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Postby Pol » Mar 18 2013, 18:05

Yes ramdrive is a virtual memory thingy. If you have a lot of free RAM, you can use part of it as very fast drive.

Huh, Toshiba, I seems to forget on them. There is in fact only Seagate and Western, I don't remember from where the heritage was passed to Toshiba. Anyway there are no data for Toshiba drives. They should work however. :P
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Postby ThunderTitan » Mar 18 2013, 21:02

Well tehre was also this, but it had only 24 months warranty: http://hdd-serial-ata.3e.ro/western-dig ... wd5000aakx



Pol wrote:Yes ramdrive is a virtual memory thingy. If you have a lot of free RAM, you can use part of it as very fast drive.


Oh, so it's the reverse of what i was thinking...
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Postby mr.hackcrag » Apr 2 2013, 15:33

Can you guys tell me which, if any of these bundle packs are worth buying? (would it be preferable over buying a different motherboard without the $40 discount)

http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/ ... ndles.aspx

http://www.microcenter.com/site/product ... ndles.aspx

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Postby ThunderTitan » Apr 5 2013, 23:21

Well as revenge for the adventures i had with my 9800gtx i'm gonna say you should not buy Asus... no idea about the rest.
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Postby Pol » Apr 6 2013, 9:56

I don't know about prices in the bundles. But go for better MSI or Gigabyte. Asus is .. having tendency to have special features in bios and drivers and thus special problems. Quality is top though.

Asrock is Asus simplified, so you may try it too. The quality is not top, just a normal and price reflects it.
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Postby mr.hackcrag » Apr 8 2013, 2:35

Pol, one of the things you told me in an earlier post was to get the i5 with no K after the number, but if that processor does not include the $40 discount bundle, is it still the preferable choice of processor? How about that Pile Driver at $180 vs $190 I5K?

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Postby Pol » Apr 8 2013, 5:49

It's still about the price. If 3570 without the K will be cheaper, get it.

AMD is very different story and now when they announced a new architecture Richland it will be once again about the price. :D
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Postby Kalah » Apr 22 2013, 18:54

Right, so it's been a couple of years since I last brought this up, so let's revisit. I have made contact with an IT guy at work who might help me out with getting it done, too. :)

To the point - again - since Microsoft are about to drop support for WinXP it's time to go Win7 on my old gaming rig. To do that, I need a new motherboard and CPU. Obviously, I need the new mobo to fit what I already have, particularly the graphics card. I can get more RAM later, but for now I'd like to keep what I have and expand with more RAM when I have more cash in the bank. Here's the lowdown:

Code: Select all

PC: Dell Dimension 9100 531
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3,0 GHz
HD: 160 GB 7200rpm SATA
 and a 1 TB 5400-7200 SATA 3 GB/s dynamic, 64 MB. Western Digital Caviar Green (WD10EARS).
RAM: 1024 MB DDR2 PC4200 CL4, 533MHz, 128x64, 240-pin Unbuffered, 1.8V, 1024 MB DDR2 PC5300 CL5, 667MHz, 128x64, 240-pin
CD-ROM: 16x DVD +/- RW
Sound card: Sound Blaster Live 24 bit
Video card: XFX GeForce GTS 250, 512mb PhysX CUDA (PCI-Express 2.0, 2xDVI, 738/2200MHz)
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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 23 2013, 4:38

Yea, I'm not sure if it's wise to try and match your new MB to your RAM. DDR2 is dead in the water right now, there are barely any motherboards that still support it, and then they are often more expensive than the DDR3 counterparts. And RAM is really cheap these days.

Your graphics card is good, though. All current motherboards support PCIe.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 23 2013, 7:47

About your CPU, it's "Pentium 4 3.0", right? In which case, pretty much anything current is better than that. As a baseline, the AMD Athlon II X4 640, which costs around $80, is also 3 GHz, but it has 4 cores instead of 1, which means that it's more or less 3.5 times faster.

Speaking of that, in general AMD processors have a lot of cores, but they are weaker per-core, while Intel ones have less cores, but the cores are stronger. AMD also traditionally has better price/performance ratio, but doesn't have a lot of high-end processors.

Overall right now the main sockets are AM3 from AMD and LGA 1155 from Intel, but both of them don't have that good of longevity prospects. AMD doesn't produce much in terms of strong processors these days (they're more interested in the mobile market), so while AM3 is still used, it's mostly of use for Piledriver and so, and that is mostly mobile-oriented. On the Intel side, LGA1155 is going to be phased out in favour of LGA 1150 for their new Haswell processors, but the selection of Sandy/Ivy Bridge processors is quite good when it comes to high-end processors.

About motherboards... First off, how is your DVD reader connected - using SATA or PATA? PATA is being phased out now (and good riddance), so if you have a SATA drive, then you're good, but if it's PATA, then you'll need to keep that in mind.

And your sound card is using PCI, so you also need to make sure that's available. PCI is also getting (slowly) phased out in favour of PCIe. Though your sound card is rather basic and old as it is, and almost equivalent to those built-in Intel Azalia sound chips, except for the MIDI support.

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Postby Kalah » Apr 23 2013, 8:20

Thanks - a lot of good advice there. I love this kind of thing.
I guess upgrading the RAM is a necessity too - mainly, though, I thought to upgrade the motherboard and CPU, so the conclusion is that this in turn makes me have to upgrade the RAM and possibly sound card (which I don't care too much about as long as it works).
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Postby Pol » Apr 23 2013, 15:46

Upgrading, that's the word. How strong do you have PSU Kalah?

I assume that this DELL is classic ATX case. In which case you can go for decent power and less money (old AMD on AM3 socket) or more power and silence (current Intel i5).

The big question is what are you planning to do on it?

You will need to upgrade:
Motherboard
CPU
RAM - today standard is DDR3 1600MHz
DVD-RAM - they will be phased out soon, but still good to have one. You need sata interface here.

HDD you can keep, as well as graphic card and likely the PSU. Although that may be not a good idea.

Be warned, graphic cards tend to die, when re-plugged. Chance is low but not so low. What may cheer you up is, that it would die soon(tm) anyway, if that happens.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 23 2013, 19:51

Kalah wrote:Thanks - a lot of good advice there. I love this kind of thing.
I guess upgrading the RAM is a necessity too - mainly, though, I thought to upgrade the motherboard and CPU, so the conclusion is that this in turn makes me have to upgrade the RAM and possibly sound card (which I don't care too much about as long as it works).


Sound chips are integrated into motherboards these days. The vast majority of motherboards come with an Intel Azalia chip. I've heard that there were some plans for motherboards with Sound Core3D chips, too, although I haven't seen that materialising yet. Regardless, if all you need is sound playing, then the Azalia chip will do the job just fine. Although having a sound card as a backup is always a good thing, in case your main one doesn't do everything you want it to.

Also, I looked into the Creative website, and the amazing thing is that your sound card still has drivers for Windows 7 (and even Windows 8). I didn't expect that, given the card's age and Creative's track record with drivers. But then the drivers themselves are probably rather poor, even if available.

Pol wrote:DVD-RAM - they will be phased out soon, but still good to have one. You need sata interface here.


Not really, he already has one. If it's SATA, then all is well. If it's PATA, then a motherboard with PATA support is needed, but those do still exist.

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Postby TheUndeadKing » Apr 24 2013, 17:44

I still use my Creative SB Live! sound card I bought back in 2000 (it's the only piece of hardware that has "survived" from my old computers). And it still performs better than most on-board sound cards/chipsets. Plus, it allows me to manually control Bass and Treble levels in Windows. So tell me now, how cool is that? :D
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Postby GreatEmerald » Apr 24 2013, 18:11

In terms of hardware, yes, it's still superior. In terms of driver quality, highly doubtful. I used to get a lot of BSoDs due to them on Windows 7 a few years ago, and they cause popping sound when trying to record audio in certain programs (like Fraps). Though my card is X-Fi.

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Postby TheUndeadKing » Apr 24 2013, 22:09

Yeah, I think you're right about drivers, they're not that great. Though I've never had any major problems like BSoDs, I, too, encountered driver-related issues in certain games from time to time (where I almost always fixed it by disabling Hardware Acceleration and/or EAX). I've also heard a lot of complaints from other people/friends.

Sound quality was always excellent though. B-)
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Postby mr.hackcrag » May 1 2013, 21:52

Does this pass Pol's seal of approval?

http://www.microcenter.com/product/4078 ... wer_Supply

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Postby GreatEmerald » May 1 2013, 22:22

Coolmax PSUs overall have a terrible history of not delivering the advertised wattage and even components burning out. Though I'm not sure if the Z series is any different or not. But I wouldn't try and find out if I were you. And overall Coolmax doesn't manufacture or design PSUs, they just buy them from 3rd party manufacturers and (re)label them.


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Postby GreatEmerald » May 10 2013, 20:04

Yeap, both of these PSUs are good. Actually, I'm using a CX430M as we speak. It works just fine when paired with modern hardware, and I'm using an NVIDIA GTX 660 and Intel Core i5-3470. Depending on your case, you may or may not want that additional wattage.

About the GPUs, the Gigabyte overclocked version is better in terms of performance, but the added cost is just not justified, as the OC version is just very slightly faster. Also, I'm not a big fan of OC versions on the whole, as OC tends to lower the effective product life. That said, the OC version does have some interesting auxiliary technical specs, such as dual-link DVI (which you need if you have a monitor that has a higher resolution than 1920x1080), standard HDMI (if you want to connect it to a TV or a monitor/speakers combo), and a 3 year warranty.


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