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I need someone to hold my hand for this build :(

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April 19, 2007 6:02:15 AM

My current computer is a celeron 733, 384mb's of ram and a 64mb video card. Now, that you all feel really sorry for me, it is time to build my new computer.

I have 900US dollars. I want to do a little bit of everything, but would really like to play a few current games. BF 1942 looks fun as does Counter-Strike, Age of Empires 3, Sim 4, Oblivion, and especially Civ 4. Ohhhh The Sims 2...I like building the house that I will never actually get to own.

I just bought a hard drive in the past 6 months, which I was told was good. Then again, futureshop people always tell me stories and then I read on the internet they are nothing but fairy tales. Anyways, so I am pretty sure I have a good enough hard-drive, mouse, keyboard, oh and I have really good headphones. I base this on the fact that I can keep them on my head for 2 hours and my elf ears barely hurt.

So...what do I need to play some fun games?

I should probably mention I don't play MMO's at all because the two years I played them, all I remember from those two years was what my character did. BAD ME!!! So...no need to try and run Vanguard: Saga of Treadmilling.

I also don't care if my case looks like a drunk person designed it or someone from Project Runway did. (PS has that show ever gone to the crapper).

AMD or INTEL

I couldn't care.

The thought of waking up in the morning and being like, "yaya I feel like playing Civ 4, then later tonight maybe play counter strike and get last place...then finish the night off building a city in Sim City 4 then bulldozing it because I thought I could handle making uneven streets and then realizing my city has to be perfectly symmetrical."

Thanks for any help you people can give me.

EDIT: I also have a monitor.

More about : hold hand build

April 19, 2007 2:06:32 PM

I was able to put up a good portion of a machine (without HDD or CD/DVD ROM)


3600+X2 -- @ $65!!! involves a bit of overclocking though
PNY 8800GTS
2x1GB G.skill 667
DFI Infinity AM2
FSP 600W PSU
good CPU cooler -$50

I'm @ $727 with those items; throw in your drives, cables and minor accessories puts you near and around $900 for a pretty nice machine.
April 19, 2007 2:32:12 PM

How much experience do you have putting computers together?
Related resources
April 19, 2007 3:44:22 PM

and who is that question directed at?
April 19, 2007 4:26:18 PM

The only person that question could go to.


Does toe OP have any experience putting together a computer. does he know what to expect?

There is only so much hand holding you can do over the net.
April 19, 2007 5:07:57 PM

Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 Power Supply - Retail
Model #: SONATA II
Item #: N82E16811129155
$99.99 $99.99

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-965P-S3
Item #: N82E16813128017
$114.99 -$10.00 Instant $104.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E4300 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E4300
Item #: N82E16819115013
$135.00 $135.00

SAPPHIRE 100185L Radeon X1950XT 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
Model #: 100185L
Item #: N82E16814102082
$249.99 $20 Mail-in Rebate $229.99

2 x G.SKILL 1GB (2 x 512MB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400PHU2-1GBHZ - Retail
Model #: F2-6400PHU2-1GBHZ
Item #: N82E16820231064
$94.99 x 2 $189.98

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM write and LightScribe Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185 - OEM
Model #: LH-20A1H-185
Item #: N82E16827106055
$35.99 $35.99

Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2b - OEM
Model #: M93-00439
Item #: N82E16832116171
$109.99 $109.99


-=-=-=-=-=-=-

subtotals to 925.93, has a $20 mail-in rebate on the video card, that makes it $905.93...

PROS:
- good overclocker & fast

- maxed out RAM with XP Media center edition (32-bit) (2GBs dual channel, 4 x 512, with the 2 kits)

- 512MB texture memory on your radeon 1950XT, should play almost all games available with medium to high settings and wonderful framerates at 1280x1024

- super silent (I just built 1 with almost the exact same specs last night, and it's dead silent, thanks to the antec sonata II case)

- newegg...


CONS:
- No SLI/Crossfire

- included PSU may be a little weak for the card, so you may need to upgrade (but it's a 450W ATX 2.0 antec smart power)..

- Cable hiding is rather difficult, as only 1 side of the case comes off (the other side is rivited in)

- case has a silencing duct that needs to be removed to install mobo and any add-in cards, including graphics card and any PCI cards you may want to add

- case has a door to hide drivebays (some don't like it)

- no native firewire

..............

I have the wishlist saved but don't know how to make it public... I can e-mail it to you if you provide your e-mail address... if you have any questions, let me know... cheers
April 19, 2007 5:41:16 PM

Not pointed towards you Raven. Your build looks great.

Just judging by the tone of the OP, I got the feeling this was a first time build. I wanted to know first before I recommend he look up some FAQs and pictures of putting the pieces together.

If he wants hand holding through the building process we can help, but if he has no experience, he ought to look into whether or not he'll enjoy the process or be left frustrated and wishing he'd just bought a Dell.
April 19, 2007 6:45:23 PM

Quote:
Not pointed towards you Raven. Your build looks great.

Just judging by the tone of the OP, I got the feeling this was a first time build. I wanted to know first before I recommend he look up some FAQs and pictures of putting the pieces together.

If he wants hand holding through the building process we can help, but if he has no experience, he ought to look into whether or not he'll enjoy the process or be left frustrated and wishing he'd just bought a Dell.


imho, building a computer is easier than troubleshooting it once it's up and running... as long as you have a list of compatible hardware, it should be flawlessly executed under ideal circumstances (granted QA from the manufacturers is working as it should)...

it'll save him the money, nothing will be proprietay should something eventually need replacing, and he'll have accomplished something he's never done...

everyone has to start somewhere, why not start at ground zero? it makes standing on top of that mountain all the sweeter, than if you had just somehow parachuted onto it from above...
April 19, 2007 6:51:21 PM

Quote:
imho, building a computer is easier than troubleshooting it once it's up and running...


I think that's kind of the point, if something goes wrong in a Dell or HP at least he can get it repaired by them. But it's true that everyone starts somewhere, so I guess if it's not a totally essential computer it's the best way to learn.

Quote:
it makes standing on top of that mountain all the sweeter, than if you had just somehow parachuted onto it from above...


Personally I'd rather parachute, that sounds like it'd be a lot more fun than having to climb up some big mountain. But the metaphorical point is noted.
April 19, 2007 7:43:22 PM

Here is what I would recommend. Good mid-range computer with nice overclocking capabilities:

Everything is from newegg.com unless specified otherwise. Shipping is calculated in the prices.... ordering it all together shold make it cheaper.

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: CAC-T05-UW
Item #: N82E16811119068
$66

SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: SS-550HT
Item #: N82E16817151027
$138

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-965P-S3
Item #: N82E16813128017
$110

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E4300 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E4300
Item #: N82E16819115013
$135


G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
Model #: F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ
Item #: N82E16820231098
$110

Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
Model #: 66I-00715
Item #: N82E16832116202
$117

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM write and LightScribe Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185 - OEM
Model #: LH-20A1H-185
Item #: N82E16827106055
$36

MSI NX8600GTS-T2D256E-OC GeForce 8600 GTS Overclock 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express Video Card w/Dual DVI Retail ***Free Shipping***
$190 (from zipzoomfly.com)

========
$902 Total (when I put in my zip code and added everything the total came up to $896)

The power supply in this setup is really solid, so you shouldn't have any issues.
April 19, 2007 8:33:45 PM

Quote:
Here is what I would recommend. Good mid-range computer with nice overclocking capabilities:

..............

Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
Model #: 66I-00715
Item #: N82E16832116202
$117


for a noob needing his hand held, that doesn't want too many issues, i'd recommend not owning a computer at all over recommending one with vista, especially for a first build... are you trying to scare the guy away from building any more machines, ever again? o_O
April 19, 2007 8:33:51 PM

I think I am a quick learner (even though a lot of people say this about themself), I think it is true. I think I know the basics to putting a computer together, even though the only thing I have actually done is put a new hard-drive into my computer. I know for a fact I will probably end up spending the day reading the Mobo manual and any other manual that comes with these parts.

The biggest problem I have is picking parts. When I got my 733, I actually knew quite a bit about computers and knew what computer could handle what game. Now, I am 5 years behind and it seems no matter how much I read/research, I can't catch up. That is what I mean by needing my hand held, even though I will probably require additional help when I am putting it all together.

Already I am confused again because three people have given me examples and I can't figure out which of the three would be the better choice.

I do know one thing, no matter how hard computer building may be I want to learn. :) 
April 19, 2007 8:35:55 PM

Quote:
Here is what I would recommend. Good mid-range computer with nice overclocking capabilities:

..............

Microsoft Windows Vista 32-Bit Home Premium for System Builders Single Pack DVD - OEM
Model #: 66I-00715
Item #: N82E16832116202
$117


for a noob needing his hand held, that doesn't want too many issues, i'd recommend not owning a computer at all over recommending one with vista, especially for a first build... are you trying to scare the guy away from building any more machines, ever again? o_O

I already have Win XP SP1. SP2 takes like a day worth of downloading, but I don't mind. What would you recommend if I removed the 117$ vista and used that money for other parts?
April 19, 2007 9:16:49 PM

use my list and grab an 8800gts... pocket the rest if that's the case
April 19, 2007 10:31:02 PM

Quote:
use my list and grab an 8800gts... pocket the rest if that's the case


for a noob needing his hand held, that doesn't want too many issues, i'd recommend not owning a computer at all over recommending one with a low end PSU with an 8800GTS, especially for a first build... are you trying to scare the guy away from building any more machines, ever again? o_O

I figured he had XP... who doesn't, so I put Vista on the list. Not sure why you're so scared of Vista... it is maturing everyday... and if he has issues... just plop XP back on or run dual-boot. We're here to help on that, too. Also, TruRomeo4Juliet, why does your list have $190 for 4 sticks of 512MB of RAM? 2x 1GB sticks are only $110 and if he wants to add more memory (such as another 1GB - 2GB when the time comes), he just has to add 2 more sticks.

Phaze, if you don't want Vista at the moment, here is a modified version:

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: CAC-T05-UW
Item #: N82E16811119068
$66

SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: SS-550HT
Item #: N82E16817151027
$138

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-965P-S3
Item #: N82E16813128017
$110

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E4300 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E4300
Item #: N82E16819115013
$135


G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
Model #: F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ
Item #: N82E16820231098
$110

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM write and LightScribe Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185 - OEM
Model #: LH-20A1H-185
Item #: N82E16827106055
$36

=======
$595 without Video Card

Since you play Oblivion, you'd want the fastest card for your money. Ideally, you'd want the 8800GTS 640MB version, but it goes over your budget (by $65) then get the 320MB version. Here are 2 examples of both:

Leadtek WinFast PX8800 GTS TDH GeForce 8800GTS 640MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
Model #: PX8800 GTS TDH
Item #: N82E16814122018
$370 (Grand total of $965)

PNY VCG88GTS32XPB GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
Model #: VCG88GTS32XPB
Item #: N82E16814133193
$277 (Grand total of $872) but this has a $20 rebate to technically $852
April 19, 2007 11:13:38 PM

Thank you so much ApostolicFire. I keep hearing that prices for AMD/Intel are going to drop a little so I will be ordering this most likely on Tuesday.

Actually, the case you picked as cheap in price as it is, isn't too bad looking.
April 20, 2007 9:07:49 AM

Quote:
use my list and grab an 8800gts... pocket the rest if that's the case


for a noob needing his hand held, that doesn't want too many issues, i'd recommend not owning a computer at all over recommending one with a low end PSU with an 8800GTS, especially for a first build... are you trying to scare the guy away from building any more machines, ever again? o_O

you've got jewels in those pockets, apostolicfire... you're correct, i should've modified the case / psu combo for something that could handle the 8800GTS i suggested


Quote:

I figured he had XP... who doesn't, so I put Vista on the list. Not sure why you're so scared of Vista... it is maturing everyday...

i ain't never scurred... but i am a professional computer technician and I personally don't like what I see in vista... it's still a fledgling product, and it still has issues and annoyances that 90% of the people I see that do have it don't want to deal with.. in my opinion, XP is friendlier out of the box, without having to go into the control panel and tweak / turn off some of the things that make vista 'better' than xp...

Quote:

and if he has issues... just plop XP back on or run dual-boot. We're here to help on that, too.

to quote comptia_rep, "there's only so much hand holding you can do over the net"... besides, dual boot is best done with 2 seperate harddrives.. he only mentioned 1, so your assumption is (should he not like vista), to have him dual boot O/S's from a single HDD... your second assumption is that his XP SP1 cd can be reactivated with his new machine, which, if it's OEM (since we're assuming his current computer was prebuilt by a major manufacturer), cannot be done in accordance with microsoft's EULA [because we forum members do NOT promote pirating software of any sort].. your third assumption is that he'd be willing to subject himself to the possibility of frustration of having to install an O/S, to realize he doesn't like it, or it doesn't do everything he wants / needs it to, or is incompatible with some of the software / hardware he has, then install a second harddrive and O/S, or possibly repartition his drive, and install a second O/S afterwards, both of which are very time consuming, and from the looks of his first post, he doesn't want something that will be time consuming... as most major corporations are still teatering between tried-and-true O/S's such as Windows NT, Windows Server 2000/2003, and Windows XP, and won't be switching to Vista for at least 3-5 years, I recommend to most people that want to avoid incompatibility issues altogether to grab XP (for now, at least until it seems most of the dust has died down... let's not count out a service pack release for vista though, if we can all remember SP2 release for XP making many things incompatible with it initially)...


Quote:
Also, TruRomeo4Juliet, why does your list have $190 for 4 sticks of 512MB of RAM? 2x 1GB sticks are only $110 and if he wants to add more memory (such as another 1GB - 2GB when the time comes), he just has to add 2 more sticks.

higher density rams typically have slightly higher latency.. not that it matters for the average user, but you never know where he'll be going from here... like I said, we all start somewhere... maybe he'll want to get into overclocking a few months down the road when all his components are broken in and he gets the hang of troubleshooting the norm... yes, I could've put 2 x 1GB sticks, freeing up 2 banks, but you didn't seem to factor in that I initially put a 32-bit O/S on the list, which can only properly utilize 2GB max RAM... it seems you missed that point in your own list as well... if he wants to add 2GB in your list later on down the road, he'll have to switch from 32-bit windows vista home premium to the 64-bit version... even you should've seen that coming

all in all, either list is decent, his has a beefier power supply, mine has a quieter case... both lists use the same processor, motherboard, and ram manufacturers / speeds (which, when it comes down to it, these three components are the heart of your computing experience)... what you do from there is up to you... we can all recommend video cards and O/S's until we're blue in the face, but it's your money, and you'll spend on what you believe will be the best purchase... whatever you pick, the forums are here to help you with your plans, questions, and any troublesome spots you might find yourself in...

from everyone here at the TG Forumz, welcome aboard :) 
April 20, 2007 11:23:10 AM

is it just me or did all them "$900" builds cost over $900 and not include a hdd? also, i would get a decent PSU and case, because they can be kept over builds. also, not "promoting" illegal software but there is other options to buying a copy of windows, that will save you a bunch, also, see if you can activate your old copy on your new machine, some copies can be activated on one different machine, as long as you stop using the old one.
April 20, 2007 12:50:22 PM

If you are going to use you're old version of XP, you can order the service pack 2 cd from Microsoft. They charge about $4 to ship it to you. I got mine in about a 3 days after ordering. That would save you the download time.
April 20, 2007 12:57:34 PM

@ the OP


true the actual build process is indeed the easiest with simplistic equipment. if done correctly, your not going to be trouble-shooting unless you really mess up. updates, patches and drivers are the headache. the beauty is their either found online quickly or come in a packaged CD if you dont feel like taking extra time. out of the box components drivers & bios' 99% of the time work just fine for a complete build.

I dont believe your into overclocking, so indeed it was a mistake on my part to recommend the 3600+X2. I would go with the most balanced and stable machine possible, so the recommendation just below mine seems quite nice.

this is why we must encourage most folkes to learn, the logistics of computers arent that all hard to pin down... its when you take it a step or two further such as myself and many others on these forums; that it really can start to be a pain.
April 20, 2007 3:14:38 PM

Quote:
but you didn't seem to factor in that I initially put a 32-bit O/S on the list, which can only properly utilize 2GB max RAM... it seems you missed that point in your own list as well... if he wants to add 2GB in your list later on down the road, he'll have to switch from 32-bit windows vista home premium to the 64-bit version... even you should've seen that coming


32 bit operating systems can use up to 4gb of ram in theory, closer to 3 in practice. I have 3gb in this machine currently and windows recognizes and uses all 3.
April 20, 2007 4:04:58 PM

Quote:
is it just me or did all them "$900" builds cost over $900 and not include a hdd?


Let me quote myself:
Quote:
(Grand total of $872) but this has a $20 rebate to technically $852



That is under $900, with shipping included, and he already has a hard drive. My first build I included was $902.... just $2 over.

Quote:
i ain't never scurred... but i am a professional computer technician and I personally don't like what I see in vista... it's still a fledgling product, and it still has issues and annoyances that 90% of the people I see that do have it don't want to deal with.. in my opinion, XP is friendlier out of the box, without having to go into the control panel and tweak / turn off some of the things that make vista 'better' than xp...


For the typical user, Vista is just as friendly. Only users that use less-known programs that the mainstream user wouldn't use may have the most problems.

Quote:
to quote comptia_rep, "there's only so much hand holding you can do over the net"... besides, dual boot is best done with 2 seperate harddrives.. he only mentioned 1, so your assumption is (should he not like vista), to have him dual boot O/S's from a single HDD... your second assumption is that his XP SP1 cd can be reactivated with his new machine, which, if it's OEM (since we're assuming his current computer was prebuilt by a major manufacturer), cannot be done in accordance with microsoft's EULA [because we forum members do NOT promote pirating software of any sort].. your third assumption is that he'd be willing to subject himself to the possibility of frustration of having to install an O/S, to realize he doesn't like it, or it doesn't do everything he wants / needs it to, or is incompatible with some of the software / hardware he has, then install a second harddrive and O/S, or possibly repartition his drive, and install a second O/S afterwards, both of which are very time consuming, and from the looks of his first post, he doesn't want something that will be time consuming... as most major corporations are still teatering between tried-and-true O/S's such as Windows NT, Windows Server 2000/2003, and Windows XP, and won't be switching to Vista for at least 3-5 years, I recommend to most people that want to avoid incompatibility issues altogether to grab XP (for now, at least until it seems most of the dust has died down... let's not count out a service pack release for vista though, if we can all remember SP2 release for XP making many things incompatible with it initially)...


First of all, please stop spreading FUD. According to Microsoft reps, you CAN transfer an OEM copy to another computer with XP and Vista. I'm suprised you had no idea since it was such a big ordeal when Vista came along because it was allowed with XP. This has been talked about on so many news sites. Yes, you will need to call when you activate it, but you need to have XP removed from the other computer. This is not piracy.

As for the other comment you said, you surely made what I said sound complicating. If he wants to install Vista and it doesn't work for some of the programs he uses, just reinstall XP. That is, what, like 2 hours tops of work? You made it sound like going through the hassle of installing XP like it was time consuming. Since he is building his computer, he is going to have to install an operating system, no matter what. Once again, if he goes back to XP, he still has a copy of Vista that he can try again a few months down the line if he has compatability issues. He doesn't have to install Vista at all... he could just install XP if he wants.

What is your point of bringing in the subject of "most major corporations"? There are still some that haven't switched to SP2 yet, so you hurt your own argument by telling him to use SP2. He is not a corporation, he is a home user, and SP2 will work just fine. I am also in the computer field and I work for one of the largest banks in the country. Federal regulations are among the strictest and many of our users use specialized programs that need thorough testing between each other to ensure compability. 99.9999% of home users don't have to go through this hassle, so stop making it look like he does.

Quote:
higher density rams typically have slightly higher latency.. not that it matters for the average user, but you never know where he'll be going from here... like I said, we all start somewhere... maybe he'll want to get into overclocking a few months down the road when all his components are broken in and he gets the hang of troubleshooting the norm... yes, I could've put 2 x 1GB sticks, freeing up 2 banks, but you didn't seem to factor in that I initially put a 32-bit O/S on the list, which can only properly utilize 2GB max RAM... it seems you missed that point in your own list as well... if he wants to add 2GB in your list later on down the road, he'll have to switch from 32-bit windows vista home premium to the 64-bit version... even you should've seen that coming


yes and no. It has been well known, for what, 7 years, that you will more likely run into problems by adding more sticks of memory. It is best to use the least amount of slots possible, especially for overclockers (which i'm not, and the OP may not be, either), because it tends to lead to stability issues. So by my way, he is saving around $80 and if he does want to upgrade to 4GB down the road, all he has to do is buy 2 more sticks (2x2GB) and the 64-bit version of Vista. Using your method, he'd probably have to throw away the 4 sticks and spend even more since he would have to buy 4GB of RAM. I just try to keep upgradability in mind when building a computer and who knows when 4GB will be the norm.

The build I gave is one I know works, since my computer is based off of it. It is rock solid and I haven't had any issues with XP or Vista on it. The only difference is that I have a different case (mine was $250) and I have the E6600 CPU as well as an EVGA 8800GTS. In all my builds, I included a Direct X 10 card, because DX10 is the future of gaming (someday).

k I'm done with the going back and forth :p 

Phaze, hope you aren't getting confused. lol We are here if you have any questions.
April 20, 2007 4:18:00 PM

Quote:
but you didn't seem to factor in that I initially put a 32-bit O/S on the list, which can only properly utilize 2GB max RAM... it seems you missed that point in your own list as well... if he wants to add 2GB in your list later on down the road, he'll have to switch from 32-bit windows vista home premium to the 64-bit version... even you should've seen that coming


32 bit operating systems can use up to 4gb of ram in theory, closer to 3 in practice. I have 3gb in this machine currently and windows recognizes and uses all 3.

I was going to put this in my last post, too, but I didn't want to try making it more confusing since it has varied from different people. XP and Vista 32-bit editions have shown to be able to use 3.5GB just fine, but from what I recall, a program can only utilize a max of 2GB. That is fine, because all the other processes still have 1.5GB to use. Some people can only see 2.5GB and some only 3GB out of the 4GB. It varies on the motherboard / BIOS version on how much 32-bit Windows can see.

Here is a blog about someone talking about only seeing 3.5GB on his 32-bit Windows Vista: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000811.html

Here is another post: http://vistarewired.com/2007/03/29/how-to-enable-more-t...
April 20, 2007 5:02:43 PM

Quote:
is it just me or did all them "$900" builds cost over $900 and not include a hdd?

yea, but we try to maximize the money by getting the best parts... you don't want to miss out on a high-end graphics card (compared to a mid-range graphics card) or a gig of ram because you aren't willing to shell out $20 more than your budget, do you? :) 

Quote:
also, i would get a decent PSU and case, because they can be kept over builds.
we both recommended good cases and PSU's... his PSU didn't come with his case, but is a beefy 550W PSU... my PSU was a 450 Antec Smart Power that comes with the case... his case was thought of for it's spacy interior with tons of slots for future expansion... mine was thought of for it's overall sleek look and silencing ability...

Quote:
also, not "promoting" illegal software but there is other options to buying a copy of windows, that will save you a bunch, also, see if you can activate your old copy on your new machine, some copies can be activated on one different machine, as long as you stop using the old one.

he wants to do a little of everything.. assuming that he's also wanting to game, windows is probably his best option... there are emulation programs for linux, freebsd, solaris, etc.. but none of them will give the simplicity, speed, or overall compatibility as just running windows natively...

also, per the OEM EULA that bigshots like dell, hp, gateway have to contract to... their licenses are proprietary to the machines (look at the CoA's on the side of one of their machines next time you're in circuit city or best buy... they have HP / Dell / Gateway specific labels)... there are ways around it, of course... but microsoft doesn't like that :roll:
April 20, 2007 5:21:42 PM

Quote:
also, per the OEM EULA that bigshots like dell, hp, gateway have to contract to... their licenses are proprietary to the machines (look at the CoA's on the side of one of their machines next time you're in circuit city or best buy... they have HP / Dell / Gateway specific labels)... there are ways around it, of course... but microsoft doesn't like that :roll:


This is very true and I have to admit that I did not think of this because I've been building customized computers for so long. If Phaze does have his Windows XP from one of those companies, the chances of transferring are slim, but I would say still worth a try.

The Antec PSU really is on the limits of what either of our computer builds could handle and I'm a fan of highly reliable power supplies. PC Power and Cooling and Seasonic are ranked as the most reliable. Troubleshooting power supply problems can be the most challenging because it can be so random. The version I chose has an 88% efficiency rating, which is the highest I have ever seen. This translates to a computer that uses a lot less energy in comparison to other power supplies. I belive the Antec one is slightly above 70%... which is among the least efficient.

-edit: fixed quote error
April 20, 2007 6:05:44 PM

Quote:
For the typical user, Vista is just as friendly. Only users that use less-known programs that the mainstream user wouldn't use may have the most problems.

I wasn't talking about problems with software, I was speaking about the annoyances that most people are dealing with by using vista out of the box... things like User Account Control that pops up the majority of the time when installing new software, trying to runprograms that could alter the registry, etc..

don't get me wrong, i'm not bashing vista.. i've seen it grow from alpha stage longhorn to rtm vista, and it came a very long way... it's way better than XP initially was during it's time of release... but I don't like what happens to it when the average user gets a bit of internet poop smeared all over it... the spyware and malware out there that's programmed for XP infects vista just the same, but makes it virtually unusable because it has a tendency to crash explorer... you probably don't see that as often as I do because you're in a banking environment with very strict procedures in place... I see it because I repair what joe consumer can't, and that IS the mainstream...

Quote:
According to Microsoft reps, you CAN transfer an OEM copy to another computer with XP and Vista. I'm suprised you had no idea since it was such a big ordeal when Vista came along because it was allowed with XP. This has been talked about on so many news sites. Yes, you will need to call when you activate it, but you need to have XP removed from the other computer. This is not piracy.

I've been aware that you can have XP and Vista on the same machine, whether it's OEM or Retail.. but you CANNOT transfer an OEM license from one machine to the next (according to the EULA), even if you uninstall the drive from the old system... please see here:
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/oemeula.htm

I'm not trying to prove you wrong, but the reps at microsoft seem to be misinforming people.. if that's the case, to hell with it all in general..

Quote:
As for the other comment you said, you surely made what I said sound complicating. If he wants to install Vista and it doesn't work for some of the programs he uses, just reinstall XP. That is, what, like 2 hours tops of work? You made it sound like going through the hassle of installing XP like it was time consuming. Since he is building his computer, he is going to have to install an operating system, no matter what. Once again, if he goes back to XP, he still has a copy of Vista that he can try again a few months down the line if he has compatability issues. He doesn't have to install Vista at all... he could just install XP if he wants.
my personal opinion would be skip the hassle, go with what's been tested with billions of man-hours, and avoid having a $120 piece of software sitting there unused for X number of months while microsoft releases a service pack... they're already working on one for vista, as well as SP3 for XP...

Quote:
What is your point of bringing in the subject of "most major corporations"? There are still some that haven't switched to SP2 yet, so you hurt your own argument by telling him to use SP2. He is not a corporation, he is a home user, and SP2 will work just fine.
SP2 injected a slew of compatibility issues that most corporations are trying to hide from... they deal with hundreds of computers, as you know, with many peripherals including specialized machines, that work as they need them to... 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'... major corporations are not mainstream users... mainstream user Joe's peripherals, as well as most of the software that Joe might buy, should be XPSP2 compatible...

let's say JoeUser has BitDefender 10 (highly recommended as an anti-virus tool), trustworthy Nero 6.0 Ultra, the awesome Supreme Commander game, and Microsoft ActiveSync for a Smart Phone... a typical slew of software for Joe... Poor joe... joe has to troubleshoot... because all of these programs have compatibility issues with Vista..

you'd be surprised at what 'mainstream' products Joe can still buy, but not use with Vista... yes, there are patches, and fixes... but part of the reason I recommended XP in the first place is the plain and simple fact that I initially said (in my second post) "building a computer is easier than troubleshooting it once it's up and running" ... i wanted to keep it as simple as possible, including the post-build / post-windows install experience... why you continued to argue against that, I don't know...

as for the RAM, correct... more modules increases the chance one of them will fail... more components = higher probability for failure in any scenario... i should've recommended 2 x 1GB sticks instead, as you did.. of course, in the event one would fail, he'd be running off of 1.5GB while waiting for his 512 to return from RMA, as opposed to dropping down to 1GB only :p 


Quote:
Phaze, hope you aren't getting confused. lol We are here if you have any questions.
X2 :) 
April 20, 2007 6:13:01 PM

Quote:
The Antec PSU really is on the limits of what either of our computer builds could handle and I'm a fan of highly reliable power supplies.
agreed! better to have more power than necessary sitting there unused, rather than having all of not enough power being consumed... increases efficiency, lowers heat, and maximizes lifespan on a computer this way...

Quote:
PC Power and Cooling and Seasonic are ranked as the most reliable. Troubleshooting power supply problems can be the most challenging because it can be so random.
PC Power and Cooling is top notch! and Fire is right, PSU problems are usually the last thought of problem, and come with the largest headache that could possibly accompany an issue... it's not like RAM, where if you have 1 bad module out of 2, you're running crippled... you're literally out of commission should your PSU need to be replaced, because most people (even most high-end techies) don't have a second BEEFY PSU sittin around JUST IN CASE...

Quote:
The version I chose has an 88% efficiency rating, which is the highest I have ever seen. This translates to a computer that uses a lot less energy in comparison to other power supplies. I belive the Antec one is slightly above 70%... which is among the least efficient.
Utra makes some that dip into the 60-70% range at load >,> as for yours, what PSU do you have with an 88% effiency rating? I need an upgrade myself :D 
April 20, 2007 6:17:37 PM

And just for reference, Phaze

Windows Vista RTM Compatilbity List
http://www.iexbeta.com/wiki/index.php/Windows_Vista_RTM_Software_Compatibility_List

and a second supplemental list found here on our own TG Forumz:
http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/List-Vista-Supported-Hardware-amp-Software-ftopict232602.html

you can use these to check and see how many of your current softwares can be used on your new machine (since most other softwares, aside from Windows OS's, are licensed per user, not per machine)

If you find that there's too many incompatibilities, I'd recommend XP... if you find that there aren't many issues, or that you don't have the software found here, then try to find a CompUSA that's closing near you... most everything at the moment is 25-50% off, with 40% off of all Vista operating systems, from Home basic upgrade to Ultimate Retail... that should help you out tremendously :) 

- cheers

editted - changed the links from BOLD to LINKS lol
April 20, 2007 6:46:45 PM

Quote:
I wasn't talking about problems with software, I was speaking about the annoyances that most people are dealing with by using vista out of the box... things like User Account Control that pops up the majority of the time when installing new software, trying to runprograms that could alter the registry, etc..

don't get me wrong, i'm not bashing vista.. i've seen it grow from alpha stage longhorn to rtm vista, and it came a very long way... it's way better than XP initially was during it's time of release... but I don't like what happens to it when the average user gets a bit of internet poop smeared all over it... the spyware and malware out there that's programmed for XP infects vista just the same, but makes it virtually unusable because it has a tendency to crash explorer... you probably don't see that as often as I do because you're in a banking environment with very strict procedures in place... I see it because I repair what joe consumer can't, and that IS the mainstream...


I also do computer work for non-bank business, but I've really seen people that have Vista issues are the "Enthusiasts", which I could say you and I are in, that may use programs that the mainstream group won't use or have any desire to use. As for UAC, I agree that it is an annoyance, but it is still there even for experienced users (unless it is turned off), but I don't really see how that could be a problem for mainstream users for day-to-day taks. As for spyware/malware/viruses, it really doesn't matter if it is XP or Vista because, unfortunately, they are both susceptible. Also, XP is just as susceptible to programs modifying the registry, too.

Vista still has a way to go until it is as great as XP, but if I was Phaze, I just wouldn't want to buy XP when Vista is out. On the latest build I included, Vista is off the list.


Quote:
I've been aware that you can have XP and Vista on the same machine, whether it's OEM or Retail.. but you CANNOT transfer an OEM license from one machine to the next (according to the EULA), even if you uninstall the drive from the old system... please see here:
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/oemeula.htm

I'm not trying to prove you wrong, but the reps at microsoft seem to be misinforming people.. if that's the case, to hell with it all in general..


From my experience and from people that may completely upgrade their computer every 6-12 months, I haven't seen any issues with the OEM version when transferring to a different computer. When activating, it will have you call Microsoft, where a someone on the other line will ask you if you have it installed on another computer. While it is in the EULA, Microsoft has relaxed this since Windows XP came out because of the backlash from people that upgrade frequently. This has also been confirmed for Vista as well. If Microsoft decides to one day enforce this policy, then they can since it is in the EULA, but they haven't and probably won't. This is similar to police officers not stopping you for going 65 in a 60.

Quote:
my personal opinion would be skip the hassle, go with what's been tested with billions of man-hours, and avoid having a $120 piece of software sitting there unused for X number of months while microsoft releases a service pack... they're already working on one for vista, as well as SP3 for XP...


True, which is why I took Vista off the last build, but I wouldn't think it would be worth paying for another copy of Vista.


k, gotta go to the doctors. For the power supply that I have, it is on the list above.


-edit: fixed quotes again... was in a hurry.

TruRomeo4Juliet, here is the link for the power supply I have:
SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W

TruRomeo, just so you know, I'm not mad at ya or anything :p  You seem kewl and knowedgeable. I just think we have had different experiences with Vista.
April 20, 2007 8:52:49 PM

Wow.

I read every post and everytime one of you replied I was like, "okay I will go with their build now."

So, now I am back at square one: ApostolicFire or TruRomeo4Juliet's build.

Sorry to take so long to reply, but my work hours are screwy so I don't wake up until 12 pm.

Lol. I just want to play some games *cries a manly cry*

I will try and answer your questions...

My last computer: Custom built by my old buddy. I have no idea if it will work on another computer because I have only used it on that one. I can't use it right now to check anything out because the fan is broken and I am not sure if it will overheat, but I don't want to take a chance with my new HD in it. If worse comes to worse, I can always install Win XP on my new machine and just not do any upgrades with win update, right?

I checked the list you gave me Romeo and everything I would want to use can be used in Vista. Except Sim City 4 which says is 64 bit version only (is this a big deal)?

I just want to play some games (the ones mentioned), write, fool around with drawing (my grandma gave me her drawing slate), have fun with Flash (even though I don't know how to use it), and make maps for games (which I have always wanted to do, but could never because my computer stunk).

Out of that list playing games/writing are the two big ones. Obviously any computer out there you can use to write, so games is the big one. If my drawing slate is slow, flash needs a bigger hard drive, and making maps needs more ram, I will get that down the road. Which leads me to one more thing. I want to know my computer is upgradable. I know 900$ isn't a lot for a computer, but knowing I can upgrade my ram or video card without needing an entirely new system is a plus.

I am not sure if I am asking for more than my budget allows me.

In terms of knowledge, I look at it like this (inserting MMORPG Everquest reference). If I have a choice between picking a Troll Shadowknight and a Human Shadowknight, I will pick the troll even though it will take twice as long to reach max level, the factions will be a pain and the quests will be fewer. Why? Because in the end, I know my character will be better than the other choices. To put that in a computer perspective, if I have to spend 10 hours getting my system going in Vista compared to 2 hours with XP, I will choose Vista. However, if the end result is about the same, then I will choose XP.

So...yea...what I need to know, is downgrading my video card to add Vista into the line-up worth it or should I just wait a few months until I can buy it?

I know building a computer isn't easy, but I want to do it this way. There is no way I am turning on my TV and watching the kid say, "DUDE YOU'RE GETTING A DELL" and have it be true. NO NO NO

DUDE, I AM GETTING A CUSTOM PC EVEN IF IT HURTS ME! :D  :D  :D 
April 20, 2007 9:31:14 PM

AMD if ur on a budget. Intel if you want to have some fun.
April 20, 2007 9:44:38 PM

Phaze, what resolution is your monitor? That could help decide if you could go with a slower video card or not. Vista isn't a huge upgrade from XP so if you are able to run your version of XP on this computer, then my list is pretty good. (not trying to make this a "my list is better than yours" post) The power supply is considered one of the best in reliability, which is something that you would need. I would say, go for the better video card now and if you want Vista later, then that would be the better choice.
April 20, 2007 9:53:09 PM

I have two. One is an acer view 17 inch (which turns my eyes into zombie eyes and is blurry) and the other is a View Sonic 19 inch which my grandma is letting me borrow until I can afford a new one. I haven't gotten it yet, but on my 17 inch I use the resolution one up from 1024x768. Whatever one has the correct ratio so your mouse doesn't go a little faster horizontally than vertically.

Short answer: I have no idea what my new monitor has. I know it is a 600 something dollar one, though (when it was bought a year + ago).
April 20, 2007 10:26:36 PM

Quote:
I would say, go for the better video card now and if you want Vista later, then that would be the better choice.


Agreed... prep yourself for vista, buy it later... you'll enjoy the benefit of faster hardware now while having the O/S ironed out, and price dropped, later...

with that said, here's a list I think Fire and I could both agree on
Antec LifeStyle SONATA II Piano Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 450Watt SmartPower 2.0 Power Supply - Retail
$30 Mail-in Rebate
$99.99 $69.99

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-965P-S3
Item #: N82E16813128017
$114.99 -$10.00 Instant $104.99

GIGABYTE GV-NX86S256H-B GeForce 8600GTS 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
Model #: GV-NX86S256H-B
Item #: N82E16814125060
$229.99 -$20.00 Instant $209.99

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E4300 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E4300
Item #: N82E16819115013
$135.00 $135.00

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-2GBPK - Retail
Model #: F2-6400CL4D-2GBPK
Item #: N82E16820231087
$169.99 -$40.00 Instant $129.99

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM write and LightScribe Technology Black E-IDE/ATAPI Model LH-20A1H-185 - OEM
Model #: LH-20A1H-185
Item #: N82E16827106055
$35.99 $35.99

Subtotal: $716.94 $686.94 after Mail-in-rebates

this build is $185 under budget before rebates ($215 under budget after rebates), and with the purchase of the 8600GTS from Gigabyte, gives you a free $50 game (supreme commander) to your arsenal (comes with the card)... this list has 2 x 1GB sticks of RAM, leaving 2 empty spaces for later... however, it does NOT have the operating system in the list, and comes with the stock Power supply...

Even though the 8600GTS only recommends a 350W power supply, I advise, with Fire's insight, that you invest the money saved on the O/S (at the same time) into his recommended power supply:

SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: SS-550HT
Item #: N82E16817151027
$138

with his posted 88% efficiency, this one will fuel all the components with the juice they're asking for... use this power supply from the start, and use the antec power supply as a spare should something go wrong with this one [as I said, when the PSU dies, you're not just crippled, you're OUT until you get a replacement] (or sell it to a buddy to make some cash)... his PSU in my case should give you not only an extremely reliable system for all the tasks you're looking to do (flash, mapping, gaming, etc) but it will give you a near silent computing environment to do it in!! this will also give you a remaining $47 to pay for shipping... build this system with your existing O/S, enjoy the lower O/S requirements for now (giving you a slightly faster speed in benchmarks and gaming), but also have the vista ready-ness for later (including Direct X 10)... should your current O/S not reactivate on the new system, it still gives you 30 days to save up another $110 and change to get a new O/S, in which case it can be your choice of either XP or Vista.

if you want this list e-mailed to you with links, just let me know... I've got it saved... hope we helped you, and good luck! - Cheers
April 20, 2007 10:35:30 PM

Quote:
I know building a computer isn't easy, but I want to do it this way. There is no way I am turning on my TV and watching the kid say, "DUDE YOU'RE GETTING A DELL" and have it be true. NO NO NO

DUDE, I AM GETTING A CUSTOM PC EVEN IF IT HURTS ME! :D  :D  :D 


yea I haven't seen that kid in a while... did he get hit by a bus, or did his falcon-northwest loving self's contract expire?? i'll bet you he's not even a gamer... >,> pffft

as for your question, we both forgot to answer... your computer will be HIGHLY upgradeble with future components being easily swapped in and out of the machine :)  :lol: 
April 20, 2007 10:57:07 PM

Quote:
I know building a computer isn't easy, but I want to do it this way. There is no way I am turning on my TV and watching the kid say, "DUDE YOU'RE GETTING A DELL" and have it be true. NO NO NO

DUDE, I AM GETTING A CUSTOM PC EVEN IF IT HURTS ME! :D  :D  :D 


yea I haven't seen that kid in a while... did he get hit by a bus, or did his falcon-northwest loving self's contract expire?? i'll bet you he's not even a gamer... >,> pffft

as for your question, we both forgot to answer... your computer will be HIGHLY upgradeble with future components being easily swapped in and out of the machine :)  :lol: 

He got arrested for illegal drugs so Dell fired him.
April 20, 2007 11:17:57 PM

Quote:
He got arrested for illegal drugs so Dell fired him.


now... who's better off without who... is he better off without dell, or is dell better off without him? hmmm...
April 20, 2007 11:23:45 PM

Quote:
He got arrested for illegal drugs so Dell fired him.


now... who's better off without who... is he better off without dell, or is dell better off without him? hmmm...

'tis a double-edged sword lol
April 20, 2007 11:43:54 PM

Phaze, you mentioned your monitor was about $600, correct? Do you think it might be a 24" widescreen LCD?
April 21, 2007 12:14:14 AM

Quote:
Phaze, you mentioned your monitor was about $600, correct? Do you think it might be a 24" widescreen LCD?


It is a 19 inch Non-LCD. Whatever you call it (the monitor with a fat body).

EDIT: It also does not have a dvi port.
April 21, 2007 12:20:16 AM

I believe "fat body" equals CRT. The giant suckers that may or may not have a flat screen with about 40 lbs of heat exhaust behind it. I hope to replace my 17"er soon -.-
April 21, 2007 12:23:14 AM

Quote:
I believe "fat body" equals CRT. The giant suckers that may or may not have a flat screen with about 40 lbs of heat exhaust behind it. I hope to replace my 17"er soon -.-


Yea CRT lol. :) 

Takes up my entire desk and allows me a pin space for my keyboard and mouse.

How have the reviews been for the 8600? I know it is Vista capable, but I have a bad feeling that when direct x 10 games do come out, it will be such a low end card for it, that I will have to re-upgrade.
May 5, 2007 9:55:15 AM

Quote:
I believe "fat body" equals CRT. The giant suckers that may or may not have a flat screen with about 40 lbs of heat exhaust behind it. I hope to replace my 17"er soon -.-


Yea CRT lol. :) 

Takes up my entire desk and allows me a pin space for my keyboard and mouse.

How have the reviews been for the 8600? I know it is Vista capable, but I have a bad feeling that when direct x 10 games do come out, it will be such a low end card for it, that I will have to re-upgrade.

i totally never realized there was a question here... spend $50 more and get the 8800GTS 320... sorry it took so long, i've been pretty busy with my car audio club.
May 6, 2007 6:07:18 AM

I took this setup from your list of components...
===============================================

COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Model #: CAC-T05-UW
Item #: N82E16811119068
$66

SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
Model #: SS-550HT
Item #: N82E16817151027
$138

GIGABYTE GA-965P-S3 LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Model #: GA-965P-S3
Item #: N82E16813128017
$110

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E4300 - Retail
Model #: BX80557E4300
Item #: N82E16819115013
$135

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
Model #: F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ
Item #: N82E16820231098
$110

PNY VCG88GTS32XPB GeForce 8800GTS 320MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card - Retail
Model #: VCG88GTS32XPB
Item #: N82E16814133193
$277


Is this what you would recommend for the build? I was going to order this last week, but decided to see if I could find these parts cheaper in town. I did not and have resorted to buying from a canadian website www.ncix.com (I am cdn btw).
May 6, 2007 9:39:41 AM

They all look good, you will make a nice rig.
!