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Thread: upgrading/making a new computer




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    9

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    Hi all,

    I am now into thinking of upgrading my computer, which will probably really just mean buying a new one without a harddriive, at any rate the current system is:

    AMD 1.2Ghz, 256MB RAM
    Irongate chipset (AGP2x does not work on it)
    GeFroce2 32MB
    SBLive! (from when they first came out, about 6 years old now)
    dont remember the harddrive specs, but I apln on keeping both of them
    el cheepo crapo 32X CDROM
    2 year old CDburner

    so at first I just wanted to upgrade the videocard, but that meant having to get a new motherboard (as it does not support AGP2X muchless AGP8X)

    so I thought:

    nforce2 motherboard(with network atleast),
    CPU=AMD Athlon XP B 3000+ 2.1G/400 MHz, 512 KB
    new RAM (that is fast enough for the baord) 256 or 512MB
    videocard=Nvidia GeForceFX 5700

    not too interested in overclocking, a 5-10% increase in performance I can live without if it makes the system very stable (some 3D games under Win98 like to freeze the system after a few hours of playing)

    now my question:
    is the built in sound stuff of the nForce2 mb better or worse than an old SbLive! card?

    and now for the real kicker: I am NOT going to have WinXP... I have decied to stick with Win98... my reason is simple: I play games on Windows, and that product registaration bothers me and the fact that WinXP is pricey(basicly the cost of a GameCube or PS2).... and for work I will daul boot with Linux (as of now, I use FedoraCore 1)

    now I have read/heard that too much RAM and win98 pukes, but there is a way so it won't die on you... does this sound familiar to anyone?

    Best Regards

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

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    The system I am going to be building here should be good for you. I guess you could drop down into the video if you want cheaper and don't need anything that good.

    As for Windows 98, you should be fine with the RAM. You just need to plop in the missing .vxd files (I don't have time to eplain, Wiggo should find this and give a link). I personally suggest getting an alternate shell, such as Aston (no link no time), to improve stability even more (some blue screens are actually caused by explorer, and Aston is a bit faster anyway). Make sure you get good drivers, that's one big problem with 98 on newer systems.

    In the future, your budget would be nice to know. :)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    790

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    That system we built in the thread yawgmoth linked is, essentially, one of the best bang for your buck systems. The essential part to it, however, is that it can be easily overclocked and run at those speeds perfectly stable. See, by o/cing the 2500+ to 3200+ speeds, you're getting a $215 CPU for $80, not a bad deal :thumb:.

    I've worked on systems with 512MB of RAM that ran Win98, and they worked fine. Although I would take yawgmoth's advice on the mods, he's very good with those :thumb:. : peace2: Mista K6
    Modified Dell 8200 Case:
    -400MHz FSB i850 Intel mobo
    -P4 Williamette Socket 478, 1.9GHz
    -768MB 16-bit PC800 RDRAM
    -MSI GF4 Ti4200 128MB @ 284/581
    -7200 RPM Maxtors: 60GB (2MB) on mobo and 160GB (8MB) on ATA/133 PCI Card
    -Creative Inspire T7700 7.1 Speaker System on an Audigy 2
    -Windows XP Home Edition SP2

    Rock on : peace2: , MiStA K6

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
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    Found that link. Basically, just extract (use Winrar or something like it) all of the .cabs on the 98 disk, using the method discribed, figure out what's missing and where it goes. Search the folder you extracted the cabs to, and find the file. Put it in its place, and you have just greatly improved the stability of Windows 98. For the record, problems with RAM generally occur with amounts > 512MB, and even then are minimal. I am ever-grateful to Wiggo for providing that link. With good drivers and this method, my 98SE install is much better than my well-tweaked XP install for gaming.

    Long live the Wiggo! :P

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    I've seen that link before..... however, and I have no real way of checking its validity, a fair number of people claim that those files are already compresses/archived in another file, vmm32.vxd or something like that... Ive read through that article and I have done as it said, but I can not be sure if the computer runs any faster or not than before (also I have win98, not win98SE so I had to hunt for the right .cab file)

    The reason why I have not stated a price is besause I will be in Finland then, and the prices are signifcanlty higher than in the US or Canada (to get an idea, recall the vaule of the Euro vs the US dollar and take a look at one Finnish netstore, www.bdog.fi (its in finnish) and one will see that the prices are higher... I am basicly going for a system that is fast enough to play say UT2003 well, and Doom3 well (when it comes out) if the machine can do that, then it will be good enough (probably) for 2-3 years, at that point, hopefully the windows only world will not be, i.e. most games rather than a few will have other OS clients.. (I can hope atleast)

    so I guess the question, would that system be good enough?? also, the question on the sound system I am really curious about... one one hand up until recently every onboard sound card was trash, and the nForce2 kind of blurs the line.. is the nForce2 sound worse or better than an (ancient) SBlive??

    Best Regards.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    As I said ( :roll: ), you extract all of the cabs (only a few hundred MBs). You run a search for the file missing (forget the listed files, look at each device's driver details and figure out where stuff goes). It won't make anything faster, but blue screens will be more your own fault than Window's. I only get blue screens when I somehow manage to run out of memory, which is almost never. Before I found that link and replaced driver files for all of my devices, I could get blue screens from booting, or sitting there doing nothing. I haven't read through it for a while, but I remeber that I did the described method for all of my devices (in device manager) before I was totally stable, while I think the link only mentions most of the missing drivers.

    I can't say for sure, but that system should be able to run Doom 3, Half-Life 2, etc. whent they come out on medium or high settings. There are only a few cards out there much better than an ATI R9800 Pro, and they are going to be a lot more expensive. The proccessor and RAM should be good enough, and you can worry about the hard drive. I wouldn't have agreed with those specs (it is my future comp when I get the money) if I thought they couldn't handle Doom3 and Half-Life 2. For just over $500 U.S. (you can add maybe $100 for hardware you need that I don't and shipping), that's a pretty nice system.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    9

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    I tried following that link of a previous thread of a system, but that thread was just a thread on where to buy parts in Canada?(the link in the post was for my web browser, the link is
    "http://forums.tweaktown.com/viewtopic.php?t=7270&start=40"
    did you mean the system that the first post of the thread of tht one felow? it was:

    epox- ep 8RDA+ (sweet mobo)
    athlon 2000+
    2x 256 mb pc 3200 ddr 400 ram
    no brand case
    40 gb 7200 rpm western dig
    dvd-rom + cd-rw
    400 w PSU
    radeon 128mb 9700 pro (i am almost broke!)

    also, are ATI cards considered faster than nVidia? for the past two gernation of 3dcards, Ive used nvidia (TNT2, GeForce2) and I found thier Linux driver support prety good, while the ATI cards I remember some general issues under Linux (though this was ybout 2 or so years ago)


    Best Regards

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    790

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    heh, I think he gave you the wrong link, the comp we worked out with yawgmoth can be found here. For $530 total, that is a very sweet system, especially once its overclocked. Read the entire thread, the final product is very good. : peace2: Mista K6
    Modified Dell 8200 Case:
    -400MHz FSB i850 Intel mobo
    -P4 Williamette Socket 478, 1.9GHz
    -768MB 16-bit PC800 RDRAM
    -MSI GF4 Ti4200 128MB @ 284/581
    -7200 RPM Maxtors: 60GB (2MB) on mobo and 160GB (8MB) on ATA/133 PCI Card
    -Creative Inspire T7700 7.1 Speaker System on an Audigy 2
    -Windows XP Home Edition SP2

    Rock on : peace2: , MiStA K6

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
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    The link worked before. :confused:
    I bet it's the forum software again.

    I have a better idea. Send me all of your money, so I can buy the computer designed for me. I think you will be happier if I get a computer and you don't. :2cents: :P

    Anyway, I don't think it's really neccesary to read through all three pages. The last page has all of the good hardware links. In fact, one of my posts has most of the hardware links and they're labeled.

    It looks to me like we haven't talked about HDD yet. Do you need a new one? What's your current one? You might hit $600 if you need a new HDD.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9

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    I got a pair of HDD, one is at around 40GB and the other is around 120 or 130GB... still room on the sencond drive and the first is (and will be) used to hold the OS's (i.e Win98 and Linux)

    as for the video card, I think I am going to go with an nVidia card... I did some checking and the Linux drivers from ATI are still sub-par... and I am using the Linux setup to code grpahics ala openGL, so it is necessary to have good 3D support in Linux (MS Visual Studio NET, is very pricey and the standard edition does not include any compile optimizations, so g++ and gcc are the way I am to go)

    again though, an open question: nForce sound vs. (6 year old) SBLive!(gold) which is better?

    Best Regards

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