Archive for Windows 7

Is it time to upgrade Windows and my computer?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2009 by lightninpoker

My desktop computer is a 5 year old Dell Dimension Pentium D running on Windows XP.  Finally, I am considering updating my computer.

First off – Dell. There was a time that I just bought Dell computers (8 in all – when I was in business) knowing that the prices were fair and the products good. Then two years ago I decided to upgrade the power supply from 350w to 750 watt to support extra hard drives and a video card. I discovered that the entire computer industry uses a standard size for power supplies – EXCEPT for Dell. So – I had to use some local “engineering” to make it work.

Now I am considering changing my motherboard and I discover that the Dell motherboards are non standard and that nothing else will fit in the Dell case. So – Dell sells you a computer that can NOT be upgraded by using the thousands of leading edge vendors – you can only go back to Dell. OK – I get it Dell. No more Dells for me. (I am not the only one to abandon Dell – their stock has tumbled from $40 in 2005 to $10 now)

So – I will buy a new case with extra fans etc. to transfer over most of the parts – $125 – not a big deal – but a nuisance to rewire and move it all and harmful to the planet to have to toss  a case  unnecessarily.

As part of the upgrade I am considering Windows 7, a new motherboard, a new Quad CPU, and new memory.   So – if I upgrade the system for $750 what will I get? There is the rub.  On the large scale – nothing – on a small scale – several incremental improvements.

Computing has changed very little in the last 5 years. CPU’s have gone from Dual core 3 Ghz being the top to Quad core 3 Ghz now. The dual core handles everything I do fine including multitasking. The only time that it bogs down is when I am editing Photos or Videos ( a rare event for me).  The memory is 266 MHz now rather than 75 MHz 5 years ago – but even though the memory itself is faster there is no real change in overall computer speed (unless you are gaming or working with 3d animation).

Upgrading for $750 changes nothing except that multitasking with photos and video will be a little faster.  For regular internet surfing, Excel, Word, email, etc. – it is the same as 5 years ago.

The main computer changes recently have to do with hardware connections – HDMI, SPDIF, etc. However, the ease of connecting computer, television, and audio all together is still in a state of flux and requires extra tuners and converter boxes that are costly and at present not integrated with the cable box.

So – bottom line.  If it isn’t broke – don’t fix it!   I will wait another year.