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Processor to Speed up Machine

Posted on 2013-05-28
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Last Modified: 2013-06-10
My Machine is slow and I need to know how to make it faster.These are the processor specs on my cpu.
The current specs are as below:
Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E8400 3.00GHz

The specs for the processor I was considering are as follows:
Intel Core i5-3470 Quad-Core Processor 3.2 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 - BX80637I53470

I wanted to be sure before I invested in this processor if I should expect to see significant improvement in my workspace performance.

Right now my machine is being used for heavy development, with several eclipse workspaces and database viewing tooks being used.

If there is any other processor you would recommend I would appreciate it.
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Question by:onaled777
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by:Lee W, MVP
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That processor will not be supported by the motherboard. It has a different PIN configuration (not to mention BIOS/voltage regulation/etc).
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by:Lee W, MVP
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Your motherboard is an LGA 775 socket - you need a CPU that works in that socket and that is compatible with the board.  Upgrading processors is RARELY worth it, adding RAM or an SSD is often the best way to speed up an old computer.  If you want to use an i5 (or i-anything), you'll need to replace the motherboad which may mean a complete re-install of Windows and even a need to purchase Windows again, depending on what version is installed (OEM/Retail).
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Mohammed Rahman earned 500 total points
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Right now my machine is being used for heavy development, with several eclipse workspaces and database viewing tooks being used....

How much is the processor usage on average? How much is the minimum and maximum % usage that your PC CPU shoots? Are your applications really consuming lot of CPU and forcing you to get a better one? Is computer slowness due to CPU bottleneck, or random spikes in CPU usage, or due to something else?

I would suggest you to open the task manager and/or monitor the CPU usage during for some time and ensure that the system is getting slow due to CPU crunch and not anything else. Only then go for a better/powerful processor.

Core i5-3470 vs Xeon X3380
4 cores each (draw)
Almost same clock frequency (draw)
Internal Cache (Xeon has 12MB L2 and i5 has 6MB L3 + 1MB L2) - Xeon will be best here.
** Higher L2 cache size, more frequent data is stored on it for quick access later.

** If you are planning to stick to the same motherboard, I would suggest you to go with Xeon rather than i5. (Provided your motherboard supports Xeon Processor)

** As said in one of the comment above, less RAM can also result in slow performance. I see your PC has 8GB of RAM. Go to task manager and make a not of maximum Physical memory usage. If its peaking to 80% and above and same time processor is not shooting a lot, it would be good in adding more RAM than changing processor. When more RAM is used, page file comes into picture (virtual ram stored as pagefile on HDD). The data on pagefile/Physical RAM keeps swapping to and from HDD/RAM.

As the data transfer rate of HDDs is VERY less than that of RAM, the slowness may occur (if there is frequent page file swapping). In this scenario, installing more RAM would be beneficial.

If your PC applications have more to do with Read/Write on HDD, then changing the drive from mechanical spindle drive to a Solid State (SSD) would be a good option.

Also, the processor that you have has 6MB of L2 cache and 64/64 KB of L1 cache.
You would probably need to figure out if your applications need more clock speed (Ghz), More Cores or More Cache memory. Based on the above results, you can go for the processor that will meet your requirements.
** As the number of cores increase, the work load will be divided and you may probably yield good results.

Changing the Motherboard will be quite expensive as you may have to end up changing OS too (if you have a OEM version).

If you end up figure out that the applications will need more cache and/or more cores, you can probably go for Xeon X3350, Xeon X3360, Xeon X3370, Xeon X3380 as all these processors have 12MB of cache and 4 Cores.
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