Posted 02 January 2010 - 06:32 PM
You need an OS. If you use Linux or some other customized OS, you can simply redownload and install it. Windows is another matter entirely. Due to licensing restrictions, you cannot reuse OEM copies of Windows as they are tied to a PC and can only be used on that specific PC. Microsoft defines a PC based on the motherboard, so if you get a new board, you have a new PC. OEM copies are those editions that HP, Dell, or some other big manufacturer pre-installs on the system. Full, boxed, retail copies of Windows do not have this restriction and may be moved from PC to PC, but can only be on one at any given time. If you're wanting to maximize the amount of threads you can use, assuming the programs you run can take advantage of multiple cores, a quad core might be better. Not all programs can use multiple cores, those that do may also be restricted to two cores. The Phenom II series, and most modern CPU's, can do virtualized processing. If you're working with large amounts of data, and, again, your programs can use it all, maximizing the amount of RAM you've got may prove beneficial. Of course, you need a 64-bit operating system to use it all, and the program running must also be coded for 64-bit to use the huge blocks of data.