Build or upgrade your existing Desktop Computer?

Hi guys

My last build was 6+ years back. I did many upgrades, mostly with the memory & storage as I have a number of virtual machines through Oracle VirtualBox & from last three years I stopped taking office work to home, in order to have a better family life. So the PC is mostly used for YouTube & studies related activities by my kids. Once in a while (when I am allowed to use), I use it for work.

I’ve been thinking about an upgrade dearly, as the desktop started giving me a feeling that it was lagging, especially during the Windows startup.

I did a quick assessment and realized that the Intel OEM motherboard supports DDR3 32GB memory (Currently I have 16GB memory) and has SATA standard 3. I already have 5TB+ storage and one 850W PSU. A studio standard sound card from Creative and supported by an Intel i7 generation 2 processor which made the an “Awesome” unit when I built it initially.

From the investment point (both money and efforts), a new PC (Assembled) would cost me approximately 250-300 Kuwaiti Dinars (800-950$) & as the Desktop accessories market is slowly dying, the chances of finding all the items for assembling would be kind of time consuming and tiring activity.

Although a new motherboard and latest processor & memory means support and performance that existing PC could never offer after any number of upgrades, I decided to “upgrade” my current PC for one last time.

This upgrade included a single item and the total expense expected was 36.5KDs (36.5*3.2 = 116USD approximately), and the item was a Crucial MX500 500GB SSD!

cmx500

I used EaseUS ToDo Backup free’s  cloning utility to clone my existing 512GB mechanical drive (approximately 220GB data) which took around 1.5 hours & realized that I never felt my desktop PC such fast and responsive.

10-July-2020. Now crucial has their own Acronis based clone software for the cloning. Please visit this link and watch all their videos to understand how to install the SSD, clone and switch. https://www.crucial.com/support/ssd/ssd-install/ssd-install-steps/part-2-copy

From my last 48+ hours assessment, following are few of the changes I have noticed.

  1. My Windows 10 Pro 64Bit OS (Build 1809) starts and ready in 5-10 seconds time (Fast boot enabled), which was approximately 4-5 minutes prior the SSD inclusion.
  2. My desktop machine shuts down within a time frame of 2-3 minutes, which was never less than 10 minutes (with almost no active database services other than an instance of MySQL and Google’s drive sync software. I found the later being one of the culprits)
  3.  The overall responsiveness has tremendously improved & the constantly nagging delays with starting software like Microsoft word & Excel are not anymore existing.

I know from my previous experiences with SSDs that, after a while, I would start feeling the PC turning slow, which is more psychological than technical.

So, if you WERE planning to replace your PC that’s is less than four years old, for it being “too slow”, “lagging” consider a SSD or NVMe M.2 (if supported). One of the major realities you should be considering when opting for a SSD is whether the OS & Processor support the SSDs. I’ve read somewhere that Windows 10 OS, starting from build 1703 has patched up with better support for SSDs and flash based storage.

One important note for Laptop users. Yes, you can also replace your mechanical drive with a SSD and enjoy the above said performance gains. Just make sure that your Laptop supports an SSD (read manuals, ask manufacturer forums or write to their support).

All the best with an upgrade & saving some real money folks!

regards,

rajesh

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