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23 Processor/Hardware Questions and please comment on my build?

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September 2, 2009 2:28:19 PM

Thank you in advance. I also have hardware and various questions.


Hardware / Various Questions:
1. Which CPU, power supply, and video card should I get? Or do you recommend other parts?

2. What is the easiest programming language to learn? Which language lets you get the most done for the amount of time you spend?

3. Are there any monitors smaller than 30" that support 2560 x 1024 resolution? If not, will there ever be?

4. If I don't care about size or heat, which is better, a CRT or LCD monitor? Are CRTs dangerous?

5. If I am going to literally never run any programs that can use more than 1 core, is a dual core or a quad core processor better, if you are spending the same amount on each?

6. Do you know of any good alternative websites to buy computer hardware from besides newegg.com?

7. Will a better video card help non gaming application performance?

8. Are there any input devices better than a keyboard? If you were to put a keyboard on a tablet, could you type faster than you could on a keyboard?

9. Should I update the BIOS of a new motherboard?

10. Should I try to Overclock my CPU? If so, will I be okay if I follow guide that uses the same CPU and motherboard as me? How much thermal paste should I use?

11. Should I get a CPU Heatsink/Fan to replace the stock one if I'm not going to overclock?

12. Should I get get a 64 bit version of windows so I can use 8 GB of RAM?

13. Does putting windows XP on its own little hard drive partition make your PC run faster? Do you recommend any tweaks for making Windows XP run faster?

14. Does windows XP have automatic background defragging?

15. Do you recommend any benchmarking / testing programs to test
that hardware is working?

X25-M SSD questions:
16. Should I try to set up a RAMdisk, or should I get an X25-M SSD? Which is faster? How do I go about setting up a RAMdisk, and should I get 8gb of RAM for that, or will 4 be okay?

17. How long will it take for newegg's X25-M generation 2 SSDs drives to get in stock again and drop down to $240?

18. Will the X25-m TRIM utility work with windows XP?

19. If I change Window's 7 back to the classic window's theme, will I still have to learn a new user interface?

20. Is Windows 7 64 bit or XP 32 bit faster? Which should I get? I would use the old, simple classic theme with both, try to disable unnessessary services, and disable visual gimmicks of Windows 7, if possible.
Windows 7 64 bit pros and cons, as I see them (relative to 32 bit XP):
Pros:
8 GB RAM
possibly better SSD support (but does it make a significant difference?)
possibly better multi-core processor support (but does it make a significant difference?)
Cons:
would it still be slower than XP, even if I changed it to classic theme?
possibly worse, new user interface
have to pay for it (already own XP)

21. With Windows XP, will enabling AHCI mode improve the X25-m's performance? Is it hard to enable it? Do I have to enable AHCI before I install Windows XP?

22. Does the X25-m retail version (SSDSA2MH080G2R5) come with mounting brackets or whatever? Is it okay to just tape it to the bottom of the case?

23. Should case fans and CPU fans suck or blow?

Which CPU?:
Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$189.99 Free Shipping
or
Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 Wolfdale 3.33GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8600 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$269.99 Free Shipping

MotherBoard:
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$119.99 Free shipping

RAM:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$59.99 Free Shipping

Which Power Supply?:
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99 free shipping
or
CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$119.99 free shipping

Which Video Card?:
GIGABYTE GV-R435OC-512I Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Low Profile Ready Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$34.99 Free Shipping
or
SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$94.99 Free Shipping

Case:
COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$69.99 free shipping

CPU Heatsink/Fan:
XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$36.60 Free Shipping

Hard Disk:
Intel X25-M Mainstream SSDSA2MH080G2C1 2.5" 80GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid state disk (SSD) - OEM (this is the 2nd generation X25-M)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Newegg price: $240 originally, sold out quickly, $500 last, sold out. Sold out at lots of other websites too.

Excluded because I already own:
Windows XP Home 32 bit service pack 2
IDE CD/DVD-ROM drive
Monitor
Keyboard and mouse
(for a non gaming PC)

Assuming the X25-M SSD is $240:
Total with the $190 CPU, $100 power supply, and $35 video card: $852
Total with the $270 CPU, $120 power supply, and $95 video card: $1012




September 2, 2009 5:43:03 PM

Oh boy, this could be a doozy.

1. For your CPU, i'd get the E8500, the cost difference between the E8500 and E8600 isn't worth it, but if we're using ones not on your list, I'd grab an AMD 720BE. The 650 watt PSU should be plenty sufficient, and if you're not gaming on this computer, the HD 4350 will be fine, too. If you are gaming, I'd probably grab an HD 4850 or above.

2. I like C#. It's truly object-oriented, quick, very useful, and you can use M$ Visual Studio (which is a great environment, personally). C# is pretty easy to learn, much simpler than C++ at least, and you'll get a LOT more done in the same amount of time using C# vs. many other languages. Ruby is an excellent language, too.

3. I think 30" monitors usually use 2560x1600, not 2560x1024, and I don't think there are any smaller monitors with the same resolution.

4. They're usually about equal. LCDs are easier to find, nowadays, though. CRTs aren't dangerous, really, unless you break the glass, and then it's still minor (also it becomes useless at that point).

5. I'm not sure how you can know you'll never run a program that uses more than one core, but if you are, there shouldn't be any difference between a dual and a quad, given clockspeeds are the same.

6. Newegg rocks, but Tigerdirect and zipzoomfly are ones I hear about often.

7. Better video cards can help in some image/video editing, but in large part, no, they don't really help with much besides gaming.

8. Ummmm, I see no reason you'd need to type faster than is possible on a keyboard. I'm not aware of any better input device, either, and I don't think a tablet keyboard would make me type any faster. I think I'd have a lot of spelling errors from not having a definite key to press down.

9. The BIOS should be fine.

10. If you need more speed, then sure, overclock your CPU. There are lots of guides here for it. As for thermal paste, you don't use very much at all. A thin little line will do plenty.

11. Stock Heatsink and Fan are fine, even for mild overclocking.

12. I'd go with Windows 7 64-bit. 8Gb of RAM is fairly useless, but Windows 7 should have significantly better multicore support, is stable, and really, you should just get it instead of sticking with dead ol' XP (but 64-bit XP is a bad idea).

13. I know a lot of people like to put windows on its own partition so that they can reformat windows without losing all their data. Doing this more often keeps windows snappy.

14. Everest.

15. I'm skipping things related to the SSD, 'cause I don't know much about them. I think a 1Tb WD Caviar Black is a great idea, though.

23. You usually want air to come into the case at the side and at the bottom be pushed out at the top or back.

Hope that answers everything, but it'd be very useful to know what this computer is actually FOR.
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September 2, 2009 6:38:27 PM

2. If you want multi platform, go Java, else VB or C#. In either case, knowing C++*C will be helpful for most languages.

15. Prime95 for CPU. ATI Tool for GPU or OCCOT for GPU VRAM.

19. WHY do you want the "Classic" UI? It takes like 10-20minutes to figure out the new UI on Win7.

20. On new hardware, Win7 runs better than XP.
==========
@OP:

1. What is your max budget?

2.Why do you think you need an SSD?

3. XP is dead. Get Win 7 x64.

4. With your budget, why not get an i7? or even a Phenom II? Quads are the way to go for the future.

5. LGA775 is dead.

6. Wait till the new ATI 5xxx cards and i5 are released.

7. Planing to OC?

My recommendations (assuming you have a $1000-1100 budget):

P6T SE

3*2GB DDR3 1600/1333

i7 920

ATI 4850 (if gaming) else a 9600GSO http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

640GB WD or 2x 640GB WDs in RAID

S1283 or Core Contact Freezer

Corsair 650TX if no CrossFire/SLI, 750TX if CrossFire/SLI
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September 2, 2009 6:48:39 PM

Quote:
1. Which CPU, power supply, and video card should I get? Or do you recommend other parts?

I recommend getting a much better power supply than you think you need – You can re~use them in different builds. PC Power and Cooling, Corsair, OCZ come to my mind first. I'm sure there are lots of people here with different opinions.


Quote:
2. What is the easiest programming language to learn? Which language lets you get the most done for the amount of time you spend?

I prefer the “OP” programming language: Other People.


Quote:
3. Are there any monitors smaller than 30" that support 2560 x 1024 resolution? If not, will there ever be?

Strange question: If you reduce the pixel size so you can make a physically smaller monitor, then the detail you are trying to produce also becomes that much smaller. Also – I’m curious what monitor supports that resolution: To my current knowledge, you’d have to go with two smaller ones to get to that kind of aspect ratio – something like a pair of 17" ones. By way of comparison, my 24” runs at 1920x1600.

This makes no sense – So I'll presume you read something somewhere and are trying to figureout how to get the effect without having to spend the money on whatever the real thing was. Please rephrase the question, or at least post back what you were looking at when you pulled this one out.


Quote:
4. If I don't care about size or heat, which is better, a CRT or LCD monitor? Are CRTs dangerous?

CTR’s have the advantage of being more flexible in their resolution. LCD’s look/perform best at their native settings. As far as “danger”, drop a CRT your left foot and an LCD on your right. Please post back which one hurt more.


Quote:
5. If I am going to literally never run any programs that can use more than 1 core, is a dual core or a quad core processor better, if you are spending the same amount on each?


A multi core processor has the advantage of being able to run different programs on different cores. So one core can be running your game, and the other cores can be doing something else. With a single core, the processor has to constantly switch back and forth between tasks.

Quote:
6. Do you know of any good alternative websites to buy computer hardware from besides newegg.com?

Zip Zoom Fly comes to mind. But to be clear, I almost always use Newegg because I live in the same area as one of their warehouses. So standard shipping = overnight.

Quote:
7. Will a better video card help non gaming application performance?

As long as the card is “good enough”, then not really, no.

Quote:
8. Are there any input devices better than a keyboard? If you were to put a keyboard on a tablet, could you type faster than you could on a keyboard?

Learn to touch type. Though Vista and Windows 7 come with speech recognition software built into them, if you really can’t be bothered. Be advised that talking to type has the side effect (benefit?) of being highly annoying to all of the people around you.

Quote:
9. Should I update the BIOS of a new motherboard?


Prior to install? Absolutely. After you’re up a running, you should think twice and only update if there’s an issue you are experiencing which the newer Bios version corrects.

Quote:
10. Should I try to Overclock my CPU? If so, will I be okay if I follow guide that uses the same CPU and motherboard as me? How much thermal paste should I use?

Judging by your questions, I would strongly recommend getting a friend who KNOWS what (s)he is doing to sit with you and help you.

Quote:
11. Should I get a CPU Heatsink/Fan to replace the stock one if I'm not going to overclock?


If you don’t overclock the stock componentry is perfectly adequate, provided it’s installed correctly. And it has the added bonus of being covered under Warranty should you forget and tell the maker you did something otherwise.

Quote:
12. Should I get get a 64 bit version of windows so I can use 8 GB of RAM?


If you want that much memory with desktop Windows, then you must use a 64 bit version of the OS.

Quote:
13. Does putting windows XP on its own little hard drive partition make your PC run faster? Do you recommend any tweaks for making Windows XP run faster?


Unless you have some specific reason, I do not recommend using old operating systems with new builds.

Quote:
14. Does windows XP have automatic background defragging?


No, it does not.

Quote:
15. Do you recommend any benchmarking / testing programs to test
that hardware is working?

Everest have a *very* nice suite. Not free, though.

Quote:
X25-M SSD questions:
16. Should I try to set up a RAMdisk, or should I get an X25-M SSD? Which is faster? How do I go about setting up a RAMdisk, and should I get 8gb of RAM for that, or will 4 be okay?


RAMdiscs are a pain to set up, and lose all of their data the instant you power down.

Quote:
17. How long will it take for newegg's X25-M generation 2 SSDs drives to get in stock again and drop down to $240?


Kinda like asking your Dad “Are We There Yet?” So I’ll give you the same answer that mine always gave me: 99

Quote:
18. Will the X25-m TRIM utility work with windows XP?

No, TRIM does not work with XP. You need to use Windows 7 for that.

Quote:
19. If I change Window's 7 back to the classic window's theme, will I still have to learn a new user interface?

Yes, you will. The theme just changes the look. It does not change the file system, nor the layout/navigation, nor does it magically transform the OS into "XP 2010".

Quote:
20. Is Windows 7 64 bit or XP 32 bit faster? Which should I get? I would use the old, simple classic theme with both, try to disable unnessessary services, and disable visual gimmicks of Windows 7, if possible.


I find it rather amusing the number of people who would try to force a new operating system to be just like the old one. Either do it. Or don't

Quote:
Windows 7 64 bit pros and cons, as I see them (relative to 32 bit XP):

Pros:
8 GB RAM
possibly better SSD support (but does it make a significant difference?)
possibly better multi-core processor support (but does it make a significant difference?)


There is no “Possibly” better SSD support: Win 7’s SSD support is superior to XP’s, period. Win7 will automatically recongnize an SSD, change the Defrag options, and enable TRIM on devices which support it.

Win 7’s support for multiprocessor/multi core is also superior to XP’s. Though most users wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Simply, XP tends to load one core to (near) max before it tries to use the others. Vista and Win7 are more aggressive/efficient about their usage ofyour system's processor.

Quote:
Cons:
would it still be slower than XP, even if I changed it to classic theme?
possibly worse, new user interface
have to pay for it (already own XP)


If you don’t want to use the new OS, then don’t.

Quote:
21. With Windows XP, will enabling AHCI mode improve the X25-m's performance? Is it hard to enable it? Do I have to enable AHCI before I install Windows XP?


You will have to do a clean install, using XP SP3, in order to have the proper drivers for AHCI mode. Even then, understand that the TRIM command does not work in XP (which will decrease your SSD’s performance over time), and that XP does not understand the difference in how SSD’s and regular drives function. The SSD will work well, but not optimally.

Quote:
22. Does the X25-m retail version (SSDSA2MH080G2R5) come with mounting brackets or whatever? Is it okay to just tape it to the bottom of the case?


TAPE!?!?!??!

Pardon the annoyance, but that strikes me as being akin to putting $100 Wal-Mart ”Plastic~Pretending~To~Be~Chrome” spinning hubcaps on a Mercedes Benz. Basically, this is a passive way of announcing to the world ”Hey Guys – Look At Me!! I’m an Idiot!!”. Except in this case, you hide the thing in your room, rather than be seen in public.

Spend the couple bucks for the proper bracket, willya? Geezzz

Quote:
23. Should case fans and CPU fans suck or blow?

The normal convention is: Low and front for IN. High and rear for OUT.
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September 2, 2009 7:16:30 PM

Hardware / Various Questions:
1. Which CPU, power supply, and video card should I get? Or do you recommend other parts?
General video games: Phenom X4\X3 or wait for Core i5

2. What is the easiest programming language to learn? Which language lets you get the most done for the amount of time you spend?
It's been a while, I took a year of C++, Java, and Visual Basic .net. Visual Basic .net was the easiet for me of the three.

3. Are there any monitors smaller than 30" that support 2560 x 1024 resolution? If not, will there ever be?
No idea

4. If I don't care about size or heat, which is better, a CRT or LCD monitor? Are CRTs dangerous?
LCD all the way, just get one with a good contrast ratio for those low-light situations in video games

5. If I am going to literally never run any programs that can use more than 1 core, is a dual core or a quad core processor better, if you are spending the same amount on each?
Dual core would be better because you'll get a higher frequency, lower power processor for the same price. AMD's X3s are pretty sweet at this too.

6. Do you know of any good alternative websites to buy computer hardware from besides newegg.com?
TigerDirect.com
MicroCenter.com

7. Will a better video card help non gaming application performance?
Not really. AMD offers some good integrated graphics adapters that will do you well if you don't want to play games, Intel's aren't as good.

8. Are there any input devices better than a keyboard? If you were to put a keyboard on a tablet, could you type faster than you could on a keyboard?
Keyboards are the sh!t

9. Should I update the BIOS of a new motherboard?
Yes. Many time there will be bugs with the shipping BIOS

10. Should I try to Overclock my CPU? If so, will I be okay if I follow guide that uses the same CPU and motherboard as me? How much thermal paste should I use?
I don't like to overclock because I've found it shortens the life of my hardware, especially my motherboards

11. Should I get a CPU Heatsink/Fan to replace the stock one if I'm not going to overclock?
No. Stock coolers should be more than adequate for stock speeds

12. Should I get get a 64 bit version of windows so I can use 8 GB of RAM?
If you want to use more than 3 gigs of RAM you must go 64-bit. If I were you, I would go 64-bit if you're doing a new build.

13. Does putting windows XP on its own little hard drive partition make your PC run faster? Do you recommend any tweaks for making Windows XP run faster?
You might be able to somehow put XP at the center of the HD which would provide faster access times, but I don't think it would be significant enough to go through the trouble. Try RAID 0 if you want performance (but with add risk of failure)

14. Does windows XP have automatic background defragging?
Not that I am aware of. Defragging does not need be done weekly like my wife's grandmother insists. I defrag once every few months, generally right after I purge out all the files I no longer need.

15. Do you recommend any benchmarking / testing programs to test
that hardware is working?
If you like to play games then sure, benchmark your game. If you do a lot of Photoshopping, sure benchmark it. It's nice to get a baseline performance level so a year later when you feel your computer is running slow you can get real data and compare it to the earlier data.

X25-M SSD questions:
16. Should I try to set up a RAMdisk, or should I get an X25-M SSD? Which is faster? How do I go about setting up a RAMdisk, and should I get 8gb of RAM for that, or will 4 be okay?
Those are still pretty steeply priced. Do you really need that kind of speed?

17. How long will it take for newegg's X25-M generation 2 SSDs drives to get in stock again and drop down to $240?
Unknown

18. Will the X25-m TRIM utility work with windows XP?
Unknown

19. If I change Window's 7 back to the classic window's theme, will I still have to learn a new user interface?
Unknown

20. Is Windows 7 64 bit or XP 32 bit faster? Which should I get? I would use the old, simple classic theme with both, try to disable unnessessary services, and disable visual gimmicks of Windows 7, if possible.
Windows 7 64 bit pros and cons, as I see them (relative to 32 bit XP):
I would get the 64-bit version for the RAM support


21. With Windows XP, will enabling AHCI mode improve the X25-m's performance? Is it hard to enable it? Do I have to enable AHCI before I install Windows XP?
Unknown

22. Does the X25-m retail version (SSDSA2MH080G2R5) come with mounting brackets or whatever? Is it okay to just tape it to the bottom of the case?
Unknown

23. Should case fans and CPU fans suck or blow?
Do what the case designers designed for you. Depending on the location the fan may suck or blow. I've seen many manufacturers suck in from the front and blow out the back, but this may not always be the case.


Good luck
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September 2, 2009 8:33:56 PM

wow...

That is a lot of reading! i skipped it all...
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September 2, 2009 8:49:30 PM

Thank you guys for being so nice and helpful.

response to Dekasav:
The computer is for non-gaming.

Will Window's 7's multicore processor support be significantly better than XP's?
And if XP is not as hardware intensive, will it make up for Window's 7 better multicore processor compatibility?

Response to Shadow703793:
I want the classic UI because, isn't it supposed to be faster beacuse it's less hardware intensive?
1. Max budget is 1500, but I'd like to get the most for the money.
2. I'd like to get an SSD, because I've read a lot of newegg customer reviews and online reviews saying
it's the best single upgrade they've ever done. I think access times are close to 0 ms as opposed to like
10-15ms.
Here is a youtube claiming to show the X25-M and a WD Raptor, side by side, opening 51 programs, showing the X25-m taking 28 seconds and the raptor taking 2:57 minutes. Video description didnt say whether or not they used the same hardware, though:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_Jz7IMwBt4&feature=rela...
7. I'm not sure if I'm going to OC. I'm a little worried about frying my CPU.

Response to scotteq:
My mistake, I meant to put 2560 x 1600.
How do you know the TRIM utility work not with windows XP? Anandtech wrote: "TRIM isn’t yet supported, but the 34nm drives will get a firmware update when Windows 7 launches enabling TRIM. XP and Vista users will get a performance enhancing utility (read: manual TRIM utility)."
(http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3605) So does that mean "performance enhancing utility" is not the same as TRIM?

Will Window's 7 be noticable significantly faster than XP because of its better SSD support?

You wrote" Simply, XP tends to load one core to (near) max before it tries to use the others"
Are there any measurements of the real world difference between XP and Vista/7 multicore support?
Have you observed the difference?


Is it true that AHCI must be enabled in bios before OS install?
And when you wrote "You will have to do a clean install, using XP SP3, in order to have the proper drivers for AHCI mode"
Does that mean my SP1/SP2 install CD won't work? Or just that I'll have to upgrade it to SP3 once its installed?

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September 2, 2009 9:18:43 PM

toms_hammer said:
Thank you guys for being so nice and helpful.

Response to scotteq:
My mistake, I meant to put 2560 x 1600.
How do you know the TRIM utility work not with windows XP? Anandtech wrote: "TRIM isn’t yet supported, but the 34nm drives will get a firmware update when Windows 7 launches enabling TRIM. XP and Vista users will get a performance enhancing utility (read: manual TRIM utility)."
(http://www.anandtech.com/printarticle.aspx?i=3605) So does that mean "performance enhancing utility" is not the same as TRIM?

Will Window's 7 be noticable significantly faster than XP because of its better SSD support?

You wrote" Simply, XP tends to load one core to (near) max before it tries to use the others"
Are there any measurements of the real world difference between XP and Vista/7 multicore support?
Have you observed the difference?


Is it true that AHCI must be enabled in bios before OS install?
And when you wrote "You will have to do a clean install, using XP SP3, in order to have the proper drivers for AHCI mode"
Does that mean my SP1/SP2 install CD won't work? Or just that I'll have to upgrade it to SP3 once its installed?



Regarding TRIM - You asked if the OS supports it. 7 does so right out of the box, integrated into the OS, and which runs automatically. As the article stated, XP and Vista users will be able to get an additional app, which they can use to manually run to perform a TRIM operation.

The Anandtech artical is referring to the firmware update for Intel's X25M G2 drives. G1 do not have TRIM support. The G2's as orginally shipped do not, either, But Intel will be releasing a firmware update to bring them up to spec.

Out of the box, I doubt there would be a whole lot of difference. But as the drive fills, performance falls drastically because what used to be a simple Write operation now involves a series of calls to verify where is safe to write to, cleaning that section to prepare it for the new data, and then finally commencing with the write.** XP and Vista do not have native TRIM support, and therefore over time the SSD's performance will fall up as it fills. As noted above, it will be possible to obtain a software tool to do this manually***. Win 7, out of the box, will run the TRIM command on unused areas as it goes, and transparently to the end user.


**understand this is still WAY faster than a conventional drive

***It is not recommended to defrag an SSD. For drive maintenance in XP or Vista, you would run the TRIM tool and be finished. Presumably, Drive utilities would eventually include the TRIM tool, understand the difference, and automatically apply the proper treatment. Until that time, if you have an earlier version of Windows you will need to be conscious of which drives are what type and manually treat them.


Regarding XP - Versions earlier than SP3 do not have AHCI drivers included on the DVD. You have to do the F6 routine and install them manually prior to installing the OS. I do not recommend installing in IDE mode and later going back and changing to AHCI. I believe it's possible with the right combination of registry entries and installation repair, but if you screw it up the results can be rather ugly. If AHCI is your goal (and it should be with an SSD), then better to do it right from the start.


Regarding the multiprocessor thing: No, I did not personally sit down and test the differences. I doubt most people would be able to tell in a desktop application either way, regardless.


{EDIT to add the following} Q&A BLOG ON WINDOWS 7 SSD OPTIMIZATION
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September 3, 2009 2:12:41 AM

Hi, I will just give you a brief answer to your questions if I can :) 

1) The one you have right now is fine.
2)There are hundreds of programming languages and are made for many different types of things. Its all a matter of opinion. I only know 4 languages well out of hundreds so I can't really say :) 
3)I think there are, but even there aren't "money can buy anything"
4)I recommend LCD, tons of more benefits and plus CRT monitors make my eyes ache
5)I recommend a dual core, they aren't expensive and really make a difference.
6)Tigerdirect
7)Ofcourse, any software that requires any video processing, will benefit from a more powerful graphics config wether noticable or not.
8)I dont know, opinion once again
9)If there are new updates or drivers for it then yes, but be careful though
10)Only if you know what you are doing :) 
11)Your choice, some people perfer cooler hardware while others dont care as much, opinion!
12)If your hardware supports 64bit OS then yes, i suggest it :)  It has only pros, no cons besides i think costing a bit more
13)I dont understand your question, about the partition, XP should have its own NTFS Partition to run. And I know dozens of tweaks to make XP run lightning speed, and there are tons more...
14)Nope...it does have a simple defrag utility in it though, you need to buy a realtime defragger
15)Uhm, I think there are websites that scan your hardware.
16)a RAMDISK? YOu cant have a RAM as your storage device...its volitile memory means if its loses power all data is destroyed, i think you mean a SOLID STATE DRIVE.
17)I dont know
18)I dont know
19)Ofcourse, it has a different Gooey :)  Unless you can go deep inside your system files and modify and edit them which i highly un advise you unless you know what you are doing otherwise you can screw up your windows very easily.
20)I am not sure since I haven't compared the two but I am sure that a operating system that is 7 years newer, is 64bit, and is highly more advanced is definitely faster. :) 
21)I dont know
22)I dont know
23)It depends, some should blow and some should suck, they must be placed very intelligently in the case so as to have aircurrent going through every part of your case and computer, not interfere with each other (two currents against each other) and must somehow rid of hot air. More fans isn't always better, if they interfere they can ruin the current and let your parts cook themselves into metallic gluey like material that used to be worth lots of money...be careful

-Good Luck, dont take this personally but i say this to everyone..."Dont do anything stupid while building" like putting two fans in your case that blow at each other...thats a prime example.
-Cheers :) 
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September 3, 2009 3:29:39 AM

Google!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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September 3, 2009 5:51:16 AM

toms_hammer said:
I want the classic UI because, isn't it supposed to be faster beacuse it's less hardware intensive?


If there is a performance difference at all, it will be too minor to notice. A quick google search turned up this thread from 2005, which showed virtually no performance difference between Windows XP default and classic theme, and that was on a Pentium 4 with a 9800 Pro.

Windows 7 runs great on even my aging single-core machine; it feels just as fast as XP, looks a lot prettier, and has a bunch of great new features. Don't bother with 64-bit XP; just go to Windows 7, and forget the classic theme. Welcome to 2009....
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September 3, 2009 2:45:51 PM

^Exactly. Most people who aren't using IGP will not notice the difference. People (see Dell/HP owners) who have IGP are the one's complaining.

Quote:
Max budget is 1500, but I'd like to get the most for the money.

Then, go i7 or even i5 or AM3. LGA775 is dead meaning it will not get new CPUs.

Quote:
I'd like to get an SSD, because I've read a lot of newegg customer reviews and online reviews saying
it's the best single upgrade they've ever done. I think access times are close to 0 ms as opposed to like
10-15ms.

It will be an upgrade ONLY if you are not limited by the other hardware. Also don't listen to Newegg reviews. They are inaccurate 60-80% of the time. Also, if you RAID 10 2x WD 640s you'll be fine. Just because you see faster programs opening,etc dosen't mean YOU will NEED that kind of speed. What EXACTLY do you plan to use this build for? Gaming, Office work, light photo editing,etc will benefit only a little. At the end of the day it comes down to price vs performance. Remember, SSDs are getting cheaper by the month.

Quote:
I'm not sure if I'm going to OC. I'm a little worried about frying my CPU.

You will not kill your CPU as long as you follow the guides and LEARN about OCing.
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