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Welcome to the Hardware Forum

This is where you can ask questions and get and give help about hardware related issues. This Forum will be moderated by Taw with help from some other experts. So feel free to ask any questions you may have about computers.

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:19 am

Welcome to the Hardware Forum

Welcome to the all-new Hardware forum people! Tawakalna asked me to create a thread introducing this new forum, because he said that he had to go off and invade his lily pond and make war on some amphibians (or something like that). Basically, this forum was created in order to provide a centralised board in which posters can discuss hardware quandries, ask for technical advice, and ask for suggestions in regards to hardware purchases, etc. In addition, feel free to post reviews of new hardware (eg. ATI's upcoming R520), and discuss anything that is even peripherally related to hardware (Geddit? ). Enjoy!

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:27 am

thanks to BP for making this forum, I think it's something we've needed for a while now.

OT, Modding/Editing and the other forums get filled up with hardware issues and because we all have a tendency to stick in certain forums requests for help often don't get heard. now any hardware issues will be posted or moved to here, where they'll get more exposure and people will get more help. after all, many of us really do know our stuff and some of us have been in the computer trade for years. I've been a pc technician & network engineer for 15 years now and i've been involved in computers/electronics for longer than that, 20+ years.

Also you can use this forum to post your machine specs and tell us about anything you've just bought or you're going to buy, largely so that I can laugh if its pants and get all jealous if its good and yes, we'll talk about overclocking and cooling and system streamlining and tcp/ip networking and all the rest of it.

ok here's mine, not quite the beast it once was but still doing everything i need it do.

Intel Pentium P4-3.4ghz Northwood o'c'd-->3.8 (i can take it up to 4 but it gets flakey)
MSi Neo2-P 859PE mobo
Akasa King Copper 901CU active cooler/heatsink (and I use Arctic Silver 5 and nothing else as thermal compound)
Powercolor ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 256mb 8x AGP (after a lot of fiddling by me it runs almost as fast as an X800 and is just as stable)
2x WD Caviar SE 160gb SATA in zero-array
2gb Crucial Ballistix 466mhz DDR dual-channel memory
Voyetra Turtle Beach Montego 8.1 Dolby Digital s/card

I have a highly-tweaked system with loads of registry and system.ini changes, running my pagefile entirely in RAM. I'll be putting a more-or-less definitive XP tweak guide up fairly soon. I dont have the fastest system in their world anymore in terms of pure horsepower but Windows does fly on it and I have no issues with speed in games at all. I know lots of people with better systems who have terrible slowdowns. it does everything i want it to and played Doom3 and Battlefield 2 fine, no frame rate issues, no slowdown. but a year from now its gonna be way behind, so within the next few months im probably gonna change to AMD 64, XP Pro x64-bit, 4gb of RAM and a PCI-Express motherboard, pssibly, although I havent convinced myself yet, with dual-SLi if nothing faster is ont eh market and ATi dont get their act together. hate to leave Intel too but what are they offering at the moment? overheating LGA775 and thats it.

you'll notice that Esquilax never posts his hardware specs? thats because he runs a 386-SX-20 with 1mb 30-pin SIMMS, 20mb HDD, and a 256kb ISA video card. he can't even play Privateer or WC2!

Edited by - Tawakalna (Reloaded) on 9/17/2005 9:43:14 AM

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:47 am

Lies! I have posted my specifications on more than one occasion! I just can't be bothered typing them out, but I'll look for them later on. Besides, my lack of RAM is embarrassing (512MB ). I had 768MB, but the computer shop that I purchased the RAM from was selling Samsung chips on a generic PCB, so the RAM was full of errors. Damn MSY *grumble*. And don't call me a fool for not buying quality matched DIMMs! I was young and naive when I purchased my PC! The world was a happier place then... *Sniff*

Edited by - esquilax on 9/16/2005 5:47:50 AM

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:02 am


After going through an exhausting bout of research with a buddy of mine recently (he just got back from the World of Sand, and wanted to build a super-gamer-PC)... I have come to the conclusion that dual-SLI setups are a complete waste of money. Unless you want truely ridiculous amounts of AA and AF at huge resolutions.

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:29 am

As I recall, two identical SLI cards only provide a 50% increase in speed (not 100%), and there also is a visible line that can be identified where the two cards meet when they each render half of a scene. They should fix that in a driver release though, but probably not for a while.

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:30 am

well I'm not convinced about SLi myself, I remember back in't old days when I had two Voodoo 2s on an SLi link, it was top of the tree but not by much and not for long. I'm holding out for a decent ATi release or if that doesnt appear I'll go for a 7800 Ultra prob (goddam it ATi give us something!) - I hear what you're saying Argh and generally I think along the same lines but I have built this year some schtonking SLi systems for people. awful lot of money for what you get though, innit?

mis-matched RAM - *sigh* you won't be doing that again Bunny-boy will you? all my RAM matches right down to batch numbers and my dual-processor server has exactly the same batches and steppings. Consistency & Quality = stability!

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:08 am

cool to see this forum up. my own comp is home built ( I did it for the challenge, and what better way to learn about computers lol)
I run it on a intel celeron half motherboard ( I know not much options for upgrade, but I didnt have much to spend at the time)
2 GHz intel celeron processor with 400 MHz bus ( yea its a bit slow but still does a good job)
1Gb of ram ( I can go up to 2Gb but alas I lack the funds )
a nivida gforce fx 5500 grapichs card
a sound blaster 24 bit ( with a creative 2.1 speaker system, I like the bass speaker playing freelancer lol)
all this for under $1100, of cource I have a old vivitron monitor my friend let me have from his gateway 2000 comp lol, but my friend who works on and loves computers says its comparable to a $1300 comp setup so I figure I did a great job for not knowing a thing about computers when I started.

what I would like to see here is some things on improveing processor prefromance without resorting to geting a new processor.

Blessed Be to all those that still dream of the flight to the stars.

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:35 am

Taw, I wish my system was nearly as fast as yours. I'm stuck with a crappy 1.7 prossesor that doesn't even work right now.

And I'm sorry I went off on you in my other topic.

4 8 15 16 23 42

Twenty bucks to whoever can tell me what the deal is with those numbers. I'll give you a hint: They have somthing to do with a guy named Hurley.

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:52 am

Those numbers refer to several different thing but I'm guessing....

Those numbers became an obsession a few months ago. They added, multiplied, divided and subtracted them. They turned each individual number into its corresponding letter of the alphabet. They tried to see if they matched anyone's telephone number, or Global Positioning System coordinates. Someone even started a Web site: which posts its theories about The Numbers. Who would do stuff like this? Fans of the show ''Lost", ABC's drama about 14 people stranded on an island...

Edited by - bakedpotato on 9/16/2005 5:57:18 PM

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:17 pm

Taw - I have learnt my lesson. Now it's matched Corsair DIMMs all the way! As for ATI, the specs for the R520 look good, except that there are rumours that nV already have a better card that they intend to release if and when ATI release *their* new card. *Sigh*

Housey - Have you investigated the possibility of overclocking your CPU?

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:58 pm

I will have to check......its been a while since I have been in my bios ( on my board I have to move a extreamly small breaker to get into bios)

Blessed Be to all those that still dream of the flight to the stars.

Post Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:21 pm

AthlonXP 2500+ (Barton core, not overclocked) with AMD-supplied heatsink/fan
Asus A7N8X
1 gig DDR (2 x 512, not matched, but running in Dual Channel mode)
Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 Pro Advantage (256 meg)
Using integrated motherboard sound (which isn't half bad since the chipset is nForce2)
Maxtor 160 gig and 200 gig HDs

This is running XP Pro, somewhat tweaked and so on, but more with an eye to security than to performance.

I just recently bought a nice 2.1 set of speakers and I've got to say since getting them the sound I've gotten out of Freelancer has been a lot more realistic feeling because of the bass from the woofer.

My next upgrade won't be for some time yet, and will be comparatively modest.. likely an Athlon64 of some kind, new motherboard, PCI-E video card, and as much of the remainder of my hardware will transport across as possible.

Incidentally, I play Freelancer on my laptop as well, so here's the specs for the Compaq R3215CA:

AthlonXP 2800+
Geforce 420 Go 32 meg (dedicated, not shared)
512 megs DDR
60 gig hard drive
Laptop speakers and whatever sound chipset the laptop has.

Surprisingly the graphics quality isn't too bad for the particular graphics chip and the fact that the aspect ratio is a bit distorted at 1024x768 because of the widescreen 15.4" LCD.

Edited by - Hahukum Konn on 9/17/2005 12:28:37 AM

Post Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:50 am

ok heres my of 9/5/05 lol

AMD FX-55 CPU attatched to a
MSI K8N Neo4 Sli Mobo (MS-7100-020)
4gb DDR400 Kingston RAM
2 MSI GeForceT 7800 GTX PCI-E GPU's in SLI config. (MS-V801-010)
Turbo Stream Powersupply (500W)
Koolance Exos-2 Liquid Cooling System (its a decent cooling system)
21'' LCD monitor
2 160gb HDD (i have no idea what they are )

its not the best pc in history, but hell its good enough for a few years. But msi was cool about one thing...they offer to anyone who has the socket939 an upgrade to the new dual core thinggy...the AMD Athlon XP-2 dual core I haven't decided yet...any thoughts?

"To live is to die....but living is to die slowly..why waste time on trivial things just play as hard as you can"

Post Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:31 am

haven't had any feedback yet on the X2, but that sounds like q a good offer from MSi. and you've got 2x 7800GTX in SLi and 4gb of RAM - it may not be the best PC in history but it's better than almost everybody else's!

<gnashes teeth in jealousy at DS' top-specs>

Post Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:31 am

the big reason i went so high up in the food chain with the pc is for longivity. I figure this setup will be good for about 3 or more years so i can just not spend another dime on the thing for a while and concentrate on games

But yeah the MSi deal is pretty sweet...but like i said, i am reluctaant to trade up to that X2 thing....ihaev NO knowladge in the realm of Dual Core processors and also i am not even sure if it is worth the upgrade mainly because i don't know if anything really will benifit from that CPU.

BTW....Taw, what is the safe range boost the memory and the core of my 7800's?

Core Clock Speed = 430mhz
Ramdacs speed = 400mhz
memory (not sure if it is the clock speed) =1.2ghz
32.43gb/s mem bandwidth

Also, is 8 pipes good or kinda blech....cause my old FX5500 had i think 4 pipes. ( i am GPU illiterate )

Edited by - Dark_Shadow2004 on 9/17/2005 11:36:59 AM

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