Need advice

I'm going to install xp pro or xp media center, to install either is it just a matter of putting the disc in the drive and running the disc?

I'll be using this pc for basic tasks, photos, home movies, blu ray. Have this hooked up as a home theater pc in the future, backing up blurays then playing them through home theater a/v components. Hardcore console gamer here, would like to try fps gaming some time cod mw2 or something along that line.

I want to be able the following to the system in the future and have no handshake issues or lack of slots on the mb.

hdmi card
bluray drive
decent video card, can have either of the following added now, a geforce 8400gs 256 mb for $30 or a geforce 9500gt 1gb for $59.99.

Here's the link, I'm trying to keep the "out the door" price under $600.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  1. Welcome to the forums flynn,

    Could you take a few moments to edit your post. Use the link in my sig to see the format and questions we need answered to help you best.

    Also, the link brings up the configerator, but doesn't have any of the choices you made. So you'd have to list the options yourself.

    How do you feel about assembling your own computer? You can get a lot more PC if you are willing to try it yourself. Don't feel bad if you don't, some people want it delivered running and will pay the premium for it instead of getting upgraded parts.
  2. Skora, thanks for the help. I'm currently posting from my ps3, my dell has quit. LTHR message w/ a 2 second reboot cycle. I had a friend work on it about 5 months ago, it was doing the same thing. Can't keep it plugged in for it auto starts and shuts down. It's about 3 yrs old, was a cheap system then, I don't want to buy a new system now but I don't want to put another minute of time nor $ into fixing it. Scaveng a part or two from it and let the kids mess with it in the future.

    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE; asap, will buy today
    BUDGET RANGE: $600 after shipping
    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the internet, watching movies, digital photos, want to stream netflix and store bluray to watch through home theater in future
    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, o/s
    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: as long and their reputable, idc
    PARTS PREFERENCES: I want this system to last for 5 yrs or more.
    OVERCLOCKING: would be cool, but over my level I'm afraid
    MONITOR RESOLUTION: not sure, dell 19" ultra sharp
    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking at a Systemax from Tigerdirect, model bto 981091. Then basically taking out the o/s for I've got copies of xp pro and xp media center. This is what is looks like after letting them built it.
    MB asus P5KPL-CM mATX
    CPU intel core 2 quad Q8300 2.56 ghz 4m 1333
    MEMORY 4gb DDR2 pc6400 800mhz dual channel
    HD 1tb bg sata II
    OPTICAL DRIVE 22x dvdrw sata dr.
    INTEGRATED VIDEO intel gma 3100
    (for $30 I could upgrate to a geforce 8400gs 256 mb pci express or for $60 upgrade to a geforce 9500gt 1 gb pci express)
    500 WATT P/S

    With out the video upgrades it's $560 after shipping. I'll want to add the following in the future; hdmi card, bluray drive, firewire.

    I'm a hardcore console gamer, I wouldn't mind trying pc gaming in the future, fps like cod mw2, i've got the ps3 for gaming now so it's not crucial, i just like the idea of being able to do it.
  3. The only way I'd buy a prebuilt like that is if it had a good warranty. They will use just about any PSU and you're experiencing first hand what a crap PSU can do to a system. Not to say it's not a mobo issue or something else.

    Of all the integrated chipsets, intels is the weakest. To get the HDMI now and a good fit for that monitor, I'd get this while you're at it. Its also much more powerful than the other options they offer.

    I haven't gone looking at other prebuilts, but I'd say there's other options that are either more powerful or less expensive. Really, unless you're doing editing of the photos, and more than just red eye and resizing, you can get away with a dual core. Trying to get 5 years though, I'd suggest a tri core. Unfortunately, newegg doesn't have any NO-OS prebuilts I'm aware of. If I get some time later in the evening, I'll do some more poking, unless you've bought something by then.

    What retail electronic stores do you live near? Might be better value to get something from a brick and mortar store.
  4. frys and best buy, bang 4 buck is where im at, thanks
  5. was the only thing we didn't like the pwr supply?
  6. The PSU is a definate negative.

    Are you basically in need of a Home Theater PC? A HTPC will surf the net just fine, and what are you doing with the photos? Just storing/sorting/minimal editing like red eye and cropping/resizing? A quad is a heavy CPU for these functions and gaming with a fast dual core is more than enough.

    And last question, are you able to assemble a system, with the help of your friend if needs be? Thats the best way to maximize the performance for the price. Whatever system you have prebuilt, you can save a bunch for an equal system with better quality parts or get more system for the same price. The downside, you do your own warranty correspondance and these forums are your tech support.
  7. I'd like it to be a HTPC in the long run. As for the photos, that's pretty much it, nothing fancy. I assume that a decent HTPC will also have no problems w/ home movie editing? Gaming on the pc isn't the most important function, I'd put movies above gaming for I've got the ps3 for that.

    I don't think putting the hardware in the case would be an issue, what I'd have a problem with is putting pieces in particular order. I've disassembled this dell and put it all back together, but one piece at a time. It wasn't like I had a pile of parts in front of me. I'm sure there are great guides here nor do I doubt help would be abundant. I don't want to waste any money by messing up or breaking a component nor do I have the time, 3 kids running around the house while attempting the build would have me pulling my hair out. That's why I was hoping to get a unit that was straight outta the box ready to roll and in the future I could add the bluray, hdmi, and upgrade it w/ say video and audio cards to get some decent gaming out of it.

    If the only issue w/ the one I was looking at is the power supply, should I not upgrade it and just buy a recommened one and install it myself? I know we don't know what brand of memory they'd be putting in it, so I guess I could go w/ the stock 1 gig they'd put in it and get a better brand. The MB and CPU and seemed to me be a great buy, being able to handle anything I'd ever through at it in the future. From the reviews I've read, the Systemax builds are better then average quality and supposed to offer 1st class customer service.
  8. Assembling a PC is the same as parts swapping. Just a few precautions for static, using a guide for the correct order of stuff, and you're good to go. The most difficult part is the motherboard installation, and thats not any more difficult than putting a shelf on the wall. But, the distraction and time commitment concerns are valid and we'll try to get you the most PC for the money out of the box.

    Being a box system with a warranty, you'd have to read the language to see if replacing the PSU voids the warranty. Same with adding an aftermarket GPU. If they do, then I'd wait and once the warranty is up, then I'd consider a new PSU and GPU solution. (now that I've added the AMD system, you won't need a GPU at all until you get to trying games on the PC.) I'd still get the extra power for $15, at the very least, it should run more efficiently for the same amount of power being used.

    With the ram, the stuff they'll use probably isn't the fastest speed, but it will work at its rated speed. For what you're doing, probably wouldn't notice any significant difference, so I'd just leave what they have in there.

    When you do get to its use as a HTPC, you won't need an audio card. The audio built into the mobo will do the job above and beyond your needs. The only users that need audio cards are those doing production recording/editing.

    Configuring a PC on TD, here's two options I came up with:

    OPTION 1, Best Recommendation

    My first choice is actually an AMD system. The CPU is faster, the onboard graphics are much better than the intel option, and it has firewire and HDMI built into the mobo, but it is $25 over budget delivered (midwest). You can also OC this system later (but it would probably void the warranty if you do it when its covered.)

    Systemax Windows XP Desktop Computer - AMD Socket AM2+/AM2 Build-to-Order Desktop Computer with the Asus M3A78-EM Motherboard
    Item No. BTO 981029
    $624.59 delivered
    Networking: Integrated Gigabit Network Adapter
    Keyboards / Mice / Input: No Keyboard Selected
    Keyboards / Mice / Input: No Mouse Selected
    Modems: No Modem Selected
    Monitors: No Monitor Selected
    Software: DOS
    Speakers: No Speakers Selected
    Hard Drive: No second hard drive selected
    Accessories: 1 Year Parts & Labor Warranty
    Components: Integrated Firewire
    Power Protection: No Power Protection
    Removable Data Storage: 9-in-1 Card Reader USB2 Black
    Components: Integrated High-Def Audio
    Power Supplies: 500 Watt Power Supply
    Accessories: No O/S AMD Workstation
    Video / Graphics Cards: Integrated ATI HD3200 Graphics
    Hard Drive: 1TB 3G SATA II Hard Drive
    Accessories: Micro ATX Chassis Base
    Motherboards: Asus M3A78-EM Motherboard
    Memory: 4GB DDR2 PC6400 800MHz Dual Channel (2GB x 2)
    CD/DVD Drives: 22X DVDRW SATA Drive
    Accessories: Non-Brand mATX PC Branding Pack
    Processors: AMD Phenom II X4 Quad Core 925 2.8GHz Processor

    OPTION 2

    The main difference between the one you have above and this intel is the mobo. You won't be able OC this, but if you're not planning on it anyway, then no loss. What you do gain is intels latest integrated graphics chip. Its not saying much, but is better than the 3100. For $10, I added the firewire now, not really going to get that cheaper later and it is used to compare to the AMD system that has it built in. I also added a multi-card reader to both builds. I find mine very useful and it was only $8.

    DG41RQ No O/S Workstation Item No. BTO 981266
    Delivered to Midwest: $576.58
    Networking: Integrated Gigabit Network Adapter
    Keyboards / Mice / Input: No Keyboard Selected
    Keyboards / Mice / Input: No Mouse Selected
    Monitors: No Monitor Selected
    Software: DOS
    Speakers: No Speakers Selected
    Hard Drive: No second hard drive selected
    Accessories: 1 Year Parts & Labor Warranty
    Power Protection: No Power Protection
    Removable Data Storage: 9-in-1 Card Reader Black
    Components: Integrated High-Def Audio
    Components: 1394 Firewire PCI Card
    Wireless Networking: No Expansion Card Selected
    Power Supplies: 500 Watt Power Supply
    Hard Drive: 1TB 3G SATA II Hard Drive
    Video / Graphics Cards: Integrated Intel GMA 4500 Graphics
    Memory: 4GB DDR2 PC6400 800MHz Dual Channel (2GB x 2)
    Accessories: Micro ATX Chassis Base
    CD/DVD Drives: 22X DVDRW SATA Drive
    Accessories: Non-Brand mATX PC Branding Pack
    Motherboards: Intel DG41RQ mATX Motherboard
    Accessories: DG41RQ No O/S Workstation
    Processors: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.5GHz 4M 1333 Processor

    To compare the graphics, look at this chart. The intel 4500 is 4 tiers lower than the integrated HD3200 from the AMD system. The intel GMA 3100 is even 3 tiers lower than the 4500.,2404-7.html

    To compare the CPUs, look here:
    The cpus are close to the options offered. The AMD 920 is virtually the same as the 925 when using DDR2 ram, and the Q8300 is a touch faster than the Q8200, so the lead would be a little less from the AMD over the Q8300.

    For better performance and graphics for HTPC, go with the AMD system all the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    The only other thing to consider is a backup solution. Especially if you have home movies and pics of the kids, get an external HDD, backup your documents and media, and store it off site. Update the backup once a week or as often as needs be to protect that precious data. You'll be glad you did if you ever need it. You could get an external enclosure for $20-30 and use the HDD from the old computer.

    For comparison, I picked equal parts on newegg to see what it would cost to build an equal or better system yourself. Getting a 3.0 ghz CPU instead of 2.8ghz, a better mobo with the HD4200 integrated graphics (better HD support,) and DDR3 ram (better upgradability if you ever needed more, doubt that you would), came to about $497 delivered after $20 mir.

    To build the exact same system (except the CPU, newegg doesn't offer the 925, so I'm forced to upgrade to the 945) after mir delivered is $477.

    So if it's worth $150 for your time and lack of warranty, you can build the AMD system yourself. Or get a little better mobo and ram and still save $130.
  9. Skora, thanks so much for taking the time to help. I'm going to read up on building the system myself, the idea of saving money and getting better quality components is right up my alley. If you could put together the list for the AMD build and you may know of a guide that's particular to this build, I'll get to ordering parts asap. Thanks again.
  10. No prob, if I had access all day at work, I would have done this earlier, but I don't like getting fired.

    I'm going to start with a base build that will fit your needs as far as I can tell and then offer some noteworthy upgrades. Here's what will get the job done:

    Combo: $199
    AMD 720x3 2.8ghz CPU
    Gigabyte 785G AM3 Mobo

    $71 4gb DDR3 ram:
    This is no frills just get the job done ram. There's faster out there, but HTPC apps don't need it and this is $7-$15 cheaper.

    HDD: $75-$85 If someone else could comment here, is a LP HDD fast enough for the OP? I believe it is and power savings is big for HTPCs, especially if they are running 24/7.
    $85 1tb Cav Green
    if not, use this one:
    $75 1tb Spinpoint F3

    Case: any case can be used. I picked this one because its micro ATX and will be less intrusive as a HTPC. It also has free shipping which saves $20 on the final tally. You can spend a lot more if you want to get a HTPC designed case, we'll explore that if you do.

    PSU: $25 amir 400w OCZ stealthxstream

    Optical: Pull the DVD drive from your old computer.

    That should do it. Now, a few options:

    Card reader: $20

    Blu Ray player: $60
    You'll still need a DVD burner, but you're old one will work fine as a primary or secondary drive.

    If you do want a quad core, replace the above CPU/Mobo combo with this:

    Price matrix

    Base: $433 delivered - $15 mir = $418

    Options including delivery:
    Card reader +$20 (or pick one up off ebay for under $5 out of Hong Kong)
    Green HDD +$10
    Blu Ray +$60
    Quad Core +$48

    So the max with all these bells and whistles still only comes in at $571 - $15mir = $556.

    This is todays article on IGP and HTPC. Looks like your audio choices will dictate if you want an aftermarket GPU. If so, the Asus 9600 GSO is a good candiate for basic gaming detail and $40 delivered amir.
  11. skora, i'm reading through this, not sure if i need the card reader and i'll bounce up to the quad just for the sake of it, stronger is better, yea? The last sentence mentions an article, I'll search for that article. Not sure if that was supposed to read video choices or audio choices.
  12. Sorry about the missing link.,2408.html

    Its about HD playback. Says the 780G, 785G, and 790GX along with nVidias 8200/8300 IGP are good choices for Blu-ray, but the nvidia has better audio support for newer formats. But if you don't need those depending on your home receiver, then the other AMDs are great choices still.

    You are the only one that can decide what is valuable to you based on your budget. If its worth the extra, get the quad, then go for it. Even if you don't use the extra power, might be able to get an extra year or more out of the system because of it down the road.

    Any other questions, feel free to ask.
  13. When referring to "the other amd's are great choices", you're referring to the integrated audio and video? I've got a pretty decent receiver but really my ps3 does all the decoding there, the bluray goes through the ps3 at 1080p and it pushes out dolby hd audio, the marantz receiver doesn't decode the audio it simply passes it through via pcn i believe what it is called. So to your knowledge, if I put a blu ray disc in that blu ray player, send it via the onboard hdmi output to my receiver, will i get 1080p and the highest decoding for audio? What exactly does that step, the mb or the bluray player?

    As for getting the quad, I'm wanting to get the fastest system I can for $600 that'll be upgradeable in the future. I'd prefer more then 6 usb ports so I don't have to plug in anything in the front, I can have the wires all concealed in the back. I love to sit down with a cup of coffee on a sat or sun morning and surf gaming sites, cooking sites, watch videos and what not and want to utilize my fios speeds. 25k on the dl and 5k on the upload. I've got basic needs for sure and hope that for $600 I can get a great performing pc for my standards, in the future, from one month to a yr or better, I'd like to drop that 50 ft hdmi cable into my home office and run it into my living room to watch blurays. Until I get that all set up I can keep using my ps3. I want to be able to back up blurays and then choose what I wanna watch when I get board off that hard drive. Gosh skora, I'm rambling now, so I leave it at that, lol.
  14. All the onboard IGP will do the 1080p. Its the type of audio signal carried over the HDMI that is slightly limited by the AMD chipsets. It will only do 6 channel DD/DTS over HDMI. That's where the receiver question comes from. Is it a 6 or 8 channel receiver. The blu ray player will send the data to the mobo, but its the IGP and mobo that will actually write the 1080p signal and audio that goes out over the HDMI cable.

    I've never played around with a HTPC, so actual setup questions are beyond my realm. I do lots of reading and always try to help others get more PC for their money. I'm confident that the system spec'd out will serve your needs well.

    Are you planning for the computer to be in a different room than the TV? Are you planning on a remote repeater to access the computer from your TV room? Or just carry around a wireless keyboard and hope the signal is good enough to reach the computer?

    You'd have to do some research to see if DVDs can be copied to your HDD and watched from that. I know cracks do exist, but not sure on the legality of it. It might be one of those, "I own the DVD, so I think I'm legal to download it from a torrent." That will be up to your interpetation of the law.

    Did you want to spend all $600 on this up front, or are you comfortable with all the options and coming in under already?

    If you really need more USB ports, you can buy a USB PCI card to add more plugs behind the computer. If you are looking the PCI card route, I'd wait until USB 3.0 gets released and add that card then instead of more 2.0 connections now. For the interim, a hub can be placed behind the computer and turn one connection into more. Generally under $10 for basic needs.
  15. Right now I've got it set up at a 7.1 system. I believe it's got a function that pushes a 5.1 signal to to 7.1, but that isn't really a big deal. I would like to have a mobo that will do the dolby truehd, basically all the new audio formats on blurays.

    Yea, I assumed that I could drop hdmi cables to the receiver and from my office, load the movie, then go sit in the living room to watch it, in the future, this computer would be placed in an a/v rack near the living room.

    I'll wait on the usb, 6 get's me where I need to be for now, just can't have everything wired up in the back, no biggie though.

    I used to use something called DVD shrink to back up my movies, just in case something happened to my original, I was reading several months ago about a few free programs like shrink that will allow you to back up blurays.

    I've got the cash to spend, so might as well get the most I can now. Just wanting to get good speed and upgradability, (did I just make up a word?).
  16. Upgradability is a very common word around here, even if the dictionary doesn't have it. I'm too lazy to go look it up.

    It would take a little digging, but finding an inexpensive GPU or audio card could get the newest formats needed for your blu ray now and in the future. I'll look around to see whats recommended.
  17. Skora, 1st off, I'd like to thank you for taking the time you've put forth in helping me out w/ parts. Here's what I've got thus far and would like to confirm these items are the best/fastest parts that I can get w/ my budget. I'm going to postpone the idea of using this system as a htpc for the time being. Although I still want the bluray player, to attempt at backing up movies to my hd. For right now this build needs to be as fast as my budget will allow and have the ability to upgrade down the future to the htpc.

    AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model HDX945WFGIBOX - Retail $247

    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard -

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT $71

    OCZ StealthXStream OCZ400SXS 400W ATX12V Active PFC Power Supply $40

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $80

    HEC 6T Series 6T10BB Black 0.7mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case - Retail $40

    That comes to $485 after shipping.

    Concerning the o/s, I've got a copy that came with my dell, from what I've read, I won't be able to use it because this copy will only work w/ the bios of the mobo they sent to me?

    I've also got a copy of xp pro, I believe it's pre service packs. I've installed it numerous times w/out any issues on my 1st pc someone built for me. Out of boredom. I don't know why it wouldn't work.

    I see that I can buy Vista off newegg here.

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM $109

    Now for $109 this will get me one copy if I've read up on this correctly, so once I install it and use the activation key, that's it? Say my pc crash horribly and I want to reinstall the o/s, I won't be able to?

    When Win 7 becomes available? I'll get a free copy mailed to me that will have the same circumstances? I'll only be able to install it on one pc? Does it have to be installed on the pc that has the Vista OEM version installed on it? Like is the Win7 not a complete copy, just like an expansion pack or something. Sorry for the noob questions.

    Notice, I'm electing not to go w/ the blu ray player for the time being, I may go w/ a br burner down the road or just a player, the one posted above isn't available any longer and depending on if I need a new o/s makes the difference If I'll be getting the player.

    Please skora or anyone else chim in on this build, your advice is most appreciated, again I'm looking for the most speed and power I can afford now for $600 that'll not be outdated and have to be completely replaced in several yrs.

    Oh yea, one more thing, I've been searching for a few guides to building this, my 1st build, guides seem to be abundant. Can anyone offer a link to one that may be more specific to my build?
  18. The build looks good. The only thing for upgradability might be a more powerful PSU. 400w is more than enough for a IGP or basic GPU setup, but if you ever do get into hardcore PC gaming, you'd want 550w+.

    Don't feel you have to go with the case I linked earlier. You can get whatever style you like. I prefer to look for free shipping, but if there's a different one you like better, its worth the extra cost since you will have to look at it all the time. If this is going to end up in your living room, a smaller one might be a good idea.

    The OS from your old dell won't legally work. The license is tied to that computer only. It's not to say that it won't. Let's just say "I have a friend" who uses their dell cd to run XP on his non dell system.

    If your copy of XP Pro is a retail version, you can put it on any computer you want, just as long as its only on one at a time. Same would go for Vista if you bought a copy from newegg. You own the license, and as long as its only on one PC, you can pick any PC to put it on.

    Win 7 will be on store shelves and ship from newegg on Oct 22. Same thing, one PC at a time, not one install and done. The Win 7 upgrade DVD will actually be the full copy. I believe it will ask for the old windows cd to be inserted and might do an activation key check, but not sure as its not out yet. And I'm not sure if you will be able to upgrade to Win 7 and then still use the Vista on a different machine. I'll be looking that up sooner or later as I'd like "my friend" to use the old dell XP on an old laptop and for the win 7 activation. Time will tell on that.

    The actual build process is pretty much the same for all builds. If you are getting into overclocking, then you'd need to find something a little more specific to your bios, but that's nothing to do with getting it to turn on in the first place. That's really not that difficult as long as all the parts work. If not, then the trouble shooting can get interesting, but that's another service all the forum rats offer too, tech support.

    If you do get Vista w/ Win 7, you can save a few more bucks with this combo:
  19. Well I pulled the trigger on this at lunch today.

    I went w/ the following items for $650, $600 after mir.

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders w/ Tech Guarantee - OEM

    OCZ Gold AMD Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G1600LVAM4GK - Retail

    OCZ StealthXStream OCZ700SXS 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply - Retail

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

    HEC 6T Series 6T10BB Black 0.7mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case - Retail

    AMD Phenom II X4 945 Deneb 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor Model HDX945WFGIBOX - Retail

    GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    Hopefully everything will be in by next Friday.
  20. Looks good. Its more than a solid system for your needs now and as a HTPC and with a GPU, could be a great gaming system. Good luck with the build, let us know how it goes.
  21. Well I received everything in yesterday and completed the build w/out any problems, it took me about 2.5 hours, geez that power supply had a gazillion pigtails coming off of it. The pc booted up and before I tweeked the bios I installed Vista.

    Upon booting the system I received a message, "SATA is found running at IDE MODE!". It gives me a 10 second clock to choose either enable AHCI mode or continue IDE mode operation. I wasn't sure which to pick. My cd drive has a IDE connection but the hard drive is a sata drive, does it matter if I picked yes to enable the hot plug functionality, or is that even what I should've done?

    Any recommendations on tweaking the motherboard settings?

    Any recommendations on tweaking any of the default Vista settings to speed up the os?

  22. A few things about the build, I'm not using an pci cards, should the pci power pigtails be left out of the motherboard or should they be plugged in the mb?

    North bridge fan header, the owners manual for the mb said to connect the nb fan cable. I don't think I've got a fan for that, 3 fans were included in the build, the power supply fan incased w/ the pwr supply. The cpu fan which is attached to the heatsink. The case had a system fan, I found the header for that on the mb marked as sys fan. So all are plugged in, I assume that if you wanted to add a nb fan then you would follow the directions, due to the fact I don't have any extra fans, I should disregard this step, yea?
  23. From what I've been able to gather, there ins't much performance difference between the two. Think of AHCI as IDE v1.2. Changing can be messy though, so if you've already installed vista on AHCI, then keep it that way. Shouldn't notice anything from here on out and you gained hot swap.

    If you're looking to OC the CPU, lots of resources on the forums, I'd start researching there and post questions for the OC there too.

    Same for Vista tweaks. Although, if you plan to upgrade to win 7, I'd just hold off and tweak 7 instead of spending time on vista. I'm still running XP, so I can't be of any help.

    For the PCIe connections, are you refering to the 6pin and 6+2pin cables? Those will just exist until theres a card for them to be plugged into, not into the mobo.

    Gigabyte is going to use the same basic PCB for more than one flavor of that chipset. So some of the higher end boards may have the fan already on there. Its nice that they leave those headers though, cuz it does leave the option to plug in another case fan if you want or a NB fan infact even though you won't need it. So its fine to leave unused.

    Hope that answers your questions and hope you're satisfied and enjoying the system.
  24. Something I've been meaning to ask about. Every time I boot up, I get a 2-5 second pause, with this message, then the os starts and I have to issues.

    AMD Data Change...Update New Data to DMI

    Cause for concern? I've searched google and here, seems some get it w/ hardware errors, bad connections and what not.

    How vague is this message, considering it's happened on every boot since I built this machine?
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