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GoatLord

Help me upgrade my old PC!

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I primarily use my PC as a DAW (digital audio work station; in order words, for running music software apps like FL Studio or Reason), and may use it for video editing and Photoshopping. The problem is, it runs pretty slow, and my limited knowledge makes it a bit difficult to diagnose what sort of upgrades I should shoot for. Here are some specs:

Windows 7 Service Pack 1
2.9ghz clockspeed
8GB RAM
ATI Radeon 3000 graphics card

Need to know anything else? I can provide additional info if it helps. My old man gave me this computer, which belonged to a friend of his from years ago. So I know it's kind of old. I'm guessing the culprit is the video card, because the consensus I've gotten is that NVDIA is the way to go. I feel like the clockspeed and RAM are OK for what I want to do. Any suggestions?

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Depending on how old it is, it may be worth it to upgrade completely to a new system.

And a video card won't be used much in a DAW, thats mostly RAM and CPU work.

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Mr. Freeze said:

Depending on how old it is, it may be worth it to upgrade completely to a new system.


I can't afford a new machine right now. My old man is willing to help me upgrade my video card, but if that's not the problem that I'm probably SOL at the moment.

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You're gonna need a new Motherboard that supports new Gen CPUs like Core i5 and DDR5 , And then buy a good GPU and CPU .

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First you need to find out what part is slow.

If it's the graphics card, get a better one.
If it's the hard drive, buy an SSD.
If it's the CPU you are out of luck. In that case you may have no choice but to replace the motherboard, and with that will come more expenses.

Replacing parts without investigating first what needs improvement is only going to cost you more in the end.

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DMGUYDZ64 said:

You're gonna need a new Motherboard that supports new Gen CPUs like Core i5 and DDR5 , And then buy a good GPU and CPU .


What? You're talking about GDDR5, which is video memory optimized for texture decompression and the like. DDR4 is the current standard for system memory. Like Mr. Freeze already pointed out, a flashy new GPU isn't going to help an audio system at all. If you're not using plug-in heavy software or large uncompressed audio files you may be able to push your current motherboard to it's limit, research what it can handle and buy the max components it can support. Just be cautious as these older components can be more expensive than more recent parts.
The main reason computers become slow is aging harddisks, so you could replace that too and gain some more speed, be sure it's using the best possible interface.

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I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, I'm not sure what to make of this information.

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GoatLord said:

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed, I'm not sure what to make of this information.


You need to help break it down if you want clarification on what upgrades to look for. Graf gave solid advice, but I understand if you are unaware what exactly is running slowly on your computer.

Can you explain how your computer is running slow? I.e. does it take longer to boot up? Do programs overall take a long time to load up or run slowly? If so, what programs?

In order to determine what you need you have to provide us with specific symptoms. Simply saying "it runs slow" doesn't narrow it down.

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