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Thread: Got a better PC

  1. #1

    Got a better PC

    Its pretty quiet in here, so decided to post about something i always wanted to get.
    More powerful PC.

    Found some shop near our house that sells old used stuff. Clothes, furniture, tools etc, almost everything. All used stuff nothing new.
    I has told that there are some PC monitors. So one day i decided to take a look and found more than a just monitors.
    I found even old desktop PCs but much powerful than my old PC i was using for 10 years: AMD Duron 1.6GHz, 700~ something of RAM and 320GB HDD.
    Video ATI Radeon 9550 128MB

    The "new" PC i got is: Pentium 4, 3.0GHz (this is alot for me), with 1Gig of RAM (i have one free slot left, so i can add more), video is some Intel gfx (onboard) with 128MB of video memory (not stolen from RAM!), HDD was SATA and small 80GB or so. I have DVD-RW burner with IDE cable and i attached my old 320GB IDE HDD to this.
    Motherboard, i dont know what exactly, have been lazy to look. Used HWINFO to find drivers. But i know that its with Intel chipset.

    All works fine, what i dont like is the CPU fan, its noisy, i know i have to replace it anyway.
    But Intel has stupid thing called "CPU fan speed depending on CPU usage".

    If its (CPU usage) gets higher, noise gets bigger as it speeds up. I hope replacing fan and using some fan speed regulator app would help.
    BIOS only has "idle fan speed" which i set to minimum.

    The case has XP Pro license and key on it, proud to be continued legal owner of XP, all updates and things without problems as always.
    But i dunno is it OEM license or not or of whatever type it is. If i add some memory, will it stop working, i dunno.
    Too bad they are closing the support for XP.

    But overall, its alot faster than my old PC, of course its not dual core or something, but i never had a 3.0 GHz PC, it was the fastest available from this shop.
    And i even got discount because they said noone wants them. And i never had a 1GB of RAM.

    All the things, compiling in / using Lazarus and / or Delphi or VS or CodeBlocks. Much much faster.
    Motherboard even has place for PCIEx but its not soldered in (too bad, i could buy PCIE gfxcard to get even better video perf.).

    But im not much of a gamer, what i play is only all from GTA1 to San Andreas and Need For Speed MW.
    These are my favorites and only ones i have installed.

    Will see how long this one will last. The old PC as i said is 10 years old, of course i have updated parts in it etc, but its old but trusty.

    Maybe one day i also will have dual core PC, with 4GHz and 4-8GB of RAM.
    I could buy, but i dont see reason.

    I even didnt plan to replace my old one anytime soon, but when i saw the price and they even made the discount for such cheap price i took it immediately.
    So this is my story.

    Whats yours?

  2. #2
    Interesting.... because about 3 weeks ago I purchased a system very similar in specs for $20USD. I really purchased it for the flat screen monitor, a Samsung SyncMaster 712n. These are good for coding, very tall, lots of code on screen. I was prompted to actually set it up when I had to fix some reported issues with spaces in the path on XP. Last weekend I set it up and was pleasantly surprised how well it works. The demos run even on the integrated Intel gfx card. I've not used XP in a number of years and after all the updates (all day pretty much downloading updates and rebooting) installed, its working really well. So I have a nice machine now I can do XP testing on.

    Last edited by drezgames; 28-12-2013 at 10:11 PM.
    Jarrod Davis @ dRez Games - Twitter | YouTube
    Projects: dRezEngine | Dellegro

  3. #3
    Hi Jarrod. Whats even more interesting, it looks like almost my PC.
    I used CRT monitor for many years, now i got one used LCD for pretty cheap price. I also wanted to get more space for coding, so i have to scroll less and code more. I worked with 1024x768 for many years (started with 800x600 on Win98, 2-3 years).

    Currently max it can support and which i set it to is: 1440x900 pixels.
    Of course the bigger the better but so far im satisfied with this. Takes less space on desk and picture is better, old CRT one was getting blurry.
    Maybe i will fix it and use as secondary or primary monitor and LCD one as secondary.

    Because what i dont like about LCD is that you cant see much from different sides and angles from LCD, you must almost directly to LCD to see actual clear picture. With angles it "fades" away

    Its nice that you have XP box now, as you have seen from different reports, it's must have. For debugging and testing.
    Last edited by hwnd; 28-12-2013 at 09:04 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by hwnd View Post
    But Intel has stupid thing called "CPU fan speed depending on CPU usage".

    If its (CPU usage) gets higher, noise gets bigger as it speeds up. I hope replacing fan and using some fan speed regulator app would help.
    BIOS only has "idle fan speed" which i set to minimum.
    I would suggest that you replace both CPU heatsing and CPU fan. If your computer has stock heatsing that came with CPU it is quite likely that it doesn't provide enough cooling (I remember times when pepole were complaining about stok heatsinks).
    Also don't forget to check the North Bridge temperature becouse if it heats up pretty good (more than 60 degrees celsius) the motherboard will raise speed of CPU fan even thou CPU might still be much cooler. Everytime I was building a PC I always put a fan on Norht Bridge heatsink to avoid this scenario.
    Also making sure there is proper airflow through your PC tower is a good idea. I usually put aditional fan infront of hard drives so that it blows cool air into them. Unfortunately this can't be done on some towers as they don't have proper intake holes on front side of the tower. As for sucking this air out, that is done by PSU fan.

    As for fan speed auto-throtling: That can be a nice feature so you don't have to listen to your fans running at full speed all the time (as I have to on my old PC) or worry about overheating if you reduced their speed manually.

  5. #5
    Yep, the north bridge doesnt have fan, my old PC has this but when the fan died i unplugged it, so it will not make noise.
    Have to buy one for the current bridge. I have also fan in the back side of the tower.

    I will try to find CPU type and cooler for this, i dont know what type it is.

  6. #6
    I have been playing alot of modded Minecraft lately . Currently i have 3GHz dualcore, 5GB RAM, ATI Radeon with 512MB, and enough HDD space (additional 1TB fast USB drive to store stuff when needed). And recent change was switching from 32-bit to 64-bit Windows 7, because 32-bit Java cannot allocate over 1GB of RAM for a process. But that game is still putting my machine beg for mercy I'm running both server and client to play with friends, and overall they take up over 3GB of RAM, and almost full use of my CPU. Web browser while playing and game itself is very laggy, so i still have plans to upgrade further...

    What i'm going to need, is bare minimum of 8GB RAM. If i can get cheap 16GB i'll take it. My current motherboard doesn't support DDR3, so upgrade from DDR2 might also be noticable. But that means installing new motherboard, and at the same time why not update CPU to at least 3GHz quad core. Knowing that many processes don't run multithreaded, and having used 3GHz for years now, the least i'd want is quadcore that's slower than my old one. After all that is in place, and i'm not quite ready to update yet, i'll see about GPU few months later. I'm propably happy with the power supply, it was bought a year back or so. Nice and silent 550W, also all the fans speeds change by heat ratio, so in most use they don't make much noise... unless the fans are already dead and i'm in fake belief they're still working That shouldn't be the case, i trust HW monitor that's telling me temperatures are at 30-40 celcius.

  7. #7
    Since you guys are already bragging about your computers let me do the same about mines

    WARNING long post ahead

    1. the oldest wokring computer I have is more than 20 years old PC with AMD K5 100 MHz CPU which I oveclocked to 166 Mhz (simply forcing it to higher FSB). Luckily this CPU has error self correction which is working overtime in my configuration. Anywhay based on WinTune 3 (old WIndows 95 based benchmarking utility) the CPU actual usable performance is comparable to 143 MHz pentium CPU.
    Computer has 32 MB of DDR RAM, 8 GB hard drive and TEACK 4X CD rewriter and S3 Virage graphic card with 4 MB of video memory..
    I have both DOS 6.22 and Windows 98 SE installed on this computer.
    This computer is powerfull enough so I was even able to play games which specify 200 Mhz processor as minimum requirements.

    2. Second computer of mine is a bit younger but still over 10 years old. I have built this one myslef.
    CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1800+ with 1,5 GHz which I had overclocked to 1,8 GHz for amore than five years but had to revert back to stock settings in the end due to ocasional sudden system resets. I'm not sure wheter this is due to CPU or Motherboard since I have no suitable hardware to test this (equal CPU or Motheboard).
    RAM: 2 GB of DDR2 with 400 MHz frequency (max that my motherboard supports).
    Graphic card: AGP 8 based Saphire ATI Radeon 9600 PRO with 256 MB of video memory.
    HDD: Western Digital Caviar 200 GB 7200 RPM. Like it is common on my computer Hard Drive is almost completly full.
    Optical drive: TEAC CD/RW 52x and TEAC DVD/RW (not sure for DVD/RW speed thou)
    OS: WinXR Pro and dozens of other more or less usefull programs

    3. My first laptop Acer aspire 3025 WLMi
    CPU: AMD Sampron 3300+
    Memory: 512 MB of DDR2 RAM
    Graphical card: ATI Mobility Radeon X700 PCI Express with 128 MB of video memory
    Hard drive: Western Digital 160GB (replaced the old Fujitsu siemens 80 GB)
    Screen: 15,4 4:3 screen ratio
    Optical unit: DVD/RW (I don't rembember the manufacturer name).
    OS: WIndows XP Personal Edition OEM.

    This laptop seved me well for many years. But now it is not quite usefull any more since the heatsing fro the GPU buckled due to heat and no longer provides suficient cooling to GPU which causes system to reduce both my GPU and CPU speed to prevent overheating. This in turn makes computer work realy slow. So I mostly use it for storing backup copies of some of my files.
    I tried to fix this by disasembling whole laptop but I couldn't unscrew those tiny GPU heatsink screws as they literaly melted into casings plastic. That is no wonder since average CPU temperature when playing demmanding games was 78 degrees celsius. When playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R it even reached 85 degrees celsius. That was just before my HDD shuted down due to overheating (I had to fecr windows into using bigger page file so that STALKER had enough memory available. But this caused to much pof work for my HDD. Luckily this was after I have replaced original Fujitsu Siemens HDD as that one doesn't have shutdown on everheating capability.
    This laptop was my first computer which I heavily used for programming (learning of it). Naturally for this I have Delphi 7 installed on it.

    4. My newest and best of them all is Acer Aspire 6530G laptop which I using right now
    CPU: AMD Turion X Dual Core Mobility with 2 GHz
    RAM: 4 GB of DD3 RAM 666 MHz
    Graphic card: AMD Mobility Radeon 3650 with 512 MB of video memory and Shader 3 support.
    HDD: Western Digital 320 GB 5400 RPM SATA3 and Western Digital 500 GB 5400 RPM SATA3. Yes I have laptop computer with ability to have two hard drives at once. I was first thinking of upgrading my laptop with a SSD drive but once my old HDD started acting wierd ocasionally I decided to buy 500 GB WD instead as I though old HDD will just die. It is still working with ocasional sudden shutdowns which then require system restart for it to wake up.

    This computer is now 4 years old (model year 200. But despite that I can still play most newest games with it. The only ones that are giving me troubles are the ones who require athleast Levl 4 Shader support. And when I think of that I payed just about 600$ for it well all I could say that it was probably the best bargin I could get at that time.
    The laptop only has two flaws I found so far
    - while the laptop does have full keyboard including the numerical part both Enter keys acts only as numberpad enter so this is sometimes giving me some troubles with games which specifically require to pres VK_RETURN at certain times
    - the laptop is equipped with tuba speaker which greatly improves the sound expirience but unfortunately sound card has stereo subwofer output and both left and right signals are physically conected to one Tuba speaker. This can sometimes cause some wierd sound distortions comming out of Tuba speaker when thwo threads for processing Left and Right audio channel lose their synchonization. This is especially big problem on Windows Vista and nwer becouse Windows is the one that can adjust processing priority even to hardware drivers. When I installed WinXP as dual bot I never expirienced such problems with audio becouse on WinXP the drivers always have priority over other programs.

    Besides these four computers I have lots of spare components mostly for realy old computers

    What will I want for my next machine:
    -athleast 8 core CPU with athleast 3 GHz per core. Preferably true 8 core CPU and not just 4 core CPU with hyper-threading support. Mybe even a dual CPU system
    -athleast 16 GB of RAM so I can make use of RAM drive functionality to speed up some things. Having 32 GB of ram would be even better
    -having SSD for the OS and 1TB for data which still might not be enough for me
    -system with two graphical cards or athleast one with 2 GPU's
    -dual monitor system (would come in handy sometimes. Right now I sometimes use combination of two computers (my laptop and my PC)

    If I forget about dual CPU and dual graphics card setup I could probably build such system for about 1500$ but that is too much for my current financial situation (two full paychecks).

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverWarior View Post
    the oldest wokring computer I have is more than 20 years old PC
    Whoa, nice. My oldest computer, before it gave up the ghost, was about 8-9 years old. It was designed for Windows 98 and by the time it stop working I had XP installed and was working well enough for years. But if you want to take it back..... way back.... my very first computer was a TRS-80 Model I 1979-80 (bw monitor, 8K RAM... i think it was), next TRS-Computer 1, 2 & 3. I even had that portal computer from Radio Shack... what was it... I think the Model 100. My first IBM compatible machine was the Tandy 1000 (I think that is what it was called). After that, I was out of high school and was building them myself. I remember the thrill of first playing Wolf3d on my 286 machine, fast and arcade feeling. Later when Doom came out (oh my), getting the turtle sign in the upper corner of the screen. My box was too slow and not enough memory. I remember upgrading memory to 4MB and it costing a grip back in the day. I think I got the memory at Software Etc. I eventually got a 386 box with 8MB and things where great. Good times, good times. Ahh... little tears of nostalgia.
    Last edited by drezgames; 29-12-2013 at 04:26 PM.
    Jarrod Davis @ dRez Games - Twitter | YouTube
    Projects: dRezEngine | Dellegro

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by hwnd View Post
    Currently max it can support and which i set it to is: 1440x900 pixels.
    Yes, its been working really well. I am surprised that stuff actually works accelerated with this Intel graphics card. I guess they have gotten much better with this model. Years ago, I had so many problem with these cards. This monitor is 1280x1024 and very nice to code on. My wide screen monitor on my main dev box is 14480x900 too and I have noticed the difference those few extra pixels can make. I think I may eventually use it in multimonitor setup and it be the coding monitor.
    Jarrod Davis @ dRez Games - Twitter | YouTube
    Projects: dRezEngine | Dellegro

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by piradyne View Post
    I eventually got a 386 box with 8MB and things where great. Good times, good times. Ahh... little tears of nostalgia.
    Actually first computer we had was 386 but I'm not sure if it was original Intel 386 or AMD Am386. What I do remember it had Turbo function which alowed doubling the frequency from 11 MHz to 22 MHz.
    It took my brother a few months before he realized how I always kept beatinh his highscores at TETRIS

    But since we sold that computer a long time ago I haven't mentioned it.

    EDIT: Wolfenstein 3D
    I can't tell you how many hours did I spent playing that game. I knew position of every soldier, every secreet pasage and even figured out a cheat code (MLI).
    Last edited by SilverWarior; 29-12-2013 at 08:08 PM.

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