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  • RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

    This is my venting post about my regrets at not convincing my father to let me build my mother's computer instead of buying a crap $450 (after tax) one from Micro Center about a year ago.

    Her computer specs are here: Powerspec V101

    I recently spent $14 and upgraded your memory from 512 MB to 1.5 GBs. I was rather hoping her computer would speed up some, well not enough. Whenever she's working on it, she has at least Firefox (*cough* I mean IE...) open with 5 tabs, 3 Word documents open, and a array of books and papers all over the table we share. She has a typing speed of about 60 WPM, so when the little blinky cursor can't catch up to her typing, she'll complain about how stupidly slow her computer is.

    So what does this mean? Her craptastic Celeron D 360 is to blame. Not only is this a older core (and architecture), but it only has 512 KB of L2 cache. I'm rather glad her computer shipped with Vista Home Basic rather than XP (better memory management). Honestly, I hate how MC put in a crap Celeron and only 0.5 GB of RAM.

    From my research, her system features a ECS 945GZT-M (v1.0) motherboard. According to the ECS official website on that particular board, it can handle Pentium Dual-Cores, Pentium Ds, and Core 2 Duos.

    I'm going to see how long it takes me to convince my mother a $70 upgrade of her CPU from a Celeron D 360 to a Pentium DC E2180 is worth it. :)
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

  • #2
    Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

    Ahh..a littel squirt bottle with saline would end the problem.

    Sarcoma
    Sarcoma.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

      You could get a WAY better computer for 450. I feel bad for ya mate. My grandma has one of the most powerful computer in her town. 8800GT 2.4 Quad core, and 2 gigs of Ram. :D
      |TG-6th|SirNerd

      My Resume includes Pirate, Mercenary, and a Devil Dog, what else do you want.

      Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional.

      When you can't run anymore, you crawl and when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

        Originally posted by Sarcoma View Post
        Ahh..a littel squirt bottle with saline would end the problem.

        Sarcoma
        I'm guessing that's supposed to be a funny joke, but ya lost me. :row__596:

        Originally posted by Sir-Nerd View Post
        You could get a WAY better computer for 450. I feel bad for ya mate. My grandma has one of the most powerful computer in her town. 8800GT 2.4 Quad core, and 2 gigs of Ram. :D
        True (almost), but my mother doesn't need a quad-core or high-end graphics. The most she does is word processing, some spreadsheets, and online videos.

        I completely regret not building her system. I could have churn out a much better (and quieter) rig. :icon_mad: Those two 80mm fans annoy me when her computer is on...


        Edit: For today's pricing...I could build her a nice rig for less than $375. With: Pentium DC E2180, 2 GB of RAM, 160 GB HDD, Case, PSU, DVD Burner, and Vista Home Basic. For another $25, I could throw in a better pair of headphones for when she's watching DVD or a video.
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

        TG Primer and Rules

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

          I'm a fast typist, and my old 386 could easily keep up with my typing. Something's wrong if a late-model computer can't. I would have suggested memory, but you've addressed that. It's hard to believe the CPU is the bottleneck.

          Does Task Manager show unusually high CPU activity when idle or even just typing? Is there something else that's hogging all the CPU? What's the memory usage look like? Is 1.5 GB really enough when you have all that loaded on your desktop at once?
          Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

          snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

          Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

            This is what I remember from last weekend when she used it:

            In the CPU Meter gadget in her sidebar the computer is using about 63% of her total 1.5 GBs of memory.

            Okay, one other thing, I loaded Word 2007 onto her system about a month back, so the new Word does use a bit more resources than the old copy of Word 2000.

            I know her CPU is the bottleneck, but I think I might have figured out when her slow typing response comes into play. She'll usually open several IE pages (in tabs) and have several of them loading. Once in a while she'll also have a video loading. So if those pages/video take longer than a few seconds to display, she'll quickly switch back to her open Word document and starting typing. She'll jump back and forth if she's frustrated, etc.
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

              I really don't think it is the CPU. My wife has a laptop that is almost 3 old. It has 512meg and they installed vista on it a couple of weeks ago. Aero won't run on it but all her other programs, including Word and Excel, run just fine.

              Does her IE have some plugins running sucking up the CPU or causing huge disk writes? Maybe a virus/trojan got on the computer?

              Does she have some bad maros in word running?

              Oh, and shut off Areo and see if that helps.
              Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
              - "The essence of tyranny is the denial of complexity". -Jacob Burkhardt
              - "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds" - Emerson
              - "People should not be afraid of it's government, government should be afraid of it's People." - Line from V for Vendetta
              - If software were as unreliable as economic theory, there wouldn't be a plane made of anything other than paper that could get off the ground. Jim Fawcette
              - "Let me now state what seems to me the decisive objection to any conservatism which deserves to be called such. It is that by its very nature it cannot offer an alternative to the direction in which we are moving." -Friedrich Hayek
              - "Don't waist your time on me your already the voice inside my head." Blink 182 to my wife

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

                It's Vista Home Basic, it doesn't have the fancy Aero stuff.

                No add-ons or plugins in IE. In fact, it's not IE she's running, sorry it's FF3. And there are no add-ons installed. (Got so used to the IE skin I put on her FF)

                Going to do a bit of trial-and-error on her machine right now.

                Edit: Hmm. I will have to wait for her to show me some evidence of slowness. I just went and starting typing on it with FF open to several pages, Excel 2007 open to a blank document, and a Google video playing in the background. I only noticed one or two lags in the typing cursor (still can't think of the name for it). Other than that, smooth as a baby's behind.
                |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                Former 9th & 13th

                Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                TG Primer and Rules

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

                  Ah, the "open lots of tabs at once and try to do something else" user. Like me. :p (I must have had 75 TG threads opening at once earlier today, and my E8500 got a wee bit sluggish. And just now, as I was typing the last sentence, I was installing Acrobat for the first time on this new machine, and Firefox froze while Acrobat decided to jam in its plugin. (I never view a PDF in a browser. It insists on downloading the thing and locking up the browser. I use the PDF Download addon to avoid that.)

                  Rendering HTML consumes a lot of memory. The more images and active content, the more memory. Scaling images to fit the display uses a lot of CPU. Load a bunch of pages and expect a slowdown.

                  One solution is to use two computers, one for surfing and one for working, and get a KVM to switch between them. (A major reason I upgraded my game box to a dual-core was to eliminate the need for that 2nd computer to compile in the background without killing game performance.)
                  Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                  snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                  Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

                    Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                    Ah, the "open lots of tabs at once and try to do something else" user. Like me. :p (I must have had 75 TG threads opening at once earlier today, and my E8500 got a wee bit sluggish. And just now, as I was typing the last sentence, I was installing Acrobat for the first time on this new machine, and Firefox froze while Acrobat decided to jam in its plugin. (I never view a PDF in a browser. It insists on downloading the thing and locking up the browser. I use the PDF Download addon to avoid that.)

                    Rendering HTML consumes a lot of memory. The more images and active content, the more memory. Scaling images to fit the display uses a lot of CPU. Load a bunch of pages and expect a slowdown.

                    One solution is to use two computers, one for surfing and one for working, and get a KVM to switch between them. (A major reason I upgraded my game box to a dual-core was to eliminate the need for that 2nd computer to compile in the background without killing game performance.)
                    1) No money for KVM switch. 2) Mother would pull it out and throw it out the window.

                    I gotta keep it as simple as I can for her. Hell she doesn't even like to use the cordless phone in the house or her cell. She can't seem to understand that the "green/TALK" button is used to answer the phone and the "red/END" button is used to hang it up.

                    She even asked me the first time we went to a cordless phone in the house: "Can you make it so it answers the minute I pick it up [from the charging base]?"
                    I told her: "No. This is TALK, this is END. [The!]"
                    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                    Former 9th & 13th

                    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                    TG Primer and Rules

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

                      How's she coping with the new-fangled horseless carriage? ;)
                      Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                      snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                      Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

                        Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                        How's she coping with the new-fangled horseless carriage? ;)
                        Oh, the car...yes that took me several minutes to make sense of. :p

                        Well, pretty much the same story except that if you give her a Cadillac, she'll probably end up destroying the insides in her attempt to switch radio channels or turn on the heat.

                        Oh, I've heard one head-shaking complaint from her once after I asked "Would you like me to make it drive by itself too?"

                        She responded: "Yes, that would be great. It would be even better if it responded to voice commands [in Cantonese and Mandarin]."

                        Maybe some twenty years from now I can grant her wish. :icon_lol:

                        I'm going to hunt some sort of comparable reviews and data on how a Celeron DC compares to the old Celeron D (Cedar Mills core). At $50 it's a whole $20 cheaper than the Pentium DCs and still gives me a stripped down Core 2 Duo architecture.

                        Edit: SOB...I forgot her board doesn't support the newish Celeron dual-cores. It'll have to be either a Celeron D 440 or a Pentium DC.

                        ECS's website lists these processors as compatible with my mother's PC's mobo: 945GZT Compatible CPUs List

                        Scroll all the way down and look at the Celeron 430 (A1). Is that the A1 stepping or revision? I looked at Intel's official site and can't find a A1 stepping for that specific processor.

                        Does anyone else have a clue as to what the A1 is?

                        Edit 2:

                        Conroe-L, Celeron 440 Review

                        The Conroe-L isn't much of a improvement over her current Celeron 360 chip.

                        It looks like the Celeron DC was a good choice, but since the 945GZT-M board doesn't support that particular chip, the best upgrade for her system is the Pentium DC E2180 on NewEgg for $70.
                        Last edited by Acreo Aeneas; 11-21-2008, 02:38 AM.
                        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                        Former 9th & 13th

                        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                        TG Primer and Rules

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

                          She's at the computer now. CPU is constantly clocking at above 80% usage.

                          I've closed Firefox, closed the Sidebar, closed several background process and yet the CPU usage stays the same. She's only got 2 Excel 2007 documents and Task Manager up.

                          According to TM, TM is using 25% CPU, but that would mean her two Excel docs are responsible for the rest.

                          I seriously am having a hard time convincing her the $70 Pentium DC is her best upgrade.
                          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                          Former 9th & 13th

                          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                          TG Primer and Rules

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

                            What does the Process tab show? (Set to show processes for all users.) Click CPU in the header to sort the hogs to the top. That should show what's using the CPU.
                            Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                            snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                            Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: RANT: Mother's Computer is a Pain...

                              Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                              What does the Process tab show? (Set to show processes for all users.) Click CPU in the header to sort the hogs to the top. That should show what's using the CPU.
                              Like I said, Task Manager was using 25-29% of the CPU.

                              Another process (might be a Excel 2007 related process) was eating anywhere from 27% to 6x% of the rest of her CPU.

                              I don't remember the process name off hand, I'll have to write it down next time I see it.
                              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                              Former 9th & 13th

                              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                              TG Primer and Rules

                              Comment

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