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New Computer Help

By mpd881 ·
I am really itching to buy a new computer, but am on a tight budget. I currently am trying to game with a used computer I bought at auction (not a bad rig, it's 2.8 GHz, 1 GB RAM and GEForce 5500 vid card). It just isn't cutting it, tho. I was looking at Dell and found a system with a processor option of either an Pentium? D Processor **5 or a Pentium? D Processor 820. I thought I looked everywhere to find the difference, but couldn't. Should I spend the extra $65 for the **5? Is it worth it? I plan on getting a better graphics card and about 2GB of RAM.

Also, is gaming with Windows Media Center Edition ok? I've never tried it before.


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My take.....

by JamesRL In reply to New Computer Help

Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater just yet.

Before you spend money on new, try upgrading the video card - yours is two generations old. You can even go to ebay and find something.

Something like : http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2201323&CatId=318

For the games I play, its first, video card, second RAM and third CPU.

In what applications is it not cutting it? I would bet there are lots of IT pros on here using something less powerful.

As for the difference between Pentiums, confusing isn't it. Try tomshardware.com or anandtech.com


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The system you have looks good enough, except the graphics

by Deadly Ernest In reply to New Computer Help

card. Invest your money in a much better graphics card with a better Graphics Processor Unit, and special effects chips, and lots of on board RAM - go with PCI-E if the system will take it, then AGP is it will take that. If the board doesn't use either, you may want to add PCI-E capable motherboard to the shopping list. I'd also get some more RAM. The CPU is more than good enough.

Oh and depending upon the game, think about your Internet connection quality, so many now depend upon good broadband access.

I never by DELL, later upgrades and spares are a real bugger with them and their like - HP, IBM, etc.

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itbob966: Your gaming rig sounds similar to mine

by ovidtchr In reply to The system you have looks ...

The difference is that I keep upgrading the graphics card. You can usually pick up a card with a 6-12 month old chipset and lots of VRAM for around $100 new. Bumping the system to 2GB won't hurt either. Having a faster CPU seems to speed up load times for games and levels/maps, but other than that I haven't noticed any real playability improvements between my various systems... the GPU seems to be the key for the most part, not the CPU.

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software angle...

by leoboeye In reply to itbob966: Your gaming rig ...

in gaming the videocard requirements are inescapable, however, the other hardware upgrades, you should be able to postpone for another year or so. I use a trimmed down version of win xp pro sp1 that will run smoothly with about 15 processes, the install cd is around 120 mb. there's no point in handing over a big chunk of your system resources to an operating system that should do nothing more than enabling you to run the software you choose with as little interference as possible. even if you are weary of adapting a specific media oriented os to the completely different needs of a gamer, you could consider the option of a dual boot with a minimal system. with your system's specs, it should about double the perceived speed of gaming.

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Memory and Processor resources

by Dr_Zinj In reply to software angle...

I run EQ2 on both W2K and XP and both OSes (and additional applications) run a buttload of processes extraneous to the game itself.

You basically just need the minimal OS, the game, and the firewall to be operating. Clean out everything in the taskbar that you don't need, then do the ctrl-alt-del bit and clean out all the other processes you don't need from there. Finally, go into administration, services, and clean out everything not needing in there.

Bear in mind, that some of this may include a bit of trial and error to determine what you need to run the game. Once you know what you don't need, then tailor a boot for only those things.

Oh, one last note, never, Never, NEVER try to use your system for anything else while in that game state, especially internet surfing - you'll suck down a virus or zombie your system so fast you head won't even have time to spin.

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install & run performance test 4.0

by goofytek In reply to software angle...

it should hit 300 plus figures if not
Graphics Card is first
I used ATI 8x AGP 9200 for over 300 score,
of course my XP pro is tweaked heavily as original Default install is slower than 98SE
http://www.mdgx.com/ Tweaking website
lots of tips etc on all Windows Systems
my colleague uses P4 at 2800 like you it hits 320 score, mine is AMD 2400+ CPU,
CachemanXP is settings Auto Tweaker
if all used Performance Test 4.0 then results can be compared,
bye Retired Techie Keith

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Trimmed XP

by krau7777 In reply to software angle...


Is your trimmed down copy of XP available or details on how to trim?


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by leoboeye In reply to Trimmed XP

I use n-lite to trim big parts of it, you have to experiment a bit to find out settings for your specific needs. I usually make an n-lite installation-cd that consists of winxp pro sp1, the most recent windows installer, dotnet 1.1 + security update + dotnet 2.05 slipstreamed through n-lite. install on a primary partition of about 10 gyg, trim all obsolete files (backups from windows drivers etc, .msi installers...), all sorts of files you never would need if you were to use the system but once...and you do...now create a data partition and right-drag folders like my documents, desktop and favorites from your user documents and settings here. take an image of the system disk wich you can use at the start of any fresh install..it will remember where your documents, favorites etc are. with this "master image" you can create configurations for every imaginable purpose and switch between the images you make of those at will (you may even experiment with moving the program files directory to it's own partition, a separate partition for games is also an option). in this case, don't forget to backup stuff like application data so you can still use the same basic system with each different configuration...it is somewhat more complicated than it sounds, but you get the drift...your system drive stays clean and you need not overly worry about security either, in case of infection, just slam the basic image over your system partition in five minutes flat instead of scanning and worrying for hours. other intruders may find the actual user data are a little less accessible than they are used to. I just watch my system disk for unwelcome visitors with sysmon from sysinternals instead of a firewall that tends to attract the visitors it is supposed to stop at the gates, and have avg-free, spybot, spywareblaster and adaware keep the most obvious stuff out. every night my taskmanager is told to restore my system from the image at shutdown. it works, even though I now spend more hours with my system than before, it is improving instead of an endless repetition of the same probs that occur with a standard install.

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by NOW LEFT TR In reply to xp-edtiting

"spybot, spywareblaster and adaware keep the most obvious stuff out. every night my taskmanager is told to restore my system from the image at shutdown"

If so then why bother with spybot, spywareblaster and adaware?

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short term survival...

by leoboeye In reply to ??

they are indeed a "leftover" from days when replacing the OS on my puter was not as obvious and simple. still, it isn't because that has become easy that I want to do it every couple of hours. visiting websites in search of software and fun is nigh impossible without at least a little protection. but basically you are right, I probably could do with just avg and spybot (the list of websites it blocks is very useful).

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