Question Upgrading a J3170 System

liambrien

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Mar 14, 2018
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I'm trying to upgrade a work computer, it's used as basically the computer for the whole place, running music (just spotify), report generation, spreadsheets, etc. They've beeb complaining of really slow executions, you can feel it even just in general use like chrome.
Its currently rocking:
Pentium J3170 (BGA)
HP 821D Mobo (with 2 DDR3 ram slots up to 1600Mhz)
4GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 (1 stick)
A couple of SATA III HDDs, and other peripherals. I'm gonna open it up and give it a clean, fresh install the OS and programs and such, but I'm wondering if theres anything I can upgrade (most likely RAM) before having to just buy a new setup?
And based off those parts, are there any obvious bottlenecks? I've never really worked with lower end stuff like this.
TIA
 
Doubling your RAM to 8 GB and switching to an SSD such as a Crucial MX500 might go a long way towards partially reducing the current agony. (at least the SSD can be taken with you!)

Before investing any more money into old DDR3 sticks, eventually one must realize a 6 Watt TDP processor suitable for a router or NAS can only handle general office tasks so well...especially if it is running off a spinning laptop drive and given only 4 GB of RAM...(IMO, no Win10 system should be made with only 4 GB of RAM; it is a travesty!)

I'd start planning a replacement ASAP...even modest i3-8100/9100 or R5-1600 based systems with even 8 GB of RAM would seem like greased lightning by comparison
 

liambrien

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Mar 14, 2018
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They are definitely flexible enough to build a new system, but I'd like to see what I can do first. I can get 4GB of DDR3 for about $30 (roughly what I'd be paid an hour to actually do this anyways) to throw in, and getting an SSD wouldn't hurt as like you said, I'd just use it in a build.
I've just been looking at benchmarks, prices, and availability, and it seems like the only viable option of the i3-8100 (none of the cheaper ryzen ones are available or cost more).
How would this build fair?

CPU: i3-8100 - $210
Motherboard: ASRock H310 HDV - $89
RAM: G.Skill 8GB (2x4GB) 2400Mhz - $69
Storage: Crucial MX500 250GB - $60
PSU: Corsair VS350 Watt - $50
Total Cost (using the current case) = $478
 

RodroX

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Aug 4, 2019
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Like mdd1963 the only thing that would make sence spending money on is the SSD (since you can use it on the new PC later on).

Of course extra 4 GB of RAM wont hurt at all, but the problem there is the really slow low TDP CPU.

As of this time any of the cheap Ryzen CPU will be a great update, Ryzen 5 1600 and 2600 really good options.

The core i3 8100 (4 cores/4 threads) is still a decent CPU, and way faster than that Pentium but, if theres a chance to get a Ryzen 5 with (6 cores and 12 threads) I would just chose the Ryzen cause of the extra cores and threads.

One important thing to keep in mind, only a few Ryzen cpus come with and integrated GPU, and Ryzen 5 1600and 2600 are not one of those (you will need a cheap discrete graphic card for those). A solution is to go with Ryzen 5 2400G or 3400G that do come with GPUs and have 4 cores 8 threads. Pair one of those Ryzen "Gs" with a cheap B450 motherboard (make sure it comes with a BIOS that support the new 3400G if you go with it) 8 GB of DDR4 of decent speed and an SSD and youre done. Or the same setup with the Core i3 8100.

Cheers
 

liambrien

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Mar 14, 2018
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After looking at benchmarks and specs, I did want to go with a Ryzen 5 build, but I can't seem to find a reliable source for a 2400G brand new. I have been looking at second hand PCs, and there are some that perfectly fit what I need, except some have a GPU that I wouldn't need. Is there anything I should be cautious about? Here's the specs for one of them (I'll ask for a speccy screenshot first to make sure the parts are legit):
"TUF RGB case
TUF motherboard b450
Ryzen 5 2400g
16gb ddr4 ram TUF gaming
550w evga PSU (gold)
500gb m2 ssd
Gtx 960 dog strix (1060 pictured was sold)
90hz 24 inch acer freesync gaming moniter
Wireless keyboard and mouse
Windows 10 installed"

How long do you think something like this would last before upgrading anything? It is only for office use, but I don't want to sell them short on it.
 
Last edited:

RodroX

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The main problem with second hand PC is that you never know how much abuse did it suffered.

I mean:
  • Was the PC ON every single day?
  • Was the previous owner playing with it almost every single day ?
  • How often did they dusted it?
  • Was it in a confined space, or over a carpet?
  • Do they offer any kind of warranty ?
On the other hand the parts you listed looks more than ok to me. I would ask if theres any warranty, and also make sure if the integrated GPU of the Ryzen works. This is because theres no point in a discrete card for this working PC.

Also, is the GTX 960 STRIX the 4 GB model?, cause there was also a cheaper version with only 2GB (don 't let them sell you a crappy video card). GTX 960 with 4 GB can still play some games at FullHD with decent details.

Ask for the SSD m2 disk brand and model!

Finally yes, a PC with those parts should last atleast 5 years (as long as everything is in perfect condition). And you could upgrade some parts later on if necesary.
 

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