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First time builder needs advice


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#1 Copeland

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 06:10 PM

Hello ladies & Gents ! Finally talked the ex into letting me try to build (up grade) her desk top.... (sure hope I don't screw up :thumbsup: ) Anyway heres what I'm thinking of putting together, any input would be a big help... Thanks ahead of time.. She'll be running XP home on it....

GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

AMD Athlon II X3 425 Rana 2.7GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model ADX425WFGIBOX -


Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

She has a DVD/rewriter and a 430 Watt Power supply already, keyboard, etc......

Another question I have is can I use her old memory cards in the build ?

Please be patient with me, as I will be with you...lol

Thanks again & have a great day !

Robert

Edited by Copeland, 14 March 2010 - 06:12 PM.


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#2 babicz

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Posted 14 March 2010 - 10:51 PM

Not bad so far, but time for some information :thumbsup:

1.) I presume that you are keeping the old case. If so, is it a micro-ATX case? If not, then you'll need to either change the motherboard you chose to whichever form factor the case is, OR, buy a new case that has a micro-ATX form factor. (or else the motherboard won't fit!)

2.) Hard drive: make sure your current case (or the case you might need to buy) has a 3.5" drive bay to hold your new HDD. ALSO, the drive you chose is a bare drive, which means it won't come with screws or a manual, simply a piece of metal (the drive its self), so make sure you have screws to hold it in the case (You can usually just use trial and error to find a screw that works, but just be prepared to use them). Keep in mind that not all cases use screws to hold in the hard drive, but just keep this in mind :huh:

3.) What are the specifications for the old memory, and how much memory are we talking here? You'll need to make sure you have DDR3 RAM memory, because any other type (DDR2, etc.) won't be compatible with your motherboard, and it simply won't recognize the RAM.

P.S.
4.) 430 Watt psu should get you by, but consider upping it a little, depending on how much you work the computer.

Hope this helps! Get some info from others, I might have missed something :S, and as I am somewhat new to building and don't have the experience that other might have.
GL!
Alex

#3 DJBPace07

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:27 PM

Are you in the U.S.? I ask because we can pick parts for you if we know which retailers you can use. Also, what is your budget for this build? I very strongly advise against using Windows XP on this machine. It is ancient and will leave support entirely in four years, besides, you cannot simply reinstall the OS from the old PC on a new PC due to licensing restrictions. With one exception. If your copy of Windows XP is a full, retail, boxed edition, you may move it, but 95% of all PC users don't have this version of Windows. You need to purchase Windows 7. You need a few things to build a PC, a case, motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive, optical drive, graphics card, and operating system. You've gotten off to a decent start. If you're reusing the case from the old PC and it is micro-ATX, by all means, get that motherboard. However, if you need to purchase a new case or are reusing a mid-ATX case, then you may want to go for a standard ATX motherboard. Standard ATX motherboards are more spread out and usually run cooler. I don't recommend using the Athlon II CPU's unless you are working with a really tight budget. The Phenom II X2 CPU's have more power, but cost slightly more. Depending on usage of this PC, you may want to get a new power supply, say, around 500W to 550W. Most newer motherboards take DDR3 memory, if the old memory is more than a year old or it was a budget PC to begin with, you may not be able to reuse the old RAM sticks.

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#4 Copeland

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 07:06 PM

Not bad so far, but time for some information :thumbsup:

1.) I presume that you are keeping the old case. If so, is it a micro-ATX case? If not, then you'll need to either change the motherboard you chose to whichever form factor the case is, OR, buy a new case that has a micro-ATX form factor. (or else the motherboard won't fit!)

2.) Hard drive: make sure your current case (or the case you might need to buy) has a 3.5" drive bay to hold your new HDD. ALSO, the drive you chose is a bare drive, which means it won't come with screws or a manual, simply a piece of metal (the drive its self), so make sure you have screws to hold it in the case (You can usually just use trial and error to find a screw that works, but just be prepared to use them). Keep in mind that not all cases use screws to hold in the hard drive, but just keep this in mind :huh:

3.) What are the specifications for the old memory, and how much memory are we talking here? You'll need to make sure you have DDR3 RAM memory, because any other type (DDR2, etc.) won't be compatible with your motherboard, and it simply won't recognize the RAM.

P.S.
4.) 430 Watt psu should get you by, but consider upping it a little, depending on how much you work the computer.

Hope this helps! Get some info from others, I might have missed something :S, and as I am somewhat new to building and don't have the experience that other might have.
GL!
Alex


Hi Alex and thanks for replying.... 1)yes I'm planing on using the old case its an older AMD case that has a MSI K9VGM-V board in it right now. so I guess I'll just wait and see.. 2) got that covered, but thanks..lol 3) Yup its a DDR2 so thats, that..lol 4) thanks for the advice !

Robert

#5 Copeland

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 07:25 PM

Hi DJBPace07 thanks for replying ..... Yes I'm in the US.... I'm looking at buying from newegg... shoe string budget ... Or I'd just install windows 7 .... yes her copy of windows XP is a license copy bought and payed for...and yes it was a budget build last time too... (but a Co. did it then) The case its all in now only has the name AMD (but it has a MSI K9VGM-V MB in it now) on the front so I don't really know about all the ATX etc... the old memory is DDR2 so I guess I'll have to get that... This is more than just my first build its a whole new thing for me.... But I'm sure with a little help I can pull it off..LOL

Robert

#6 babicz

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 08:15 PM

Well you're in luck because your original motherboard is a micro-ATX board, which means you can simply keep the old case and save a couple bucks :thumbsup:
As for RAM, oh well :/ When picking RAM on newegg, just read the reviews before buying and you should be fine.
Do you know the specifications of your CD drive?
Like DJBPace07 said, you might want to get a little stronger power supply, but that depends on what the computer will be used for.

Now, what will (generally) will you be using the computer for? Good info to know so we could help pick out some parts for you.

#7 Copeland

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 10:09 PM

[Saving moneys always a good thing...... :thumbsup: I'll read the reviews on the RAM (open to suggestions) before buying for sure....lol Shes not looking to have a top of the line pc just one that works....lol Specifications of her CD drive ? Ok I'm lost :huh: ..... What she has now is a LG DVD Rewriter and I hoping to reuse that one at this time.... hope that answers the question...... If not just tell me....lol


Edit: Edited to remove unnecessary quote. ~ tg

Edited by tg1911, 15 March 2010 - 11:04 PM.


#8 babicz

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 10:21 PM

Well I'm assuming she's not a gamer :D So in that case, if you do decide to up the power of your power supply, you would be fine with 500.
I'm just being nit-picky but I wanted to make sure that you'll be able to connect the drive to the motherboard, but your computer sounds recent enough that this is not an issue :thumbsup:
Well you're almost good to go, just find some RAM and maybe list everything just to double check compatibility and such.


Edit: Edited to remove unnecessary quote. ~ tg

#9 DJBPace07

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 03:00 AM

Reusing the case will definitely save you some cash. This means you need a CPU, RAM, Motherboard, power supply, hard drive, and, possibly, Windows. You may not need a discrete graphics card if this is only being used for simple stuff, not gaming or video editing.

Here's a suggestion:

Motherboard: ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - This is a microATX motherboard that has an integrated graphics card, supports DDR3 memory, and allows for AMD's AM3 CPU's, all at a reasonable price. $76

Power Supply: Antec Basiq BP500U 500W - This is a basic power supply that should meet your needs. $50

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Callisto 3.2GHz - This is one of AMD's newest, and fastest, dual core CPU's. Like all of AMD's Black Edition CPU's, this one has its multiplier unlocked for easy overclocking, though, I doubt she will use this feature. The Phenom II line is more powerful than the Athlon II line due to architecture and design differences. If you had a Phenom II and an Athlon II that had the same number of cores and ran at the same clock speed, the Phenom II would be faster. Note that some AM3 CPU's will run on AM2/AM2+ motherboards if the motherboard has the appropriate BIOS installed from the manufacturer. I checked MSI's website for the K9VGM-V and it does not support any AM3 CPU's. $100

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - Like all AM3 motherboards, this one requires DDR3 memory. Remember, if you want to use 4GB or more of RAM, a 64-bit operating system must be installed. $95

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3 - This should be plenty of space for most users. $55

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit for System Builders - I know you said you have a licensed copy of Windows XP, but I want to make absolutely sure you have the correct version. When I say full, retail, boxed edition, I mean a full, not upgrade, copy that was purchased in a store or online, not pre-installed on a new PC, that does not say anywhere on the box, media, or within Windows itself, that you are using an OEM or a copy for system builders. Recovery discs and discs that come from OEM's allowing you to reinstall Windows are considered OEM copies, along with pre-installed versions. If you indeed have a retail copy of the old dinosaur OS, you can use that but keep in mind that it will not be 64-bit and thus your RAM will be reduced. I strongly suggest going to Windows 7 regardless for security and longevity reasons. $104

Total Price: $482 (Includes everything above)

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#10 Copeland

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:04 PM

Well I'm assuming she's not a gamer :D So in that case, if you do decide to up the power of your power supply, you would be fine with 500.
I'm just being nit-picky but I wanted to make sure that you'll be able to connect the drive to the motherboard, but your computer sounds recent enough that this is not an issue :huh:
Well you're almost good to go, just find some RAM and maybe list everything just to double check compatibility and such.


Edit: Edited to remove unnecessary quote. ~ tg


Ok thanks babicz, will do a post of what she decides to do, and when she decides to do it.. :thumbsup:

Robert

#11 Copeland

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 08:26 PM

Reusing the case will definitely save you some cash. This means you need a CPU, RAM, Motherboard, power supply, hard drive, and, possibly, Windows. You may not need a discrete graphics card if this is only being used for simple stuff, not gaming or video editing.

Here's a suggestion:

Motherboard: ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - This is a microATX motherboard that has an integrated graphics card, supports DDR3 memory, and allows for AMD's AM3 CPU's, all at a reasonable price. $76

Power Supply: Antec Basiq BP500U 500W - This is a basic power supply that should meet your needs. $50

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Callisto 3.2GHz - This is one of AMD's newest, and fastest, dual core CPU's. Like all of AMD's Black Edition CPU's, this one has its multiplier unlocked for easy overclocking, though, I doubt she will use this feature. The Phenom II line is more powerful than the Athlon II line due to architecture and design differences. If you had a Phenom II and an Athlon II that had the same number of cores and ran at the same clock speed, the Phenom II would be faster. Note that some AM3 CPU's will run on AM2/AM2+ motherboards if the motherboard has the appropriate BIOS installed from the manufacturer. I checked MSI's website for the K9VGM-V and it does not support any AM3 CPU's. $100

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - Like all AM3 motherboards, this one requires DDR3 memory. Remember, if you want to use 4GB or more of RAM, a 64-bit operating system must be installed. $95

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3 - This should be plenty of space for most users. $55

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit for System Builders - I know you said you have a licensed copy of Windows XP, but I want to make absolutely sure you have the correct version. When I say full, retail, boxed edition, I mean a full, not upgrade, copy that was purchased in a store or online, not pre-installed on a new PC, that does not say anywhere on the box, media, or within Windows itself, that you are using an OEM or a copy for system builders. Recovery discs and discs that come from OEM's allowing you to reinstall Windows are considered OEM copies, along with pre-installed versions. If you indeed have a retail copy of the old dinosaur OS, you can use that but keep in mind that it will not be 64-bit and thus your RAM will be reduced. I strongly suggest going to Windows 7 regardless for security and longevity reasons. $104

Total Price: $482 (Includes everything above)



Ok thanks DJBPace07 let me talk to her about this (and let her do the deciding :thumbsup: ) thanks for all the help....

Motherboard: The big thing I see right now is a Warranty issue Gigabyte's got a 3 yr on the one I posted where as the one your talking about has a 1 yr.... (of course money plays a role in this also the one ur talking about cost less, but knowing her she'll think the extra 10 or so would be worth gettin the Gig. for the 3 yr warranty)

Power Supply: Could this wait a month or so... and just run on the 430W till then ?

CPU: Here again theres a money issue, I understand ur only giving me (and her) a suggestion about what to use and it IS Appreciated ! She's not a gamer as I think you guessed..lol But if she decides to go with the Gig. would the CPU you suggested work in it, or even the one I posted ?
As for her old system (MSI) K9VGM-V it had/has (lol) a AMD Athlon 64 3000 AM2 CPU

RAM: She had DDR2 PC4200 533MHz which was suppose to be only 2GB (I was there when she told the Co. building it last time she wanted at least 2GB. But I don't know if whats in there is 2 or 4... neither here or there now...lol Bottom line 4GB works fine, of course cheaper would be better....just saying..lol

HD: I couldn't find a speed for that 500GB you posted but I know the 320GB one I put up top has a listed speed of 7200 RPM and I read some
where the higher the RPM the fast it would run.... but I don't really know anything either..lol I know less space but less money also..... I hate being so cheap but her being my ex (before you wonder more about that, we have kids and its much easier to help and get along than to fight about things..lol)

Operating System: I found some paper work on her windows XP and this may well not be a full copy.... It says (for one thing) MS Windows XP Home w/SP2 ---- 93.00/bucks.... But it also says on a little booket : (For distribution only with a new PC) This OEM software may not be delivered unless accompanied by the required hardware under the microsoft OEM System builder located at etce, etc..... But we did get some drivers from the builder if that means anything..... And of course the product code key... I would go alone with you (windows 7) in a heart beat but its her money..lol and if you don't think this (her old XP) is a full copy, I'll let her read whatever you have to say about it in your reply.....

Thanks for all the help sorry if its a pain in the butt.... :huh:

Robert

#12 tg1911

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Posted 16 March 2010 - 10:48 PM

Microsoft OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) operating systems are tied to the motherboard, of the system it was installed in.
As far as Microsoft is concerned, you change the motherboard, you've got a different computer, so you have to purchase new operating system software.
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#13 babicz

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:30 AM

Reusing the case will definitely save you some cash. This means you need a CPU, RAM, Motherboard, power supply, hard drive, and, possibly, Windows. You may not need a discrete graphics card if this is only being used for simple stuff, not gaming or video editing.

Here's a suggestion:

Motherboard: ASRock M3A785GMH/128M AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - This is a microATX motherboard that has an integrated graphics card, supports DDR3 memory, and allows for AMD's AM3 CPU's, all at a reasonable price. $76

Power Supply: Antec Basiq BP500U 500W - This is a basic power supply that should meet your needs. $50

CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 555 Callisto 3.2GHz - This is one of AMD's newest, and fastest, dual core CPU's. Like all of AMD's Black Edition CPU's, this one has its multiplier unlocked for easy overclocking, though, I doubt she will use this feature. The Phenom II line is more powerful than the Athlon II line due to architecture and design differences. If you had a Phenom II and an Athlon II that had the same number of cores and ran at the same clock speed, the Phenom II would be faster. Note that some AM3 CPU's will run on AM2/AM2+ motherboards if the motherboard has the appropriate BIOS installed from the manufacturer. I checked MSI's website for the K9VGM-V and it does not support any AM3 CPU's. $100

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 - Like all AM3 motherboards, this one requires DDR3 memory. Remember, if you want to use 4GB or more of RAM, a 64-bit operating system must be installed. $95

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD5000AADS 500GB 32MB Cache SATA 3 - This should be plenty of space for most users. $55

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit for System Builders - I know you said you have a licensed copy of Windows XP, but I want to make absolutely sure you have the correct version. When I say full, retail, boxed edition, I mean a full, not upgrade, copy that was purchased in a store or online, not pre-installed on a new PC, that does not say anywhere on the box, media, or within Windows itself, that you are using an OEM or a copy for system builders. Recovery discs and discs that come from OEM's allowing you to reinstall Windows are considered OEM copies, along with pre-installed versions. If you indeed have a retail copy of the old dinosaur OS, you can use that but keep in mind that it will not be 64-bit and thus your RAM will be reduced. I strongly suggest going to Windows 7 regardless for security and longevity reasons. $104

Total Price: $482 (Includes everything above)



Ok thanks DJBPace07 let me talk to her about this (and let her do the deciding :thumbsup: ) thanks for all the help....

Motherboard: The big thing I see right now is a Warranty issue Gigabyte's got a 3 yr on the one I posted where as the one your talking about has a 1 yr.... (of course money plays a role in this also the one ur talking about cost less, but knowing her she'll think the extra 10 or so would be worth gettin the Gig. for the 3 yr warranty)

Power Supply: Could this wait a month or so... and just run on the 430W till then ?

CPU: Here again theres a money issue, I understand ur only giving me (and her) a suggestion about what to use and it IS Appreciated ! She's not a gamer as I think you guessed..lol But if she decides to go with the Gig. would the CPU you suggested work in it, or even the one I posted ?
As for her old system (MSI) K9VGM-V it had/has (lol) a AMD Athlon 64 3000 AM2 CPU

RAM: She had DDR2 PC4200 533MHz which was suppose to be only 2GB (I was there when she told the Co. building it last time she wanted at least 2GB. But I don't know if whats in there is 2 or 4... neither here or there now...lol Bottom line 4GB works fine, of course cheaper would be better....just saying..lol

HD: I couldn't find a speed for that 500GB you posted but I know the 320GB one I put up top has a listed speed of 7200 RPM and I read some
where the higher the RPM the fast it would run.... but I don't really know anything either..lol I know less space but less money also..... I hate being so cheap but her being my ex (before you wonder more about that, we have kids and its much easier to help and get along than to fight about things..lol)

Operating System: I found some paper work on her windows XP and this may well not be a full copy.... It says (for one thing) MS Windows XP Home w/SP2 ---- 93.00/bucks.... But it also says on a little booket : (For distribution only with a new PC) This OEM software may not be delivered unless accompanied by the required hardware under the microsoft OEM System builder located at etce, etc..... But we did get some drivers from the builder if that means anything..... And of course the product code key... I would go alone with you (windows 7) in a heart beat but its her money..lol and if you don't think this (her old XP) is a full copy, I'll let her read whatever you have to say about it in your reply.....

Thanks for all the help sorry if its a pain in the butt.... :huh:

Robert


If you don't mind, I'd like to respond, and cut to the damn chase... :

-Your original cpu+motherboard will work fine. The motherboard is made by Gigabyte (very well trusted brand) and the CPU is more powerful that mine, and I'm an (moderate) intense gamer, just to give you a comparison!
-Power should be ok until then, as long as you don't overwork the PC.
-2 gigs of RAM is legit. I have 2 gigs and constantly gaming and multitasking, and my PC runs perfectly.
-Ok, 500GB is a LOT of space. It's movies, music, and pictures (movies mostly) that take up the most HDD space. So unless you plan on storing a lot of video and/or music, 320GB is enough space. (Yes high revolutions/min = higher speed; 7200RPM is plenty :huh: )
-And holy crap just download a pirated Win7 Ultimate!!! Haha I don't think I should be advertising that, but I just find OS's complete nonsense. As for this issue, your hands are pretty much tied if you don't have a purchased copy of Windows XP :S They're just simply expensive and there's no way around it :/
** Simple solution: buy a new OS but don't open it when you receive it. If you find you can't install Windows XP on the new PC, use Win7. If you find that you CAN install WinXP, return Win7.

Trying to make this easy to understand for a first time builder, because I was there recently, and some people really don't understand that the world isn't technologically fluent...

Edited by babicz, 17 March 2010 - 12:34 AM.


#14 DJBPace07

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 12:54 AM

I will respond to your equipment questions one at a time.

Motherboard: Almost all motherboards work just fine out-of-the-box. Few rarely work normally, then break a year later, therefore a one-year warranty should suffice. It is much more common for a motherboard to be bad the second you install it, in which case, Newegg will exchange it and ship you a new one at no charge. Note that warranties cover such things as design or manufacturing defects, not "Acts of God" or problems caused by the user. This means that if you kick the PC and snap the motherboard, or if a water pipe bursts and floods the place, ruining the motherboard, a motherboard warranty will not help.

Power Supply: Sure, it can wait, especially since you don't need to install a discrete graphics card.

CPU: Both the Gigabyte and the Asus are very similar motherboards, in fact, they share the same chipset. The only differences are the price and warranty. That CPU, along with all the Athlon II's and Phenom II's, will not work in your current MSI motherboard. Additionally, your current Athlon 64 will not work in any AM3 motherboard due to differences in memory standards. Replacing the motherboard and installing a new, modern CPU will drastically improve performance. Your old MSI motherboard takes AM2 CPU's and AMD stopped making them a while back in favor of AM3 CPU's like the Athlon II or Phenom II.

RAM: DDR2 will not work in motherboards designed exclusively for AM3 CPU's. 4GB is more than enough to meet future needs, that is why I chose it over a 2GB kit.

HD: A higher RPM will equal improved performance, there are some drives out that spin at 10,000 RPM. Note that drives which are platter based, like almost all drives in use, wear out and will typically start failing after 5 years. There are also solid state drives (SSD) that have no moving parts and are far faster than the platter based stuff, though they are very expensive.

OS: As tg1911 pointed out, OEM operating systems are tied to the motherboard. You have one such operating system. Therefore, you need to buy Windows again. Microsoft defines a PC based on its motherboard, so if you change a motherboard, you effectively have a new PC. OEM editions are paired to the motherboard and cannot be installed on a new PC, which means replacing the motherboard breaks the license. The good news is, you're getting a new OS that runs better, is more secure, and looks nicer than Windows XP, so it is not all bad. Remember, you need a 64-bit OS to use 4GB or more of memory, that is why I specifically chose the 64-bit version of Windows. There is no difference in cost between 64-bit and 32-bit editions. There are lower cost options if you don't want to spend the $100. You could try Linux since it is free, but unless you know what you're doing, you may become frustrated. If you do go this route, I suggest Kubuntu. I used it, it reminded me of Windows, but I ended up removing it due to driver issues. Also, if you know someone in college, and their university is part of MSDNAA, they can get a free copy of Windows by simply downloading it from a website. There is no technological barrier to installing XP on this machine, only a legal one since you are breaking a license you agreed to. Installing XP on a new machine is just...silly. Especially when you save money by not getting a new power supply.

Edited by DJBPace07, 17 March 2010 - 01:04 AM.

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#15 Copeland

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 05:28 PM

Microsoft OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) operating systems are tied to the motherboard, of the system it was installed in.
As far as Microsoft is concerned, you change the motherboard, you've got a different computer, so you have to purchase new operating system software.



Thanks tg1911




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