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I have an old computer, is performance improvement possible?


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Hello out there. I got my computer in 2008. It’s a Dell with Windows Vista: Intel® Core™ 2 Quad processor Q6600 (8MB L2, 2.4GHz, 1066FSB), 3GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz (4 DIMM), Radeon HD 2400 Pro Graphics Media Card, 320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache153. About 2 or 3 years ago I had to replace the 400w (or 450w)power supply, so I got a 600w.  I know I need a new computer, but is there anything I can do to improve the performance of Second Life on my computer short term? I’d really appreciate any suggestions. Is it hopeless?

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If you can see what model motherboard you have you can try to upgrade the processor, the ram, and the video card. The video card would probably give you the most noticeable improvement. Windows Vista also has a lot of weird junk in it that makes your computer run slow. Look up ways to make Vista run faster.

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my setup that I've used for SL since 2009

 

p5e-vm-do motherboard

intel e7400 core2duo

2gb patriot ram

 

Recently upgraded in march of 2011

 

Same motherboard and processor.

 

added 4gb of ram for a total of 6gb of ram

went from a 8800gts (640mb video card)
to a gtx 550ti

 

I get great performance.   The setup you have is fine, maybe a bit more ram and another video card.

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I would start with a video card..not only are you going to get the biggest improvement, you can move the graphics card to a new computer when you get around to upgrading.

the GTX 550 ti is a fine card and not overly expensive as graphics cards go--definitely the way to go if finances are constrained.  If your delay in getting a new computer is non-financial, I went from the 550 to a GTX 660 a few months ago...it was an upgrade, but not nearly as much of an upgrade as I expected.   Still, overall, I am am glad I spent the money and went with the 660.  (Note, I have a dual monitor system--with a single monitor system I am not sure the change from 550 to 660 would have mattered enough to justify the extra expense.)

I like upgrading RAM for any excuse...I'm stuck on having at least 8gb whenever I can.  Not sure if it really matters, but I like it. 

Depending on the MB you may or may not be able to find an appropriate CPU upgrade.  I wanted to upgrade the CPU in my old computer but the socket type I needed was obsolete by the time I started looking.   Just taking a quick look @ newegg I think you may find yourself having the same problem. 

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1) upgrade your video card is the main one. can look at Nvdia GTX 550 or Radeon HD 6850

here is comparsion: http://www.hwcompare.com/9711/geforce-gtx-550-ti-vs-radeon-hd-6850/

is win some lose some comparison. so shop round and either will be OK. just make sure that either card will actual fit into your computer. like is slot compatible

2) the other one when looking to improve experience is the screen monitor. buy the best one that you can afford to rez the video card at highest resolution

a crisp sharp screen on a slower video card is better experience for everything 3D computery than a faster video card on a murky screen. is about eye strain this

3) adding more RAM not going to make much difference. if got Vista 32-bit then more than 4GB RAM is waste of money bc it not get used anyways. If want to get more RAM than 4GB then best to upgrade to Win7 64-bit as well. But if go down that path then might as well get a whole new computer

+

just go for 1 and 2 for now for starters

4) other one (which you probably already know) is to look careful at all the apps and services that startup on your computer when turn it on. turn as many of them off as you can. Vista have a whole bunch of stuff installed by the OEM. like programs and apps that not part of Microsoft. so just uninstall all the ones that you never use anyway. Same any Microsoft programs you never use

 

 

 

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If you'll be buying a new desktop machine in a year or so, you may want to buy a video card with the intention of moving it to that new machine, in which case I'd probably suggest the nVidia 660. If it's going to be much longer than that, or if your next machine might not be a desktop, then a 550 may be fine (and still would be a big improvement over that HD 2400). Your new 600w power supply should have no problem keeping a 550 happy (the newer, 600 series, is less power-hungry, therefore dissipates less heat, just as the 500 series improved over the notoriously power-hungry 400 series).

I'm sure ATI has comparable models, but I don't know them.

Otherwise... 3GB in 4 DIMMs? So two of them are 1GB and the other two are 512MB? Memory is absurdly cheap, so... maybe somebody who uses Vista 32-bit would know whether upping to 4GB would do anything for you (it would with Linux and the right motherboard chipset, but I vaguely recall that 32-bit WIndows doesn't do PAE, so it may do nothing at all).

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