Buying or Building new PC

By andoyan ยท 5 replies
May 2, 2008
  1. Hello All,
    I own a Sony Vasio p.c which is about 6 yers old,it has a 500ram memory I have 2 hard drive on it each 120 gig. I also bought a dual monitor video card with 64mb. I have had nothing but fun with this comupter untill recently I decided to down load some songs and keep them on the hard drive on top of that I burn Movie dvd's, My problem is that every time that I am burning the Dvd. the machine comes to almost halt and I can use any other program on it even a simple game of solitary is a drag,
    My question is should I upgrade or buy or built a new pc and If I try to upgrade what do i do get more ram? and if the answer is buy or built a new pc what should I focus on the new one? A lot of memory? high video card? Dual processor? I would really be appreciated if I can get some advice regarding this matter. I am planing to work on the computer editing home videos that i have taken also burn more move dvd'.
    Thank You
  2. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    If u edit movies, u need a quad core processor, a good video card and at least 2 gig of mem. Building a computer is alot cheaper than buying a computer.
  3. ChaoticFlame

    ChaoticFlame TS Rookie


    A. This guy said nothing about editing movies. He burns DVDs. Big difference.
    (I'm sorry, do people here just not read?)

    B. This is only partially true. If you were running Windows Vista, then yes I would recommend at least having a processor out or the Core 2 line, but not necessarily a quad core. Vista is such a resource intensive OS though even when it's sitting idle, that it would be far more advantageous to run Windows XP for this type of work still. (WHICH THIS GUY ISN'T EVEN DOING.)

    C. Building your own PC is fun! You know you're getting exactly what you want, and you eliminate labor costs that you pay to have a company build one for you, so yes, it is cheaper.

    @ andoyan:

    You really left out most of the more important details concerning your current computer. What processor does it have? What kind of motherboard are you using? (It's spelled Vaio by the way.)
    What types of things are you looking to have a computer do right now?
    Do you just want a box that can download, use the internet and burn DVDs without hitting a snag? Or do you want a high powered gaming rig?

    If you're just looking at making your computer run a bit faster, then upgrading might be the best option for you. This would probably consist of buy a faster processor, and maxing out the RAM for your mother board.

    Want a new system?
    You already have hard drives and a DVD burner, unless you have a use for your old computer, it's easiest to just recycle your old components.

    A new system build would involve the purchase of a new motherboard, some DDR2 RAM, and a new socket 775 CPU. The wattage of your current PSU will determine if you would need to buy a power supply as well. You may also be able to recycle your old PCs case if you like it, (depending on it's form factor really and the form factor of the motherboard you would want to buy).

    If you want me to provide some more detailed information about your options, then post back here with some more specific system specs for your current rig, and answer my questions about what you'd like to use a computer for.
  4. andoyan

    andoyan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 47

    what kind of pu I have

    Thank you for your respond, I have a Pentium 4 cpu 2.40GHz 512 mb of ram, I don't know how to fined the name of my mother board I have!
    right now as I stated when I am burning a movie the computer gets so slow that you can't use any program, my question is upgrading my ram would that solve the problem ? or should I look at new computer , one that I like to built. and what I like my new unit to do is multi tasking at the same time, for example I use netflix to watch movies on the pc, I like to be able to burn dvd's while watching movies, or listening to music while editing some home videos that I have recorded via my camcorder.
    thank you again for your help.

  5. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Haha, good one.

    First, everything ChaoticFlame said is golden.


    I have a Pentium 4 2.4GHz. I ran 512 MB of RAM for about a year. You actually might be okay with what you have regarding processor and RAM; though, another 512 of memory would be wise. Windows XP "reaches maximum potential" when a computer has 1GB. In other words, you might actually notice an improvement. In order to upgrade your memory, usually you need to know what is compatible. You say you have "500ram." If that's short for DDR500, skip to the next paragraph. If you need to find out, there are a couple good ways to check what memory to use. 1.) Go onto Sony's Website and look for documentation for the exact model you have and check out the manual with all the specifications. 2.) Find out the motherboard model and search for a manual for it somewhere online. (It seems, though, that your motherboard model escapes you.)

    With my system, I have 1.5MB of RAM. I will run a 3D CAD program, Photoshop, Firefox, Servant Salamander, a music player(Musicmatch or Winamp, usually), Pidgen (messenger), Word, and possibly a couple other things all at once, and I certainly wouldn't be afraid to burn a DVD while it's running. Admittedly, I tend to set things to burn and walk away for good luck not producting a coaster, but I burn CDs while I work regularly. Underlying point: Your troubles may lie elsewhere, too.

    It could be that your DVD burning software is just a big resource hog. What software are you using?
    It could also be that your computer could just use some tidying or massive removal of all things malicious. Generally, I reinstall Windows about every year. (No schedule or anything, just when stuff gets pokey.) If you seem to remember your computer being faster when it was new, it very well could have been.
    A very full system hard drive might be a culprit, too. If you have a lot of music and video on your drives and they're looking pretty full, there's less room for the operating system to play with. That can actually affect the speed of a computer more than some like to admit. You might try defragmentation, especially if your drive says it's formatted with FAT32. Note, though, that you might want to do more research on what that does before you actually do it. It takes a while, especially with larger hard drives. There's also a way to compress hard drives, but honestly I've never done it. I have two 160GB hard drives. That would probably take a few hours. During both processes, though, you shouldn't be using the computer.

    If you can, find out what video card/graphics card your computer has (more on this below). If it's something old like a geforce 5600, you might see an improvement by finding a new video card, especially one with more memory. I would recommend having at least 128, but 256 would be safer. I ran a 5500 with 256MB forever and actually didn't have much of an issue exept with newer games. In fact, that card is still in use...but I digress. At any rate, it might be a little too much to ask to watch a movie without any choppiness while doing some least, without a complete system upgrade.

    Video editing competes with the most intense processes. If you do a lot of video editing, and you absolutely have to (and here I mean "would truly prefer and find incredibly convenient") burn DVD simultaneously, a complete system upgrade probably is the way to go. That starts to get into processing power that the P4 2.4 just doesn't have. I feel the chug if I try something like that. I'd imagine, though, that burning a DVD while watching a movie or listening to music while video editing would not be too much to ask of the hardware you listed plus 512MB of RAM.

    As for building versus buying a computer, I almost always suggest building, but I'm biased. It's just so good to know a little about how a computer works, what the pieces do and affect performance-wise, and whatnot. If you're tech savvy or would like to be, yes, building is the cheaper alternative. ChaoticFlame already stated the LGA775 and DDR2 combo for your purposes That's a good call performance to cost. If you're loaded anyway and don't want an upgrade for another six years, that's another story. Granted, the next six years and no new computer seems like a stretch now that parallel processing is starting to come out. *cough* PS3 *cough*

    If you're into warranties and not having to fix everything yourself, though, you can probably find a pretty good deal somewhere on a pre-built unit. Sometimes the software that comes on those makes it worth it financially just to buy something already built. It's not going to be your best performance, though. They tend to skimp out on areas and charge massive amounts for relatively inexpesive upgrades. Like hard drives. A 120 versus a 250 GB hard drive is--I'm sorry, it's true--not worth $400 more. (Being knowledgable about computer parts, to repeat myself, is helpful, even when buying.) So annoying.

    Finally, it would be useful for responders to have a little more technical information. I could be wrong. Here's a tip: Head over to the start bar and go to Run. Or just hit the Windows key + r. Type in dxdiag and press ENTER. This should bring up a ton of helpful system specification things.
    System model should be your motherboard model. (It is on my computer, anyway.)
    Display 1 (the tab) says the name of the graphics card and how much memory is on it. You already stated 64mb, but the name of the graphics card is important, too.

    As for the PSU wattage, you'll probably have to open up the case and look at the sticker on the side of it. It should have a model number that either includes a number, like 400 or 420. If not, search online for the You might want to note the brand, too. Pretty much, just slather a post with a bunch of technical nonsense and model numbers and stuff. Also, what operating system do you plan to use? (Personally, I recommend against Vista. I haven't heard many good things about it, and I've had nothing but unsatisfactory experience. But it's not my choice.)

    Hopefully this answers a lot of questions and addresses most of the issues.

    Okay, I'll shut up now.
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Actually he did. Read the last couple of lines in the OP's first post.

    @andoyan, you could look into the E7200 as a CPU for your new system. Also, the eVGA 8600GT is available for $50 now with a rebate and will be an excellent addition to your system . Throw in this motherboard, some good-quality, inexpensive RAM like this kit, this superb PSU and you've got yourself a nice system that will let you do whatever you want to. Just pick any case you want, but make sure it's atleast a mid-tower one and has at least 2-3 fans.
    Good luck and let us know how it goes. :)

    P.S. - I have assumed that you live in the US. If you live elsewhere, tell me so and I will try to get the appropriate links for you.
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