CPU upgrade advice - n00b alert.


Active Member
I'm utterly clueless with CPU's RAM and boards so hoping to appeal to some gurus for some help.

I've run CPU-Z to get (hopefully) the info needed, but I'm lost with what the MOBO is. It says BENGAL on it - I think it might be THIS Foxconn RS 780 though CPU-Z reports a: Packard Bell BV PBGL00 (which may just be relevant to the PC: a PACKARD BELL BV IMEDIA A3317) - the board is identical though and CPUZ says it has an RS690 chipset.
The CPU is an AMD Phenom X3 8550 Triple-Core Processor Socket AM2+ (940).

My problem: The PC struggles when dealing with large and RAW image files, and also chuggs along noisily when converting video with varying and slow results. Editing video is virtually impossible.
I have a 512mb ATI Radeon 3400 plugged into the PCIe slot (with onboard GFX disabled) which runs a decent LG widescreen over DVI. I know it's not the best card by a long chalk but it's better than the IGFX and performs well under any other circumstances - I'm not a PC gamer.
It has 3GB of DDR2 PC2-6400 RAM (1 X 1024 & 1 X 2048) which seem adequate enough running Win 7 Pro.

I think I'm right when I say my video card is the biggest bottleneck going off the Win7 experience report (attached) and I know I need to upgrade that, but I think the CPU needs an upgrade too?

My question is, given the info above and at the link, would someone be kind enough to help, and recommend the best CPU for this board? I say best as I'm guessing even the toppest of spec CPU's isn't going to break the bank at this level - but I'd be hoping for about the £50 mark. Being short on cash at the mo I think the CPU is going to be the cheapest to upgrade.. Or would the CPU need to work less and not be maxing out if the video card was more capable (i.e leave the CPU for now and concentrate on the video card upgrade)?

Thanks loads for any help. Chips and boards baffle me. :suicide:


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Distinguished Member
Are you running Windows 32bit or 64bit software?

I run Photoshop CS5 on a quad core slowwer than yours but the big difference was when I fitted 8 Gig of ram. Using on board graphics only.
Nothing runs slow on this PC.

Processor AMD A6-3650 APU with Radeon(tm) HD Graphics 7.2 5.8
Determined by lowest subscore

Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB 7.4
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6530D 5.8
Gaming graphics 4094 MB Total available graphics memory 6.5
Primary hard disk 581GB Free (932GB Total) 5.9


Distinguished Member
Graphics cards should really be known by their old name of 3d Accelerators as that's the main job, most graphics and video processing is handled by the CPU.

There are some video and imaging editing programs that are starting to take advantage of the GPU for part of the process but it's far from universal so you'd have to check whether the software you're using is using the GPU at all and for what.

So basically it's probably your CPU, memory or hard drive holding you back.

As to upgrading your CPU, being a packard bell it may be difficult to find out exactly what it supports. You're limited to the same CPU Socket so it must be an AM2+ CPU and the fastest ones of those were the early Phenom II X4s (e.g. the 940) but there's no guarantee your motherboard will support that. If you can find the documentation for the PC though it may well have a list of supported CPUs (or at least supported HT speeds).

What sort of resolution are these images/video? It may be that a lack of memory or a slow hard drive is causing the slow down instead.


Active Member
Cheers EW.

3GB of DDR2 not really good enough you think?

HERE is the specs for my C drive. It's a 320GB Western Digital Caviar Blue.

Sadly no documentation with the PC. I did buy it new, but it was a couple of years ago now. I remember there wasn't even a manual with it though, which is why I was trying so hard to identify the mobo.

Images and video really do vary. Mobile phone clips through to HD clips but I generally have a rubbish video editing experience with processing video of even small sizes. Using something like Pinnacle Home Studio I can sometimes sit looking at it while it decides if it's going to go on any further.. I usually give up and use Windows Movie Maker. My RAW image files are only around 15-20MB for a 3888 x 2592. The size of the images isn't a big issue, it's just when I start post-pro or manipulating - the processor can easily kick up to full whack sometimes and there's no chance of multitasking.

Essentially, I'd like to upgrade to the best I could get out of this machine with used parts instead of ditching the lot and building a new one. I fit means I have to tackle memory, CPU and video card then so be it.

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