Published on July 29, 2018 By kona0197 In Personal Computing

So I finally got tired of the old computer being slow. Saved up some money and bought a new Dell. It has a dual core AMD 7th generation A6 CPU running at 2 GHZ but it can go higher, up to 2.7 GHz when it needs to, 4 GB DDR4, 500 GB hard drive, and Radeon graphics. It seems fast enough for my everyday tasks and games, but barely. No lag on startup, just a slight lag opening apps or new tabs in Chrome. Of course I used my copy of Windows 10 version 1604 and installed it over what came on the computer to get rid of the bloatware, than installed the latest drivers for all devices I knew needed them. Had to turn of some visual effects, I think that helped, but it's still not as fast a system as I would like. So I need help with the following options. Should I...

1. Buy a 256GB SSD and 4 GB of DDR4 RAM to speed up the system or...
2. Take it back to the store, spend another $200 to get something with at least a Core i3 CPU and 8 GB of RAM or...
3. Buy a Mac. I can get a 2010 model for about 300 with OSX Sierra installed with 4 GB of RAM and a 256 GB hard drive...

Keep in ind I have watched how to take this Dell apart on YouTube and install the RAM and SSD. Looks easy enough but I'm afraid I would foul something up. Local shop can get me a 256 GB SSD, install it, and clone my existing drive for $250. Not sure what to do here. The Mac sounds tempting...

Thanks guys..

Comments (Page 1)
on Jul 29, 2018

Kona before you decide what to do you need to decide what areas of slowness you are trying to address. 

Win 10 and its apps need Ram.  I would think 8GB for a laptop would be the right target.

If you do not mind some lag in win/app start-up you can skip the SSD.

The AMD A6 with Radeon graphics may be a bottleneck depending on the graphics/games you are running.

A current I3 or I5 would speed things up and you would have to find the right graphics card.

So it comes down to is it a Loading/Startup slowness issue or a program Running/Throughput issue?

Sounds like it may be both.  My own preference has been to get adequate Ram with good CPU/Graphics and pass up the SSD to keep costs lower.


This is a good example:  HP Laptop

on Jul 29, 2018

I would never buy a Dell they are underpowered for what you pay for.

Now I would take it back, and get a quad core. Option 2. I guess 8 gigs of RAM would work as long as you play nonething bigger than an immense map. If you don't use a quad core you are not at least going to see a performance increas from it's multicore capability. An SSD to speed up the game sounds nice. As far as the processor it is a good idea to keep with something that has been made in the last 2 years.

You could probably save a few bucks by ordering it online.

on Jul 29, 2018

Guys the games I am playing all are older ones. The newest game I have, Monopoly, is 6 years old. The rest are much older. They play fine, they just take up to a minute to load, and that is acceptable. There seems to be no lag booting up or opening things like Chrome or Thunderbird. Word and Excel start in seconds. 

It's a Dell Inspiron 15, 3000 series. Have you seen the teardown and upgrade procedure on YouTube? It's scary...

But boy does that Mac still sound like fun...

on Jul 29, 2018

For mine, the best upgrade to boost speed and performance is a SSD over a HHD, then if you can afford it get the extra 4GB of RAM later.  To go with an i3 or i5 and 8GB RAM will cost you a lot more, and even then you mightn't get the kind of performance you're seeking if it only has a HDD running a 5400RPM.

As for the graphics, AMD isn't that bad these days, so unless you're playing high-end games that demand the highest frame rates, the AMD will most likely do the job okay when combined with an SSD and more RAM.  Just remember to keep the drivers for everything updated and you should be fine.

on Jul 29, 2018

Starkers, good point, however I do not feel comfortable doing that upgrade. Nor do I know how to load Windows on to a SSD. Unless it's exactly like loading it on to a hard drive. You see I'm fine taking the screws out of the back and removing the DVD-RW drive. I get kinda nervous when it come to popping up the keyboard and undoing three ribbon cables. I'm afraid I will never get them back in, or break them, or once they are in I cracked one and something will not work from that point on. Those little cables are razor thin and quite tricky to get back in the motherboard connector...

on Jul 29, 2018

If you care about speed, dont buy notebooks. Especially not the ones with the AMD pre-Ryzen CPUs, dual-core additionally - in 2018 - that was really bizzare idea, especially for someone who is into computers.

If you are hellbent on laptop, then the option 2 is the answer. Definitely dont invest into the one you bought, neither buy 8-years old Mac.

on Jul 29, 2018

Then try this it has the SSD and 8GB of Ram.  But only the SSD for storage.


SSD Laptop.

on Jul 29, 2018

Sadly I can't have a desktop. I'm at a point in my life where I'm renting rooms from people and I am never able to put down roots due to a few factors so I'm always needing to relocate every year or so. This makes having a laptop the better option. 

So why not the Mac? The one I am looking at hasn't been used too much and is in near mint condition. 

@Big Dog - Don't need a touchscreen. :/ 

on Jul 29, 2018

Oh, i see, that is too bad.

Not Mac, cause its 2010 you said? That is definitely not going to be "fast". 

on Jul 29, 2018

Ah but OSX uses was less resources to run than Windows 10. Significantly less. :/

on Jul 29, 2018

They say that technology doubles every six months, or two years. So that apple would be at least 16 times better nowdays are you saying that the resources would make that much of a difference.

on Jul 29, 2018


Ah but OSX uses was less resources to run than Windows 10. Significantly less. :/

I don't see how that's going to make the Mac a better, faster machine, not one from 2010 anyway.  Thing is Win 10 was created with SSDs in mind.  Sure it'll run on a HDD, but obviously better on a 7200 RPM than a 5400 RPM, and your machine has a 5400 RPM, as do most HDD based laptops.

The SSD is definitely the better medium for Win 10, and to boost the performance of most any PC, upgrading from HDD to SSD is the way to go, given how SSD prices have come down dramatically in recent times.

Put it this way, one of the first upgrades I did was from HDD to SSD, and the jump in speed and performance was significant... same CPU and RAM, same machine, same everything, just a more efficient medium for the OS.

As for adding a SSD, you could probably find a tech who would do it inexpensively for you, same with RAM, if you purchased it from his establishment rather than purchasing it elsewhere then taking it in to be installed.

on Jul 29, 2018


@Big Dog - Don't need a touchscreen. :/

Not really seeing how that makes it not work for you... but its your call.  Don't use the touch screen feature use the mouse and keyboard only instead.

What I was trying to show you is to find a pre-built with SSD in your price range it will be an AMD A8 build. 

It seems though that what you really want is that Mac to work out.  It is too old.   Choose something else instead of that old Mac.

on Jul 29, 2018 

If that's what you got you chose 'pretty ordinary'.

Minimum it'd need is that other 4gig ram and an SSD.

Tho....if you had a second one you'd have matching bookends...

A 'new' machine in that price range is never going to be much good.  Russian Roulette with a second hand machine of higher specs for the same price would have been a better option...particularly if either choice saw you do a full format and reinstall...

on Jul 29, 2018

Minimum it'd need is that other 4gig ram and an SSD

 That's it!  It 'd be the better, more economical option to get a faster machine right now.  The idea of taking this one back and getting an Intel i3 or i5 with an SSD and 8Gb of RAM is going to cost a whole lot more.  Even something with the next gen AMD processor is going to cost more.

In most cases I would advise against upgrading a lower-end machine, but in Kona's case with this one, a SSD and an extra 4GB of RAM would do the trick and be more cost effective than returning it to buy a higher-end machine.

As I recall, Frogboy advocated upgrading with a SSD and said it was the most cost effective way to improve speed and performance.... and he's no fool when it comes to computer related matters.