Hardware advice for vista

  CJSIMPSON 18:39 23 Jul 2007

I am in a daze, I have just upgraded to vista as I like dthe look and wanted to iron out the bugs now while I had some time off work. My system spec is
P4 630 3.0ghz
915pl-a2 ecs m/board
1gig ddr 400mhz ram
160gb hard drive 7200rpm, 16mb cache
nvidia geforce 6800xt

My problem is I have started using it and I find it a little sluggish, I checked my WEI score and I got 4.2, 4.5, 5.9, 4.6, 5.5 the lowest being for the processor - not bad according to microsoft but still feels slow to me.

I want your opinions on this system, I cant afford a new one but may manage a couple of upgrades if quite cheap up to 100 -150 max I dont use it for gaming much, mainly video editing and photos, email and surfing. I was thinking about upgrading to 2gig ram first and possibly adding a second graphics card as its sli but it would have to be the same and would need a new psu as its only 300 watts or so or I could ditch the one I have and buy a newer model with better performance. If anyone were to upgrade this what would they do?

Now I've started looking into it I thought maybe buy a new motherboard and faster memory ddr2 which is cheaper than ddr.

What would have the best results and can anyone recommend any prducts?

I am thinking try the ram first but if it doesnt give me the results I will have to upgrade something else and may need different memory etc. so many things to think about...
I am totally out of the loop with hardware as I have had this pc nearly 2 years. The hard drive, monitor, speakers etc are fine. HELP PLEASE...

i would try the ram, i think 2 gb is a realistic minimum to be honest.

  CJSIMPSON 18:55 23 Jul 2007

DO you think I would get good performance with just that upgrade on its own? Is the processor and graphics card upto it?

  Pine Man 19:22 23 Jul 2007

adman 2 is right. Start off with extra RAM and see how it goes.

A good indication of how good your gfx card is managing is by turning off aero and see if it makes a significant difference. If it is much faster than you have the choice of either leaving aero off or getting a better card.

  CJSIMPSON 19:27 23 Jul 2007

What about the processor as in the W.E.I. that shows as the lowest score, what does everyone think about that, should it be plenty good enough?

  Pine Man 19:30 23 Jul 2007

I would have thought it was up to it but where do you stop?

anything over 4 should be ok, i think ram is very important, i have a pc im trying vista on. with 1 gb of ram the ram usage is 40- 70%, with 2 gb the ram usage is 40- 70% and with 4 gb the ram usage.... you guessed it! it seems to use a lot of ram, which i guess is a good thing. i started with an amd 3500+, that got 4.2 which was fine (you can add 1 point on with clock speeds) for example i can get a higher score with my 3500 higher than a 5200x2 at standard clocks, so i wouldnt rely too much on the windows score. i mean you could have 4 gb 800mhz ram, 2x 8800 gtxs a pair of 10000 rpm raptors and your base score would still be 4.2.
all my scores are 5.9 but my base score is 5.3 because of my hdd for some reason.
try the ram, you should notice a good speed increase.
click here

  CJSIMPSON 20:20 23 Jul 2007

wow you must spend some money on your pc, the reason I am son concerned is that 2 gig is the max ram I can use on my motherboard so when I get that in I will be maxed out and have nowhere to go. I might try that first then and see what happens. If the graphics card needs upgrading too can you recommend a very reasonably priced card that will give me noticable improvements over the one I have. I havent seen many good reports about my card.

2 gb should be fine, i mean 1 gb is, or used to be a lot of ram. and you will have double what you have now, 2 gb should be enough for a while yet. if you want to upgrade the graphics, as you already have an '8' card, the logical upgrade would be a 8800 as i dont think you would get a massive performance 'kick' from anything else.
these cards really need a dual core to feed them though. i would get the ram, you can spend the earth for a very minor perfomance increase. i think ram is the best way forward.

just noticed its a 128 mb card, sorry is it a agp slot?

  CJSIMPSON 21:42 23 Jul 2007

No its pci express, and I cant figure out whether its 128 or 256 I have seen them labelled with both its actually from inno3d 6800xt.

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