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Another pc thread 
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Post Another pc thread
So I'm starting to get the itch to build a new pc and thought I'd throw out some questions to get the conventional wisdom on which is the better way to go.

1. To sli or not. I really, really, like having dual monitors. From what I've read, this isn't possible while taking full advantage of dual gfx cards. I really like the Nvidia 8800 GT so I'd probably be looking at running 1 or 2 of them.

2. XP, Vista, Dualboot. I know XP like the back of my hand, and don't ever use Vista. Is it worth getting Vista, or dualbooting just for dx10?

3. 32 bit, 64 bit, intel, AMD. I've always used 32 bit intel (except on servers at work) but AMD seems to not be quite the crap it used to be. Also, is it worth getting 64 bit to avoid the 4 gb memory problem windows has? How much of a pain is it to get x86 apps running on x64 processors.

I think that's it. Feel free to laugh at my nubbery but I don't pay much attention to pc hardware except when I start to get the itch to build a new pc.

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Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:13 am
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I recently built a new machine for a friend. I used EVGA's new 780i board. The board had a build problem with the heatsink not being properly mounted to the northbridge, and it was over heating. Apparently this was a fairly common issue with the early boards, but EVGA has corrected the problem. I was able to get the system up and running, but it was unstable due to the over heating and RMA'd the board back to Newegg. The replacement is in, and I'm going to rebuild tomorrow.

The board supports 3 way SLI - but only with GTX and Ultra video cards. That's a fair amount of overkill, so got 2 EVGA GT Superclocked cards to run 2-way SLI. Also, installed Vista 64 bit and 4 gig of ram. A quirk with Vista and 4 gig is that you have to install the OS with 2 gig, then install a memory fix, then the other 2 gig. The 32 bit OS's (XP and Vista) will not utilize 4 gig of memory.. due to memory addressing issues. The OS has to reserve addressing memory, and ends up 2.5 useable with 2 video cards of 512 memory. App support in 64 bit seems fine to me, and clearly 64 bit OS's are going to be the standard in the future.

I used the Q6600 quad CPU, with G0 stepping. This version overclocks well, and I got it to 3ghz easily with just a small bump in voltage. The quad core CPU's are toasty, so I used a Zalman CNPS9500A cooler, which is a royal pain to install, but significantly dropped the CPU temp. On a quad core CPU, the stock cooler will not do the job if you over clock.

The 3D Mark score in SLI was 15,700, and 11,800 non-SLI. By comparison, my dual core at 2.8ghz and 8800GTX @ ultra speeds scores 12,500.

The other thing about Vista is that there are certain fixes for SLI in service pack 1. That will probably be released in mid March, however you can get a release candidate from Microsoft now.. and then install the final SP1 later. Also, there are already bios updates for the 780i, but it's easy to install them.

Important considerations.. power supply must be quality. Check for SLI certification. Memory compatability seems quite good on the 780i, but I'd also check compatability. Also, the case must be sized to accomodate the powersupply and whatever CPU cooler you use. The 8800GT is not as long as the GTX, so that helps.

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Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:41 am
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Post Re: Another pc thread
1. No, seriously just don't, ever. It's bad juju.
2. XP. Single boot, just XP.
3. 32bit (Processors are all 64 bit, but run a 32 bit os anyway because it's faster for games.)

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Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:52 pm
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Just read Micas's post.

1. Thermalright ultra 120 extreme (TRUE) is the undisputed king of quad core heatsinks. Zalmans are quiet, but decidedly average when it comes to cooling.
2. Sure SLI scores great in artificial benchmarks, but in RL playing games it's often a major hassle to get working, and the gains aren't that great once(if) you do get it working.
3. Motherboards with a P35 chipset are better for overclocking quads.
4. 3ghz on a g0 is weaksauce :P

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Last edited by Darvon on Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:58 pm
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Darvon wrote:
4. 3ghz on a g0 is weaksauce :P


Word im running slightly quicker than that on a B3 (which runs hotter than Satans asshole without proper cooling)

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Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:01 pm
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Like I said.. the board wasn't stable due to NB overheating.. the 3 ghz was just a first setting, I didn't try and push it.

You're over stating the "hassle" of getting games to work in SLI. True I only got a chance to try TF2 and WoW so far.. both worked fine, and significantly faster than single.

You can get your CPU to run at 5 million billion mega hertz, and it's really not going to matter when you're bottlenecked in other areas anyway.

The over head on Vista is minor.. resulting in just a couple FPS worth of difference in games.

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Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:26 pm
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vista is quite spiffy.

but if you plan on plugging in no name branded peripheral devices which probably dont have a website, let alone downloadable drivers, then you will run into some trouble with vista compatibility.

if you care about legacy games from dos etc from 2 decades ago, then vista is probably not so good.

takes a while getting used to all the vista features, but searchable start menu = win

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:41 am
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Micas wrote:
You can get your CPU to run at 5 million billion mega hertz, and it's really not going to matter when you're bottlenecked in other areas anyway.

True!

Micas wrote:
The over head on Vista is minor...

False. Vista is a bloated faildemon.

Micas wrote:
... resulting in just a couple FPS worth of difference in games.

True, which was my point.

Micas wrote:
You're over stating the "hassle" of getting games to work in SLI. True I only got a chance to try TF2 and WoW so far.. both worked fine, and significantly faster than single.

Yeah I was. Usually it just works or it doesn't, and occasionally when it doesn't there's a complicated workaround. I still wouldn't recommend it though as the price/performance ratio doesn't add up.

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:39 am
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Fundamentals_for_Legacy_PCs
Quote:
Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs ("WinFLP") is an operating system from Microsoft, based on Windows XP, but optimized for older, less powerful hardware.


That sounds really hot. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of it before. I wish they'd take the design philosophy behind this OS and release a retail version. It would officially be the best OS they'd ever made. (ie. Lets make an OS that has the smallest footprint possible and doesn't include any unnecessary bloat.)

I'm going to see if I can find a copy to download (MS only gives access to this OS to corporate clients, you can't buy it as an individual). Give it a spin.

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:19 am
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Darvon wrote:
Yeah I was. Usually it just works or it doesn't, and occasionally when it doesn't there's a complicated workaround. I still wouldn't recommend it though as the price/performance ratio doesn't add up.


Uh.. yes it does. Two GT's cost about the same.. maybe less than an ultra and runs rings around it. Heck, it's about the same price as my GTX was and is much faster...

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:55 pm
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Micas wrote:
Uh.. yes it does. Two GT's cost about the same.. maybe less than an ultra and runs rings around it. Heck, it's about the same price as my GTX was and is much faster...


Anybody who buys an ultra either has a corporate sponsor, or is an utter noob. Ultra's are just overclocked GTXs marketed to people who don't know better.

Regardless the g92 8800gt and 8800gts are a half generation ahead of the 8800gtx, and the 8800gtx is going to be replaced by the 9800gtx within weeks. Price/performance wise the 8800gtx isn't even in the race anymore, the g92 8800gts is only half a hairs breadth slower* but 2/3 of the price. You should be comparing GT sli to a single GTS, at which point you're paying alot more more a disproportionate gain.

* http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQzMSwzLCxoZW50aHVzaWFzdA==

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 6:19 pm
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what's so bloated about vista?

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:36 pm
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Its installation size and its memory footprint during runtime.

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Last edited by Darvon on Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Feb 16, 2008 9:55 pm
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Darvon wrote:
Its installation size and its memory footprint even when you have nothing running except the OS itself.


You do realise they make drives bigger than 10 gig nowadays Darv :P And they changed the way memory is managed in Vista, basically your most used programs are stored in the RAM so they start up quicker. I can get into Firefox 3 seconds after logging in. Can't do that in XP.

I'm not defending it though, from an admin perspective Vista is a pain in the bum. I prefer XP because I know my way around it and it causes me less hassles in the end. But there are advantages to Vista that XP doesn't have.

However I still use Vista on my home machine but thats because I don't game much on my PC anymore and it does what I need it to do.

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:02 pm
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IE is frequently crashing in vista, and I'm not sure why. This is a brand new-from-scratch install.

Anyway.. odd "feature" I just noticed. If you copy files from your old computer, say your entire wow install on a DVD or external drive or something.. and then dump it on a vista box.. you can't alter anything because the permissions are set to your old XP account.. gotta change the security and add your current vista account to that folder to be able to change things..

At some point I'm going to figure out how to turn off all the "are you sure" bullshit paranoia..

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Sat Feb 16, 2008 10:04 pm
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