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General Upgrade Help


I currently run an i5-4670K CPU at 3.40GHz overclocked, an intel ssd and 8GB of some generic kingston RAM on an Ubuntu box. Recently I have noticed things running slowly especially when multitasking in webpages. My workflow usually involves running a game in the background (older games) and having multiple tabs open. From time to time I need to use virtualbox and run Windows (for my really old games or for things that aren’t compatible with linux).

I am seriously strapped in terms of budget but would be interested in knowing what would be bottle-necking my speeds. Back in the day we always threw RAM at these sorts of issues but I wanted to double-check to see if things have changed. I would also appreciate some specific recommendations in terms of hardware. For example, what RAM I should buy etc…

I appreciate the help.



My suggestion would be just another 8gb stick of whatever RAM you have. If the budget is that tight that sounds like it’ll be the best value for what you’re doing. It sounds like the bottleneck is memory but I’m no expert so someone else do chime in if I’m missing something.

What does htop look like when this is happening?

Upon checking my resources during the slowness it does appear that I’m out of memory. Currently I’m running two 4GB RAM cards. From previous comments should I assume two 8GB RAM cards would be adequate? Are their cards to avoid? Also, does frequency matter much?

If you want to use the dimms you have then you should match frequency and timings.

Probably ddr3 1600 cl11 I’m guessing, but you should pull a stick and get the info off it.

You definitely need a budget build as soon as you can afford it… tell me what your motherboard is and I can tell you what parts will give you the best performance boost. Right now your kind of at the point where even a budget AMD build will give you much more performance then anything you can upgrade too with this machine. Ram will definitely help 16 gb’s of ddr3 2400 minimum…An nvme m.2 drive if your motherboard supports it…if not two ssd’s in raid 0 will also give you a boost… A used 1070 graphics card will also give you a good boost…If you are going to buy parts try and buy things that you can use in your next build… The ram your not going to be able to do that with unfortunately.

I took this advice. It is indeed the specs that you mentioned. I’m currently running two 4GB sticks in random.

If I am planning to be running games under Linux would you suggest going to the red team? If so, what are some decent budget red team video cards?

are you still having problems?

I’m assuming htop is a tool to view current loads on a machine. Unfortunately I do not know how to use it. I was able to view the task manager when I was under load. I was capping out on memory and my cpu was at ~70%

htop is a command line tool for system load.

Yes. I have been just changing habits as a short-term fix. I just focused on single tasks to cut down in memory use. Last I posted I get busy with work and didn’t have the time to devote to solving this problem.

With you running games, and web pages, and even virtual machines… you’ll probably want to double the amount of ram you have.

I cant really say I’d recommend spending money on DDR3 but if you cant afford a new machine then it is what it is.

I can afford to spend a little more at this point. What would you suggest?

probably a 3600 for a budget machine. Dont know what GPU you have…

I will look that up when I get home. Currently I’m running a gtx 760 reference blower card.

I am using this motherboard with first gen intel i5k.

What did you have in mind for a budget build? Do you mean that doing a new budget build would be more beneficial than upgrading my current one?

A new build would offer much better options down the road when you want to upgrade. The upgrade path for your current hardware is ram that isnt compatible with anything current and a used CPU. AM4 board are supposed to see one more CPU before AMD releases a new socket potentially. Current gen CPUs have many more cores. The lowest end AMD APU has the same number of cores and a bit more compute performance as your i5. You can only move up. Unless you get a killer deal on some used hardware in that generation (doubtful), A b450 (or b550 when that releases) would mean a lot of room for improvement and a 3600 (or better) would yield significant improvements.

This is all great information and I think I will take your advice on this one and save a little more for a more forward-looking budget build. Could you please be more specific about these parts you are suggesting? I am afraid I don’t know what these different model numbers are referring to.

I could put together a parts list. Do you have a budget you’re trying to stick to?