New PC to buy but how do I compare old spec with current ones?

  jonmac 17:07 PM 17 Jun 12
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I want to replace a 6 year old Mesh PC with a new faster one. The problem is I’m totally out of touch with modern processor names and abilities etc and don’t know how to compare them with current ones to ensure I spend wisely. My old Mesh PC tower was about £1000 new but maybe a £300 tower now would be as fast? I just don't know.

The Mesh has a 2.20GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core processor, 3Gb Ram on an Asustek A8 board and runs Windows 7. The heaviest work it does now is multi-layered 300Mb files in Photoshop CS with a bit of Coreldraw(ing) and Indesign(ing) thrown in.

So where would I start in specifying the equivalent performance in a modern PC spec. then upgrading from there for faster speed, say with 8Gb of faster RAM and maybe a 125Gb SSD for software and a better graphics card, not to mention a modern multicore processor of some sort.

I would like it to be quieter too so perhaps no overclocking. Hopefully less than the original cost too.

Your help would be much appreciated?

  Woolwell 09:57 AM 18 Jun 12

You can certainly do it for cheaper than £1000. Have a look at the Intel i5 or i7 processors. 8 Gb Ram will be fine. 1 Tb HD as main or secondary to SSD.

Browse some of the manufacturers eg Novatech, Chillblast, etc.

  jonmac 12:19 PM 18 Jun 12

Thanks for the response Woolwell. Yes I've no doubt that Core I5 or I7 would be a lot faster than the present set-up but maybe unnecessarily fast.

The Mesh £349 base model tower looks like it may be pretty well similar to what I have now while its £699 Core I5 model might be somewhat over specified for what I do, and overpriced at £840 if an SSD and card reader were to be added.

So I'm left wondering if spending £500-£600 on a modified higher-than-base tower wouldn't give me what I want without breaking the bank. I don't play games so don't need vast speed but would like a PC that's noticeably smarter than at present.

  Woolwell 14:39 PM 18 Jun 12

I wouldn't buy Mesh. i5 is a good processor.

  interzone55 15:20 PM 18 Jun 12

I've got an Acer i3, with 4gb RAM and 500gb hard drive. Cost £349 from Comet.

Added a £40 graphics card as the onboard graphics struggled with my girlfriend's SIMs games.

The above didn't include a monitor, so bought a 24" full HD screen for about £130.

Does everything we want, including a bit of video editing as long as we're not in a hurry.

  frybluff 21:00 PM 18 Jun 12

£500 - £600 would certainly give you something a lot better than at present, assuming you can re-use existing peripherals. However, if you want 8Gb of decent RAM, plus 100+GB SSD, you are likely to be at the top end, unless you want to go fairly basic, on the rest of system.

Having said that, the on-board HD4000 graphics you get with the latest IvyBridge chips, is supposed to be pretty good, so you may not NEED discrete graphics. I would check that with your software provider. Again, you may not actually need i5, but, for what it costs, the performance is well worth the expense (you never know what brilliant new software is just around the corner).

I would check out Chillblast's site. They have a huge range of options, and are quite helpful, if you want advice.

  jonmac 17:41 PM 19 Jun 12

Thanks for joining in alan14 & frybluff.

Woolwell, the Mesh has given excellent service over the years so I can only speak as I find but I'm not wedded to that make.

Alan14, your spec sounds a bit like mine with a faster processor and at £350 sounds very economical indeed. Food for thought.
I have a 24" monitor too, bought back in the early days of such things when it cost £750! Managed to persuade someone else to finance it though.

Frybluff, had a look at the Chillblast site and they certainly do have some interesting models there. I'll play around with some variations and see what happens.

Thanks, guys, for taking the time to contribute, you've given me a better idea of where I'm starting from so now it's up to me to do the rest.

  Woolwell 17:50 PM 19 Jun 12

Mesh went bust and have reformed.

  jonmac 19:03 PM 19 Jun 12

Just shows how out of touch I am. I had no idea.

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