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Windows 7: question about RAM, Processor Speed and Video Cards (combination)

27 Jul 2013   #1
ajetrumpet

Vista 64 bit Home Premium
 
 
question about RAM, Processor Speed and Video Cards (combination)

all,

I've been a software developer for many years now and I've never really understood 100% how all of these items play into getting the maximum performance (e.g. - moving extremely fast) out of my development machines. I need to get a Win 7 machine for dev. purposes at this point. Here's what I generally have open at the same time on any development machine (windows) that I use:

10 firefox tabs
Excel (2 instances)
Access (2 instances)
Skype
A screen sharing program (like GoToMeeting / join.me)
1 youtube video

I'm simply amazed at how slowly all of this runs on my current machine that is Vista 64-bit, Pentium dual-core 2.6GHZ, 6GB RAM. My machine is 4-6 years old now so the motherboard could possibly be the issue. Hard drive too.

But my question with all of that said is, what would be someone's advice here for me that needs a development machine of Win 7 simply for the purposes of testing development copies of software? So it has to be bare bones. Nothing more. What kind of absolute minimum specs would you guys say I should look for?

thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
27 Jul 2013   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hello ajet mate you have just outlined - in my mind anyway the reason - Vista and old processors.

A good source of info is to Google Wikipedia and read through the refs in it for CPU's RAM etc etc

Undoubtedly you will get a flood of info here too but that is my two cents worth
PS You could look at some of this.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/81...nce-vista.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2013   #3
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Do you have a budget number in mind? Also we need to have a complete list of your current rig's spec's if you want to roll some of it into a new rig?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Jul 2013   #4
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by linnemeyerhere View Post
Do you have a budget number in mind? Also we need to have a complete list of your current rig's spec's if you want to roll some of it into a new rig?
Oops Linne I missed that I read it as seven machines

But for the info I reckon in here will be the best bet Wiki is ok for the fundamental stuff eh?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2013   #5
kbrady1979

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

Depending on budget, you will be looking at something quad core, 8GB of RAM, and because it is such an important part...an SSD. It's just not feasible to "upgrade" your current machine with new parts and get to where you need to be. You are looking at a new rig.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2013   #6
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Can you post the PC's full specs? Or model? In general pentium processors tend to be weak. Vista isn't a horribly good OS either.

As a general rule, unless otherwise noted, everything you run goes on the CPU. The stronger this component is, the faster stuff runs. This site helps you compare them, as it gives each a number of points depending on how fast it was in doing tasks. I have seen that everything above 800 points runs windows 7 with light tasks. You will likely need more than 1000 to be sure it will not have hiccups with your needs.

RAM is how much space you have to keep open stuff. More than 4 GB is Ok, but beyond 8 GB is needed only if some program asks for so much ram or you have 50 tabs open in 3 different browsers, or stuff like that. Check your RAM usage by opening Resource Monitor (it's called "resmon.exe", you can open it from the searchbox in the Start menu or in the "run..." or by pressing the windows button on the keyboard + R and typing "resmon" in there. It will help you see CPU load too.

Hard drive influences loading times. The faster the hdd, the faster the loading. SSDs are much faster than HDDs.

Graphic card/GPU is the component responsible of operating the screen. Unless needed by a program, you can use the integrated GPU of the CPU and it will be fine. For 3D modelling, gaming or encoding/rendering (with programs that support GPU usage) then you need something stronger.
Most GPUs contain hardware decoders, co-processors that decode HD video content much more efficiently than the CPU, and thus decrease the load on the CPU when watching HD movies.


Still, what is the software you need to run? Can you make some examples?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2013   #7
ajetrumpet

Vista 64 bit Home Premium
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kbrady1979 View Post
Depending on budget, you will be looking at something quad core, 8GB of RAM, and because it is such an important part...an SSD. It's just not feasible to "upgrade" your current machine with new parts and get to where you need to be. You are looking at a new rig.
Thanks for all the help everyone. All of you guys have given exceptional information for this. I agree with KBrady. What I've got can't be upgraded. But I'm wondering if I can use some of the parts I've got in it and throw it to another machine?

And i do apologize you guys, but this article on SSD means nothing to me: Solid-state drive - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Can someone put that in simple terms? That page can probably be dwindled to one paragraph (as most web content can be anyway, without all the BS included).

The budget for me doesn't matter but obviously it has to be as low as possible because the purpose of the new rigs, as I stated, is only for developing software and testing it (most will be in Office, VS (Visual Studio) or some of the good lower-level stuff like Python/Perl). Each machine will serve a specific purpose only. So for instance, here's what I would inevitably like to have in my possession (within the next month):

ALL USED / REFURBISHED MACHINES (is possible)
=> Win XP 32-bit, [Decent Processor, don't really care], 4GB RAM (2 may be OK, cuz it's old).
=> Win 7 64-bit, [I'm guessing i-5 processor or greater?], 6 GB RAM (preferrably 8 but don't know how relevant this is).
=> Win 8 64-bit, [I'm guessing i-5 or i-7 processor], [same RAM specs as Win 7 above]

I'm also going to need a place to store massive amounts of data, with no media. So basically every type of data files that aren't music, video or anything else that takes up too much space. The data would consist of all of the following (and would probably be up to 10GB total in one year's time):

=> Excel files.
=> Access files.
=> PHP framework source files (dir trees) - think 'Wordpress' or CakePHP.
=> JPEG's/JPG's/PNG's/BMP's
=> Text files.
=> And other things that are unmentionable.

With all of that said, would any of you guys care to add more comments to this incredibly interesting thread? thanks.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by bobafetthotmail View Post
Can you post the PC's full specs? Or model? In general pentium processors tend to be weak. Vista isn't a horribly good OS either.

As a general rule, unless otherwise noted, everything you run goes on the CPU. The stronger this component is, the faster stuff runs. This site helps you compare them, as it gives each a number of points depending on how fast it was in doing tasks. I have seen that everything above 800 points runs windows 7 with light tasks. You will likely need more than 1000 to be sure it will not have hiccups with your needs.

RAM is how much space you have to keep open stuff. More than 4 GB is Ok, but beyond 8 GB is needed only if some program asks for so much ram or you have 50 tabs open in 3 different browsers, or stuff like that. Check your RAM usage by opening Resource Monitor (it's called "resmon.exe", you can open it from the searchbox in the Start menu or in the "run..." or by pressing the windows button on the keyboard + R and typing "resmon" in there. It will help you see CPU load too.

Hard drive influences loading times. The faster the hdd, the faster the loading. SSDs are much faster than HDDs.

Graphic card/GPU is the component responsible of operating the screen. Unless needed by a program, you can use the integrated GPU of the CPU and it will be fine. For 3D modelling, gaming or encoding/rendering (with programs that support GPU usage) then you need something stronger.
Most GPUs contain hardware decoders, co-processors that decode HD video content much more efficiently than the CPU, and thus decrease the load on the CPU when watching HD movies.

Still, what is the software you need to run? Can you make some examples?
I will respond to this later, after we continue this discussion guys. Thank you for the info bobfett. I have plenty to talk about with you as well regarding what you've posted. I'd like to take this one at a time for now. I already posted quite a bit. I'll get back to you soon on what you have posted as well. thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2013   #8
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

I will help to have your current spec's competed. What kind of case and PSU, hard drives, opticals, ram and such? We know your upgrading the mobo and CPU and likely GPU?

Short story on SSD's is YES, it's a must have unless you leave the programs up and machine on 24 hrs/day and even then.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2013   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I think I can help with the understanding of a SSD.
As you know a hard drive is mechanical with moving parts.
A SSD is electronic with no moving parts. It's kind of like a big fast ram module you can use for storing a operating system and programs just like a hard drive. Except when the power to it is turned off it doesn't clean itself like ram does.
** A electronic Hard Drive that is many times faster than a mechanical hard drive. To me it would be very foolish to build or upgrade a system without using a quality SSD.
You can use a quality mechanical hard drives for storage of data ect.

Caution!!
Once you use a SSD you are hooked for ever.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jul 2013   #10
kbrady1979

Windows 7 Professional 64bit SP1
 
 

Here is the difference between a modern, very fast hard drive and an SSD:

question about RAM, Processor Speed and Video Cards (combination)-seagate-barracuda-7200.14-results.jpg question about RAM, Processor Speed and Video Cards (combination)-samsung-830.jpg

The relevant numbers are the third row.....4K. These are the numbers that deal with startup, programs opening, programs/updates installing, unzipping files, etc. As you can see, the SSD numbers are an order of magnitude faster than a mechanical hard drive. Access times on an SSD are exponentially faster than a hard drive and that results in tangible, real-world performance. An SSD is the single biggest upgrade you can make to a computer...nothing else you can change out will net you the gains an SSD will.


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