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Big upgrade.

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
Been putting off upgrading my PC for too long, of course now I have to replace just about everything except the case....

Wanted a Blu-Ray drive, will transfer my IDE DVD RW DL drive over as well since the MB has the port. Not sure I'll run the drives in RAID, external drives are so cheap now and can be stuck in s drawer with no worries of lighting or power surges wiping out all the backups...

Went back and forth on many graphics cards, figure the GTS 250 will be good enough for me, certainly better than the AGP card I'm running now....

What's the deal with them changing the power plugs on the motherboards every few years, so even if you've got enough power you still need a new supply? Arrrgggg.

Guess I'll try the cooler boxed with the CPU, don't plan on overclocking even though the motherboard is supposed to be pretty good, I figure if overclockers use a motherboard it should be really stable at normal speed.

What I just ordered:

1 "GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3P LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard"

1 "Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0 GHz 6M L2 Cache 1333MHz FSB LGA775 Dual-Core Processor"

2 "CORSAIR XMS2 4GB ( 2 X 2GB ) PC2-8500 1066MHz 240-pin DDR2 CL5 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit"

1 "EVGA 512-P3-1150-TR GTS 250 512 MB DDR3 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card"

3 "Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 3.5 Inch, 16 MB Cache, 7200 RPM SATA II WD5000AAKS"

1 "CORSAIR 750w TX Series 80 Plus Certified Power Supply"

1 "LG Electronics GGC-H20LK LightScribe Blu-Ray/HD DVD Combo Drive with Software - Bulk (Black)"
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
Has anyone tried XP 32bit with 8GB of ram? I was thinking of setting up dual boot with the 3rd HD as a test drive for Windows 7 64bit or Linux.

But if the extra memory that XP can't use causes problems I might have to scrap that idea...
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
Since you have already ordered it would be moot to go over the hardware again, (nice setup though), in any case, we will soon be having the same graphics card.

Had to find out the hard way that ATI and Vista dont go together,...more on that in a seperate thread as soon as i have the time. Keyword: 'VSync'.

(Gee, and i thought nVidia sucks. But unless you have seen an ATI perform under Vista you aint seen nothing yet,...)
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
Since you have already ordered it would be moot to go over the hardware again, (nice setup though), in any case, we will soon be having the same graphics card.

Had to find out the hard way that ATI and Vista dont go together,...more on that in a seperate thread as soon as i have the time. Keyword: 'VSync'.

(Gee, and i thought nVidia sucks. But unless you have seen an ATI perform under Vista you aint seen nothing yet,...)
Since the motherboard supports ATI crossfire I went looking for that card you posted about, but it wasn't in stock at Amazon, and didn't see another ATI card in the price range of the nVidia that I liked. I know the GTS 250 is sort of a rebrand of a rebrand but it should run my RC flight simulators at 1920x1200 without stuttering so that's all I need.

I know I could save a little with AMD, but I've seen more AMD chips burn out than Intel chips. Probably not statistically valid but there's slightly more peace of mind with Intel for me...

Been trying to downgrade a laptop from Vista to XP Pro for someone at work because they couldn't stand how slow it was, been a pain finding the drivers, only wireless network left to go. And what a pain getting the ATI drivers installed, the AMD southbridge chipset drivers installed first I can sort of see, but why make a video driver that needs .net 3 or higher before it will install?
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
ATIs Vista drivers are not only a pain in the ass, they are outright crap.

In case youre interested check this out, this is still not the whole story but i did list the reasons why ATI as a brand has just died for me,...
 

freakofspeed

Inserted Coin
To run more than 3Gb of Ram you'll need a 64bit OS.

and Get a CASE So rather than decommissioning your old system you'll have a second working box to do other things with.... (unless its so old it not worth it) I still have a old P2's working as a dedicated firewall.
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
To run more than 3Gb of Ram you'll need a 64bit OS.

and Get a CASE So rather than decommissioning your old system you'll have a second working box to do other things with.... (unless its so old it not worth it) I still have a old P2's working as a dedicated firewall.
I know about the 4GB limit, but will it cause problems for 32bit XP having more? Like I said above I'd like to have the extra ram installed and test out the release canidate of windows 7 64 bit on a seperate drive using dual boot.

I may get a cheap case for the old parts, but I use the case I have now as a little table (it's a big case)...
 

freakofspeed

Inserted Coin
Having extra ram in the slots should not be a problem...

I tested out the RC of windows7 it has some very nice features (finally updated paint! and the calculator)... but still a little quirky.

Vista was a bit like WinME... a trial run.
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
All the parts finally came in, what a pain getting xp to boot with the new hardware. Tried all kinds of tricks to get it to boot, but always got to some point where the blue screen of death would flash and the system would reboot.

The battle was very long, looked like the C drive was going to win, but eventually I got the upper hand...

Eventually got the XP install disk to say there was a corrupted version on C: and repair it, but that reverted a bunch of stuff back and it took a few more hours to get those updated back to current versions... Still seems like a few bugs to work out, but it's close.

Not sure it was worth the aggravation, but I shouldn't have to upgrade again for at least 2 years...

The GTS 250 video card is nice and fast, runs Clearview (my RC helicopter simulator) at 1920x12000 at steady 60 FPS, was lucky to get 20 with the old system. Blu-Ray movies look fantastic at that resolution.

Nero suckered me, should have checked closer before paying for the upgrade to version 9, all the talk about HDTV and playing high def video I assumed it would play blu-ray but it doesn't, had to go with the cyberlink player that came with the drive.

Later,
Marty
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
The GTS 250 video card is nice and fast, runs Clearview (my RC helicopter simulator) at 1920x12000 at steady 60 FPS, was lucky to get 20 with the old system.
Actually i wanted to get a GTS250 too (i think i even said that here somewhere) but then i thought what the heck, why buy yet another rebranded 8800 G92 card when i already have a 9800GT so i gritted my teeth and shelled out another fifty for a GTX260.

My first impression after taking it out of the box: What a monster of a graphics card! No doubt the biggest and heaviest pixel accellerator i ever held in my hands. Its size without the slot-bracket and the bottom pin-slot is precisely that of the main portion of a standard layout keyboard, i.e. the part with the numbers and the letters and space and enter etc. Its height goes over full two slots thanks to the huge cooler, and the DIE on that thing is actually bigger than the entire heatspreader of an Athlon64 DualCore CPU. Madness.

Obviously this makes for performance no end so thats to be expected. But the cooler was definitely a big surprise, and it was a good one at that. Optically it looks exactly like the turbine-construct that was factory mounted on my X850XTPE back then, hence i thought that the noise level of this one must be about equally annoying. But in fact it does not make any audible noise at all, you cannot hear the thing period even with a completely open case and still it cools well enough to keep the card at around 70°C under full continuous load. (Idle at 45°C thanks to 2D-Mode auto-downclocking.)

I call that good fortune because actually i wanted to slap my Revoltec GraphicFreezer Pro onto the card again. But when i saw that DIE size, well, no chance Lance. Almost 50% larger than the Revoltecs heatsink, so if the Zotac stock cooler would have been as loud as i thought it will be i would have been mighty screwed. Therefore i am really glad to see that modern stock cooling solutions are (at least in some cases) actually acceptable now. Because a 3rd party cooler for a GTX260/280 would cost me at least around fourty-fifty bucks,...
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
The GTS250 is about the same size as the GTX260, covers more than 2 slots wide with what looks like the same cooling system, but the 260 looks a little longer and more enclosed.

But if you already had a 9800 GTX+ (55nm) then it's not really much different archatecture wise. I think only the memory is different.

Glad to see my new power supply had the PCI-E power cables, so I didn't have to use that funky y cable that came with the board.

So far I'm not seeing that much difference in processing speed between the old and new systems but I haven't really pushed it yet, 2.6GHz Pentium 4 with 1GB 800MHz memory vs. 3GHz Core 2 duo with 4GB 1066MHz memory. Next time I edit some large video or audio files I'll really be able to tell. I guess they really haven't gotten hard drive transfer rates much better in 3 years, that's the real limiting factor most of the time for me.

Edit: Phoenixx: Forgot to ask, did the 260 solve your tearing problems? I guess since you didn't say anything negative about the card it works well with all your games.
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
But if you already had a 9800 GTX+ (55nm) then it's not really much different archatecture wise. I think only the memory is different.
Its very different, actually, thats exactly why i didnt go with another G92. Almost twice the transistor amount, way more Stream Processors, almost twice the ROPs, bigger memory interface, huge boost in memory bandwidth, etc., check out the attached screenshot for a direct comparision, the difference between G92 and G200 is really huge.

EDIT: To illustrate the DIE size difference i attached a second screenshot. The red square on the DIE represents the size of a G92 DIE. (Give or take a pixelrow.)

...did the 260 solve your tearing problems? I guess since you didn't say anything negative about the card it works well with all your games.
Compared to the ATI?

Yes, it did. VSync works perfectly fine with the NV and as long as the framerate stays in sync with the monitorrefresh (60/60, 85/85 etc.) the picture is, well, picture-perfect,...
 

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mrschultz

Inserted Coin
Its very different, actually, thats exactly why i didnt go with another G92.

Sorry, I meant the 9800 GTX+ is nearly the same as the GTS250. Although if you had an older 65nm 9800 card I guess the 250 would be better.

Did some CPU intensive operations tonight and it is way faster, running something like an unsharp mask on a very large image went at least 3 times faster than before.

I can run that Area 51 game at 1920x1200 and it's real smooth, was choppy at lower resolution before. Mapping the fire button to the mouse helped a lot, but still too many keys to remember...

Older programs like Flight Simulator 2004 can now run with all their settings maxed out.

Just thought, I have to try running the newer stern tables with the rom audio instead of the samples.

Edit: Tried it, rom sound is smooth but a little scratchy, gets a little better playing with the sample rate, will have to test some more.
 
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Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
Sorry, I meant the 9800 GTX+ is nearly the same as the GTS250.
Ah,...my goof,...sorry.

Yes, the GTS250 is a good card by all means too. Certainly nothing to scoff at. If it werent for the G200 models then the GTS would be the best NV card on the market. (Not counting dual-solutions, of course.)
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
Wasn't happy with the temperatures I was getting, the old case had small vent holes for the fans in both the metal and plastic covers. Easily fixed with some power tools...

CPU was still not cooling well enough, looking at all the new cases they all have that side hole and duct to send outside air onto the fan, so more fun with the power tools and some plastic sheet + duct tape...

Now she's cooling nice, fire up multiple load generators to get both cores to 100% and she stays under 50°C, stop the load and they are down to 30°C almost right away. Normal single process heavy load runs in the low 40s. Video card runs slightly higher than the CPU when under heavy load.

I remembered I took the extra case fans out many years ago because they were loud, never needed them back until now. Opening up the holes for the fans let me run them at 5V instead of 12V and get enough air movement, and they are much quieter running slower. If they have trouble starting I'll go 7V (use the +5 as the negative).
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
Ain't it always the way, when ever you upgrade the prices drop real soon after... I now see that GTS 250 video card for under $100, and some other parts just got cheaper, probably would have saved over $100 upgrading this month.

Think I finally got my monitor to stay in auto mode so when I run VP fullscreen at 1600x1200 it automatically puts the black bars on the sides and everything looks normal... Crazy VP even if you run it in a 4:3 window it still messes up the graphics as if it were still widescreen...
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
Never check the prices of hardware. It's always the same, that new hardware is expensive at release date, but then relative outdated very soon after purchase. Half-life period ~6 months or less.

If you don't make the decision to buy anything because of that, you would probably don't take part in technical life anymore.
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
Never check the prices of hardware. It's always the same, that new hardware is expensive at release date, but then relative outdated very soon after purchase. Half-life period ~6 months or less.
I didn't go looking, I get email ads from Microcenter, just happens this week several things I got for my upgrade were sitting right there on sale...

Yea, you just have to pick a time to buy and get what you want, it's even worse with digital cameras, half life on those seems to be about 2 months.
 

yogiholzer

Pinball Wizard
... and with mobile phones. I bought me a Samsung Omnia two weeks ago, now there's announcement for Samsung Omnia II. I will try to avoid monitoring the price.
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
Ain't it always the way, when ever you upgrade the prices drop real soon after...
Always. Without exception.

One incident that was especially krass: I remember back when 2Cores came out i payed a whopping €300.- for an X2 3800+. Short time later the same CPU went for a lousy €40.-, which means my 300 bucks would have bought me SEVEN 3800s and i still would have had a €20.- surplus! (Of course alternatively i could have bought a couple of the TopOfTheLine Models too, because they went down in price just as drastically.) For that im still kind of miffed at AMD, because if that aint customer kidding then what is. I mean going down slowly as the product line is running out is totally normal and even expected, but reducing a CPU almost 90% in price practically from one day to the next so that others are getting seven CPUs where i only got one is a whole different order of magnitude,...


But luckily sometimes this works in the other direction too. Last week my local supermarket was selling brandnew SONY 20x SATA DVD Burners (DRU-190S) for only 15.- bucks. Definitely one of the best deals i made this year because the device is really top. I almost bought another one today,...
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
But luckily sometimes this works in the other direction too. Last week my local supermarket was selling brandnew SONY 20x SATA DVD Burners (DRU-190S) for only 15.- bucks. Definitely one of the best deals i made this year because the device is really top. I almost bought another one today,...
Nice. I've always had good luck with Sony drives. I did transfer over my EIDE Sony DRU-840 over to my new system. Still almost as fast as the new SATA drive...

So far the LG GGC-H20L has been great, blu-ray movies look fantastic on the 24" display, DVD burn rates have been really good. Not sure if I'll use the Lightscribe on this drive, on my last Lightscribe drive I had the CD laser burn out on me, couldn't have been more than 10 disks labeled...
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
Nice. I've always had good luck with Sony drives.
I consider myself lucky too.

Only 15.- bucks, great specs, and it is THE quietest optical drive i ever had.

Even when it spins at full speed there is only a slight 'shhhhh', which is in fact *worlds* away from the usual blarring that you normally hear.

Like i said, one of the best deals this year,...
 

TomcatLeader

Pinball Wizard
I know that a lot of the newer computers utilize DDR2 PC2 memory, which is a lot faster than DDR. As for single sided memory, I believe that they have to be matched or they won't work on the motherboard. Aslo you have to determine whether its ECC or non-ECC memory, or if it requires SPD (Serial Presence Detect). Depending on the memory type, you should be able to run single or double sided memory, that shouldn't matter. If your particular MB supports 4GB, you should be able to run 2 2GB sticks. Just make sure that the memory is matched or you'll run into issues with the POST (Power On Self Test).
 

mrschultz

Inserted Coin
This section of the forum seems to be dead these days.

Just built a new system, guess I'll post it here for posterity. Pushed the one I listed here 5 years about as far as it could go with only updating the graphics card a couple of times.

Completely blown away by the speed of the SSD, PC goes from off to fulling working windows 7 in about 12 seconds.

New system parts list, all bought up the road at microcenter:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2L5m0

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($249.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 54.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($94.99) ****Bundle price with CPU****
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($159.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99)
Storage: Toshiba 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.99)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Thermaltake Chaser A71 ATX Full Tower Case ($129.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($84.99 @ Microcenter)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($139.99)
Total: $1529.89

Tax adds $92.

And some massive pictures:











 
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