Mar 16, 2013
My main interest is on photos and processing, with occasional forays into video. Totally non-commercial and hobbyist. But keen and I want reasonable processing speeds. My system seems to be reaching our limits.

My system is old. Not sure how many years but old. So I want to update. My stats are at end of message.

What I am puzzled about is, CPUs are still i7 and about the same speed and other things seem not to have made huge jump, on the face of it except SSDs. Is there something that makes my system worth upgrading? What components have vastly improved to make me spend thousands, along with all the hassle of building?

Or should I be getting new HDDs and SSDs?

I have 8GB RAM onboard. More RAM usually helps. etc I am aware that if I want to increase RAM, I may find either that the MoBo slots will not accept what is available, or that the MoBo/CPU can't handle more RAM.

These and other questions :)

Any help appreciated.


OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Version 10.0.19042 Build 19042
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Name NICK-PC
System Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model P55A-UD3R
System Type x64-based PC
System SKU
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 870 @ 2.93GHz, 2927 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Award Software International, Inc. F13, 17/09/2010
SMBIOS Version 2.4
Embedded Controller Version 255.255
BIOS Mode Legacy
BaseBoard Manufacturer Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
BaseBoard Product P55A-UD3R
BaseBoard Version
Platform Role Desktop
Secure Boot State Unsupported
PCR7 Configuration Binding Not Possible
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume3
Locale Australia
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "10.0.19041.906"
User Name Nick-PC\Nick
Time Zone W. Australia Standard Time
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 7.99 GB
Available Physical Memory 4.16 GB
Total Virtual Memory 9.87 GB
Available Virtual Memory 3.86 GB
Page File Space 1.88 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys
Kernel DMA Protection Off
Virtualization-based security Not enabled
Device Encryption Support Reasons for failed automatic device encryption: TPM is not usable, PCR7 binding is not supported, Hardware Security Test Interface failed and device is not Modern Standby, Un-allowed DMA capable bus/device(s) detected, TPM is not usable
Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions Yes
Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions Yes
Hyper-V - Virtualization Enabled in Firmware Yes
Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection Yes
CPUs are still i7 and about the same speed and other things seem not to have made huge jump, on the face of it except SSDs
with newer generation i7s boosting over 5GHz with twice the cores\threads,
i'd say there's quite a difference vs your 4 core i7 not even hitting 4GHz.

DDR4 memory is also noticeably better than DDR3 at the same speeds.

over the last 11-12 years since your CPU's debut there have been major improvements in almost every aspect of home computing.
Reactions: Why_Me


Mar 16, 2013
One thing. I am going to have this built, if only for warranty purposes. So I would buy from PLE, as I have for several builds over the year: I have found them to be very good for backup service.

But AFAICS this just a matter of a few bob extra over the best price.

One thing. Does anyone know how best to use an SSD for video rendering? That would help me to decide on GB/TB size I guess. My final render would not be uncompressed WMV, but I would have some very big files in the middle as I save and work somewhere else, then maybe come back. Do I place the original onto the SSD, then also render intermediate uncompressed stuff to SSD? That sounds right to me, but I am sure there are complications.

Again, thanks for any help.


Jul 27, 2016
If your running a 1st gen I7 your way past an upgrade my friend. (2nd gen 2600k is a classic and I have buddy still rocking one).

However more threads and much better passmark scores will make things easier on you.

Pretty much anything you get will be an huge upgrade.


Mar 16, 2013
Any current gen i7 would be far faster than your old 1st gen model. For your tasks, I would look to a Ryzen 5000 series chip. Ryzen is superior, in such tasks especially. What is the budget?
Yeah I am starting to get that impression :D

With the Ryzen I will check out recommendations from the software and hardware forums, regarding best fit etc.

Budget..hmmm....maybe $1500-$2000, but basically what it costs to get the job done, not any supe-rperformance gear. As you say the performance gains are going to be pretty dramatic anyway. So, middle of the road and enough to future proof me for another 10 years :D