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Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

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Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

I currently have an Athlon 64X2 (6400+) processor which runs at 3.22GHz along with 3GB RAM and an ATI 3870 with 512MB RAM graphics card + 4TB of HD space.
Now running XP 32 bit but awaiting delivery W7 later this week.
I know that my system can more than handle W7 (64 bit) but am thinking of upgrading anyway possibly to an AMD Phenom II X4 940 3GHz  and, perhaps, adding another 2GB RAM.
Does anyone know the potential speed increase I may see with the above PCU and, as my mobo can take 8GB, would having 5GB (3x1GB +1x2GB) give any potential problems?
Cheers
Edit: Should have said that I do a lot of video editing but no games playing plus the usual office type stuff.

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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

Why bother? I'd just add more RAM as W7x64 will happily use it.
It's been a Windows Mantra for nearly 15 years that the first performance upgrade you do is to add more memory.
(good grief, has it only been around for that short time..........  Crazy I've got 2 very different 1998 cars on my drive and they're not significantly changed from brand new ones, but look at a 1998 PC, OS, software & peripherals in comparison )
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

The main reason for the Phenom upgrade is raw power for video rendering/encoding. I was hoping for some sort of ball park figure as to the speed increase I may achieve. 1.5x, 2x or even greater? 2x and over will be worth it, I think.

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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

I suppose the first question is whether your video editing software is 64 bit or 32 bit.
If it is 32 bit then there is an immediate memory limit so adding a lot more memory wouldn't help much - I would look at increasing it to at least 4GB though
One thing to be aware of the memory needs to run dual channel for maximum performance which means that you should either have 2 pairs or 4 pairs of memory sticks and that each pair should ideally be matched
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

I'll be installing the 64bit version of W7 although, currently, my video editing is 32 bit. I am assuming that the 3GB limitation is solely down to the OS and that, even though many programs are 32 bit still, more than 3GB will be available to each and everyone of them; or have I assumed incorrectly.?
The RAM is a bit of mix & match. Iinitially had 1GB + 512MB. I disposed of the 512MB and bought a matching pair of 1GBs making the 3GB. Now I want to add a 2GB stick as funds will be pushed to their limit Sad

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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

Why would you get any speed increase at all?
You really need to be talking to the suppliers of the software you use as to what processors it gets the best out of - processor (instruction set) extensions and multithreading I would have thought were the main factors.
And of course, as Oldjim says, 32 or 64-bit support. Though I guess any "serious" video software has to have a native 64-bit edition.  Cool
PS Yes, you've assumed incorrectly re 32-bit limitations.
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

I know Vista is a simple upgrade to W7 but is it the same for XP?
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

There is a limit to the memory any 32 bit program can address and this is either 2GB or 4GB  depending on whether the application supports IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778%28VS.85%29.aspx?ppud=4
I would seriously consider buying 2 x 1GB sticks and using 4 slots with matching memory sticks as this will double the memory address speed
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

Thanks for all the advice guys Smiley
I only have the 32 bit edition of the editing suite but there is a 64 bit available. That will be with my next round of purchases  Cheesy
@artmo - I'll be doing a clean install.
I realise that I will be met with some issues, particularly drivers, when moving to W7 64 bit but figure most will be available within a few weeks of W7 launch and some Vista drivers will work in the meantime.
Seems that it's best I use the matching pair of 1GB sticks I have now and purchase another 2 matching 1GB sticks and discard the other 1GB for now.
Cheers.

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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

I haven't found any driver problems - it seems as though the Vista drivers work OK
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

OJ - are you talking x64?
My x64 install of W7 seems to take 32-bit drivers too if the proper 64-bit ones aren't available.  Wink (much more tolerant than XP64)
Edit: for any new system, presumably DDR2, a pair of 1GB or 2GB sticks is going to be pretty cheap. Though I guess it's high-spec stuff so maybe not.  Wink
Then again around £40 for 2GB of good quality PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) seems to be the going rate......
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

No - I was comparing the drivers used on Vista 64 bit  as on my main boot to the Windows 7RC  64 bit drivers on my secondary boot
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

Checking my current RAM with the Crucial checker it states that I have three 1GB DDR PC2 5200 modules. I think these are supposed to run at 667MHz?
Using CPU-Z the report says I have 3 PC2 4300 modules (266MHz) runing at 268MHz.
Without opening the case which is most likely to be reporting correctly?
If I really do only have 4300 would they be compatible with the 2GB PC2-5300 module I'm thinking of getting? Would it force the 5300s to run at the slower speed or should I not mix & match?
I suppose I'd better open the case but it's in an awkward position and I didn't want to pull it out till I do the actual upgrade Roll eyes

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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

It depends what you want to know exactly as they measure in a different way.
Crucial will most likely tell you what your motherboard is capable of, CPU-Z what the memory is actually doing.
Neither is likely to be 100% correct, you need to take the memory out and look at it to be sure.
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Re: Upgrade for W7 - Advice Please

The memory always runs at the slowest memory stick speed as it all has to run at the same speed.
Crucial usually just try and detect your motherboard and then offer the best speed it can handle based on it's database of motherboards. So both will be correct, one is the max speed (crucial) and the other the actual speed of the memory fitted (CPU-Z).