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2 Computers, which is best?

by artesian79 / September 17, 2009 5:00 AM PDT

I have access to two computers. A Dell 4500S 1.8 GHz P4 with 2x256 MB RAM, and a Compaq Presario S4100NX 2.5 GHz Celeron with 2x512 MB RAM. Neither has a video card. The Dell can use up to 2GB, vs the Compaq only being able to use 1 GB.

I'd like to take the best parts to make something to give a friend who will only be using email and maybe Office applications.

If I could find some reasonable PC2100 RAM, I think the Dell would be best b/c I can at least bump it up to 2GB. The person is using the Compaq right now and it is slow.

Since I haven't found more memory, and I think the P4 is slower than the Celeron, can I simply move the Celeron to the Dell? I've replaced CPUs before so that doesn't scare me, I just don't know in this case if this is possible, or the right decision.

Your thoughts please?

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I'll share.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 8:42 AM PDT

I'm unsure what you need to go beyond 512MB. My Compaq R3000 2.0GHz Athlon is staying at 512MB and runs the following list very very well.

Windows XP SP3, Office 2003, Paint Shop Pro 10, Visual Studio (what version was out 8 years ago?), Firefox and more.

Take that 2.5GHz Celeron. About the Dell. http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/SYSTEMS/dim4500s/ seems to show it using RAM you may find pricey. Why not skip that cost?

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More Info
by artesian79 / September 17, 2009 10:48 AM PDT
In reply to: I'll share.

XP at only 512MB, ouch. The person using the system is already complaining about slowness and I have both of these systems that I'd like to use the best from each to help out.

Both systems take expensive memory, that's why I'm not planning to throw memory at it for now.

In the past I've never been happy with Celeron chips, and the Compaq is a bit older than the Dell so I thought the Dell would be best until I started tinkering. If the Celeron would work in the Dell and I could transfer the 1GB, I'd suggest staying there until I cam across some reasonable PC2100.

But, since I'm not all that sure I thought I'd post here and gain from all of your experiences.

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No ouch here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 12:33 PM PDT
In reply to: More Info

It's very fast. If there is a speed issue, adding RAM is unlikely to help (on XP!) I find drive speed to pay off here.

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I'm Impressed
by artesian79 / September 17, 2009 10:49 PM PDT
In reply to: No ouch here.

I agree that HD speed is an important factor. I didn't realize how much until I replace a 5400 RPM drive with a 7200 RPM drive for a friend who had a too full disk and lots more pictures to scan.

I wonder if I have something else going on? Would you mind d/ling Performance Test 7 (free 30 day trial) and let me know your benchmark with it? (http://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm)

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Only 11 megabytes?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 11:04 PM PDT
In reply to: I'm Impressed

Imagine. Ok. Let's try it in battery optimized first (797 MHz) then at full tilt on the R3000.

Be back later with 2 posts.

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Results. Text only.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 11:44 PM PDT
In reply to: I'm Impressed

Benchmark Results
Test Name R3000_2GHZ R3000_797MHZ
CPU - Integer Math 61.4 24.3 -
CPU - Floating Point Math 349.1 142.3 -
CPU - Find Prime Numbers 107.5 43.5 -
CPU - Multimedia Instructions 2.3 0.9 -
CPU - Compression 701.3 278.1 -
CPU - Encryption 3.0 1.2 -
CPU - Physics 33.7 15.3 -
CPU - String Sorting 493.4 219.9 -
Graphics 2D - Solid Vectors 6.5 2.4 -
Graphics 2D - Transparent Vectors 0.4 0.4 -
Graphics 2D - Complex Vectors 111.4 93.4 -
Graphics 2D - Fonts and Text 43.3 28.6 -
Graphics 2D - Windows Interface 119.3 64.3 -
Graphics 2D - Image Filters 162.4 77.0 -
2D Graphics - Image Rendering 134.7 54.5 -
Graphics 3D - Simple 236.8 235.8 -
Graphics 3D - Medium 51.1 41.0 -
Graphics 3D - Complex 8.0 6.0 -
Memory - Allocate Small Block 1803.8 705.8 -
Memory - Read Cached 965.0 382.6 -
Memory - Read Uncached 832.6 332.8 -
Memory - Write 704.9 386.5 -
Memory - Large RAM 67.4 33.8 -
Disk - Sequential Read 21.2 21.2 -
Disk - Sequential Write 21.9 22.3 -
Disk - Random Seek + RW 1.5 1.5 -
CPU Mark 542.3 222.5 -
2D Graphics Mark 318.3 161.7 -
Memory Mark 274.6 119.0 -
Disk Mark 161.1 162.4 -
3D Graphics Mark 148.0 133.1 -
PassMark Rating 338.4 175.0 -
System information - This Computer
System Summary
Windows XP (32-bit)
AMD Athlon 64 3200+
510 MB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go 64M
System Information
System Name: XP64
Operating System: Windows XP (32-bit)
Motherboard Manufacturer: Compal
Motherboard Model: 08A0
Motherboard Version: 32.42
BIOS Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard
BIOS Version: F.35
BIOS Release Date: 04/28/2005
Memory Information
Total Physical Memory: 510 MB RAM
Available Physical Memory: 193 MB RAM
Slot 1: DRAM, 256MB
Slot 2: DRAM, 256MB
Virtual Memory: C:\pagefile.sys (766 MB)
CPU Information
Manufacturer: AuthenticAMD
Type: AMD Athlon 64 3200+
Manufacturer: 1
Cores per CPU: 1
Hyperthreading: Not capable
Measured Speed: 1994.9 MHz
L1 Instruction Cache: 1 x 64 KB
L1 Data Cache: 1 x 64 KB
L2 Cache Size: 1 x 1024 KB
L3 Cache: (N/A)
Disk Information
Drive Letter (Number): C (Physical drive 0)
Model Number: IC25N060ATMR04-0
Disk Size (Free space): 55.9 GBytes (21.8 GBytes)
Disk Cluster Size: 4 KBytes
File System: NTFS
Video Adapters
Description: NVIDIA GeForce4 440 Go 64M
Chip Type: GeForce4 440 Go 64M
DAC Type: Integrated RAMDAC
Memory: 64MB
Video BIOS: Version
Driver Provider: NVIDIA
Driver Version:
Driver Date: 12-10-2003
Monitor 1: 1024x768x32 60Hz (Primary monitor)

PassMark(TM) PerformanceTest 7.0 Evaluation Version (http://www.passmark.com)
Results generated on: Friday, September 18, 2009

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Battery Optimized?
by artesian79 / September 18, 2009 2:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Results. Text only.

What do you mean by battery optimized?

Having the video card certainly helps. I'll run mine tonight to see how it compares.

I've used this benchmark before, but never saw the text output option. Learn something new everyday - or at least I hope I do!

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In short.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2009 3:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Battery Optimized?

Many laptops have a mode to cut clock rates to extend battery run times.

Since for 98% of the time I don't need it at 2.0GHz I leave it set to 797MHz and enjoy the cooler machine.

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by artesian79 / September 18, 2009 8:42 AM PDT
In reply to: In short.

Well I have it in hand now and after the thing boots it doesn't really feel bad to me. I don't have it network connected yet so I haven't had a chance to see what's happening there. I'm thinking drivers and of course all of the running programs, some that look like malware.

What size of page space do you use?

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I let windows manage it.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 18, 2009 10:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Hmmm

There are tomes about that so I'll just share that it's a known dead end tweak.

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Mine is slower
by artesian79 / September 19, 2009 9:51 AM PDT

I haven't looked to see how your CPU compares to the Celeron, but I assumed about the same since you answered the post. The be Passmark I can get is 177.

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Sorta similar.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 19, 2009 10:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Mine is slower

Single Core, etc. I have a Celeron too but benchmarks are already posted so I ran it since you asked. It's the machine I had handy.

-> But here's the deal. Notice that the amount of ram didn't pay off?

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2 Sets of Numbers
by artesian79 / September 19, 2009 12:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Sorta similar.

The test themselves on your post shows 2 different sets of numbers. Are those for two systems? Which is which?

The video card gives a bump of about 25% with this benchmark software. The Compaq I have has only has PCI slots, so I'd rather spend money on a faster HD vs a video card or RAM at this point. The Dell has a video slot (AGP) but how one could fit, I don't know since they have a cage right up against it for adding PCI cards. Poor design in my mind. It has a faster HD, but after rebuildiong the OS on both I end up with about the same numbers 17x's Compaq, 168 Dell.

I couldn't live with either of these systems. It's too long for apps to open and too many freezes when switching between windows for Internet / other applications. I didn't think I was ever going to get SP2 and SP3 d/l'd and installed. But then again, which ever one I pass along is going to be mostly for surfing. I still say ouch!

My current system is far from new - an old Dell 8400 so it's not like I'm comparing against a jet.

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Why I showed two sets of numbers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 20, 2009 1:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorta similar.

The machine I had handy was a laptop with 512M RAM and runs XP just dandy. Since it could SPEEDSWITCH I thought to give you more answers at both settings on the same machine.

If you are paying attention, the consumers are be "sold" on more RAM than they really need. You will see machines with 8GB being rolled out and Windows 7 is performing well at 1 and 2GB. Makes you wonder.

Hope that helps,

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Hello artesian
by eddiesydfrey / September 20, 2009 5:07 AM PDT

Here is the situation:

If your friend will only use it for some office application and emails, you are better off with a Celeron, then max out the memory may it be 2GB/ 1GB. If your friend won't be using "hard core" apps that require lots of memory/ video mem. resources like Photoshop, video maker etc.
Then 2GB/1GB should do it.

Both Dell and Compaq are good brands so either would do just fine. I suggest that with just 1 or 2GB of RAM use WINDOWS XP Sp3 and don't switch to vista nor Windows 7 yet, those 2 require more memory resources that could slow your system. You'll see the difference anyway.

Hope this helps

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