Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

obirano wrote:

I do have a question. I put in some extra ram into my machine. I was stupid and bought a 32 bit OS, so the properties says I have 5.5 in ram, but I only have 3.25 (or something like that) usable. Video card I bought requires 4 gig of ram. Am I screwed?

You mostly bought the key to use the OS. See if a friend has a 64-bit version of the OS you purchased. Otherwise, you could try to find an .iso online, Microsoft does provide everything in downloads on Technet, although I'm not sure if you need a subscription to download those or not.

This seems to be what you want: http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thr...

Scratched wrote:

This seems to be what you want: http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thr...

That's quite the list, very nice

Would this even work since I bought windows 8?

edit: nevermind, you're on 8, I have no experience with that.

obirano wrote:

Would this even work since I bought windows 8?

It should, except you need to find a new list.

Edit: Maybe one of these?
http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thr...
http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thr...

Basically just throw one of those on a USB and try to boot and install from it?

obirano wrote:

Basically just throw one of those on a USB and try to boot and install from it?

Yup, or burn to DVD.

I'll be giving that a try this weekend then. I'll be honest, it's been so tempting to just buy a tower I know will work fine and put in the newer components I've already bought.

This is exactly what I did a couple weeks ago or so. Downloaded an ISO from Digital River of Win 7 64, used Microsoft's free app to build an install USB flash drive, and installed. Went perfectly.

So I've decided that for now, rather than either buying or building a new machine, I'm just going to upgrade my current one a bit. It's nearly 5 years old, but for the most part still does what I need.

I'm going to order a 120g Samsung SSD, put a clean install of Win 7 on it, and start using it as the boot disk. From what I've read here, that should make a big difference.

The other upgrade I'd like to make is to my processor. It's currently an Intel Core 2 Duo 3.0 GHz, sitting in an Asus P5Q-E motherboard. I'd prefer to leave the motherboard alone if possible for simplicity sake. Does anyone know what is the newest/most powerful CPU that would be compatible with that motherboard? I realize it will still be a few generations old, but if I can get an upgrade from my current, that would be great.

That socket on that mobo is LGA 775, you're stuck with core duos.

Mobos are cheap, toss $100 at that problem and you can get the newest core iAnything.

Le sigh. I was afraid you'd say that.

If I toss a new motherboard in there though, do I have to figure out compatibility with all of my other components and my case, or is it safe to assume it wouldn't be an issue? I don't have anything special, just a HDD, Optical drive, dual Radeon HD 4850's, and a decent sized tower case.

I'd assume everything would be compatible, but I'd hate to yank out the motherboard just to find out I'm missing some key widget and be without a computer until I find said widget.

As long as your drives are all sata, the only real question is probably ram. Most likely what you'l have will work, though. The video cards should be fine but if not I have a Radeon 6850 I can give you that I'm not using.

Do DDR3-compatible motherboards work with DDR2 RAM? If Teneman were to buy a new mobo, I'm fairly certain that would also mean new RAM-- wouldn't it?

I'd think your current CPU is probably okay for now (here's a comparison to an i5 750, for reference)-- I'd imagine upgrading the motherboard would mean new RAM as well, and at that point I'd think you'd just be $100-200 shy of a newer, better GPU, at which point you'd pretty much have yourself a whole new computer anyway. Minus the power supply, that is. A good one would be another $70-100, I think.

Perhaps look into better after-market cooling for the CPU and see about overclocking it? Might be enough to tide you over until a full on new build...

New RAM I don't mind buying if that's the bottleneck. That would put my upgrade at Mobo, CPU, SSD and RAM - all of which is fairly inexpensive and more importantly fairly simple.

I kind of backed myself into a corner with the video cards though. I need to run three monitors, which I believe means I need two cards as I have now. I admit my research on this front is incomplete. Add to that that the three monitors in question are DVI only whereas most newer cards appear to be more HDMI focused, and I think I'm better off keeping my current video cards for a bit. Frankly that's the primary factor in my decision to only do a partial upgrade.

AMD cards can run 3 monitors, although I think that involves displayport.

Do a full upgrade minus the video cards. I will trade you 2 9800s for scotch.

Unless they're worse than what you have. Truthfully, I have no idea.

And really, your video cards should already be PCIe, I'm sure what you have is fine.

Ok, order put in for the SSD (and tray adapter) and a new VPN capable router. That should keep me busy in between working the booth at AnCon this weekend.

Once I get those all installed and figured out, I'll come back for phase two and pick up a new mobo, CPU and RAM. Probably take me a week or three before I get to that point though. Consensus seems to be that the i5 will do what I need, and the i7 would be overkill. Fair statement?

Both AMD and Nvidia single cards can drive multiple monitors. With various adapters you can easily drive 3 DVI monitors off most modern GPU's (mini display port to DVI for example). The only wrinkle is that Nvidia currently requires an SLI setup if you want to drive multiple monitors in 3D (glasses 3D)

TheGameguru wrote:

Both AMD and Nvidia single cards can drive multiple monitors. With various adapters you can easily drive 3 DVI monitors off most modern GPU's (mini display port to DVI for example). The only wrinkle is that Nvidia currently requires an SLI setup if you want to drive multiple monitors in 3D (glasses 3D)

And this refers only to Nvidia's latest cards, the GTX 6** series. Although aren't the 700 series due out this month?

Also, @Teneman, that's the cool part about building desktop PC's, you can upgrade whatever, whenever. Although if you're running older components, usually you do end up having to swap out CPU/Mobo/RAM all at once, but other than that it's usually "upgrade when you're ready".

Teneman wrote:

Ok, order put in for the SSD (and tray adapter) and a new VPN capable router. That should keep me busy in between working the booth at AnCon this weekend.

Once I get those all installed and figured out, I'll come back for phase two and pick up a new mobo, CPU and RAM. Probably take me a week or three before I get to that point though. Consensus seems to be that the i5 will do what I need, and the i7 would be overkill. Fair statement?

If you are planning on getting Mobo, cpu, and ram soon, installing windows 7 on an SSD on your current system, will probably mean you will need to do another full system reinstall when you get all the new parts.

Also if you are going to get all those parts you will also want to make sure your current power supply is compatible. Which it probably is, but you never know.

Even if you don't reinstall your OS onto SSD straight away, you can still get a lot of benefit by moving/junctioning a load of stuff onto it.

Yeah, I'll probably be setting myself up for a second reinstall of windows. The chance of me getting the time to do everything within the next few weeks is unlikely though, so baby steps

Re: the power supply, I checked this morning and it's a 750W, so it should have the capacity for pretty much anything I put in there. But as for compatibility, what would I be looking for, number and type of connectors?

Teneman wrote:

Yeah, I'll probably be setting myself up for a second reinstall of windows. The chance of me getting the time to do everything within the next few weeks is unlikely though, so baby steps

Re: the power supply, I checked this morning and it's a 750W, so it should have the capacity for pretty much anything I put in there. But as for compatibility, what would I be looking for, number and type of connectors?

The type of connectors. Some motherboards require a 4 pin as a well as the big chunky one, in order to work some require an 8 pin, some don't need anything extra.

What you're actually worried about is the number of amps that the supply will put out on the 12V line or lines. If you've got enough 12V amps, you can make it work with adapters, no matter what the supply naturally has. The label on the side will tell you, or if you can tell us the make/model, we can probably look it up.

If you buy from Microcenter, be sure not to give them your email address. They are turning into spammers. It is really involved to try to unsubscribe; in fact, they deliberately subscribe you to something on the unsubscribe page, which itself is really hard to find. You then have to back up and then re-unsubscribe. And I'm not sure, even now, that they're going to actually leave me alone.

Their marketing arm is getting super-sleazy. They have some good deals for retail, but do NOT give them your email address.

Is 4GB of RAM going to be a bottleneck (in terms of new games) if I upgrade to Core i5 3.4GHz and SSD drive?

(FYI, I have old Core2Duo and pretty good GTX260, so CPU is my current bottleneck.)

Nope. Extra system ram is great for general tasks and speeding up the feel of the system, but not many/any? games specifically can use even 4 gigs. I have 4 gigs and never feel constrained.

RAM is cheap so it's a nice system boost, but you don't need it for gaming.

I don't know, when I was playing Planetside2 with 4GB and a 1GB pagefile, windows was moaning about running out of memory until I added more pagefile. I wouldn't say it's necessary or an absolute requirement, but 8GB and beyond is a good move. If you're spending hundreds on a nice CPU/GPU, that much memory should just be a default. It just doesn't really make much sense to skimp there for the amount of money you save.