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#136977 - 02/01/06 01:02 PM Building a computer
jersey doc Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 03/05/05
Posts: 17
Loc: NewJersey
My computer is about 6 years old. It has a Pentium III 800mHz processor, GeForce FX 5200 video card, 20 G hard drive, and 512 Mb RAM. It runs Windows 98. Up until recently, it has worked fine, and I have been able to adventure game to my heart's content (which I have been doing since the 70's when I first played "Adventure" on a mainframe computer).

Alas, the newest games coming out will not run. I either need XP (Myst V), a DVD drive (Myst IV), or a larger processor (And then there were none).

So I am going to relace my home computer. How do I know what to get to fulfill my gaming needs for the next 5 years? I also have an extensive collection of games now that I may want to re-play one day. Will I be able to do that on a new computer?
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#136978 - 02/01/06 02:01 PM Re: Building a computer
rmelone Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 831
Loc: Anaheim, CA USA
First of all I would keep and maintain your existing system if you plan to play older games. There may be ways to run those games under Windows XP but I think it would be easier to just keep the old system if possible.

As far as buying a computer to take you out the next 5 years - that may or may not happen. The way these games are being designed there's no guarantee today's technology, software and hardware, will work on games 5 years from now.

All you can do is look at what's out there from a financial and application viewpoint. In other words, what do you see yourself using the computer for beside games.

There are some super gaming computers out there but they may have more than you might need or want. I found that PC magazines, such as PC World, do a fairly good job of rating new computers and should also provide information as far as how satisfied users are with their PCs.

If you've been following computers over the last several years you would find that some of the manufacturers that once were considered the best haven't been doing as well recently when it comes to customer satisfaction - that's why I think it's a good idea to check out information in a magazine such as PC World.

Just some thoughts, sorry I couldn't be more specific but this can be a very tricky area when it comes to recommending a new computer.

The one thing that does come to mind, if you're planning on keeping the computer for quite a while, is to look for a computer that can be readily upgraded as that would give you more flexibility.

Robert

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#136979 - 02/01/06 02:16 PM Re: Building a computer
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Hello jersey doc and welcome to GameBoomers! welcome

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#136980 - 02/01/06 04:18 PM Re: Building a computer
Melanie1 Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 5041
Loc: Bay Area, CA
Hi Jersey Doc wave

I would also keep the old computer as is and start from scratch with a new one. It is quite possible and probable, imo, to get one that can get you through the next 5 years. Extra bays, 4 dimms and a good fast processor with enough wattage and power to add memory and newer video cards should do it.

My personal recommendation would be Dell. I've had numerous Dells both at home and at work and never a problem. My 4/5 year old one is still fast enough and runs well enough to do everything I want it to and still has expansion room.

Oh, and of course, as suggested, do your research!

Good luck and have fun choosing all those yummy components!

Melanie
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#136981 - 02/01/06 04:46 PM Re: Building a computer
jersey doc Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 03/05/05
Posts: 17
Loc: NewJersey
Thanks for making me feel so welcome. I am the only adventure gamer I know, so it is nice to have a place to go to to discuss this passion of mine.

Does anyone have recommendations on processor speed, video cards, hard drive, etc. for adventure gaming? Everything I read seems to be referring to Action/role playing gaming.
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#136982 - 02/01/06 04:59 PM Re: Building a computer
Melanie1 Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/11/04
Posts: 5041
Loc: Bay Area, CA
I would check out the Dell Dimension XPS and customize it to fit your budget and needs. They have 3 models. I would work with customization of the 2 better ones.
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#136983 - 02/01/06 05:11 PM Re: Building a computer
Heidi Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 240
Loc: Cleveland Ohio
Hi, I also own a Dell computer and have been very satisfied with the performance of my machine. One major issue I have is with Dell customer service and technical support. Frankly, it's the worst I've experienced. This is something you may consider in your decision when you are ready to spend your money.

Heidi

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#136984 - 02/01/06 05:14 PM Re: Building a computer
Tyke Offline
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Registered: 09/24/04
Posts: 13800
Loc: West Yorkshire/U.K.
happydance bravo praise

Sue laugh
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#136985 - 02/01/06 10:05 PM Re: Building a computer
Merle Miles Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 68
Loc: Oregon
This post reminds me to ask regarding the Old/New Game problem, has anyone tried partitioning one of these new 160-plus GB hard drives and put Windows 98 on say, 20GB of it to run only older games? My nephew partitioned his to dual boot to Windows Xp and Linux. I don't know what problems or hassles are involved with this sort of a setup, but if it works it would seem to be the best of both worlds on one PC. Maybe it comes down to the slow-down-the processor/sound/video thing. I don't know, but thought it could't hurt to ask.

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#136986 - 02/01/06 11:57 PM Re: Building a computer
Ou Vrou Offline
Junior Boomer

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 5
Loc: New Zealand
I Hi,
I have successfully run Win 98 and Win XP with a partitioned drive. The trick is to load the Windows 98 first, then the XP. You then have a dual bootup and a screen which asks you which you want to load. The only down side that I find is that start up is slower due to drivers being on different partitions. If you can live with that its much less hassle than trying to get the XP compatibility to work (I have not managed yet).
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#136987 - 02/02/06 04:45 AM Re: Building a computer
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Hello Ou Vrou -- a hearty welcome to GameBoomers to you too! welcome

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#136988 - 02/02/06 09:13 AM Re: Building a computer
BillyBob Offline
BAAG Specialist

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 7858
Loc: North Florida
Ou Vrou....

Right now I can't tell you where I read it but one of Microsoft's statements about having XP and Win98 on the same computer stated you should boot to the Win98. Don't know why but if I find that info or URL I'll come back with it later. laugh

EDIT:
O.K., either I was wrong or things have changed. Either way, HERE is Microsoft's links to info on dual booting.
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#136989 - 02/02/06 09:50 AM Re: Building a computer
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35570
Loc: southeast USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Ou Vrou:

I have successfully run Win 98 and Win XP with a partitioned drive. The trick is to load the Windows 98 first, then the XP. You then have a dual bootup and a screen which asks you which you want to load. The only down side that I find is that start up is slower due to drivers being on different partitions.
I don't know why your startup is slower, but Windows 98 does not use XP drivers and XP does not use Win 98 drivers. Win 98 would use Win 98 drivers, which would all be on the partition where you have Win 98 installed. And XP would use XP drivers located on the XP partition. It takes time for the boot menu to load, but once I've chosen which system to boot I've never had the boot take any longer in dual boot than in a similar spec computer with a single boot.

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#136990 - 02/02/06 10:11 AM Re: Building a computer
Geo Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 2339
Loc: Michigan
Hello,
Another good way is 2 computers with a "kvm" switch.Configure your own computer here at --www.cyberpowerpc.com
Geo

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#136991 - 02/02/06 10:45 AM Re: Building a computer
lonewolf32 Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/03/02
Posts: 1152
Loc: New Baltimore, MI
I would recommend a Dell as well if you are not into building your own or upgrading parts. Dell tends to use non standard cases and motherboards etc so that upgradability is limited. But you sound like you want the "same" computer for 5 years.
Also, watch this site Techbargains for Dell deals. Dell changes their promotion every month it seems and they frequently have hundreds of dollars off a purchase.
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#136992 - 02/02/06 11:15 AM Re: Building a computer
Robert Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4838
Loc: Pinson, Al USA
It's been my experience that PC manufacturers will sell you a PC that contains already out-dated hardware . It's best just to build your own . A good video card is the Geforce 7800GT 256 , not quite top-of-the-line , but an excellent card . It sells for about $300 , a good sound card $75 , a good AMD 939 motherboard $125 , PSU (power supply unit)$75 , good AMD Dual Core Processor $370 , fan and heatsink $40 , Seagate Barracuda 300GB Hard drive $140 , 2 of your favorite optical drives $60 . Decent ATX mid-tower case $125 , keyboard and mouse $50 , monitor well....the sky is the limit , OS $150 . For $1500 or so (less the monitor ) , you can have a stronger PC than Dell or HP or any other can build for you . Oh , I almost forgot RAM , 1GB add another $100

This machine would be capable of running the best FPS system hogs at very high res. , and maximum settings.

Take a lookie here ,

System Build
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#136993 - 02/04/06 11:58 PM Re: Building a computer
Merle Miles Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 68
Loc: Oregon
GB has something for everyone! I want to thank Billie Bob for the link re dual booting, which helped to answer my question and to thank Robert for the System Build link, which was very educational, and I'd have to commend Corsair (and the writer) for doing a great job. (But it was a painfully slow d/l with dial-up;-)

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#136994 - 02/05/06 01:02 AM Re: Building a computer
Robert Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4838
Loc: Pinson, Al USA
Hi Merle wave ,

Your welcome smile . I thought that system build article was quite fascinating myself .
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#136995 - 02/05/06 01:18 AM Re: Building a computer
Draclvr Online   content
Adept Boomer

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 10157
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
Robert, I want to build my own someday. Excellent link - I bookmarked it. I'm still a little intimidated by the over-clocking though! My step-son and I are talking about building one for the grand-son. Yeah, I know. Grandmas aren't supposed to be into this stuff.

Jersey doc, a hearty welcome to Gameboomers! I have what I consider to be the ideal setup for me. I kept my old 98SE computer (reformatted and reinstalled the 98SE OS for a brand new start with that one). My new(er) computer is an hp that I simply love. It has a P4 processor with hyper-threading at 3.0 GHtz; I upgraded to 1 G of RAM; a decent 128 MB Raedon Sapphire video card; 160 G hard drive etc. It's already outdated, but I can do everything I want with it. What I did to make this system work for me was to put in a wireless network and then use a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch which allows me to double tap my Scroll Lock key and switch between the two computers using the same monitor, keyboard and mouse. I'm playin Grim Fandango right now on the old computer (which wouldn't even load on my XP computer). If I need to touch base with a walkthrough, I just switch to my XP or vice versa if I'm playing on my XP. I love the set-up.

As far as a new one goes, do a lot of research. There have been a couple of great threads lately on GB addressing the same question. You've already gotten the best advice - get something you can upgrade. Avoid the ones with integrated graphics etc. I'm not a huge fan of Dells, but many people love them. The issues I have with Dells or hps like I have is they put a huge amount of things on them that I don't want. Then I have to go in and uninstall, delete, edit the registry etc. But stick around. I'm sure you'll get plenty of good advice here!
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#136996 - 02/05/06 02:46 AM Re: Building a computer
Robert Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4838
Loc: Pinson, Al USA
Hi Draclvr ,

From what I read near the end of the article , over-clocking the processor is pretty straight forward . They over-clocked their processor and got another 200MHZ out of it , essentially changing it from a 2.2 GB to a 2.4 GB .

They didn't get into over-clocking the video cards , however , most Nvidia cards that you buy come slightly over-clocked out of the box ( some more than others ) . I think the EVGA brand is the best to get .
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#136997 - 02/05/06 02:59 AM Re: Building a computer
gremlin Offline

Addicted Boomer

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1632
Loc: Isle of Man
I would suggest (having built several PCs for myself & others) that overclocking is an entirely separate issue and you need not concern yourself with it until you're completely confident fiddling with hardware and bios settings.

And anyway, in my experience, the gains available through overclocking are insignificant in the real world, rather than the megahertz obsessed world of the weenie overclockers wink

Gremlin

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#136998 - 02/05/06 03:53 AM Re: Building a computer
Robert Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4838
Loc: Pinson, Al USA
I don't know how one would get " confident " over-clocking their processor or video card until they've done it .

Some of the new First-Person-Shooter games are very demanding on hardware , that is " real world " .

There's nothing wrong with someone wanting to get the best performance possible out of their hardware . To call them " weenies " I think is a bit arrogant of you .
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#136999 - 02/05/06 10:44 AM Re: Building a computer
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Hello Robert -- I'm sure gremlin was having a bit of a laugh at himself as a self-confessed hardware geek.

I always thought "weenies" were college students who studied very hard. The best way to shake the label was to do jumping jacks on the library table if you were caught studying there on a Saturday night.

I myself am within a day or two of ordering a new Dell. I have one last decision -- how much money should I plug into purchasing the video card?

I'm trying to decide between a 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7800 GTX --

or a Dual 256MB PCI Express

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#137000 - 02/05/06 11:30 AM Re: Building a computer
Robert Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4838
Loc: Pinson, Al USA
Hi Becky , lol

You could get the one with the single 256MB 7800GTX , and tell them you want the SLI motherboard , and a 500W PSU . That way , you could add another video card later if you think you need it . There aren't very many games out there at the moment that will really benefit from the SLI setup all that much , but I'm sure they're coming .
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#137001 - 02/05/06 11:39 AM Re: Building a computer
Draclvr Online   content
Adept Boomer

Registered: 06/03/05
Posts: 10157
Loc: In Missouri near St. Louis
I admit it. I'm a total weenie. My step-daughter told me about a year ago I'd even passed her up in computer geekdom. lol
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#137002 - 02/05/06 01:02 PM Re: Building a computer
friedmonky Offline
Adept Boomer

Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 10663
Loc: Massachusetts
I am also a weenie then. I overclock anything and everything that is overclockable. laugh The performance gains can be quite substantial.

Rusty smile
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#137003 - 02/05/06 03:43 PM Re: Building a computer
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
I think we should start a "Proud to be a Weenie" club.

Robert -- thanks for the extremely helpful input!

I think it may be time to move this thread into the Glitches forum, where we may get additional feedback from the experts, overclockers, and other kinds of hardware geeks that hang out there. So I'm copying the thread over there to Glitches.

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#137004 - 02/07/06 04:41 AM Re: Building a computer
Geo Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 2339
Loc: Michigan
I think you should mention that when you start over-clocking you should also think about cooling and adding extra fans.

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#137005 - 02/07/06 04:50 AM Re: Building a computer
Robert Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 05/25/05
Posts: 4838
Loc: Pinson, Al USA
Quote:
Originally posted by Geo:
I think you should mention that when you start over-clocking you should also think about cooling and adding extra fans.
That's a good point Geo . A good case with (2)120mm fans ( 1 intake , 1 exhaust ) is recommendable . Plus a good quality CPU fan and heatsink would be a must .
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#137006 - 02/07/06 07:11 AM Re: Building a computer
wait3264 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 271
Loc: bath, pa usa
Another alternative to building your own system is to have it built by a local computer shop. You would be likely to get support from the person who built it. The only drawback to building your own system is the fact that each component has its own warranty not the whole system. Also, MS is releasing a new OS this year. You may want to keep thqat fact in mind when picking out components. Kay

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#137007 - 02/09/06 10:15 AM Re: Building a computer
jersey doc Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 03/05/05
Posts: 17
Loc: NewJersey
My thanks to everyone who has given me advice. I still haven't purchased one yet, but am getting very close.

I was going to go with the Dell, until I started getting feedback from all of you. My present computer was "built" and I was able to up-grade it over the years to its present state. So if I want the new one to do the same, I think I will get it built, as well. And thanks to all of you, I think I now know what components to get.

Now I just have to find someone to build it for me....
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