything)), disabling background real-time aspects of virus scanning, etc, maybe even use 0.5-1GB of that 16GB RAM for a RAM Disk for temporary web cache files, and then just let him run it into the ground until it fails, than trying to force a sale he obviously can't afford. You'd be surprised how much stuff like that drastically speeds the web up for someone with an ancient rig, and is typically much more appreciated by someone who literally has "really no money" at all. And when it does fail, for someone with that level of finances, I'd be far more inclined to find a 1-2 generation old used system (even a laptop) on Ebay for half the price of a new buld.
 

B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
1,232
307
136
Honestly Larry, if he can't even afford the cheapest possible Pentium, even paying in instalments, then sometimes it's best to just leave it until he can. What does he actually use for it? I mean are you buying it for him for his needs, or buying "for him as if you were him" (a common mistake for gamers / enthusiasts buying for non-enthusiasts with simple needs)? For a simple web / office box and no gaming, I've found you're greeted with much more appreciation just sticking uBlock on for free (effectively speeding up browsing times by up to 500% by avoiding most of the cr*p (instead of trying to brute-force through everything)), disabling background real-time aspects of virus scanning, etc, maybe even use 0.5-1GB of that 16GB RAM for a RAM Disk for temporary web cache files, and then just let him run it into the ground until it fails, than trying to force a sale he obviously can't afford. You'd be surprised how much stuff like that drastically speeds the web up for someone with an ancient rig, and is typically much more appreciated by someone who literally has "really no money" at all. And when it does fail, for someone with that level of finances, I'd be far more inclined to find a 1-2 generation old used system (even a laptop) on Ebay for half the price of a new buld.
These are really good points! I have been pretty good about asking people what they want to do with the computer before going hog wild and specking out the overkill.
 

B-Riz

Golden Member
Feb 15, 2011
1,232
307
136
I think that I re-visit this topic, every 3-4 months. I keep trying to convince my friend to upgrade his 10-year-old rig. But it keeps on trucking. Plus, he's got really no money.

I had actually sold him a G4560 rig, with 16GB of DDR4, a 240GB SSD, and a GPU, at a very fair price on an installment plan.

Well, he couldn't follow through with the installment plan anymore, so I got the PC back, and I still owe him for part of what he paid me for it.

Anyways, I was thinking of possibilities for an upgraded rig for him.

He's got an Athlon II X4 3.0Ghz AM3 CPU, 16GB of DDR2, a 120GB SSD that was 80% full, and a little over 10% used up, last time I checked. Still got plenty of life left, but not a lot of extra space. (He also has a HDD, but he doesn't use it really at all, that I can tell. I wonder if it's still spinning. Well, of course it is, Windows 7 would display some pretty serious error messages if it wasn't.)

I built an FX-8320E rig, after buying a replacement mobo for him, and then using it to build myself. I tried to talk him into taking that rig, for $300 (to be paid in the future, when he has spare money). GT1030 2GB GDDR5 version, 480GB Team L5 Lite 3D NAND SATA SSD, Windows 10, although could install Windows 7 64-bit, hardware does support it. (One of the benefits of slightly older hardware, like AM3+ and FX CPUs.)

I forget what it cost me, but it wasn't crazy-expensive, under $500 I think. Pretty powerful for MT things, a little slower in ST tasks than Ryzen or Kaby Lake.

But now I'm thinking and pricing out Ryzen 3 2200G rigs (already got a couple built), and also considering an i3-8100 build, as un-inspiring as those CPUs are, especially with the lack-luster Intel iGPU, that is practically their CPU trademark. Oh year, and having to deal with Meltdown and Spectre, too. What a load of fun.

But I'm wondering, if an i3-8100 can be price-competitive with a 2200G / B350 combo? And how does the performance compare, if you can OC the 2200G to 3.80Ghz or more, and can't OC the Intel i3-8100.

I think, price-wise, the CPUs are comparable.

And the so-called "cheaper" Intel 300-series boards, really aren't that much cheaper. Unlike in the past, there's no $40 H310 boards, they're all like $60+. Which I can get a B350 AM4 board for similar prices, or close to it. (Gigabyte has one for $65.)
Does your friend want something faster?
 
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Ranulf

Golden Member
Jul 18, 2001
1,628
152
106
Well, he couldn't follow through with the installment plan anymore, so I got the PC back, and I still owe him for part of what he paid me for it.
No, Larry. No. Bad Larry. Bad. Let sleeping dogs lie.

And when it does fail, for someone with that level of finances, I'd be far more inclined to find a 1-2 generation old used system (even a laptop) on Ebay for half the price of a new buld.
Agreed, cheap refurbs are (usually) your friend.
 
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Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,881
521
126
Honestly Larry, if he can't even afford the cheapest possible Pentium, even paying in instalments, then sometimes it's best to just leave it until he can. What does he actually use for it? I mean are you buying it for him for his needs, or buying "for him as if you were him" (a common mistake for gamers / enthusiasts buying for non-enthusiasts with simple needs)? For a simple web / office box and no gaming, I've found you're greeted with much more appreciation just sticking uBlock on for free (effectively speeding up browsing times by up to 500% by avoiding most of the cr*p (instead of trying to brute-force through everything)), disabling background real-time aspects of virus scanning, etc, maybe even use 0.5-1GB of that 16GB RAM for a RAM Disk for temporary web cache files, and then just let him run it into the ground until it fails, than trying to force a sale he obviously can't afford. You'd be surprised how much stuff like that drastically speeds the web up for someone with an ancient rig, and is typically much more appreciated by someone who literally has "really no money" at all. And when it does fail, for someone with that level of finances, I'd be far more inclined to find a 1-2 generation old used system (even a laptop) on Ebay for half the price of a new buld.
I was recently in a similar situation due to a mainboard and/or PSU getting flaky. But then what can you realistically expect from a 10 year old system.

Fortunately the people in question do have a bit of disposable cash. They're nicely setup with a new 2400G+B350 system, which should last them another 10 years. Perhaps with a memory upgrade when price fall down to earth.

I could have gone with a 2200G, but the life cycle requirement made the 2400G seem more attractive in the really long term.

I completely agree on the adblocker. That is pretty much the best free "upgrade" you can do for somebody. The security benefits are just a nice side effect.

These are really good points! I have been pretty good about asking people what they want to do with the computer before going hog wild and specking out the overkill.
Not that I'm disagreeing in principle, but you should always expect this sort of F&F build to have to last a fair while (5-10 years). Which makes choosing quality components worthwhile, with a bit of overkill for the critical parts.
 

scannall

Golden Member
Jan 1, 2012
1,740
1,165
136
You can get a Sandybridge i5 refurb for right about $100. Point him at that, and let him buy it. Stop spending money on someone who is just taking advantage of your good nature.
 
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shaggy77

Member
Feb 23, 2008
26
0
66
Sounds like you are itching to upgrade him over he needs the upgrade. I don't know if it's worth upgrading if he can't afford it to begin with. I recently was able to set a friend up with a slightly older laptop that was about 5 years old for next to nothing. My neighbor hooked my friend up with a clean install of the OS and Microsoft Office 2013. My friend never owned a computer until a couple of months ago. Never needed one and if he did, there was someone around who could do what he wanted. He needed the computer for CBT requirements by the company he works for. In fact, now that he is certified in some underground Utilities standard, he can work for more companies even though he knows how to do the work. The crazy thing is my neighbor works in IT. He had a few laptops sitting around doing nothing. He said all I was doing was helping him out since they didn't use them anymore since they were not compliant for the work they do. So he felt it would be a better use of the tech than sitting on the shelf.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,620
5,635
126
Larry, stop
But, but, "computer building OCD". I need an (excuse) to build another rig. What will I do about building rigs when I run out of excuses to build them.

Btw, I do have a 2400G in a Gigabyte Gaming 3 Micro-ATX board, with a PSU, 16GB of DDR4-3000 RAM, and a 256GB NVMe Intel SSD (600p). That would make a pretty hot-shot upgrade for him, and he would still be able to "play games" with it. (Like T7PC.) Probably closer to $600-700 I'd want for something like that, somewhat out of his theoretical price range.

I'm pretty sure that I did set him up with some form of AdBlocker, I use one myself. He uses NoScript too. He watches multiple 1080P streams online though, which kind of bogs down his Athlon II X4 CPU a bit. He has a GT610 dGPU, as the onboard 780G never really worked right for video-decoding.

Edit: I mean, OK, maybe I should just let this issue lie dormant, until such time his main PC actually croaks on him. Then I figure, he will magically come up with money. Probably.
 
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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,620
5,635
126
Does your friend want something faster?
He used to always complain about "lag". Which is when something doesn't respond *instantly* to him. He's already on an older, smaller, MLC SSD. M500. Kind of middle-of-the-road performance wise. Hooked up to an ASMedia dual-port PCI-E SATA6G controller card. Which probably doesn't give him the overall "snappy" SATA6G SSD speeds and low latency, that a nice modern Intel-chipset board would.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,620
5,635
126
Sorry, can Mods please close this thread. I had intended the bit about the friend to be a backgrounder, and had intended for this thread to actually be a technical discussion on the merits of a 2200G APU rig versus an Intel i3-8100 quad-core rig. I've started another (technical, please) thread, in which I will try to not mention whom it could be for.
 
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