What to upgrade on PC?

  danabrey 16:48 13 Aug 2014


I'd like to make a small (say, under £60/£70) upgrade to my family PC. Mainly it's used for browsing, a bit of Photoshop/InDesign and stuff, plus playing one game (Minecraft). It deals with everyday tasks well enough and plays Minecraft okay on average settings. I just wondered what would make the best improvement for the price, from these options?

Extra 2GB RAM?

New graphics card of some form?

...or an SSD for the OS and often used programs?


Motherboard: AsusTek P5K SE/EPU;

Processor: Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q9400 @ 2.66GHz;

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT 1GB;

RAM: 3 x Samsung 2GB DDR2;

HDD: Western Digital 500GB;

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate

Thanks for any advice!

  danabrey 17:19 13 Aug 2014

Yes, sorry, Ultimate 64-bit.

  Ian in Northampton 17:52 13 Aug 2014

For what you want to do, that's a decent enough set-up. The graphics card is a bit elderly, but good enough for your needs. In terms of your overall user experience, I'd say that you'd see and feel the most benefit from an SSD. I think you'll struggle to get any of your programs to run faster - why would you want to? - but having them load almost instantaneously is a wonderful thing. And, if you regularly switch off your PC overnight, for example, you'll get hours of your life back each year not having to wait for Windows to boot to the desktop.

  danabrey 00:48 14 Aug 2014

Thanks Ian, the SSD seemed like the most attractive upgrade to me and you've confounded my thoughts!

Just for the sake of curiosity, is there an attractive graphics upgrade for that sort of price? The few that I've seen available for that cost and researched online have been surprisingly similar to my ageing card.

  mole1944 06:03 14 Aug 2014

First upgrade i would do is reinstall windows from scratch,by formatting your drive you'll get rid of the crud and bring the machine to factory new (Be warned you'll have loads of updates to install,first save all your data,then as is said put in a ssd i did this to a 5 year old laptop and have a boot time of 55 seconds.The other thing is when that is done clone your drive then easy to clone back your drive in the event of a failure,i clone bi-weekly. Id you have a western digital drive on or attached to your system they do a cut down version of Acronis.

  dfb70uk 14:40 14 Aug 2014

When I changed to win 7 after Microsoft's cut off date simutaneous with a nasty virus. I got a SSD and put all the progs I really needed on it with the new OS. Works well now. It is amazing how many progs you don't really need can clutted the PC. Dave

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