PC performance

I have a graphic designer using a bunch of Adobe Programs (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, ect)
PC keeps locking up three or four times a day.

PC specs:
P4 2.53 GHZ
1 Gig of Rambus Ram

Because Rambus is so expernsive I don't want to upgrade the mem.
I have it in the budget to get a new PC at the end of May so  I am trying anything to improve performance and stop the PC locking up.
Already Defragged.
Anyone know anything?

Also on the new PCs I see there is the option for Dual Core Intel Processors.
But they are very expensive.  It would be cheaper to buy a dual processor machine than one with a dual core.
I think the dual processors at 3.2 GHz would be faster than one dual core processor at 2.8, right?

paulmmaloneAsked:
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
here is something else to consider:
"While the concept of multiple processors sounds very appealing, there is a major caveat to this ability. In order for the true benefits of the multiple processors to be seen, the software that is running on the computer must be written to support multithreading. Without the software supporting such a feature, threads will be primarily run through a single processor thus degrading the efficiency.

Thankfully, all of the major current operating systems have multithreading capability. But the multithreading must also be written into the application software. Most of the applications that the average user runs currently do not have this. As a result, any speed benefits will solely be from the operating system being able to separate applications between the processors. "
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
what dual cores are you looking at?  i got a gateway dual core 2.8GHz (pentium D) for under $800.
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
as for suggestions on your current PC, i would remove bloatware such has Norton Internet Security or McAfee Security Center.  also verify your PC is spyware-free
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paulmmaloneAuthor Commented:
On the Dell website

to upgrade from:
 a Xeon 3 Ghz 2mb L2 cache
to a
Dual Core Xeon 2.8  would cost $900

Where as I could just add anouther 3.0 ghz xeon for $400

I will try to remove any un used programs but the pc has penty of HD space.  The pc is spyware free.
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
be careful with Dell
dell has people fooled on their pricing.  people think that dell offers a good deal on higher end computers because they offer good deals on cheaper computers.

dell's mid to higher end desktop prices are hundreds of dollars more than what you can get from other manufacturers.  and if you go to a retail store like best buy or circuit city, you can also take advantage of rebates that usually save you even more.
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
also, when i said to remove bloatware... i'm talking about software that runs at startup and runs while your computer is turned on.  many people's security software is overkill and slows down the computer.  if you are behind a router (like most people are), all you really need is an antivirus... not all the other junk that norton security and mcafee security try to control
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zephyr_hex (Megan)DeveloperCommented:
here is an article which should answer your question about dual core versus dual processor: http://www.pugetsystems.com/articles.php?id=23
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paulmmaloneAuthor Commented:
I appreciate the responses.

Thanks for all the info.
I will check it out.  

Have a good one.
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CallandorCommented:
An example of "true" dual core pricing:

Athlon64 X2 3800+  $295
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103562

MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum  $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130484

Add RAM as desired.
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CallandorCommented:
I believe PhotoShop is one of those programs that can make use of dual-processor systems.
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NightofthecowCommented:
Start
Run
Msconfig

That will give you a list of startup items you can get rid of.

Also, run disk cleanup.

One thing I found that helped me immensely was having a second hard drive that I put my swapfile on. I'm running an AMD XP 2 GHz machine with 1.5 GB of PC2700 RAM. It'll still lock up on me from time to time running photoshop, but only if Im running 6 or 7 other programs at the same time, which I frequently do. But it's nowhere as near as bad as when I had everything all located on the same hard drive. I also install my programs on that second hard drive, so my primary is focused mainly on the OS.
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paulmmaloneAuthor Commented:
thanks i'll try those also
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