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Windows 7: questions about pc build

23 Feb 2014   #1

 
 
questions about pc build

Greetings,

I am at present coming to you from my soon-to-be-retired Windows XP Dell tower. Therefore I haven't been able to upload my complete projected system specs. The following below is my project.

I have acquired two Dell Precision T3400 towers...sans hard drives, RAM and video cards. They were previously owned by a company that used them to make/and test games(2K GAMES). These towers were retired, via a moving company, and I acquired them from one of the moving company's employees.

One of the tower CPU's is a Intel Core2 extreme. The other tower CPU is a Intel Core2 quad. I haven't decided which to use. The power supplies are 525 Watt.

At present I have acquired one Western hardrive, 1TB(WD Blue), WD1DEZES to install.(the seller guarantees it, and has three more available at $35 ea., should I grow a pair and maybe attempt a RAID configuration).

I am planning to acquire 4 1G RAM chips($40).

I am still trying to decide what graphics card to install($20-40 budget).

I plan on a fresh install of Windows 7(free if I'm lucky).

Or should I be considering Windows 8 ?

I am purchasing all the components from Craigslist, or Ebay, since my budget is strictly limited for this project. Hopefully, I could get everything up and running by, of all dates, April 1st or thereabouts.

Any and all suggestions will be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks,



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Feb 2014   #2

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

The core 2 extreme will be better. I have a intel core2 quad running without a video card Windows 7 fine. A graphics card could bottleneck it ot be worse.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

I rec Windows 7 since XP drivers are more compatible with Windows 7 if there is no driver avail. But you may have to go with Win8 if product keys are not purchasable anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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23 Feb 2014   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
 
 

Hi Bruce

Quote:
At present I have acquired one Western hardrive, 1TB(WD Blue), WD1DEZES to install.(the seller guarantees it, and has three more available at $35 ea., should I grow a pair and maybe attempt a RAID configuration).
You may want to consider adding a small HDD (just for your OS) and use the 1TB HDD for apps etc
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2014   #6

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit/Windows 8 64-bit/Win7 Pro64-bit
 
 

Well if you plan to do any gaming you should get a video card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Feb 2014   #7

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Stephanie View Post
You may want to consider adding a small HDD (just for your OS) and use the 1TB HDD for apps etc
Hi Stephanie,

I'm sure that your suggestion is a excellent idea. Would there be a specific advantage for this? More importantly...is it difficult? I ask out of ignorance. I suppose I had best check out all the forums here to enhance my knowledge of building a system tailored to my needs. I certainly don't want to just be someone that is merely here to receive information.

I enjoy learning, but I certainly like asking for help along the way. Any direction that I can be pointed in to better prepare me, so that I don't become a bore asking ignorant questions, would be appreciated.

Besides, I look forward to sharing my results here.

@Computer0304
: I was planning to install a DirectX 10 or 11 capable card with with lightweight gaming in mind. One having the capability to handle something on the level of Half-life. Or would that be overkill?

Thank you both
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2014   #8

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

Get a 120 - 128 GB Solid State drive for the Operating System, you will thank yourself later

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...VisNav-_-128GB
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2014   #9

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's
 
 

A ssd for the os is the fastest option, but a pair of black 1tb's in raid0 would be fairly fast.

I get the budget build, a used 60gb ssd can be had for under $30 and still plenty of life remaining.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2014   #10

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bruce SX View Post
should I grow a pair and maybe attempt a RAID configuration)
Grow away



Having the OS on a smaller drive and the apps on the other limits the amount of work the hard drive has to do and thus less "thrashing". The advantage would be slightly quicker booting and opening of apps. You should only consider this if you already have an existing 7200rpm drive. It's not worth doing if the 2nd drive is only 5400rpm.

However if you are considering allowing the budget for a second drive for Raid, then a cheap SSD for the OS and a few core apps and the other drive for other apps/storage is the much better course of action. The speed difference of having the OS on a SSD is very significant.

Having a separate OS/storage drive is not hard to do. With both drives physically installed, when you install the OS on the drive you want, Windows will automatically assign the second drive a letter and it's all setup to go as a storage drive.

For "day to day" usage, you'll just need to remember that when installing apps you have to point the installer to the other drive and not the OS drive. Basically using the custom option and changing the drive letter.

Otherwise if you use Raid 0, both drives are seen as one and you just use it as such.

Below are the configs for speed preferences in order:

1. SSD w/OS + 1TB w/apps, storage
2. RAID 0
3. Small 7200rpm HDD w/OS + 1TB w/apps, storage
4. A single 1TB drive




Quote:
I plan on a fresh install of Windows 7(free if I'm lucky).

Or should I be considering Windows 8 ?
Whichever you can get the cheapest. (free always wins)

Overall, you don't to stand to gain much by Going Win 8. Conversely you don't lose out much by sticking with Win 7.

As long as it's x64, either is a good choice.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Bruce SX View Post
I was planning to install a DirectX 10 or 11 capable card with with lightweight gaming in mind. One having the capability to handle something on the level of Half-life. Or would that be overkill?
Without knowing what motherboard you have (or whether it has an integrated GPU on the motherboard) you will need a GPU anyway. If the boards were previously used for game development, then it's unlikely that it would have an Integrated GPU.

Considering your GPU budget and age of games then a DX9 card should be sufficient. Half Life era/level games don't utilize DX10 or DX11. Only newer titles do and for $20-$40 you'd be very hard pressed to find a card powerful enough to run DX11 features anyway. For your needs, aim for the fastest DX9 capable card you can afford.


Also, do you have the stock Heat Sink Fan/Cooler for the CPU? Or are they already installed on the board with the chip in place?

If not, you will have to factor in Thermal Paste when it comes time to installing the cooler.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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