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Upgrade from an 1800+XP, Dual Core? XP Pro vs Home? Help!

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May 28, 2006 1:23:51 AM

Hey folks, I'm a cheapskate looking to replace my painfully dogworthy system! I currently have a 4yr old 1800+XP on an asus kvn333, ati 9250 agp (gift), 1x 512mb ddr 333 ram, with a wd 160gb pata drive, onboard c media, georgous NEC 19" CRT, and a trashworthy big box store generic power supply. I do a bit of amateur photoshopping with my drebel in raw (dual core highly desired) and some gaming like civ4, gta, and am drooling over oblivion. My current system dogs through gta and photoshop.

I'm used to XP Pro and have never used home, Is it worth the extra money for the upgrade when starting denovo? Also, would love some thoughts about the following with my being a strapped for beer money college student.

Intel Pentium D 805 Smithfield 533MHz FSB LGA 775 Dual Core,EM64T $124 (thinking about overclocking a fair amount)
ECS C19-A SLI (1.0A) Socket T (LGA 775) NVIDIA nForce4 SLI XE ATX $80
ZALMAN CNPS7700-CU 120mm 2 Ball Cooling Fan with Copper Heatsink $50
2 Generic 80mm $4.00

CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Unbuffered System Memory Model VS1G667D2 - Retail $134
(photoshop will eat it)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3300822AS 300GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s combo with NEC 16X DVD±R DVD Burner Black IDE Model ND-3550A - Retail for $133

eVGA 256-P2-N549 Geforce 7600GS 256MB GDDR2 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail $115 and a $15MIR

Thermaltake TR2 W0070 ATX 430W Power Supply - Retail $40

Sky Hawk/Eagle Tech BAX BAX5602BK Black/Silver Steel 0.6mm ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail $15 (Don't care a whole lot about case quality or noise, just airflow)

All that is about $734 shipped, I could go up a bit but would rather save it for a hard drive upgrade in the future (or graphics for that matter)

Also, what about the OS? Pro vs Home vs MCE? I have some 95/98 disks laying around for upgrades. Does anyone see any glaring defects in those components? I'm trying to hit the "sweet spot"

Thanks for your help!
May 28, 2006 2:52:44 PM

I will go ahead and get out upfront. You won't be overclocking that system much and the 805 is a dog not overclocked. Here is why:

1) ECS motherboards are horrible, about the same quality as PCChips (which is the worst motherboard ever made) so expect nothing from it.

2) Value RAM does not overclock very well to start with, and you need DDR2-800 to get any kind of decent overclock.

3) 430W PSU just is not going cut it for overclocking. You to look at least 550W or even 600W if you want to overclock it much (the D805 sucks and power and pumps out heat)

4) You need excellent airflow at the D805 runs really hot, not sure that case will get the job done.

805 is not for a budget system, if you want to overclock it you have to spend considerable amounts of money to get it working properly. The cheap price of the CPU is a lure, but the equation falls apart at the end.
!