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Windows 7: CPU Upgrade (old box) Need advice from knowledgeable members.

26 May 2013   #1

W7 Home Prem 64
CPU Upgrade (old box) Need advice from knowledgeable members.

Recently dusted off this old machine and installed W7. It was an XP build from2006. Runs ok with the old hardware but cannot watch HD video properly. CPU runs to 100% and video is choppy. Better than XP was but still choppy.
I am curious if swapping my single core AMD FX-55 for a dual core AMD FX-60 will give me the improvement I am looking for. I also wonder if it is a graphics card issue, and if upgrading CPU won't help. Any opinions are appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #2

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

Have you considered a completely new build? I think a 2006 machine has served it's purpose quite well, but a new build with up to date hardware would amaze you at the performance increase. A new CPU and graphics card could improve your performance a slightly, but a new build would be a much better use of your money.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #3

Win 7 Pro x64, VM Win XP, Win7 Pro Sandbox, Kubuntu 11

Being an old XP machine you might have problems finding CPU's and Video Cards that will work with it. The biggest problem for a new CPU is the chip set receiver (What model is it AM, AM3, AM3+, etc.); this is important to know. The Video Card may be the hardest to replace (as this is probably the main problem), the reason being is that old of a box may, or may not have come with a PCI, or AGP card if so they would be hard to find. The newer systems us PCI-E. Good chance the old card is 256 G, or smaller.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 May 2013   #4

W7 Home Prem 64

Thanks for replies, I didn't really want to build or buy anything as my laptop is still fairly new and I only wanted to set the old desktop up rather than let it get any older sitting unplugged in a closet.

Believe it or not there is still some hardware around that it looks like may work with this board. At the time I built it it was pretty advanced. Although it is PCIe1 (x16) I see where any graphics card of PCIe2.0 will run in it except for a couple of the higher end ones. The AMD FX-60 should bolt right in place of the FX-55 but provide the extra boost being it is dual core. Still old stuff but a breath of new life into the machine?
I dunno, just was wondering if I could improve things a little and whether it would be best to try a more advanced graphics card or get the dual core cpu.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2013   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

I would suggest starting with more RAM. That board will handle up to 4GB of RAM so that is what you should install. Running W7 on 2GB is going to be iffy to begin with.

If that doesn't make the experience tolerable, then I would next opt for a decent PCI-e video card with a GB of RAM on it too. Having more than 256MB of video RAM will help.

A small step up in processing power is not really going to give you a noticeable boost. But more RAM and better video will.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Edition X64

I had a older PC That I wanted to resurrect much like you .. and the cpu changes if the motherboard can handle is a good start but most of the time the gain is very much limited especially when it comes to video processing.


Find the manual that indicates upgrades abilities or specs of the motherboard/system

Upgraded the video card : look in manual what type connector your video upgrade can handle, look at Software or - Electronics, Tablets, Phones, Office Supplies & Video Games or even local small shop hardware pc places and find a older generation video card that would still provide plenty power to run videos.

Ram: Check how much max your motherboard will handle, this will dictate if you keep win x86 or upgrade top x64, get best possible speed available to be used (in my case PC2-4200 was in the system but service manual states it handles PC2-5300 4GB so that is what I go and only cost a few dollars on the Gb to be honest)

Look as well at the network card , some older on board are strictly 10mb able, a 100mb 1GB card cost less than 25$ to upgrade.

don't forget when it comes to video card and network cards you may need to turn them off on the on-board bios.
Lastly, look for latest Bios update for it.

good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2013   #7

W7 Home Prem 64

Interesting. I've got another 2G of RAM sitting here, unfortunately the MB has limitations and if I were to run the full 4G of RAM the board defaults to T2 and the speed goes from 400 to 333.
I wonder which is best. More RAM at slower speed, or less RAM at faster speed?
I did order a more modern graphics card which should run on this PCIe 1.0 x16 board (it's a PCIe 2.0 x16).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

More RAM at a lower speed.

All of the RAM will run at the default speed of the slowest module. That is why if you are going to run multiple sticks of RAM that they be of the same specification (Type, speed, and timings) to avoid problems. It is always a gamble when you mix and match RAM.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 May 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I would put in a new board for an i5 or i7 with a 4000 chip. Then you have excellent video support and don't need a graphics card and can get away with your current PSU. Disks (if Sata), optical drives and other accessories should also still be OK. Here are the components I would use.

Board: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard -

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770 -

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/FM2/AM3+ -

Ram: CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMZ16GX3M2A1600C9 -

SSD for the OS: OCZ Vector Series VTR1-25SAT3-128G Solid State Drive -

If you watch for Newegg sales, you can probably get all that stuff for way under $600. But then you have a super, duper modern system.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 CPU Upgrade (old box) Need advice from knowledgeable members.

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