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Upgrading CPU for Plex server and desktop browser

We have an old PC we're currently using as a Plex server and some light browsing/email usage. It currently has an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 and 6GB of RAM.

 

The thing is, it's slow as hell. It barely functions and even opening browsers take almost a minute. It often skips or constantly buffers in the Plex playback. I figure the easiest thing to do would be to upgrade the CPU, and doing a quick search it shows it's a LGA775 chipset. I don't know if the ram is DDR3 or DDR2, so that's the biggest limiting factor of just getting something a bit more modern. What's the best CPU we can get for the chipset? I was never up on the Intel line.

Also, where's a good place to source old CPUs?

#Muricaparrotgang

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whats the rest of the specs?

 

Opening the brower makes me thing its a disk io issue.

 

You can't really upgrade much without a board swap. Its not worth it to get the higher clocked chips.

 

Have you tried a overclock?

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4 hours ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

whats the rest of the specs?

Such as?

 

By disk io I assume you mean the HDD, which should be fine. The thing is, if it has DDR3 I could pretty easily swap out the mobo and CPU for something newer less than $100, but if it's DDR2 I'd need to buy new ram which makes it more expensive than it's worth if I could just get an Nvidia Shield or something.

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9 hours ago, JZStudios said:

Such as?

 

By disk io I assume you mean the HDD, which should be fine. The thing is, if it has DDR3 I could pretty easily swap out the mobo and CPU for something newer less than $100, but if it's DDR2 I'd need to buy new ram which makes it more expensive than it's worth if I could just get an Nvidia Shield or something.

disks, case, psu, motherboard, ram. What are all the parts in use?

 

Swapping to a boot ssd will make programs load much faster.

 

What is the cpu usage?

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12 hours ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

disks, case, psu, motherboard, ram. What are all the parts in use?

 

Swapping to a boot ssd will make programs load much faster.

 

What is the cpu usage?

Dunno. Probably a WD black of some sort. Not really what I'm looking for.

Dunno. Something cheap, frankly doesn't matter. It houses the parts and that's good enough.

Dunno. Provides power. I'd guess ~400w since that's pretty common.

HP KL649AV-ABA M9200T

Dunno couldn't figure out how to get info on the ram without tearing it apart and physically reading it.

 

Not looking for an SSD. Looking for a CPU. The hard drive is fine.

 

At idle it's zero, but even launching Opera and going to Amazon.com or Youtube spikes it into the 80-90 range.

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50 minutes ago, JZStudios said:

Dunno. Probably a WD black of some sort. Not really what I'm looking for.

Dunno. Something cheap, frankly doesn't matter. It houses the parts and that's good enough.

Dunno. Provides power. I'd guess ~400w since that's pretty common.

HP KL649AV-ABA M9200T

Dunno couldn't figure out how to get info on the ram without tearing it apart and physically reading it.

 

Not looking for an SSD. Looking for a CPU. The hard drive is fine.

 

At idle it's zero, but even launching Opera and going to Amazon.com or Youtube spikes it into the 80-90 range.

I still think a ssd would make a much bigger perfomrance differnce when prowsing the web.

 

You can't really upgrade the cpu without change the ram and motherboard aswell.

 

Do you have a budget in mind?

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13 hours ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

I still think a ssd would make a much bigger perfomrance differnce when prowsing the web.

 

You can't really upgrade the cpu without change the ram and motherboard aswell.

 

Do you have a budget in mind?

$100 or less. Otherwise just go for a Nvidia shield.

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10 minutes ago, JZStudios said:

$100 or less. Otherwise just go for a Nvidia shield.

Id try to find a used cpu motherboard ram combo for sale then.

 

You can't really upgrade your cpu on the current board, you can get a slightly higher clocked chip, but its really not worth it.

 

Can you overclock.

 

I still think a ssd would make a massive difference.

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The current CPU should be capable of 2 maybe even 3 1080p transcoded streams. For the chipset, there's not much to gain by upgrading the CPU. Ram is sufficient.

 

Sounds like you are either having hard drive issues, or software issues possibly involving the OS. There's is a possibility that other hardware has had failures that have only shown up as slowing your computer down. Have you tried wiping and reinstalling the OS? If you are trying to make this system work, I would also recommend an SSD for the OS.

 

If the Nvidia shield is a option for you, it's generally a pretty decent basic plex server, but it's form factor obviously has limitations.

 

You can also see if there are any local deals where you can get a used but newer more powerful platform.

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3 hours ago, Ertman said:

The current CPU should be capable of 2 maybe even 3 1080p transcoded streams. For the chipset, there's not much to gain by upgrading the CPU. Ram is sufficient.

 

Sounds like you are either having hard drive issues, or software issues possibly involving the OS. There's is a possibility that other hardware has had failures that have only shown up as slowing your computer down. Have you tried wiping and reinstalling the OS? If you are trying to make this system work, I would also recommend an SSD for the OS.

 

If the Nvidia shield is a option for you, it's generally a pretty decent basic plex server, but it's form factor obviously has limitations.

 

You can also see if there are any local deals where you can get a used but newer more powerful platform.

The OS is a clean install, and while an SSD might load heavy applications faster, it's not necessary for light browsing or video streaming. If anything on the video streaming front it's being limited by the USB input from the aging mobo. Even still it should be able to provide a video stream. The fact the CPU maxes out simply by opening a website or windows explorer doesn't make me think it's a HDD issue over a CPU one.

 

Outside from a single local store that still isn't allowing anyone in the building I don't know where I'd find used hardware outside of potentially Craigslist or something.

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5 hours ago, JZStudios said:

The OS is a clean install, and while an SSD might load heavy applications faster, it's not necessary for light browsing or video streaming. If anything on the video streaming front it's being limited by the USB input from the aging mobo. Even still it should be able to provide a video stream. The fact the CPU maxes out simply by opening a website or windows explorer doesn't make me think it's a HDD issue over a CPU one.

 

Outside from a single local store that still isn't allowing anyone in the building I don't know where I'd find used hardware outside of potentially Craigslist or something.

Did not realize the CPU was "maxing" out causing ongoing issues as "spiking" is normal in short bursts, thanks for providing more pertinent information to the problem. 

 

I have a CPU similar to the Q9300 that I used for a Plex server and light browsing and disc ripping and I did not experience the issues you are. So clearly theres something else going on here and makes me think there might be a fault in the hardware somewhere.

 

If you have that strict of budget and want to use a PC for your server then the used route through thrift stores, craigslist, Facebook, or whatever you local online classified sites are really your only course to get better components for a faster Plex system.

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