Question Upgrading H67, i3 2100 PC opportunities. Is there hope?

m-mag

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Hi guys,

I have my old-ish PC I'm using now, built around 2010 I think. With these specs:

  • Gigabyte PH67A-D3-B3 (H67 but without a graphics card on-board)
  • Intel i3 2100 Sandy Bridge socket 1155 LGA @ 3.1GHz, L3 Cache 3MB
  • Memory 2 sticks: 2x4GB (a Kingstone HyperX and a Patriot, I think one was 1066 and another was 1333 so running @1066)
  • PSU: CoolerMaster 500W
  • HDD (yes, not SSD) 1TB
  • GPU: Gigabyte nVidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (don't think I'll upgrade this for now, and it will be bottlenecked by other components)
I wanted to know my opportunity for upgrading with components that would give me a nice performance boost (until I buy new specs, can't buy everything online here where I live and can't go to the stores much due to Coronavirus outbreak)

Quick options I have online: 8 or 4 GB sticks of ram that run at 1333 or 1600 for reasonable price. Should I buy 2x4GB to keep dual-channel working? Or what would my options be?

I'm looking for any kind of upgrade that will enhance performance: CPU, RAM specifically.

Many thanks for your time!

Stay safe
 
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If you have the RAM already, that's going to be your first upgrade. Make sure it's guaranteed to work in dual channel, though (and DDR3! don't forget). The next upgrade is definitely the PSU, do it ASAP. The PH67A is one of the better H67s boards out there, you can keep it. I'd go for a second-hand i7-2700/3770 CPU next and then GPU depending on your budget. As far as SSDs go, you're limited to SATA speeds, so you won't get blazing-fast NVMe speeds. It will still be next in the line, though. Make sure to get cheap SATA SSDs such as Samsung QVO.
 
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logainofhades

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I agree the PSU needs changed. It's a miracle it has lasted this long. You could check Ebay, for used compatible i7's, or E3 Xeon 1230, or higher. That will give your system a boost in multitasking, and even allow you to do a bit of a GPU upgrade, without fear of major bottlenecks. Ram you want matched sticks, for proper dual channel. I would try to shoot for a 2x8gb kit, if possible.
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-PH67A-D3-B3-rev-10/support#support-cpu
 

m-mag

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I agree the PSU needs changed. It's a miracle it has lasted this long. You could check Ebay, for used compatible i7's, or E3 Xeon 1230, or higher. That will give your system a boost in multitasking, and even allow you to do a bit of a GPU upgrade, without fear of major bottlenecks. Ram you want matched sticks, for proper dual channel. I would try to shoot for a 2x8gb kit, if possible.
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-PH67A-D3-B3-rev-10/support#support-cpu
Thanks. If I do that, should I ditch the 2x4GB ones I have already for the 2x8GB new ones to work better?
 
What kind of performance do you need enhanced?

Upgrading to a ssd is one of the best things you can do; everything will be much quicker.
How much of your hard drive is actually used?
How much bother would it be to you to do a clean install of windows?

On the processor side, you have a number of good options.
Your i3-2100 has 4 threads and a passmark rating of 1860 when all 4 threads are fully utilized and 1436 for single thread performance.
You may be better off than you think.
Try this test:
Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.
One upgrade option would be a i5-3570K. You can't overclock, but the stock performance is a bit better than a 3570. You can buy one on ebay for about $40.
It has a passmark rating of 4953/2027.
If you favor multiplayer games with many participants, then more threads would be good.
A i7-3770K with 8 threads is tne best you can do on your motherboard.
It is about $130 on ebay and has a rating of 6427/2055

On ram, 8gb is probably ok unless you are multitasking while gaming.
If you want 16gb, I suggest you buy a 2 x 8gb kit with the same specs as your current ram.
You will have guaranteed 16gb, and if your old ram is compatible, you will have 24gb.
If you just buy 8gb more, there is no guarantee that it will be compatible; ram must be matched.

Coolermaster does not make the best quality units.
But I don't know that I would rush to replace it if it has been working for you.
Your parts are not power hungry and will not need all 500w to run.
 
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Coolermaster does not make the best quality units.
But I don't know that I would rush to replace it if it has been working for you.
Your parts are not power hungry and will not need all 500w to run.
Not true IMO. You'd never know what kind of output that Cooler Master unit has been "working" on all these years. It could be 100+ mV ripple on 10.5V with bulging capacitors and a ridiculously slowed down fan. It has been a miracle that it has been working "fine" since 2011, but now, it's time to change it.
 

m-mag

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m-mag

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What kind of performance do you need enhanced?

Upgrading to a ssd is one of the best things you can do; everything will be much quicker.
How much of your hard drive is actually used?
How much bother would it be to you to do a clean install of windows?

On the processor side, you have a number of good options.
Your i3-2100 has 4 threads and a passmark rating of 1860 when all 4 threads are fully utilized and 1436 for single thread performance.
You may be better off than you think.
Try this test:
Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.
One upgrade option would be a i5-3570K. You can't overclock, but the stock performance is a bit better than a 3570. You can buy one on ebay for about $40.
It has a passmark rating of 4953/2027.
If you favor multiplayer games with many participants, then more threads would be good.
A i7-3770K with 8 threads is tne best you can do on your motherboard.
It is about $130 on ebay and has a rating of 6427/2055

On ram, 8gb is probably ok unless you are multitasking while gaming.
If you want 16gb, I suggest you buy a 2 x 8gb kit with the same specs as your current ram.
You will have guaranteed 16gb, and if your old ram is compatible, you will have 24gb.
If you just buy 8gb more, there is no guarantee that it will be compatible; ram must be matched.

Coolermaster does not make the best quality units.
But I don't know that I would rush to replace it if it has been working for you.
Your parts are not power hungry and will not need all 500w to run.
I realized I never replied to the question "what kind of performance enhancement I'm after".

Well, I'm a developer and I do game. The 1050Ti I got I think is pretty enough for me for now, so I was looking for more enhancement that would help me with multi-tasking, compiling, working with virtual machines. After the SSD I feel everything is quicker when it comes to booting, installing, etc. But the virtual machines are still probably slow (haven't tried yet honestly but my task manager shows that my PC chokes on RAM and Chrome is really memory-hungry).

For the CPU I don't know if it's worth to pick the I7's (3770 for example) or I5's, and don't know what would be the priority: CPU, RAM, PSU? (If I decided on a CPU of course I'd re-calculate my system wattage and I'll see if my current PSU would handle).
 
Your psu may not be the best, but it will do; no need to change it out.
The wattage a pc needs is primarily gated on the graphics card.
A GTX1050ti requires only a minimal psu, even 300w would do it.
Here is a handy chart:
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm

If you are going to multitask, you need plenty of ram to hold all of the active tasks.
8gb is not going to do it.
16gb, I would think would be minimum and perhaps even 32gb.

Chrome seems to be a ram hog.
Ram usage is tricky.
You want to look at the working sets of each task.
Windows always makes some ram available for a quick need.
Otherwise it keeps stuff in ram in anticipation of fast reuse.
Look at task manager hard page faults.
That happens when a task needs ram and less used pages must be swapped out to replace with what you need.
A page fault is bad. If you see more than 1 per second, you can use more ram.

A processor with many threads is good for multitasking.
Favor a i7 upgrade over i5.
ryzen is popular for many cheap threads if you will do a cpu/mobo/ram upgrade.
Intel 10th gen launching soon may turn out to be quite a good competitor,
 

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