1. SPS Accounts:
    Do you find yourself coming back time after time? Do you appreciate the ongoing hard work to keep this community focused and successful in its mission? Please consider supporting us by upgrading to an SPS Account. Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from supporting a good cause, you'll also get a significant number of ever-expanding perks and benefits on the site and the forums. Click here to find out more.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
You are currently viewing Boards o' Magick as a guest, but you can register an account here. Registration is fast, easy and free. Once registered you will have access to search the forums, create and respond to threads, PM other members, upload screenshots and access many other features unavailable to guests.

BoM cultivates a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We have been aiming for quality over quantity with our forums from their inception, and believe that this distinction is truly tangible and valued by our members. We'd love to have you join us today!

(If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us. If you've forgotten your username or password, click here.)

PC Upgrade Advice for the old DR

Discussion in 'Techno-Magic' started by Death Rabbit, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    Yeah, it's 3 512mb chips. I hear what you're saying though about the even numbers. What I may do is drop down to 1g for now so I can sell a ram chip to a friend (who's taking my current mobo, processor and 5900XT off my hands), and then upgrading to another gig in the near future.

    What kind of impact will dropping to only 1g of 3200 have on my play, especially considering the new hardware?
     
  2. Erod Gems: 14/31
    Latest gem: Chrysoberyl


    Veteran

    Joined:
    May 21, 2005
    Messages:
    652
    Likes Received:
    3
    Antec has a nice PSU calculator on their page. You can find it under 'Support'. It will give you a general idea of the power requirements, just remember that pure wattage is not the only factor (like it says on the page).

    On a side note, my new (a month old) Antec Smartpower 2.0 500 W PSU decided that it was a good time to fry some of its components. My other Antec PSU, 300 W, some 5 years old, seems like it is also going to give up soon, or then it is the motherboard. Oh well...
     
  3. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,409
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    232
    Gender:
    Male
    I would guess not much. From what I have heard 1GB is the sweet spot for XP.

    For me though, I know I go over 1GB with all the crap I have in the system tray while I'm running NWN2. Maybe the games you're playing aren't as memory hungry.
     
  4. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    Right now, that's Civ4, Dawn of War, and Star Wars: EoW w/ expansion. Once I upgrade the hardware I'll be re-installing Far Cry, Doom3, Half Life 2, etc. and picking up F.E.A.R. to reap the benefits of the new beefy gear. After Barmy's enthusiastic plug, I may pick up Mideaval 2, and I'm considering NWN2.

    I don't usually have too much other than McAfee running in the background. How's that sound?
     
  5. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    8,252
    Media:
    82
    Likes Received:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    DR - That sounds fine. But any of those "security center" programs running in the background will use a fair amount of resources. The only program I run constantly is a firewall.

    That system should run all those games, with a good degree of eye candy turned on. Have fun.
     
  6. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    [​IMG] Weeeeee. :roll:

    EDIT - Ok - new question.

    I've placed the order (and I'm happy to report I did, in fact, pee a little). Now my concern - with the replacement of motherboard and processor - is will I have to reinstall Windows XP? I'm not sure if the bios' will still be compatible. How do you know? I'll still do a large backup, but still...

    [ November 17, 2006, 14:57: Message edited by: Death Rabbit ]
     
  7. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    Bump - new question above.
     
  8. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    8,252
    Media:
    82
    Likes Received:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    After installing a new mainboard, it's really a good idea to nuke the HD (after backing up the data) and then do a clean install of XP. Be sure to create a separate partition for all your data (I do this from Windows using Partition Magic). That way you can leave all your data on a partition set aside for files, regardless of the OS.

    Then if you have the HD space, create a blank partition for a second OS. Just remember you will have to install the older OS first. So, if you install XP on drive C, then you can install Vista on its own partition and not disturb either your data, or your main OS. Windows will automatically create a multi-startup menu, so that you can select which OS to use on boot-up. That way you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
     
  9. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    Hey now, cow-poke - Vista is a long ways off for me. I just shelled out 450 for new gear - updating the OS, when the current one works just fine, is not on the menu at this time. Taking that into consideration, should I even mess around with partitioning? What's the benefit to it? I have a 160g HD, by the way.
     
  10. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    * * UPDATE * *

    After getting all my stuff - and a few days of frustration from not getting everything to start up - I finally have a system that is up, working, and much faster than before. I've started re-installing a few games that used to chug when a lot was happening on screen (SimCity4 and SW: Empire at War so far) and they now run with all settings maxed, great fps. However, when I installed all of the following as it originally came:

    ABIT KN8 SLi motherboard
    AMD 64 FX-55 Clawhammer CPU
    XFX GeForce7900GS 256mbDDR3

    ...the system would NOT start up. No BIOS, nothin'. Grrr. Needless to say, I was frustrated, especially since I was planning to be a turkey-and-pumpkin-pie chompin' slug the entire 4-day weekend. Instead I spent it driving back and forth to FRY's buying replacement components.

    Since I didn't know which component was causing the problem, and since I'd purchased so many all-new componants (meaning I couldn't switch out old processors, etc.), I had to go around and purchase similar componants to the ones I ordered, install them one by one, and test it all out (returning, of course, the products once I eliminated them as a suspect). Anyway, long story short - the only conclusion I could come to is that the FX-55 was incompatible with the motherboard.*

    How I concluded this was when I went to Fry's and bought an AMD X2 (dual core) 4200. With this processor, the system started up on the first try. It takes about 5 seconds now for Windows to load - which is great. So I'm pretty much going to keep the AMD X2 (though it's a little more $$ than the FX-55) partly because I feel more comfortable with a dual core, partly because I'm so elated that I got the damn thing working that I don't want to mess with it. :D

    EDIT - Oh yeah...I forgot to mention that I did have to get a new power supply. 350w wouldn't cut it, so I got a new Antec NeoHE 500w. This extra expense I definitely don't regret, because the power cables are detachable, so you only hook up what you need. Which is great.

    So now...a new batch of questions. :p

    Question 1: in your opinion, how does the new processor match up to the original one we picked out for me? If you consider it a big step down, perhaps a recommendation for a replacement? From what I can tell, it seems to be a slight step down, but I'm not sure.

    Question 2: I seem to be getting about 20fps in the initial village area of NWN2, with default settings at 1024 x 768, AA, high textures (dropping the shadows down to the second lowest setting didn't seem to help). Is this a processor issue, or a GPU issue? Will more RAM help? What are some things I can do to improve the framerate?

    Question 3: I've never dicked around with overclocking. Recommended? Necessary? What do you guys think.

    Gracias de la pantload.

    * SECOND EDIT - I think it may be possible that I was doing something wrong during installation that prevented the FX-55 from starting up. Will try again tonight when I get home, though I hope the switching of the processors (if successful) won't mean that I'll have to reinstall everything again...

    [ November 27, 2006, 16:57: Message edited by: Death Rabbit ]
     
  11. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,409
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    232
    Gender:
    Male
    Question 1: As I mentioned before, it's difficult to compare single and dual-core processors, but the one you have is one of the slowest X2's. From the charts I've seen, it's about on par with the fastest of the non-extreme-edition Pentium D's. The FX-60 (which is a dual-core FX-55) is quite a bit faster than the X2 4200+.

    Question 2: I would guess at 1024x768 it may be more CPU than GPU, but that's just a guess; I haven't researched any benchmarks, and NWN2 is a hog. Apparently the upcoming patch helps with the speed.

    Question 3: Never done it, but some people swear by it.
     
  12. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks, BTA. That's kind of what I thought. I'll give the FX-55 another shot tonight. I'm not convinced that a dual core is really going to mean that much to me at the moment, despite my inclination to steer towards the wave of the future. Especially considering that the FX-55 is the second fastest single core out there, I should be fine. If it doesn't work this time, I'll RMA it and get something similar - if not the same processor.

    On another note - the character creation screens in NWN2 are excellent...but that's another topic. ;)
     
  13. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    8,252
    Media:
    82
    Likes Received:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    Hey, any time you need help, give me a call, DR. I could have saved you some time by helping out, now that you are back in H-Town. But it's good to hear you got everything up and running pretty well. I would stick with the FX55 over the 4200, since you noticed the difference in performance.
     
  14. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    YAHAAR! :banana:

    The FX55 is now working, and you both were right - it's MUCH faster than the 4200. I'll be taking that back to Fry's forthwith. Evidently I just had some minor snafoo that was preventing the startup. I think the secondary power cable (that hooks into the motherboard near the processor) was not in all the way. That would certainly do it. Sidenote: I've concluded that the guys at Fry's are paste-eating morons.

    Also - the choppiness I experienced in NWN2 has now subsided for the most part. It was indeed a processor issue, though knocking the shadows down to the minimum helped a great deal as well. I'm excited to load up Doom3, FarCry, Half Life 2 and even Battle for Middle Earth 2 to see the difference in play.

    Thanks again for all the help. Any other closing tips? How 'bout some game recommendations that were previously poopy on my old system?
     
  15. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2000
    Messages:
    10,409
    Media:
    40
    Likes Received:
    232
    Gender:
    Male
    SNAFU (Situation Normal: All F-ed Up).

    :lol: I thought that was common knowledge. ;)

    Glad you got it all working now.

    EDIT: Tell me, is what happened when you got it all hooked up, that when you hit the power switch, nothing happened? Because that's what happened to me and my NeoHE 500 as well. After I removed the main power cable and shorted the two start switch leads to get the fans going, and then resinstalled the main power cable everything was fine. I wonder if that's typical with that power supply or something.
     
  16. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    Plus else, they're commission whores. If you walk within 15 feet of a Fry's sales associate with a product in your hand - ANY product - they'll practically tackle you and insist on writing you up a sales ticket. "No sir, thank you, but I don't need your expertise in buying this canister of Cheetoes. No, seriously, I found this by myse....sir...oh, gawd alright I'll take your stupid invoice. Enjoy your $.06 commission, buttmunch."

    I tell ya. :shake:

    EDIT:
    The system would power up - GPU, processor would heat up, heatsink intact and blowing, all LED lights on the motherboard lighting up...but no loading to the BIOS. Also - originally I had my 350w power supply (which had inadequate pins) and my original installation did not include hooking up the additional power plug near the CPU (where I've concluded all my problems have arisen). Even then I still got power to the motherboard. The 500 NeoHE did the same at first, until I plugged in the secondary power plug - then it started up just dandylike.
     
  17. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2003
    Messages:
    8,252
    Media:
    82
    Likes Received:
    238
    Gender:
    Male
    Ha, Ha - I've worked with a few of those guys in the past, particularly in computer components. I'll let them know you said so, DR. :shake:

    Fry's has a strange commission structure. From what I hear, those guys would probably make more on a can of Cheetoes than on a computer, at least these days.
     
  18. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2003
    Messages:
    6,103
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    241
    Gender:
    Male
    Honestly guys, I couldn't be happier. This upgrade will comfortably last me for the next 2-3 years. Both Half Life 2 and Doom3 are cranked up to full settings, and the framerate is like butta. This is the first time I've done a major upgrade and didn't feel like I was cutting a corner somewhere.

    The irony is - now that I have this beefy system, I'm right in the middle of a gripping SimCity 4 addiction...a 2003 game with very squishy system requirements. :shake:

    I'll tackle NWN2 this weekend for sure.
     
Sorcerer's Place is a project run entirely by fans and for fans. Maintaining Sorcerer's Place and a stable environment for all our hosted sites requires a substantial amount of our time and funds on a regular basis, so please consider supporting us to keep the site up & running smoothly. Thank you!

Sorcerers.net is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on amazon.com, amazon.ca and amazon.co.uk. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.