Recommended Upgrade?

I am testing out Windows 7 having come from XP. My spec is as follows:

Processor: 2.20 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core, 256 kilobyte primary memory cache, 1024 kilobyte secondary memory cache, 64-bit ready, Multi-core (2 total), Not hyper-threaded

Motherboard: MSI AMETHYST-M 1.0, Bus Clock: 200 megahertz, BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 3.48 03/24/2006

2Gb (4 x 512Mb) RAM (DDR PC3200)

Seagate ST3300831AS Hard drive (300Gb)

NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT 1Gb Video Card (running two screens, a 22" and a 14")

I just want things to be a bit "snappier" really, so wondered what things I might consider upgrading first, and suggestions as to what to upgrade to?




Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
I am not certain there's a lot you can do here. Your graphics solutions is fine (assuming both monitors are running from the card). Your motherboard will support more RAM, but that would require tossing those 512 sticks, and generally the performance increase above 2Gb will be marginal. It's not the fastest CPU around, but it's not a slouch either.

The bottleneck appears to be the motherboard which is limiting you to relatively slow DDR RAM across a slow bus. The only way to achieve significant improvement is with a new board, one that supports DDR2 or DDR3 memory, and faster CPUs. This, of course is a major upgrade, one that may require a new power supply too.

Short of that, you can buy a slightly faster CPU but with a 939 socket, you are limited, and you will not be able to carry it over to a new motherboard, so that would not be very cost effective.

I think you just need to budget for a new motherboard/CPU/RAM combination. The good news is you can carry that graphics card over.

Do make sure your system is free of malware and you have plenty of free disk space.

Thanks for that - sorta clarified what I was already thinking. Could go to 4GB RAM but not sure that'd be a huge improvement. Think I'll start budgetting for a new PC!


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
Sounds like a plan.

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