PC Improvements

Below is the spec of my PC. What improvements could I make to it to make it better (including links to compatible Mobo/CPUs etc). Thanks.

Although it is dual core it is not that special and I have heard that Intel Duo is the way to go (or something like that)!! rather than Athlon.

2.40 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core
Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. A8N-E 2.XX
Bus Clock: 220 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS A8N-E ACPI BIOS Revision 1011-004 01/20/2006
WDC WD1600JS-00NCB1 [Hard drive] (160.04 GB) -- drive 1
WDC WD1600JS-55NCB1 [Hard drive] (160.04 GB) -- drive 0
LITE-ON DVD SHD-16P1S [CD-ROM drive]
LITE-ON DVDRW SHM-165P6S [CD-ROM drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]
1024 Megabytes Installed Memory
RADEON X300/X550 Series [Display adapter]
RADEON X300/X550 Series Secondary [Display adapter]

  Batch 14:07 04 Apr 2007

What OS do you run (and if not Vista, do you intened to go to Vista - if so when)?

Also what do you mainly use the PC for?

  The Belarussian Mafia 14:07 04 Apr 2007

Upping the RAM makes a significant difference to everything. Use equally-sized pairs to get the most out of dual-channel capability on your mobo.

I use XP Pro and don't intend to use Vista. I do a lot of video encoding and burning etc....Not playing games!!!

  Totally-braindead 15:54 04 Apr 2007

Another gig of RAM would help if as you say you do video work

  keef66 15:55 04 Apr 2007

Intel core 2 duo processors do represent the best bang per buck at the moment, but as you imply, that would involve replacing both cpu and mobo so in round figures you're talking about £200 and up. You're already using dual core, so the benefit could be marginal.

Before you take that precipitous leap, have a look at the cpu charts on Tom's Hardware. Compare your current cpu with say a Core 2 DuoE6400 or E6600 in an appropriate benchmark (you mention video encoding)

You'll get an idea how much quicker it could be doing the kind of thing you actually do. back with a link in the next post.

  keef66 16:12 04 Apr 2007

click here

Looks like you could easily spend £250 just to shave a couple of minutes off encoding a DVD

So another gig of ram is all I need then you think?

  keef66 16:54 04 Apr 2007

I know it's a boring answer, but yes, probably.

I notice you have 2 identical HDD's; if they are currently configured as simple master / slave, you could consider setting them up as a striped raid array for the speed boost favoured by die-hard gamers, but then again if one drive fails, you've lost all your data!

How would I do that keef66? Would it make my system faster?

  Batch 17:28 04 Apr 2007

Another, more straightforward, alternative to using RAID (which is dependent upon whether your Disk Controller supports it, although many do these days), would be to move the page file to the 2nd HDD. This may help share the load more evenly.

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