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A newbies first build

by eghuff / June 24, 2006 1:18 AM PDT

Greetings to all you e-gurus, techno mavens, etc... (Or whatever the politically correct term for computer geeks is these days LOL) Now that I am sure I insulted someone out there, I need your help om a new little project I just dreamed up: I want to rebuild my old computer. I have a Dell 8250. Back in the day it was the best Dell offered....HA! Basically this computer has sucked from day 1. I had read up on this ''new-fangled'' pc1066 RDRAM. Made it sound like the greatest thing since sliced bread. The basic function of the computer has been fine, but whenever I would play a game...any game, it would bog down severely after exiting the game...sometimes taking like over a minute or two to be usable. Dell told me that I didnt have enuf ram so I bought more ram. That didnt help so they said that the video card wasnt up to snuff, so replaced the video card. That didnt help. Dell was totally unwilling to admit the unit was a lemon, so I just dealt with it. You all have been helping me with another project. (graphics card install on a new system I just bought) The only thing I like about the computer is the case, Is hinged and opens like a book. Will probaby reuse the cd burner, dvd, and sound card. Undecided about the hard drive. My problem lies in not knowing stuff like are mother boards all the same size...standardized, or do I need a Dell specific one? I have gotten a pretty good primer on the video card selection and power supply requirements (cudos to about a dozen of you, and you know who you are:) And I havent decided if I wanna mess with the duo core thing of just hit it with a big P4...any suggestions on that subject will be appreciated as well. In closing I am sure there is something I am forgetting so spank my in a reply and fill me in please. Damn I do ramble on..........

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How about telling us what you plan to use the PC for ?
by VAPCMD / June 24, 2006 9:41 AM PDT
In reply to: A newbies first build

Main use is ....... ?

VAPCMD

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new build use
by eghuff / June 24, 2006 3:50 PM PDT

Howdy...not that I sit around playing games all day, but I do like to play. The system is fine as is for surfing etc...I just get frustrated when I do play. Have you every heard anyone else complaining about system configs with RDRAM? Just curious

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New Build
by VAPCMD / June 25, 2006 12:47 AM PDT
In reply to: new build use

To be honest...you're probably best getting a new machine with components better suited to the more demanding use ...gamimg. For gamimg ...you're current system is short on system RAM ..1GB minimum and a good video card ...too many to list here.

Go to TOMSHARDWARE.COM and see what they say about the right anount of RAM for GAMIMG PCs and keep in mind what games you play...that makes a difference too.

Re the old PC....use what you can in the new PC and sell the rest. The RDRAM should bring you some $$ to defray the cost of the new PC.

Whichever you do ...post the proposed itemized tion here for comment and suggestion.

Good Luck
VAPCMD

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And price...
by John.Wilkinson / June 24, 2006 10:12 AM PDT
In reply to: A newbies first build

How much are you looking to spend on this upgrade? Looking over the specs of the system just about every component could be upgraded, depending on how thorough you want to be. Here are some quick thoughts:

* I'm not sure which motherboard it uses. (I'd run Everest to find out.) Surely it won't support dual-core but it may be capable of handling a new processor saving you that upgrade.

* If you do swap out the motherboard you'll likely have to purchase new RAM...compatibility issue. How much would you be looking to get? 1GB is good, 2GB would be ideal for the future. Maximum capacity and type will depend on the mobo.

* The DVD burner is only a 4x DVD+RW at best...the standard is a 16x DL (dual-layer) DVD+/-RW (multiformat), retailing for $40 depending on the exact make/model.

* The PSU will likely need upgraded to handle the new components, including a more powerful graphics card.

* The hard drive in the 8250 is a PATA...do you want to upgrade to SATA?

Honestly the system is still a good one...specs are in the standard range for a desktop nowadays, whereas it was top-of-the-line three years ago. You could just upgrade the graphics card (what did you install previously?) and stick with it for a while until you feel it's time to replace it.

Looking at it from another angle, in order to turn it into a higher-end machine by today's standards you'd have to replace the motherboard, processor, PSU, graphics card, RAM, hard drive, and DVD burner. For that matter it would be simpler to just buy a new one or build your own...you'd only be keeping the case and DVD-ROM drive, and the former may only hold you back as far as options go.

John

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newbie build
by eghuff / June 24, 2006 5:05 PM PDT
In reply to: And price...

Howdy... yeah I just thought it might be kinda cool to try to revamp this ole dawg. Since the very first game i played on it, I realized something was wrong, and after a dozen calls to dell, I realized they were not going to do anything about it. They told me it was a lack of ram and a poor video card. which btw, I thought funny due to the fact they sold the damn thing representing it as top-o-the-line. So I bought an additional 256mb of ram (not cheap I might add) and a cheap video card (geforce fx 5200 256mb). I know its not a good card, but compared to the 64mb card it came with I considered it an upgrade. The results/performance were the same--MAJOR LAG time after closing a game. I always assumed there was some flaw in the interaction between the system's RDRAM and the video's DDR RAM. But I could never find any evidence of this. All I know is that Dell hasnt had RDRAM im the ANY of their models since then. Go figure? I digress. If I thought that buying a better video card would Do the trick, I would but I hate the thought of spending another dime on this system if its a problem based on the ram. If thats the case nothign for it except a complete mobo overhaul, or to just deal with it.

Moneywise...heres the problem: I dont know squat form pentium D or pentium duo, or how they compare to the bigger P4s. Multiple apps have never be a big issue with me, and I dont know if the duos performance outshines the P4s as far as gaming. I figure I'd get a gig of ram. The DVD upgrade isnt a biggie...although cheap, I could care less about a burner. Ive used the DVD player I have now less than a dozen times. why watch a movie on 17" screen when I got 36" in the living room? hard drive...according to Everest, I have a ultra ATA. So I am asssuming the SATA is superior, maybe that is an upgrade I should consider. PSU, I figure around $100. I am wanting to be in the ballpark of $100-150 for a video card. I will reuse my sound card. I will probably need to do something about the case cooling system. I have heard a lot of peeps harping about how hot these new higher end cards get. Plus a new cpu oughta get a new fan. so I guess I am looking at spending a minimum of $600-700 bucks. Maybe I would be better off buying new...gee thanx John LOL

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