14 Replies Latest reply on Nov 12, 2009 12:36 AM by Harm Millaard

    Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...

    Bill Heslip Level 1

      Currently running XP on an HP xw8400 workstation with one Xeon 5150 (2.66 GHz dual core processor), 4 GB memory, Quadro FX1500.  There is a large, empty spot begging for another processor and I'm considering my options.  Upgrade plans include Windows 7/64 bit and CS 4.x (still working with 3.x) and assorted hardware.  Keep in mind this computer is about 3 years old.

       

      As for hardware should I:

       

      1) Upgrade the software & load it up with more memory.  The system as is still feels perky and handles HD just fine.  Hardware cost : $300-400.

       

      2) The above, plus an additional CPU. Total hardware cost: $800-$900.

       

      3) Buy another workstation-class computer.  Total cost:  $2000?

       

      I'd really like to sqeeze some more life out of this system, so I'm leaning toward option 2, but I don't want to be looking at buying another system anyway in a year.  What do you folks think?  Harm?

        • 1. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
          Jim_Simon Level 9

          I think if you build it yourself, you can have option 3 for the less than the cost of option 2.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            The Xeon 5150 was a very good CPU in it's time, but developments went so quick that it really is outdated in terms of technology. However current prices do not reflect that. A single i7-920 will easily outperform a dual 5150, so from that point of view I consider it not wise to invest in a second processor for around double the price of a single i7-920.

             

            Your mobo uses a 771 socket and uses DDR2 memory. Investing in a memory upgrade to 8 GB can be relatively cheap and will give you a boost in performance, but is it wise? You will still be handicapped by a single CPU with dual cores and when the time comes to upgrade to a new PC, the memory investment is lost, because you will need DDR3 memory for a new system.

             

            I would seriously look at investing in a new system, based on the i7-920 with 12 GB memory and keep your current system for the less time critical tasks and storage, like PS work, label design, printing, DVD duplication, etc.

            • 3. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
              Bill Heslip Level 1

              This information is invaluable, thanks guys.

               

              Harm, as usual, you are spot-on.  Too much money to upgrade old tech (though rock-solid) and much easier.

               

              I'm looking at this:

              HP Pavilion Elite e9280t

              • 4. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                Jim_Simon Level 9

                Still more expensive than building your own.

                • 5. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  What I am going to build is near the top of my notes page http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM

                   

                  As long as you go slow and read all the instructions, plus Google if you need to find a picture to know how to connect everything, building a computer is not really hard at all... I've built a half dozen, for myself and for relatives

                   

                  If you don't care to build one yourself, my wife's current computer is HP (her previous one died and there wasn't time to buy parts and build) and she is very happy with it

                   

                  Where I work buys Dell or Acer, and the people in the IT Department say they are both good... although, when it was time to add more server capacity, they built several themselves, using Gigabyte motherboards and Intel i7 920 processors

                  • 6. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    John,

                     

                    Just a reminder that for instance the Dell XPS line comes with a severly crippled BIOS that prevents you from ocerclocking. This means that if you want to have more speed, you need to opt for the i7-975 instead of the i7-920 at ridiculous, bordering on plain theft, prices. Maybe that also applies to HP, I don't know.

                    • 7. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      True... but how likely is it that someone who wants to buy instead of build is going to look into overclocking?

                      • 8. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                        John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Bill Heslip wrote:

                        I'm looking at this:

                        HP Pavilion Elite e9280t

                        Please post a link to make it easier for people to see what you mean

                        http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/store_access.do?template_type=series_detail&cat egory=desktops&series_name=e9280t_series&aoid=33468&kw=hp_e9280t&tafcjnef=fy09&ppc=CCp2777 3447

                         

                        There is something wrong with that description "with 8GB DDR3 system memory"

                         

                        DDR3, by definition, comes in sets of THREE memory sticks, for 3x1=3Gig or 3x2=6Gig

                         

                        The SPECS page says 4 sticks to get 8Gig... so I presume 4x2Gig... but that will NOT run at the full DDR3 speed

                         

                        The page then says "FREE UPGRADE! 9GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [5 DIMMs] from 8GB" which means, to me at least, that they are adding a 1Gig stick to the existing 4x2 memory sticks... and that is still NOT going to run at DDR3 memory speed since the memory sticks are not matched for size AND do not total 6 sticks

                         

                        Only when they get to "12GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [6 DIMMs]" will the computer run the memory at the full DDR3 speed

                         

                        I can't imagine that the HP technicians don't know this, so it would appear they have been over-ruled by the marketing types

                         

                        Of the hard drives shown, you would need AT LEAST the 640Gig for system and software, and a 750G or 1T data drive... for SD video

                         

                        For HD video (which I don't do) I am told RAID is better for data

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                          Bill Heslip Level 1

                          Yes, I should have posted the link.  This was my first post since the site was revamped, and I tried to fix it after the fact only to find that this no longer seems possible.  (and is there any way to easily navigate to the first unread post in a thread?)

                           

                          I never got that erector set I wanted growing up.  Nevertheless, I'm confident I could muddle through and eventually meet with success rolling my own.  However, the time involved and the angst this would create make the alternative more attractive to me.

                           

                          And John, thanks for the heads-up on DDR3.  I wrongly assumed matching pairs were still the requirement.  Would have lucked out anyway because Harm had indicated that 12GB was optimal for this CPU, but good to know before jumping.

                           

                          Looks to me like the HP Pavilion Elite e9280t is out of the running anyway due to a capacity of only 2 hard drives and a 460 watt power supply.

                          • 10. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            I am not up on current configurations, but WA State U where I work buys ONLY Dell or Acer (aside from servers built by the IT shop) so as far as I know, Dell & Acer both produce good boxes

                             

                            You'll have to go to their web sites to find out what they charge for the configuration you need, and how long to build and ship

                             

                            Our latest purchase (over 200 to outfit a new building) was Acer all the way, so I think they are ahead of Dell on price (I run the receiving dock so see what comes in, but have no idea of pricing)

                             

                            There are companies that specialize in building gaming or editing computers, but they are NOT inexpensive, from what I've read in other messages... but you do, supposedly, get a computer that is optimized out of the box

                             

                            As far as the forum... LOTS of messages over in the forum discussion forum about the overall suckness factor of the new software

                            • 11. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                              Bill Heslip Level 1

                              What do you guys think about this system (and do I need ECC memory)?  Price seems decent enough.

                               

                              CUSTOM WORKSTATION, Quad-Core Core™ i7 Extreme Graphics Workstation$1931.16 UPDATE$1931.16
                              • CHIEFTEC, Mesh CH-02 Black Mid-Tower Case w/ Window, EATX, No PSU, Steel
                              • CORSAIR, CMPSU-850TX TX Series Power Supply, 850W, 80 PLUS®, 24-pin ATX12V EPS12V, SLI Ready
                              • ASUS, P6T, LGA1366, Intel® X58, 6400 MT/s QPI, DDR3-2000 (O.C.) 12GB /6, PCIe x16 SLI CF /3, SATA 3.0 Gb/s RAID 5 /8, HDA, GbLAN, FW /2, ATX, Retail
                              • INTEL, Core™ i7-920 Quad-Core 2.66GHz, LGA1366, 4.8 GT/s QPI, 8MB L3 Cache, 45nm, 130W, EM64T EIST VT XD, Retail
                              • COOLER MASTER, Hyper N520 CPU Cooler, Socket 775/1366/754/939/940/AM2, Copper/Aluminum
                              • SERVICE, Mild Overclocking, 10-20% Performance Increase
                              • CRUCIAL, 12GB (6 x 2GB) PC3-10600 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 1.5V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
                              • PNY, Quadro® FX 580, 512MB GDDR3, PCIe x16, DVI, DP /2, Retail
                              • SEAGATE, 500GB Barracuda® 7200.12, SATA 3 Gb/s, 7200 RPM, 16MB cache
                              • RAID, No RAID, Independent HDD Drives
                              • SONY, AD-7241S Black 24x DVD±R/RW Dual-Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA, OEM
                              • LG ELECTRONICS, CH08LS10 Black 8x/16x/40x BD/DVD±RW/CD-RW Blu-ray Disc™ Combo Drive, SATA, Retail
                              • MICROSOFT, Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition w/ SP1, OEM
                              • WARRANTY, Silver Warranty Package (3 Year Limited Parts, Life-Time Labor Warranty)
                              • 12. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                                Jim_Simon Level 9

                                I'd change Vista to 7.

                                 

                                And really only 1 hard drive?

                                • 13. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                                  Bill Heslip Level 1

                                  Good catch.  Changing to Win7 Pro actually brought the price down by $50.  I plan to install 3 additional drives myself, which brings me to my next question:

                                   

                                  What about the "integrated SATA raid controller" (although the specs I posted say no controller), there are several upgrade options if more is needed (as I plan to raid 0 two drives).

                                   

                                  I'm sure there's more I'm missing...

                                  • 14. Re: Upgrade or buy new...decisions, decisions...
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    This is an X58 motherboard and there will be either an ICH10 (non-raid) or an ICHR10 (raid) chip, which supports Raid0, 1, 5 or 10. If they mention raid, then the ICHR10 chip will be on the motherboard.