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Author Topic: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread  (Read 207866 times)

thehollow

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #50 on: 31 Dec 2007, 18:07 »

I ended up going with a Logitech Media Keyboard, because it was 20 bucks at target. So far I like it well enough, although I haven't done too much gaming with it yet. I don't like the way the home/delete/end etc. are is set up, but it'll be alright once I get used to it.
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thegreatbuddha

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #51 on: 03 Jan 2008, 00:43 »

So, I'm going to upgrade my computer.  I have a Gateway with a Radeon 9250 PCI videocard.

I intend to upgrade my RAM to 2GB+, and get a new video card. I will have $500-700 to spend on RAM and the video card.

My current motherboard only supports DDR RAM up to 400mHz. Given my limited budget, is it feasible to upgrade my motherboard to something DDR2 compatible?

Is the DDR support on my motherboard only relevant for system RAM, or will that prevent me from using a video card with DDR2 or DDR3 RAM?

Will my power supply be able to handle the updated hardware? Will I need to get additional fans, etc for cooling purposes?

Anything else that immediately jumps out as something I should fix?
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Dimmukane

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #52 on: 03 Jan 2008, 07:22 »

RAM is dirt cheap unless it's PC133 (before DDR, so no worries).  I bought two 1 gb sticks of DDR2 for just under 80$ (or was it 65$?), if that helps give you an idea.  Which leaves Video Card/Power Supply.  I don't suppose you know what wattage your power supply is.  In which case, get a 650 watt or so power supply (shouldn't be more than 150 or so).  This leaves 200-300 for the card.  Go nuts.  I got a 7900 GS for 140, but you can probably go higher.  As for additional fans, it's certainly not a bad idea, and they're also pretty cheap.  Less than 10 bucks cheap. 

Personally, I would've just gone out and gotten a new computer, but if you've only got a few hundred, that's probably good.
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FUBAR

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #53 on: 03 Jan 2008, 12:53 »

So, I'm going to upgrade my computer.  I have a Gateway with a Radeon 9250 PCI videocard.

I intend to upgrade my RAM to 2GB+, and get a new video card. I will have $500-700 to spend on RAM and the video card.

My current motherboard only supports DDR RAM up to 400mHz. Given my limited budget, is it feasible to upgrade my motherboard to something DDR2 compatible?

Is the DDR support on my motherboard only relevant for system RAM, or will that prevent me from using a video card with DDR2 or DDR3 RAM?

Will my power supply be able to handle the updated hardware? Will I need to get additional fans, etc for cooling purposes?

Anything else that immediately jumps out as something I should fix?

I am by no meas a pro, but I'll try to offer what info I can about purchasing new hardware.

As far as the specifications for RAM; the memory on the Video Card, and the system memory are two different things so they really have nothing to do with each other from a functional point of view other than buffering the graphics before it hits the display.  Additionally, when purchasing a video card you want to value the core clock speed over the amount of memory that is attached to it since the clock speed is the determining factor in how well the card will perform.  Be careful not to completely write off the attached memory on the card though as that can give your frames per second a noticeable boost.

Now, purchasing system memory (RAM) can be kinda tricky since there are so many different brands with a multitude of designations and specs.  I won't bore you with the details. My advice is to get memory that is rated as having low latency, and is manufactured by a respectable company. I prefer Corsair, they have never let me down.  The best way to start looking is by going to your motherboard manufacturer's website and searching for a compatibility chart so you can figure what how much memory it can take and what kind.

Whether or not it is feasible to upgrade your MB or not is up to you.  You have to ask yourself how much you are willing to spend and what do you want your computer to do.  If you're going to be swapping out a majority of the other components though you may need to end up upgrading the MB anyway due to compatibility.

However, if you can give a more detailed outline of what the current system has installed in it and what you want the rig to be able to do we could probably recommend some good companies,models, and retailers.



« Last Edit: 03 Jan 2008, 13:00 by FUBAR »
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thegreatbuddha

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #54 on: 03 Jan 2008, 13:12 »

http://support.gateway.com/s/PC/R/4658/4658nv.shtml

Those are the specs for my PC, since it essentially stock. The only upgrade it has is a Radeon 9250 PCI video card.

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Kind of like the old west but with keyboards and nobody is having sex.

FUBAR

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #55 on: 03 Jan 2008, 13:28 »

cool, what are you going to be using for?

Gaming? Video Editing? Web Browsing?
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thegreatbuddha

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #56 on: 03 Jan 2008, 22:16 »

Gaming. I'd like Medieval 2 to run smoother, and I would love to play Oblivion at something more than 10FPS on minimum visual settings running OldOblivion.  After that, everything is gravy.
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Dimmukane

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #57 on: 04 Jan 2008, 07:51 »

2 gigs of RAM and a 7900 GS will do just fine.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #58 on: 04 Jan 2008, 08:01 »

I'm looking to get a good pc for gaming in the £300-£500 range. I just tried to play TF2 on my parents laptop ( 80gb hard drive, 1gb ram, 2x 1.6ghz processor and intel Graphics media accelerator 950 graphics card) but my graphics card doesn't work with TF2. I was gutted. Anyway anyone got any recommendations for a good pc?
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FUBAR

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #59 on: 04 Jan 2008, 10:08 »

2 gigs of RAM and a 7900 GS will do just fine.

He's right.  Standard upgrade is what your looking for.

For the ram get something comparable to this:
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?sku=a0239821&cs=19&c=us&l=en&dgc=SS&cid=25682&lid=585550

In this bracket of memory all the features are pretty much the same across all manufacturers so whatever brand you choose should be OK as long as they are reputable.  Once again I suggest Corsair but it would not hurt to read some reviews before you buy.   Your MB  doesn't take DDR2 unfortunately, but for what you want it will suffice.

Normally I would suggest ATI for playing Oblivion specifically  because you can have the option to turn on all the lighting and shader effects but that's only if you purchase one of their high end cards.  If you just need it on minimum an Nvidia 7900 GS will work plus, it will be cheaper.


There shouldn't be anything else you need to change.  The processor meets recommended system requirements and I'm sure whatever power supply that is installed will be big enough to handle the new video card.




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FUBAR

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #60 on: 04 Jan 2008, 10:22 »

I'm looking to get a good pc for gaming in the £300-£500 range. I just tried to play TF2 on my parents laptop ( 80gb hard drive, 1gb ram, 2x 1.6ghz processor and intel Graphics media accelerator 950 graphics card) but my graphics card doesn't work with TF2. I was gutted. Anyway anyone got any recommendations for a good pc?

DELL Inspiron 531

Typically it's £469.00 and Dell takes £20 off the order right now so it's only £449.  It's one of their all-in-one desktops so it will be easily upgradeable in the future as well.  The price is with no shipping and handling and no tax so you'll have to calculate that on your own.  If you decide to pick this one you may want to upgrade the video card to the optional HD 2600 XT since that puts the  video at the minimum system requirement.

The grand total  will be a little over £500 though, but worth the money.
You can also custom order your PC too so you can make a few adjustments to fit your budget.

You can also check out some of the Gateways that are available, they are cheaper than Dells only problem is where to buy in your neck of the woods.  Gateway doesn't ship directly anymore so you have to purchase from Toys'R'Us or TESCO Direct if you're ordering from their website.

« Last Edit: 04 Jan 2008, 10:31 by FUBAR »
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RifewithWit

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #61 on: 04 Jan 2008, 12:40 »

Hey, I know I am new here, but I am sort of a computer geek when it comes to putting them together.

I have a Gateway 556GE desktop, with a intel Pentium 4 3GHz 800MHz
2 240GB Hard Drives
a 512 MB video card (Nvidia GEFORCE 7300 GT)
2.5 GB of RAM
a 16000rpm Electric cooling fan
850watt power source
a 72x CD - DVD Burner combo
along with a CF/ Microdrive and built-in cardreader for Camera Memory cards....

I get all of my Computer Parts from www.Motherboardsdirect.com
They also assemble computers if you would like to start one directly from scratch.

I have my computer configured for gaming.... I am a really big Nerd for RTS Games.

Any particular Questions let me know. But I run Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium wars on full graphics, and it does not chug at all.
« Last Edit: 04 Jan 2008, 12:45 by RifewithWit »
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dennis

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #62 on: 10 Jan 2008, 02:06 »

So, I'm going to upgrade my computer.  I have a Gateway with a Radeon 9250 PCI videocard.

I intend to upgrade my RAM to 2GB+, and get a new video card. I will have $500-700 to spend on RAM and the video card.

My current motherboard only supports DDR RAM up to 400mHz. Given my limited budget, is it feasible to upgrade my motherboard to something DDR2 compatible?

Is the DDR support on my motherboard only relevant for system RAM, or will that prevent me from using a video card with DDR2 or DDR3 RAM?

Will my power supply be able to handle the updated hardware? Will I need to get additional fans, etc for cooling purposes?

Anything else that immediately jumps out as something I should fix?

DDR-400 is outdated, and RAM goes up in price the older it is. You'll spend from USD100-150 for a matched pair of 1 gig sticks. If you keep your original RAM (assuming it's 2x256MB sticks), this will actually give you 2.5 gigs. Since it's DDR, you should buy RAM in pairs (you don't have to, but there's a performance gain for DDR mode, which requires matched pairs), so getting 1.5gigs to round it out to 2 isn't feasible.

The specsheet doesn't list the specs of your power supply, but since it's a Gateway, the power supply will probably be insufficient to power any decent video card. You'll need to upgrade. Expect to spend $50-100 for a decent 450-500W power supply (I recommend Antec or Thermaltake).

So RAM and power supply eat up $150-200 of your budget leaving $250-550 to spend on a video card.

For $250, you can get something like a GeForce 7900 GT (which I'm running). It's a DX9 part, which is fine for XP. If you plan on going Vista, get a DX10 part (e.g. a GeForce 8xxx). The 7900GT is the top-of-the-line for the 7xxx series, and capable of running current games at decent settings. I had no problem with COD4 at 1024x768 with most of the options turned on.

For $550, you can get a monster, like a GeForce8800GTX. Of course, if you go 8800, you will need to pay careful attention to the power supply requirements and make sure to get a power supply that can juice it. This goes beyond wattage rating. The mid-to-high end 8800 configurations can draw more than 25 amps off the 12V rails, so the power supplies need to be able to deliver that.

You probably won't be able to afford a card like that after the PS consideration is taken.

I'd go for an 8800GTS card. It's not ridiculous like the GTX parts, but damn capable. You'll be able to max all the settings in most games (not Crysis, obviously). They costs anywhere from $300-400 and have more reasonable power supply requirements. You'll also probably be able to carry the card over to your next motherboard and processor, too. It's probably overkill for a system like yours, but if you plan on upgrading mobo and processor in the next year or so, it'll still be good.

I can't reiterate enough that it's important to match the power supply to the video card. There are expensive, high quality power supplies out there that simply can't deliver the current that high end video cards demand.
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DavidGrohl

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #63 on: 16 Jan 2008, 13:22 »

  Anyone know of a great graphics card that's a little less beefy?  I'm aiming at running cool and quiet here.
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Dimmukane

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #64 on: 16 Jan 2008, 19:41 »

That's what I'm suggesting, a 7900 GS.  Mine is pretty small, runs quiet.  I think it was a PNY brand.
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GuitarFreak

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #65 on: 18 Jan 2008, 16:35 »

So I got a new 500GB hdd today. Brings me up to a total of 1368GB of storage. I don't really need that much, but my 160GB main hdd is kinda dying so I figured I'd replace it with a 500GB one since they're not too expensive anymore. Got the seagate 7200.11 barracuda. Formatting it now. Rest of teh specs:

Core 2 duo e6750 OC'd to 3.72Ghz stable
BFG 8800GTX OC
Asus P5K Deluxe P35
4GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 1066 RAM
Corsair 620w psu
22" Gateway monitor
Zalman 9700LED heatsink
G15 keyboard
G5 mouse
20x DVD RW drive
2x500GB, 1x160GB, and 1x320GB hdds
XClio A380 case

I love this computer :D
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dennis

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #66 on: 19 Jan 2008, 19:28 »

  Anyone know of a great graphics card that's a little less beefy?  I'm aiming at running cool and quiet here.
I'd say an 8600. You get DX10 capabilities and most everything else for ~200 for a decent memory configuration.
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Dimmukane

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #67 on: 26 Jan 2008, 08:47 »

So, in other news, my computer will run Crysis at roughly 40fps on medium.  I'm fairly certain Video Card RAM is the big issue here (I only have 256mb).  When I get my taxes done, I may go out and buy one or two 512mb 8800GTs.
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TheOrangeNova

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #68 on: 13 Feb 2008, 00:49 »

How much would i have to spend to change my Cream of the Crap computer into a able to run multiple programs at once computer?

512mhz P3
16mb RiVa TnT2 nVidia graphics card
320mb SD ram
3, 6 and, 9 gb HDD.

Built from free and scrap.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #69 on: 13 Feb 2008, 02:46 »

That's a pretty loose definition. You'd need a whole new PC, and a pretty standard high end PC can be put together for about $1000 ATM. But anything more specific than that would require more information.
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TheOrangeNova

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #70 on: 14 Feb 2008, 00:17 »

That's a pretty loose definition. You'd need a whole new PC, and a pretty standard high end PC can be put together for about $1000 ATM. But anything more specific than that would require more information.

Well, Right now i'm just looking to upgrade a little bit.. So.. What would be a good Graphics card that could run on an Unknown motherboard with a PCI-E slot.
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dennis

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #71 on: 14 Feb 2008, 01:36 »

probably not anything special. try a geforce 7600. it doesn't seem likely that your pci-e slot is more than 8x.
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Melodic

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #72 on: 17 Feb 2008, 23:41 »

For the love of all things holy do not even think about upgrading that thing. That is like me trying to put bigger rims on my '96 Lumina.

And $1000 is about right, depending on what you want to do. If you don't play PC games, you can build a good multi-purpose rig for under $500. Depending how serious a gamer you are, the price can range anywhere from $700 to $1000 CDN.
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thehollow

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #73 on: 18 Feb 2008, 14:24 »

Recently my case has randomly started producing a loud noise that's vibrating the whole case. It's not constant, but is happening regularly and it's rather unsettling. I narrowed it down to the power supply rather than any of the other fans, and I noticed that the fan on the bottom of the power supply is moving really slowly. Is my supply dying and should I just order a new one?
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dennis

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #74 on: 03 Mar 2008, 01:11 »

The vibrating noise is likely because of a fan bearing wearing out.

It doesn't necessarily mean your PSU is dying, but it's usually easier to replace the whole thing than just a fan.

If you have a prebuilt machine (e.g. Dell, Gateway) you have to be careful to buy a power supply that will fit your case. Sometimes their cases have tighter restrictions on size than the regular standards.
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Dimmukane

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #75 on: 06 Mar 2008, 09:40 »

Yeah, usually it's just the fan, but like he said, it's easier to get a new power supply than open that one up to replace the fan.
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dennis

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #76 on: 08 Mar 2008, 17:43 »

Yeah. If you want to replace the fan, you have to take the PSU out of the case anyway, so you might as well get a new PSU while you're at it. Replacing the fan will probably void any warranty still active on it.

If it's an expensive, nice power supply, it might be worth it to RMA it, but if it came with your case/computer, definitely just get a new one.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #77 on: 09 Mar 2008, 17:09 »

Dennis, you ought to be able to run CoD4 at higher than that with a 7900GT, I can run at 1280x1024 with a 7900 GS.

These estimates for the cost of a computer capable of gaming seem kind of high, I made a mistake getting mine and got one that I ended up having to replace almost everything (the processor, RAM, and HD are all that is left, and I had to get a new HD because it was only 40gigs), but I only spent $510 or so on mine so far, it would be 560USD if I had had to buy the hard drive rather than taking it from a dead computer I had lying around. It would have been cheaper if I hadn't gotten the Dell which was incompatible with just about everything.
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dennis

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #78 on: 10 Mar 2008, 06:09 »

It gets a little too choppy for me at 1280x960, but I think that's because I'm CPU limited rather than GPU limited on that machine.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #79 on: 10 Mar 2008, 18:57 »

Completely remove the power supply, take it outside, and blow it out with either an air compressor or canned air. The fan might just be clogged up with dust and pet hair, and this fix is the easiest and cheapest, so it wouldn't hurt to try. (Air compressors are great; you can get a cheap one at the hardware store, or order an air tank from a place like Harbor Freight Tools and fill it up with the air pumps at the gas station. In the long run it's cheaper, but for a one-time job like this it's easier to just use a couple air cans. You can get them at Wal-Mart.)

If that doesn't solve the problem and you don't care about the warranty, replace the fan. Get one with its own thermal controller; most of the time it will run quieter than the stock fan but will still push just as much air if necessary. (You may have to know how to solder to do this, depending on how your PSU was made.) I know from experience; the power supply fan in a PC I built shattered about a week after the warranty ran out. The way I figured it, fans are cheaper than power supplies and there was nothing else wrong with the unit, so why not?

If neither of those fixes the problem, put a single layer of electrical tape on the chassis anywhere the sides touch it. Sounds crazy, I know, but it was enough to keep the panels on my case from rattling around. (That buzzing sound a loose case panel makes drives you crazy after a while. :lol:)

Nodaisho

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #80 on: 16 Mar 2008, 18:07 »

It gets a little too choppy for me at 1280x960, but I think that's because I'm CPU limited rather than GPU limited on that machine.
Ah, I guess that makes sense. I still have a single-core, but it is hyperthreaded, of course, and while it is only 2.8, I could probably get it overclocked (I wouldn't want to do it myself though, I would likely mess something up) until I have enough money for a better one once it gets outdated. Only game I have had trouble with so far is 2142, the thing won't load multiplayer for some reason, but I got bored with it easily when it worked easily.
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dennis

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #81 on: 17 Mar 2008, 03:19 »

It gets a little too choppy for me at 1280x960, but I think that's because I'm CPU limited rather than GPU limited on that machine.
Ah, I guess that makes sense. I still have a single-core, but it is hyperthreaded, of course, and while it is only 2.8, I could probably get it overclocked (I wouldn't want to do it myself though, I would likely mess something up) until I have enough money for a better one once it gets outdated. Only game I have had trouble with so far is 2142, the thing won't load multiplayer for some reason, but I got bored with it easily when it worked easily.
I actually have a dual-core, but really, it's your clock speed that matters for this consideration, and mine is only an Opty 165 (1.8GHz). I had trouble with Rainbow 6: Vegas for the same reason.
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karbin

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #82 on: 19 Mar 2008, 16:12 »

If you have a standard ATX case and if blowing out dust with a compressed air can doesn't work, you'd probably just be better off getting a new one. If you have a non hardcore gaming system, you can get a new one for well under $50. Check out Newegg - http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=58

And I'd like to - and remove this if its too spammy, pimp out a site that I've been working on for awhile - http://byopc.com. Basically, its a site that allows you to submit your own computer configuration and rate other peoples. Its still basically in beta - but if anyone would like to submit their build or have any suggestions, that'd be awesome. Thanks.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #83 on: 09 Apr 2008, 05:12 »

http://www.7dayshop.com/

Tax free computer stuff!
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #84 on: 16 Apr 2008, 16:47 »

Wait, I thought that all internet stuff was tax-free unless you bought it from some place based in your state? Is it different in Australia/U.K./wherever else people here live?
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #85 on: 20 Apr 2008, 21:41 »

So I am able to start building a brand new PC, from the ground up, and Ive been looking at the following:

CPU: AMD Phenom 9850 (Black Edition)

Mobo: MSI K9A2 Platinum   or   ECS A780GM-A   The ECS is about half the price of the MSI board, but I have no experience with ECS as a company anyone have any info on them?  Good/Bad/Ugly?

-- Also, just the core in general; would I be better off going with a cheaper/different CPU/Mobo combination, or stick with the phenom and one of the few boards that supports it?  (Im fairly partial to AMD, and I have read about their recent woes, mainly invoved with the previous Phenom launch, but Id still prefer an AMD CPU) Money is a concern, but not THAT much of a concern.  (Meaning, Im not trying to break the bank, but I do have pretty good leeway on parts cost)  is there anything anyone reccomends?  This is going to be a gaming system, but also something that needs to run 3D programs (3D studio, bryce, w/e)

Ram: Lots.

Vid:  BFG Nvidia 9800GTX  - most of the 9800s were about the same price, and I have a good history with BFG.

I am however, looking into DVD burners, preferably SATA (to keep the wires down)  But every review Im reading says that all the 20x DVD burners are stupidly loud.  Can anyone confirm/deny this?  Are they only loud while burning?  If so, I can tolerate that, but if they are loud while just reading, thats a bit problematic.

Also, if anyone knows of an ATX (not micro) case thats fairly spacious inside for $100 or less, with good cooling, looks arent particularly important (id rather it look nice, but if its functional, thats primary focus)
and Im looking for:
Drives mounted with brackets (so they slide in and out), HDDs would preferably be mounted with the plug side towards the side panel)
Front USB ports, 2+

CompUSA had this case, I cant remember what it was called, or even what brand it was, but it had the power supply mounted on the BOTTOM of the case, and basically had all the different stuff segregated and removable.  I think it was ~$125, if anyone knows wtf Im talking about, help me out.

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Dimmukane

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #86 on: 21 Apr 2008, 16:43 »

I'd stick with the phenom and a board that supports it, that seems to be the socket that AMD is going to have the most support for in regards to their upcoming products.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #87 on: 21 Apr 2008, 17:04 »

I don't know about the SATA burner.  I got one at home and there's a few about here at work and they seem really very slow to react to anything.  Not sure if that is just par for the course with all recent drives or a problem that is specific to SATA ones, but the wait between telling it to copy files from the drive and it spinning up properly really does seem ridiculous.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #88 on: 22 Apr 2008, 06:26 »

The drive Ive been looking at (buying a computer is probably about 3 weeks away) is this.

Another question, as you have a SATA disc drive, I remember reading a while back (the place escapes me) of computers taking issue with a lack of a PATA CD/DVD drive (when booting from CD/DVD), that it couldnt read from the SATA drive at boot, was this an old issue, since resolved?  minor issue related to certain mobos?  Anyone know?

My current burner is a 5x(maybe?) single layer burner.  Takes about 20 minutes from "start" to done burning, on a single layer disc.  Even if the burner takes a minute or two to start up, and burns DL discs in 5 minutes, thats still a VAST improvement over what Ive got now.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #89 on: 24 Apr 2008, 20:22 »

I built a system with only an SATA DVD drive a couple months ago and everything went smoothly.  I don't think you should have any problems unless you have an odd disk setup in mind.  I'm pretty sure the DVD Burners are mostly loud when burning as my 16X NEC is quiet except when burning.

I'm not sure what case you are describing, but I would recommend reading some review websites or just browsing the name brand cases at Newegg.  Lian Li, Thermaltake, Antec, etc all have very nice cases under $100.

MSI is generally a better company as far as name brand goes.  I'd look for reviews of each particular model, but if you can afford it almost always go with the better motherboard, as it has one of the largest impacts on the stability of your system.

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #90 on: 24 Apr 2008, 21:56 »

If you are getting a case, get an Antec P900 to live my dream.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #91 on: 26 Apr 2008, 18:35 »

So I am able to start building a brand new PC, from the ground up, and Ive been looking at the following:

CPU: AMD Phenom 9850 (Black Edition)

Mobo: MSI K9A2 Platinum   or   ECS A780GM-A   The ECS is about half the price of the MSI board, but I have no experience with ECS as a company anyone have any info on them?  Good/Bad/Ugly?

-- Also, just the core in general; would I be better off going with a cheaper/different CPU/Mobo combination, or stick with the phenom and one of the few boards that supports it?  (Im fairly partial to AMD, and I have read about their recent woes, mainly invoved with the previous Phenom launch, but Id still prefer an AMD CPU) Money is a concern, but not THAT much of a concern.  (Meaning, Im not trying to break the bank, but I do have pretty good leeway on parts cost)  is there anything anyone reccomends?  This is going to be a gaming system, but also something that needs to run 3D programs (3D studio, bryce, w/e)

Ram: Lots.

Vid:  BFG Nvidia 9800GTX  - most of the 9800s were about the same price, and I have a good history with BFG.

I am however, looking into DVD burners, preferably SATA (to keep the wires down)  But every review Im reading says that all the 20x DVD burners are stupidly loud.  Can anyone confirm/deny this?  Are they only loud while burning?  If so, I can tolerate that, but if they are loud while just reading, thats a bit problematic.

Also, if anyone knows of an ATX (not micro) case thats fairly spacious inside for $100 or less, with good cooling, looks arent particularly important (id rather it look nice, but if its functional, thats primary focus)
and Im looking for:
Drives mounted with brackets (so they slide in and out), HDDs would preferably be mounted with the plug side towards the side panel)
Front USB ports, 2+

CompUSA had this case, I cant remember what it was called, or even what brand it was, but it had the power supply mounted on the BOTTOM of the case, and basically had all the different stuff segregated and removable.  I think it was ~$125, if anyone knows wtf Im talking about, help me out.



ECS is a mid-range company.  Not likely to be a good overclocker, and I would guess you intend to overclock, considering the Black Edition processor.  The chipset of the ECS, judging by the name, is the 780G, which means it has integrated graphics available, if you're skipping a graphics card.  Since you're not, the MSI K9A2 is definitely the better board from an overclocking standpoint.  For the video card, you get about an average of 5 FPS more from a 9800GTX as compared to an 8800GTS G92 (512MB), but for a cost of another 100 dollars or so.  The major advantage for a 9800GTX is improved SLI performance, but the AM2+ motherboards for SLI, namely, 780a, are not available yet.  As for the memory, try picking up a 2x2GB kit.  That should be plenty of memory, and 2x2 kits are better than 4x1, as running all four DIMM slots full is a major strain on the memory controller.  As for any concerns about the processor itself, B3 revision (which is obviously the 9850 and its ilk) performs fine, they don't have the long list of TLB errata that destroyed virtualization. 

You have a Best Buy near you?  Call up any Best Buys that you can get to, and ask them about the Rocketfish case.  Per the Best Buy website, it costs $120, but many of the stores have it for much less.  The Rocketfish is actually a revision of a Lian Li case, and thus is built with the full quality of Lian Li.  For hard drives, you screw a small rubber padded screw (provided with the case, about twenty of them I believe) into the drive, and then slide it into metal rails.  They are as quiet as possible, the rubber takes vibration.  The 5.25" drives, such as your DVD drive, slide in, without screws, and clip in with plastic mounts.  They do touch metal, which adds a little noise when they vibrate.  It appears that you could screw the 5.25" devices in if you so desired, I can't check that with my machine running now.  Link is provided to the Best Buy site on the next line.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8428604&st=rocketfish&type=product&id=1183160363476

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #92 on: 30 Apr 2008, 23:59 »

High speed optical drives are all loud, because discs are rarely perfectly balanced. The difference in the amount of paint in the label can unbalance the disc.

The best thing to do to quiet the drives down is to mount them on silicone grommets, rather than directly to the frame. They'll still be loud, but not nearly as loud.

Personally, I don't use my DVD drive very much--basically only to install software and write discs, so the noise isn't really a big deal. When you're spinning a DVD movie in there, they spin at 1x, so the noise isn't big.
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NeoNorm

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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #93 on: 02 May 2008, 10:26 »

I just got a new comp a month ago. Specs:

Intel Q9300 = 45nm 2.5 Ghz Quad core (Will be overclocked to 3.0GHz but I haven't done it yet)
Gigabyte GA-P35-D3SL MB
8GB Corsair DDR2 800 low latency
150GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000 RPM SATA HD
1TB Seagate SATA HD
EVGA GeForce 9800GTX
BenQ G2400W 24" Widescreen LCD
Sennheiser headphones
Cooler Master Case w/7 fans
Vista Ultimate

Yeah, this thing is a monster. :-D  I love it, but it cost about $2.5K.


Also, if anyone knows of an ATX (not micro) case thats fairly spacious inside for $100 or less, with good cooling, looks arent particularly important (id rather it look nice, but if its functional, thats primary focus)
and Im looking for:
Drives mounted with brackets (so they slide in and out), HDDs would preferably be mounted with the plug side towards the side panel)
Front USB ports, 2+

CompUSA had this case, I cant remember what it was called, or even what brand it was, but it had the power supply mounted on the BOTTOM of the case, and basically had all the different stuff segregated and removable.  I think it was ~$125, if anyone knows wtf Im talking about, help me out.

I think you are describing the case that I got ... Its a Cooler Master. 

::checks newegg::
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119137
This case is awesome.
« Last Edit: 02 May 2008, 10:31 by NeoNorm »
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #94 on: 08 May 2008, 14:35 »

Im following Bane's advice and getting the rocketfish case.  Full tower, aluminum, etc etc
Also, the advice on the video card, comparing specs, and some tech stuff, Im making a small step down on my vid card to the 8800GTS

Also, ASUS released a new 780a chipset board for the Phenom CPUs, so Im getting that

Full rundown as follows:

Rocketfish Full tower case
ASUS M3N-HT - has integrated NVIDIA 8 series GPU, which WILL work in conjuction (or independantly) of a graphics card
AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition 2.5GHz quad core
BFG Geforce 8800GTS
ASUS Xonar DX PCI-express sound card
Antec 1000W PS
Corsair Dominator 4GB (2x2GB) RAM
2x Seagate 500GB HDDs
Lite-On 20x DVD burner

I am curious if anyone has any experience with ASUS Xonar soundcards?  All of the reviews I have read of them seem to be favorable, and they don't carry the bloated software issues around like creative cards.

Also I didnt specifically find anything about this (to be fair, I only spent a few minutes searching, as Im working on finals stuff)  With PCI-express, are there still IRQ conflicts (possible)?  Is it a thing of the past?  Still a problem when you have a lot of stuff?  Granted, Im not putting much stuff in the computer, but Im still curious.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #95 on: 08 May 2008, 20:26 »

Im following Bane's advice and getting the rocketfish case.  Full tower, aluminum, etc etc
Also, the advice on the video card, comparing specs, and some tech stuff, Im making a small step down on my vid card to the 8800GTS

Also, ASUS released a new 780a chipset board for the Phenom CPUs, so Im getting that

Full rundown as follows:

Rocketfish Full tower case
ASUS M3N-HT - has integrated NVIDIA 8 series GPU, which WILL work in conjuction (or independantly) of a graphics card
AMD Phenom 9850 Black Edition 2.5GHz quad core
BFG Geforce 8800GTS
ASUS Xonar DX PCI-express sound card
Antec 1000W PS
Corsair Dominator 4GB (2x2GB) RAM
2x Seagate 500GB HDDs
Lite-On 20x DVD burner

I am curious if anyone has any experience with ASUS Xonar soundcards?  All of the reviews I have read of them seem to be favorable, and they don't carry the bloated software issues around like creative cards.

Also I didnt specifically find anything about this (to be fair, I only spent a few minutes searching, as Im working on finals stuff)  With PCI-express, are there still IRQ conflicts (possible)?  Is it a thing of the past?  Still a problem when you have a lot of stuff?  Granted, Im not putting much stuff in the computer, but Im still curious.


IRQ conflicts... the only reference I can think of is a blue screen, says something like "IRQL_LESS_THAN_EQUAL_TO".  I haven't seen anything else out of my PCI-e slots, through uh, four motherboards and three graphics cards. 

You might find that PSU to be a bit loud, 80mm fans gets a bit up there.  You might have seen the PC P&C Myths page, but it's a little off.  That used to be true, but at higher wattages, a small fan just can't cut it.  PC P&C Silencers more or less live up to their names, but TurboCool's are horribly loud.  Also, my last Antec PSU (first and last, I might add), had no space between the fan and the heatsinks/capacitors/PCB, so it creates a lot of noisy turbulence.  This one is the same way, the fan is very close to the heatsinks in front of it.  If you want a big wattage PSU, I'd recommend looking for a 120mm fan, among any other qualifications.  Personally, I adhere to the single-rail philosophy.  Not a lot of good options at 1000W; I think Ultra X3 is about your best option, maybe a Thermaltake Toughpower could fit the bill, and if they come out soon enough, an HX 1000 should do quite nicely. 

The motherboard looks very promising.  Somebody used the Crosshair 2 by ASUS to reach 3.57, stable enough for benches at least, plus you have the GPU and SLI potential.  8800GTS G92, right?  Also, for the memory, it is very important that you keep it at about 2.1 or less.  A Phenom processor, for reasons unknown, dies when the memory is run at 2.2+ or thereabouts. 
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #96 on: 11 May 2008, 22:12 »

I've noticed a few noobs in here just posting their system specs.  Please, stop doing that.

This started out as a thread for sharing pc hardware knowledge.  Discussing pc building, upgrades, etc is kind of on-topic, but e-peen competitions are definitely not.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #97 on: 16 May 2008, 23:20 »

I'm really shocked that no one's posted this:

http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php

Anyway, here's the latest revision of my project PC that I update every month or so... I'm too lazy to actually buy/build it.

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWishDetail.asp?WishListNumber=7520567

Highlights:
 ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi-AP LGA 775 Intel X38 ATX Intel Motherboard
 Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 Yorkfield 2.5GHz LGA 775 95W
 ASUS EN9800GTX/HTDP/512M GeForce 9800 GTX(G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI
 CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
 ASUS V-60 92mm Vapo Bearing CPU Cooler
 Thermaltake Armor Series VA8003BWS Black Full Tower Case w/ 25CM Fan
 Thermaltake W0106RU 700W Complies with ATX 12V 2.2 & EPS 12V version Power Supply

Yes, I <3 ASUS.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #98 on: 16 May 2008, 23:52 »

Read est's post DIRECTLY ABOVE YOURS. STUPID.
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Re: The PC-building/hardware knowledge thread
« Reply #99 on: 24 May 2008, 17:15 »

Wow neonorm I was wondering about that case which I get delivered monday hopefully, it is to replace my ammo 533 coolermaster case which was awesome for LAN but now it is falling apart.

Bought the new case as the ammo 533 is now too small for all my drives and cables.

So don't buy one, the front faceplate falls off and looks tacky, it is quite cramped inside.

If you want a lan case buy a holder for a normal mid tower or whatever.
« Last Edit: 24 May 2008, 17:18 by clockworkjames »
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