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Why I'm Not Upgrading (Software and Hardware)


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#1 Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 14:52

Technology simply hasn't moved on enough for me to upgrade any of my stuff.

My first computer lasted around 4/5 years built using XP; it was lovely and a proper work horse. It didn't really need replacing so was more a want than a need. The computer was pretty powerful, certainly more powerful than anyone in my family but that was purely because the technology was there, available easily and cheaply.

However away from the beige case, I purchased my black tower and had a hand sticking all the bits together. Aptly named "MK2", the PC had a dual core processor at about 2.95Mhz, I thought it would be lightening quick. Sticking Vista on it, I managed to create a serious error within the first day or so, I felt right at home with Windows. I liked the new look and got used to the new placement of buttons and such. It was certainly different. Not as quick as I had hoped but not to worry, it ran everything I needed it to so all this talk of "nothing working" didn't affect me.

I got a cracking deal with Windows 7, so that went on and ever since the PC has just worked... most of the time.

So 4/5 years later, it is time to look again at what the computing world has to offer and I am... sad.

USB-3 - great but everything of mine is either USB1 or 2, so no real gains there.
SandyBridge - I don't even know what that is!
Processor Speeds - Are about the same.
SSD - Still too expensive for what they are.
Windows 8 - Built for touch screens really.

Is it worth upgrading? The simple answer is no.
Windows 7 does everything I need, even the latest games run well, but these days I find myself playing games less and less. With the onset of Intel no longer releasing motherboards, the tower PC does have it's days numbered; however those numbers are years not months.

I've been interested in Microsoft's Surface tablet but decided I wouldn't use it enough at the moment to warrant that sort of money. That and their stuttering with the development of Outlook.com (still need to be able to send via my website server to get rid of "on behalf of") and the lack of availability of the Nokia Lumia 920 (in the UK, in cyan) has helped me to wait, perhaps even until Windows Next... whatever that will be.

These are just my thoughts on why I am not upgrading.

The only thing I did upgrade is the theme for Windows 7, complete with a new cursor and start orb, which all have a Windows 8 style about them. The PC looks new and after a bit of a clean up to get rid of those programs I never actually use, I am sure it'll feel like new too.


#2 Bizkit

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 15:08

I built my pc about 4 years ago purely for gaming. Cost me like $900 dollars, but it ran everything like a champ. I gave it to a co-worker a month ago for christmas, and he was amazed how well it ran games like Skyrim and Day Z.

Imo, unless you need the power (gaming, video/picture editing) there isn't much need for an upgrade.

#3 invisible69

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 15:13

Yep, built my last PC in March 2009, runs an i7, 6GB RAM, and (till last week) a 4870x2... Don't see the need to upgrade at all. Installed Win 8 last week so I can dual boot and try it out since I have a free original copy.

Perhaps I'll upgrade the coming Christmas, when hopefully SSDs would be really worth their money

#4 TheLegendOfMart

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 15:13

Dear lord, going from a 4/5 year old CPU to latest Ivybridge will be a ridiculous bump in peformance, its not all about processor speeds, its about how much a CPU can do per clock. While a Core 2 Duo and Ivybridge might run at 3Ghz, the Ivybridge can do a hell of a lot more per clock than the Core 2 Duo can.

Graphics cards, Memory, HDDs, Motherboard chipsets have come along leaps and bounds compared to 5 year old stuff.

If you haven't tried the latest hardware then you aren't qualified to say things "havent moved on much"

#5 Elliot B.

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 15:39

Since around the time Intel's Q6600 came out, CPUs last a long longer (I don't mean "last" as in before they break) before needing an upgrade than, say, the 10-15 year period before that CPU came out.

Mid-to-high end GPUs also last quite a while now, but I think that's partly because this generation's console life cycle has been very long (7 years), and that influences PC gaming a lot due to multi-platform releases.

#6 Active.

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 15:48

SSD - Still too expensive for what they are.

The switch from HDDs to SSDs for me was one of the biggest noticeable jumps in computer performance I've ever experienced, in a way comparable to how I felt when I switched from a 486 to a Pentium II. If you haven't made that jump yet, you're really missing out. They're well worth their money now at <$1/GB.

#7 Rippleman

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 15:57

Computer hardware in the last 4-5 years HAVE NOT increased in usability for 90% of the PC user base. Sure they have gotten more powerful, but almost all people do not, and will not, use the extra power. Web browsing, webcam, music player, video playing, etc do not require these enormous over-capability. It would be like using a Formula 1 race car to drive to the corner store to get milk. Its just not usable in a meaningful way. Like stated above, if you are doing any type of folding, video editing, SOME picture editing (as in 100 meg+ pics), extreme high res gaming, or animation projects, then YES you will see an upgrade. But even then, you won't see a HUGE difference. I am an ex-computer shop owner and saw the changes for the last 14 years. After using and working on thousands of machines, when the core2dou came out that's when computers almost started standing still. Even now if you wanted almost new performance getting an older e8400 core2dou machine, (or a quad)will meet all your expectations with almost anything you can do. Can i own the latest? Yes. Do I? No. My own machine is an e8400 with 4 gigs ram and 2 TB drive with a older GTS250 video card. I can game, stream local files out to 3 media centers, convert, and chat all at the same time.

#8 zeke009

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 16:16

I get where you are coming from, I had some thoughts about your list though.

USB-3 - great but everything of mine is either USB1 or 2, so no real gains there.
True, it is a bit gimmicky when you see the speeds offered. However, I lost my media card reader and picked up a USB3 one as a replacement and the difference is massive. The SD cards I was reading from before would take 30-60 minutes to copy pictures from the cards from the camera, now they take 5 minutes to empty. Worth it? If you your PC has it built in and you can justify it, definitely.

SandyBridge - I don't even know what that is!
Processor Speeds - Are about the same.
Don't focus on the clock speeds or chipsets alone anymore, instead compare the features of the chipset + the CPU of your choice + the features of the motherboard you are interested in. Together, they make your investment in a CPU worthwhile.

SSD - Still too expensive for what they are.
Great deals can be had on SSD's. Deals that make the price per GB worthwhile and less painful. Once you go to an SSD for your primary boot disk, you will never go back. I've always had luck with Mushkin and managed to snag them on various sales or rebate offers from Newegg.

Windows 8 - Built for touch screens really.
That is a bit of a fallacy. Touch is definitely the wave of the future, but I do not have any greasy fingerprints on my screen from me mistaking my monitor for a touch screen. With Win8 I live in the desktop 90 - 95% of the time, I go to the new interface only when I want to and that is usually for a casual game of Solitaire or Mahjong Tiles. While Win8 may coexist on both conventional and touch enabled devices, nothing is lost when using a conventional PC. And I find I do not miss the old Start button one bit.

Now, I don't mean any of this to attack you. I was just pointing out some of my observations to your list of deterrents for an upgrade. There is one underlying rule to upgrading for me: Do I need to? If I can't answer that with a Yes, then I have no business building a new PC and trying to sell my old one. It sounds like that is the case for you here. Your current rig does the job and does it well.

I would recommend researching what is available and what is coming in the months prior to your next upgrade so you can make an informed decision based on your budget.

#9 ashpowell

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 16:39

2 Points I don't really agree with:
Processor Speeds - Are about the same.
SSD - Still too expensive for what they are.

I can guarantee the core2duo is nowhere near the same as my i7 @ 3.8

SSD really are worth it, at least if you switch between programs frequently, everything is instant just about

#10 OP Sir Topham Hatt

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 16:58

Like to Zeke's post above (Y)

I think perhaps because I have been out of the technology loop for a couple of years now then I guess I have just lost track of what has been happening.
However I could also say I have been dis-encouraged by the lack of development. I haven't investigated what SandyBridge is because I haven't been watching technology as much as I used to. I don't know what the difference between Windows 8 and Windows RT is, again because I am not really interested at the moment and by the time I am, they'll all have new crazy names instead of calling them something sensible, like it used to be :p Thanks Windows Vista!

I remember my family PC being a 333Mhz processor, then being upgraded to a 700Mhz odd which was out of this world. From the 333Mhz to the 2.6Ghz of today's world, I am certain all that happened over about 2/3 years. In the last 2/3 years it seems we have found the limit of what can actually be achieved at the moment.

I guess it also boils down to the fact when I do upgrade, then it will have to be everything at once to see the full effect, which I am all game for but when I don't use the desktop PC as much as I used to then I am starting to think if it is worth the money and time to build something that won't be used very much at this point in my life.


USB 3 is the future, I agree but when I have very little that uses it, then it will just be a bit of fun. My memory sticks are all fine and I don't see myself throwing away the external hard drives any time soon either. My digital camera is probably USB1 and still works brill - I tend to take care of my technology :)

Dual core, triple core, whatever core, the difference between my first PC (single core) and the second (dual core) wasn't that noticeable in the grand scheme of speeds. However I know SSD would improve this greatly but something irks me about putting brand new tech with an older system.

Not an anti-windows 8 fanboy, certainly not. I am glad they are pushing through with their OS despite the negativity and slow uptake. From what I have experienced, how it was first marketed (certainly in the UK) and the complete difference in how one would use it as it's meant to be, I am just of the opinion it was built for touch screen devices and would be more at home on one.

#11 Rippleman

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 17:00

I can guarantee the core2duo is nowhere near the same as my i7 @ 3.8

will it speed up browsing facebook faster? :)

#12 TPreston

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 17:01

Is this satire or what ? All ot needs is the obligatory "windows XP is the best is ever" comment.

#13 linsook

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 17:10

Windows XP is the best ever!~

#14 ashpowell

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 17:25

will it speed up browsing facebook faster? :)


In terms of doing everyday tasks on your computer, you won't notice a change, I was just saying the processor speeds are considerably different.

What I said about the SSD goes to pretty much all hardware.. It all depends what you're doing.

I had some amd dual core, standard hd, 8gb ram and 512mb graphics card on my last computer, I now have an i7 oc'd at 4.6ghz, a ssd and a gb graphics card with 8gb 2133mhz ram.. The only speed difference I noticed is when I added the ssd.

I do a lot of work between apps, such as Photoshop and Dreamweaver and can honestly say, the overall upgrade wasn't worth the money.

#15 Jose_49

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 17:39

will it speed up browsing facebook faster? :)


If it's JS intensive... Then yes :p