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A few questions for my first build

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June 22, 2009 10:54:09 PM

Hello, I am building a PC for the very first time. I had an older Shuttle PC that cannot handle HD video editing, and so I bought a kit from TigerDirect to be able to edit videos:

Athlon Phenom X4 2.2Ghz
ASUS motherboard
1 GB NVidia video card (PCIe 2.0)
500 GB SATA drive
4 GB 800Mhz RAM
500W power supply

I think those are the main specs, and since it was sold in a kit and I checked out individual specs, I think everything will work together physically. I do have a few questions before I go ahead and put this together though:

1) I have an 80 GB SATA drive in my current Shuttle that is loaded with all my applications and Windows XP Pro (32 bit). Can I take this drive out and use it as my master drive in the new build without having to reinstall the OS? Would this just require the new build to update hardware drivers? Will my computer blow up if I try this???

2) If I can't do the above and need to use the 500 GB as my master drive and reinstall Windows XP, do I need to reinstall all service packs or are they cumulative (i.e. I can just install SP3)?

3) Am I losing out significantly by using Windows XP Pro 32 bit instead of a 64 bit OS? I know that a 32 bit system will not get up to the full 4 GB of RAM, but I feel like it should be enough to edit HD video. Also, are 64 bit OS's more troublesome in terms of available drivers, applications, etc. (i.e. do certain games and software not work on 64 bit OS's?)?

I think those are the major questions for now. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide!

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June 23, 2009 12:21:44 AM

1) Not too sure, had a friend told me it wouldn't work, but if you uninstall your drivers first and whatnot I don't see why not. (not sure about this, get a 2nd opinion before you plan off it =P)

2) Cumulative, SP3 will include updates from SP1 and SP2.

3) In 32bit Windows XP I get about 3.2GB of my 4GB, and I doubt the 800MB difference will be noticeable. As far as programs go, I know in Vista 64bit you can run programs in 32bit, so compatability shouldn't be too much of an issue. Though I'm not positive if it works the same on XP. (it should)
June 23, 2009 12:21:56 AM

1: no you cant

2: Thats what i would do cause this new 500gb HDD is really faster vs your old 80gb. Youll have to reinstall the WHOLE THING ! i mean windows, drivers, than update to SP3..... i guess you dont have an SP3 windows at home, maybe an SP2 but youll still have to update after install.

3: Your ok with a 32bit OS. YES a 64bit os can use the whole 4gb but youll have between 3.0 and 3.4 gb usable with a 32bit OS. And yes few things dont have a 64 bit driver ...

________________________________________

The build you listed mean nothing ... i mean that no parts are really listed here.

Proco : Athlon Phenom ??? thats 2 different kind of proco
Mobo : Asus ... yes Asus have 948 different AMD mobo !
GPU : 1gb Nvidia ... 9400 ? 9500 ? 9600 ? 9800 ? GTS250 ? ............. ?
HDD: 500gb. ok 500gb is fine but wich brand ? speed ? cache ?
RAM : 4gb 800mhz. I guess its DDR2. But again, Brand ?
PSU : 500w... BRAND AGAIN !!!!???

Ive took a look at TigerDirect.ca site. And i see 21 AMD phenon build and 19 athlon.

Can you be more precise, and after this ill help you better. In lots of case, its better to buy parts SEPARATLY and build it yourslef. Its Cheaper/better/"funnyer"

Boulard83

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June 23, 2009 12:31:56 AM

First off, those specs don't give us too much. We need to know exactly what you intend to do with the PC, what applications, and what your budget is.

Saying you have a 500w power supply isn't much. What brand and model is it. Same goes for hard drive, ram, motherboard, video card, etc...

You have no mention of a case, heatsink, optical drive, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc...

I say all this cause we may be able to suggest a better system for your budget to purchase.

Now to answer your questions directly. XP 32-bit will not see all 4 GB. 64-bit will. Yes you will need to reinstall the OS. You could install the OS on your 80GB, and use the 500gb for the data. Using the 80gb and booting will not blow the computer, but it will crank forever trying to get updates and stuff and yes it may work, but it will not work good. A lot easier to just reinstall windows and it will work like a charm.

Now for some recommendations. Intel I7 is definitely faster for video. The I7 will support triple channel RAM which means 6GB or 12GB which is a boost for video editing. A 1000GB hard drive is practically the same price as a 500GB...why not the 1000GB which will gives lots of room for video. You can put 2 hard drives together as a RAID to boost speed even more. Did you consider getting Windows VISTA 64bit. OEM it's not that expensive when ordering your parts. For the price a good aftermarket heatsink is recommended. They run around $30 or so. Many things like this. Give us more info and we can help.
June 23, 2009 1:35:35 AM

Oops, sorry guys. Hadn't listed my build because 1) already bought it and 2) I had more, I guess, software/OS concerns than the hardware concerns. The following are the components:

Thermaltake Smart Case Fan Blue LED 9 CM (x2)
AMD Phenom X4 9500 4M 95W Socket AM2
ULTRA LS500 500W ATX POWER SUPPLY
WD Caviar 500GB Serial ATA HD 7200/8MB
OCZ SLI 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz
Apex PC-389 ATX Black Mid-T Case
Sparkle GeForce 9400 GT 1GB PCIe w/DVI
Lite ON 22X DVDRW IDE w/Lightscribe
ASUS M4N78 Pro GeForce 8300 Socket AM2+ Motherboard

This is a fairly budget-conscious configuration, and I think it is sufficient to do HD video editing. I don't need it to be super duper high powered or play the latest games, but I do need it to smoothly edit and kick-out the video stuff.
June 23, 2009 2:22:19 AM

Its all depand on the price you paid for it, but its a very low end build. you can have better stuf for 500$.

Look my HTPC ( in sig ) i paid 600$ ( no case ) for it. ( Canadian dollar )
640WD caviar 32mb cache and 550w generic 60$ psu.

im running it @ 3.0ghz with stock HSF and temps are awesome. 11000 3dmark06.

You should asked BEFORE buying. Im SURE you could have better stuff for less.
June 23, 2009 2:39:40 AM

i paid $420 for this configuration, minus the fans. HD size is not a concern for me since i never fill to capacity anyway. so could the $50-$60 price difference (the $500 mark) have yielded a significantly better processor, motherboard, or video card? would appreciate any alternate suggestions; i did as much research as i could on the web, tigerdirect, and newegg; so while not stellar, i certainly don't think i got jacked for the components.
June 23, 2009 3:21:43 PM

You didnt get jacked. But for 500$ US you could have something lil better. 420$ is ok. I was scared of the price you could have paid for this, but its ok milord.

If you take my ~600$ CAD and transfer to USD = ~500.

My point is that sometimes the parts on a Prebuild computer like this are cheap. But you got something a lil futurproof. The mobo is AM3 ready, thiz OCZ mem isnt some VALUE ram, The processor is a 65nm, newer are 45nm but its not bad, but this processor is a lil slow. 2.2ghz .... it'll just slow your HD video processing. The GPU ... i just REALLY hope you dont want to do any high end gaming and just a LIL, very LIGHT gaming.

This Build is ok, it can have been better, but be happy im not SMASHING this build ;) 
June 23, 2009 5:08:08 PM

oh yah, if it handles unreal 2004 and civ 4 well, i'll be fine, haha.

when i first was putting the specs together, i read people's post on the net about how their duo core processors were working fine for HD editing. so being a layman, i just figured if i get a quadcore processor, i should have a leg up. building this wasn't my first choice, but the configurations in my budget at dell were already more expensive than this, plus i realized that they put in 300W power supplies (when the video cards they were "upgrading" are supposed to be at 400W minimum).

more importantly, thanks to you guys i now know that i can't just drop my old hard drive with the OS into this; that will save me a lot of headache.
!