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Windows 7: New build advice requested


05 May 2012   #1
RobMidi

Windows Vista 32 bit Ultimate retail
 
 
New build advice requested

I've put the following list together for a new build to replace a tired 4 year old system:
CPU: Intel i5 3550 3.3 Ghz Quad Core
GPU: Asus ENGTX560Ti 1GB 256 bit GDDR5
MOBO: Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe
RAM: Corsair Vengance 16 GB (2 x 8) DDR3 1600 Mhz
PWS: Corsair TX850M
I'm keeping my current tower (Coolermaster Cosmos 1000), a Pioneer BDR-205 burner, an HP 1260I DVD/RW burner, my monitor.

I am currently running latest Vista 32 bit Ultimate retail. Whatever I do, I am told because I'm changing out the CPU, MOBO and GPU, I'll have to go with a new license, even if I stay with Vista. Therefore, I am considering a retail version of Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. The main difference seems to be Bitlocker (don't need) and multiple language support (don't need either). Beside the fact I'd have to reinstall all user software, I am curious after reading the LordBob sticky comparing 32 bit to 64 bit versions as to whether even though x86 progs can only address 4 GB of memory, does having 16 GB of memory allow a better multitasking experience?

This system is used for and/or integrated with the following, sometimes simultaneously:
A media server, integrated with a Crestron whole-house audio system; a 4 channel CCTV DVR; media center extender support with a DirecTv HR-21 and a 65" Samsung LCD HDTV; a Denon networked AVR-3312CI, an Asus G51 laptop, a Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet and various Samsung Fascinates (Galaxy), via both gigabit lan and through a Linksys E-3200 4 port 2.4/5.8 Ghz switch. I also do audio editing and much photo processing.

I ran Windows upgrade advisor on my current hardware and software and it said the GPU's gotta go and it won't support MS Digitital Image Pro, my favorite editing software. I have read in forums where it can be used in the XP mode, but I do have Paint Shop Pro X that is compatible, if not as user friendly.

Any advice regarding my "plan" would be greatly appreciated. It's going to be a lot of work, no matter which way I go!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 May 2012   #2
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

RobMidi,
Welcome to SF. I looks to be a great build. I would for sure budget for a SSD for the OS and your software. I have 16 gb of fast ram and I have to say it is overkill but with the way things are going I'm sure it will be right in the sweet zone in short order. Great fast ram at 8gb will perform better than average speed 16gb so maybe get the fastest the mobo will handle and look to 8gb then add 2 more modules later for your 16gb.
One other thought would be look to a sealed water cooling system with a quality fan or two for silent operation and cooling, maybe a H80 with two silent fans in push pull.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #3
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Thank you as well for recycling and reusing your case and other components. Upgrading like this is much less costly when you've purchased quality core components like the case. Please take pictures of your build in it's stages and post here under "Show us your rig". With a SSD when you open Photoshop for the first time and blink it's open you realize that once you go SSD there isn't any going back. Please look to 128gb drive and you'll thank me as these drives are a real value today and a watchful eye has quality makes at 100-130usd.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 May 2012   #4
RobMidi

Windows Vista 32 bit Ultimate retail
 
 
Thanks Linnemeyerhere

Thanks a lot for your input. Because of it, I have now ventured into researching SSDs and have a splitting headache (ha ha). Makes total sense, however, and in looking further into the proposed MOBO, it supports them...both in a caching mode in conjuction with existing mechanical drives as well as stand-alone.

Newegg, my vendor of choice, has a very well done 20 minute video of them, their architecture and how they can be used.

I will be sure to post progress photos. First I have to get the funding approval from Mrs., then start an order. That's the fun and easy part. The rest, not as much, but as long as I only have to do it every 5 years or so, no problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobMidi View Post
I am currently running latest Vista 32 bit Ultimate retail. Whatever I do, I am told because I'm changing out the CPU, MOBO and GPU, I'll have to go with a new license, even if I stay with Vista. Therefore, I am considering a retail version of Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. The main difference seems to be Bitlocker (don't need) and multiple language support (don't need either). Beside the fact I'd have to reinstall all user software, I am curious after reading the LordBob sticky comparing 32 bit to 64 bit versions as to whether even though x86 progs can only address 4 GB of memory, does having 16 GB of memory allow a better multitasking experience?
I'm not sure why you think your existing Vista 32 bit Ultimate retail license won't work with the new hardware.

Vista 32 bit won't recognize over 3.5 or so GB of RAM, but other than that, it would work as far as I know.

Are you sure you need the features found in Win 7 Pro that are not found in Win 7 Home Premium?

Here is what Professional has that is not available in Home Premium:

Domain join, Remote Desktop host, location aware printing, EFS, Mobility Center, Presentation Mode, Offline Folders, Group Policy (GP) controls, advanced backup, XP Mode, support for 192 GB of RAM, and support for 2 CPU sockets.

Which of those do you need?

16 GB of RAM isn't going to be an improvement over 4 or 8 unless the 4 or 8 are already being fully used. You can easily monitor RAM usage to determine if that is true.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #6
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobMidi View Post
I am currently running latest Vista 32 bit Ultimate retail. Whatever I do, I am told because I'm changing out the CPU, MOBO and GPU, I'll have to go with a new license, even if I stay with Vista.
You won't need a new license, but rather you would simply have to reactivate your current license.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobMidi View Post
Therefore, I am considering a retail version of Windows 7 Pro 64 bit. The main difference seems to be Bitlocker (don't need) and multiple language support (don't need either).
Do you have a need for the features of Windows 7 Professional. Perhaps a Home Premium license would be more appropriate and would save you some money.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobMidi View Post
does having 16 GB of memory allow a better multitasking experience?
i HIGHLY doubt you would be able to see any difference with having 16GB of RAM. Unless you have specific programs or run multiple VM's at the same time, you really won't take advantage of that much RAM. Most people don't have a need for more than 4GB of RAM. Most people who have 8 barely take advantage of it. The only reason people run 16GB of RAM is because it's not terribly expensive, but it's likely not terribly beneficial either.


An 850W PSU is way overkill for this build too. A 650W would be more than enough. You might be able to save yourself some money there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2012   #7
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

RobMidi,
Don't buy into the smaller PSU and stay with your original 850 game plan. The difference in cost is nominal and will allow future expansion is so desired. Just as I'm glad you're able to carry your case forward and other components, with the over spec purchase of the premium 850 watt PSU you will "future proof" your build and the next go round in 5+ years or so you can then chalk one more item off the upgrade list also it's been shown that the average PSU looses 5% of it's output a year to age and run cooler for these reasons and many other sound reasons I suggest you stay with the larger PSU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2012   #8
RobMidi

Windows Vista 32 bit Ultimate retail
 
 
Thanks for all your help

First, to answer ignatzatsonic, I was told by one of my "bonus" sons (I hate the "step" label), who is in the (what I used to call Data Processing, back when I used 80 column punch cards) I.T. business, Genuine Advantage allows so many changes to hardware under an existing license. If you add a HD or another DVD burner or such, there is a numerical value that is added together. When it reaches 16, I think, it won't let you activate it without buying another license. The motherboard and cpu have much higher numeric values, as you might expect. Supposedly, it's to keep people from using bogus copies of Windows on their machines and burning copies for all their friends. So, if that's true, I can either upgrade to 32 bit 7 or I could do a clean install of 64 bit Vista, then do the build, then upgrade at a later date. My wife hates change, but two sons who have 7 say it's very close to Vista in appearance.

What I would really need out of Pro would be the XP mode for some obscure software I have.

To address pparks1, I have a CPU/RAM usage widget running in the sidebar that shows anywhere from a minimum of 68% usage up to about 85% when several different things are going on. This what led me to the idea of more ram.

Back when I was in D.P., I worked first with an IBM 403 Tab punch card system, and was DP Mgr when we made the leap into computers. Check it out: Our first was an NCR w/ 32k memory, two 4.9MB disk drives...one fixed, one removeable, and batch processing with real-time data entry (2 Crts). Jeez, my very first cell phone had more bang than that.

So, I've always had a mindset of overkill, where computing hardware is concerned. Now they call it "future proofing." I love it. I would rather get too much today and grow into it than have to do a major build more often. It's kinda like I wanted to put a 396 in my '65 Dodge Dart that had a 273!!!lol.

And to linnemeyerhere, I agree with you on the 850w supply for exactly the reasons you spell out. GMTA. I'd rather have a large block V-8 going up the Grapevine (I-5 from So Cal to Central Cal), and not be pushing the throttle too hard, than a 4 cylinder
winding out to 6k rpm just to make it to the top of the hill. Sorry for the retro metaphors.

I really do appreciate differing views and experience, which is exactly why I'm here before ordering anything, and am taking all suggestions into serious consideration.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2012   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RobMidi View Post
First, to answer ignatzatsonic, I was told by one of my "bonus" sons (I hate the "step" label), who is in the (what I used to call Data Processing, back when I used 80 column punch cards) I.T. business, Genuine Advantage allows so many changes to hardware under an existing license. If you add a HD or another DVD burner or such, there is a numerical value that is added together. When it reaches 16, I think, it won't let you activate it without buying another license. The motherboard and cpu have much higher numeric values, as you might expect. Supposedly, it's to keep people from using bogus copies of Windows on their machines and burning copies for all their friends.

What I would really need out of Pro would be the XP mode for some obscure software I have.
Since you have a retail Vista license, I think your bonus son is simply wrong.

But that's immaterial if you are going to upgrade to 7 regardless. You may as well go to 64-bit while you are at it.

Much obscure software can be run in Windows Home Premium using compatibility mode.

You may or may not need to resort to the XP mode found in Professional.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 New build advice requested




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