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I have a reasonably recent workstation running 11.10 with an AMD-Athalon (4 cores) and an Asus motherboard. I would like to spend about $100 to speed it up I have several options and was wondering how to figure out which would make the most difference with a budget of about $100.

  1. Bump memory from 4gb -> 8gb (or 12gb)
  2. Install a SSD boot drive
  3. Video Card
  4. Something else????

Actually what would be even better would be to have some sort of tool to tell me where the bottleneck is.

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Well, that highly depends on what to do. But then again, this is the wrong site to ask this. Try superuser.com - askubuntu ist for Ubuntu problems only, where superuser will help you with hardware problems as well. –  Dominik Oct 24 '11 at 7:19
    
speedup is not that easy. First you need to know what you want to speed up (boot time, application startup, during runtime)? Further you need to know how many and which ressources your applications most likely will use. A new video card wont speed up the boot progress. As option 4 you should consider more or faster RAM. But this also depends on your Motherboard, whether faster RAM can help you any. What do you feel is being to slow? –  Michael K Oct 24 '11 at 7:19
    
Purchasing recommendations are off-topic here; furthermore, questions not pertaining to Ubuntu or official Ubuntu derivatives are also off-topic. Please consider another Stack Exchange site for a question of this type. –  Marco Ceppi Oct 24 '11 at 11:42
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closed as off topic by fossfreedom, Marco Ceppi Oct 24 '11 at 11:41

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1 Answer

Well, are you noticing a specific type of slowdown on the machine? It all depends on what seems to be causing it. If computer is acting normally, and you want to see some performance boost, I would recommend an SSD, though you may have to go used to get something decent for <=$100. Unless you are doing tasks requiring greater than 4gb of memory, you will not see a performance boost by upgrading it. Watch your system monitor and track your memory usage. Video card will of course only help you with 3D tasks such as gaming, as even most modern integrated cards can handle desktop/web accelerated activities just fine.

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Thanks. I have seen some swap file usage, so that was where I figured to start, I saw a 80gb SSD on new egg for about $80 so that would be another thing to try. –  Zachary K Oct 24 '11 at 8:29
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