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Hi everyone,

Hopefully this is the best place to post a question like this.

I've been running SL on an Xubuntu machine that's about four years old, maybe five. I can't remember all the specs other than it's an AMD socket A processor on an ATX motherboard, 4GB ram and a 200GB hard drive. The graphics card is close to ten years old.

This setup's getting a little old, and the motherboard is crippled by a rather slow bus speed. The case is actually pretty old, as an ATX case with a 350w power supply. I would like to use this case and power supply, but understand that newer boards and graphic cards may need more juice.

Ok, so, what do I need to do to build a new machine? I can probably spend $300 or $350 on new parts/upgrades.

The emphasis will be on speed and graphical performance. If I'm using SL or similar graphic-oriented games, I want to run the graphics in the higher settings with reasonable detail and a realistic draw distance and frame rates.

I'm aware that my budget could keep me from buidling the ultimate machine, but surely I can have a nice step up for this kind of money.

Any suggestions such as suggested motherboards, graphics cards, power supplies etc will be appreciated, as well as where to buy these items.

I appreciate everyone's input.

Thank you,

Piers

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Right now two things you need are a Nvidia card and lots of memory. ATI cards are having fits with the re-written OpenGL calls but Nvidia cards do well with them. Memory is a good thing in general, but currently there are memory leaks in the viewer code that turn up when you spend extended time in crowded areas.

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Yeah the budget is going to limit you.  You can use keep your case and CPU for now.  Actually, your case is probably good for the forseeable futue and your CPU is probably fast enough since even a 5 year old CPU is probably 1.8 to 2.0 speed. (2 gig clock speed is more than good enough for SL).  If the CPU works now, it should work after an upgrade.  Graphics and system RAM are going to be the most important.  Along with a good graphics card you're going to need a larger capacity power supply........500 watts at a minium.  With limited budget look for a graphics card 2 or 3 series older than the current newest series  For nVidia look for 200 or 300 series cards in the mid range of performance......like a GTS250 or GTS350 (you should be able to pick one up for between $100 and $150.  Both those cards will want 400 watt PSU minimum.  The only hitch I can see might be whether or not your motherboard has PCI express x16.  I'm pretty sure your motherboard, being 4 years old has PCI express.........the question might be the x16 part (I just don't know).  If your motherboard does not have x16 then you'll have to probably go back to an 8000 or 9000 series card (about 3 years old).  A 8800 GTX or a 9800GTX both are great cards and will handle SL with ease but you'll probably have to do some serious shopping to find one brand new (I'd never buy a used video card).  Both cards want 450 watts PSU's.  Again the cards should run right around $100.

 

You can get a very good power suppy for $100 or less.  I just saw a Thermolake 700 watt PSU today in Best Buy for about $90.

 

Okay, I got you at about $250 or a little less.  Use the rest of your budget for as much of the fastest memory you can find.  With your 4 year old machine it probably has DDR2 RAM.......it's cheaper than DDR3 but harder to find (it's still sold so just shop until you find it).  Now I just spent your budget for you.  :)  Keep saving your pennies and gradually upgrade.  The next thing I think you should get is a motherboard and CPU (get those two components at the same time........even buy them as a set).  Your PSU and video card will work so you don't need to replace them at that time........and a new motherboard will have the PCI express x16 interface so after your MB upgrade you can get a newer (and hopefully more powerful) video card.  You're using Ubuntu (which I assume you want to stick with) so make sure you have the 64 bit version so that your system can recognize more than the 3.5 RAM that 32 bit systems are limited to.

 

Hope it helps.  But I have to warn you..........once you build your first computer, you'll never again want an off the shelf computer.  Ever!!!  :)

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

Yeah the budget is going to limit you.  You can use keep your case and CPU for now.  Actually, your case is probably good for the forseeable futue and your CPU is probably fast enough since even a 5 year old CPU is probably 1.8 to 2.0 speed. (2 gig clock speed is more than good enough for SL).  If the CPU works now, it should work after an upgrade.  Graphics and system RAM are going to be the most important.  Along with a good graphics card you're going to need a larger capacity power supply........500 watts at a minium.  With limited budget look for a graphics card 2 or 3 series older than the current newest series  For nVidia look for 200 or 300 series cards in the mid range of performance.....
.like a GTS250
or GTS350 (you should be able to pick one up for between $100 and $150.  Both those cards will want 400 watt PSU minimum.  The only hitch I can see might be whether or not your motherboard has PCI express x16.  I'm pretty sure your motherboard, being 4 years old has PCI express.........the question might be the x16 part (I just don't know).  If your motherboard does not have x16 then you'll have to probably go back to an 8000 or 9000 series card (about 3 years old).  A 8800 GTX or a 9800GTX both are great cards and will handle SL with ease but you'll probably have to do some serious shopping to find one brand new (I'd never buy a used video card).  Both cards want 450 watts PSU's.  Again the cards should run right around $100.

 

You can get a very good power suppy for $100 or less.  I just saw a Thermolake 700 watt PSU today in Best Buy for about $90.

 

Okay, I got you at about $250 or a little less.  Use the rest of your budget for as much of the fastest memory you can find.  With your 4 year old machine it probably has DDR2 RAM.......it's cheaper than DDR3 but harder to find (it's still sold so just shop until you find it).  Now I just spent your budget for you. 
:)
  Keep saving your pennies and gradually upgrade.  The next thing I think you should get is a motherboard and CPU (get those two components at the same time........even buy them as a set).  Your PSU and video card will work so you don't need to replace them at that time........and a new motherboard will have the PCI express x16 interface so after your MB upgrade you can get a newer (and hopefully more powerful) video card.  You're using Ubuntu (which I assume you want to stick with) so make sure you have the 64 bit version so that your system can recognize more than the 3.5 RAM that 32 bit systems are limited to.

 

Hope it helps.  But I have to warn you..........once you build your first computer, you'll never again want an off the shelf computer.  Ever!!! 
:)

I'd be reluctant  to recommend the GTS250 right now.  That is what I have and my performance with V3 code is horrendous.  I have tried every optimization I have read about, changing settings for VBO, HTTP, Anti-aliasing, etc with virtually no effect. 

Whatever it is in the V3 code that is causing my problems is beyond my technical ability now, but I have taken about a 75% hit on performance.  I think I am going to try starting a thread specific to my card to see if any one else is using it having the troubles I am.

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-27983?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels%3Acomment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=304027

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I run the GTS250 on my computer and I use the latest Viewer 3 (3.4.2?).  My frame rates took about a 3 FPS hit over the Viewer 2.8.........I now get about 22 or 23 to about 35 FPS in the same areas I go to often  for comparison where I used to get 25 to 35 FPS.  I do know the GTS250 will not run shadows without a huge hit in FPS........maybe you should disable that?  The card is a mid range card and just doesn't have the umph that a GTS280 or 290 might have (it's not that powerful and was never intended to be).

 

The OP was wanting help with upgrading his older system with, what I gathered, was the target of building his own system over time.  He wasn't looking for top notch performance at this time.......just better than what he's getting right now (which was low settings in preferences).  A GTS250 will do what he asked.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

I run the GTS250 on my computer and I use the latest Viewer 3 (3.4.2?).  My frame rates took about a 3 FPS hit over the Viewer 2.8.........I now get about 22 or 23 to about 35 FPS in the same areas I go to often  for comparison where I used to get 25 to 35 FPS.  I do know the GTS250 will not run shadows without a huge hit in FPS........maybe you should disable that?  The card is a mid range card and just doesn't have the umph that a GTS280 or 290 might have (it's not that powerful and was never intended to be).

 

The OP was wanting help with upgrading his older system with, what I gathered, was the target of building his own system over time.  He wasn't looking for top notch performance at this time.......just better than what he's getting right now (which was low settings in preferences).  A GTS250 will do what he asked.

I have tried everything I can possibly think of.  Including Shadows and I just don't know at this point anything else to try. 

The best I have been able to determine is that it is somehow related to alpha textures on flexi hairs.  If by myself and I take off my hair, at best I will get 30FPS.   But that does me no good if i get around someone else wearing hair.  And simply disabling Alphas is not really a practical solution.

So I am at the end of my rope on this.  Something in the viewer code is not agreeing with my computer or there is simply a setting I have yet been able to find.  But based on responses to JIRA's and In World conversations, I know that I am not the only one having this problem,and some of these folks are way more technically competent than I am.

I was probably wrong for singling out the GTS 250.  For some of the other folks it has not been as huge an impact because for them, the 50% plus drop still leaves them getting better than 20 to 30 FPS with better cards at high versus the 5 to 10 I am getting with graphics set to low.

JIRA with screen shots here:

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-27983?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels%3A...

Second Life 3.2.4 (246439) Dec  8 2011 14:02:44 (Second Life Release)

Release Notes

 

CPU: AMD Processor model unknown (3000.11 MHz)

Memory: 3328 MB

OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 (Build 2600) compatibility mode. real ver: 6.0 (Build 2900)

Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation

Graphics Card: GeForce GTS 250/PCI/SSE2/3DNOW!

 

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 6.14.0012.8558

OpenGL Version: 3.3.0

 

libcurl Version: libcurl/7.21.1 OpenSSL/0.9.8q zlib/1.2.5 c-ares/1.7.1

J2C Decoder Version: KDU v6.4.1

Audio Driver Version: FMOD version 3.750000

Qt Webkit Version: 4.7.1 (version number hard-coded)

Voice Server Version: Not Connected

Built with MSVC version 1600

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Let's dp a little comparison noting the differences in your copy/paste from "About Secon Life" and mine.  Some are insignificant in my opinion and, at least, two are significant.  Here's my spec's as reported by the viewer:

------------------------------------------------

CPU: Intel® Core i5 CPU         750  @ 2.67GHz (2676.02 MHz)

Memory: 8184 MB OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)

Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation Graphics Card: GeForce GTS 250/PCI/SSE2

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0012.5896 OpenGL Version: 3.3.0

libcurl Version: libcurl/7.21.1 OpenSSL/0.9.8q zlib/1.2.5 c-ares/1.7.1 J2C

Decoder Version: KDU v6.4.1 Audio Driver Version: FMOD version 3.750000

Qt Webkit Version: 4.7.1 (version number hard-coded)

Voice Server Version: Not Connected Built with MSVC version 1600

--------------------------------------------------------

My Intell i5 vs your AMD unknown.......not a factor since both CPU's are more than up to the task

My 8 gigs of RAM vs your 3 gigs........significant.  It appears your XP is 32 bit and that's all your system can recognize.  The Windows 7 and your XP might be a small advantage to me (Windows 7 is very much more efficient than XP but for SL that probably is not noticable.

Our graphics cards are the same so that is not a factor in itself.  What may be a factor (and a significant one) is that you are using the newest driver version and I'm using a year and a half old version.  My driver doesn't contain the code that the chipset makers are struggling with on the new OpenGL version that came out a few months ago.  Probably just growing pains that will sort themselves out with a couple or few more driver updates.  I don't update any driver until there's some indication that I need to do so.....if it ain't broke, don't break with an unnecessary update.

Everything else is the same and no factor at all.  On the reason I might be getting so much better performance than you I think it's two main things..........my system RAM being twice yours and my driver not having the growing pains brought on by the OpenGL 4.0 release. 

Maybe another contributing factor would be both my Windows 7 and how I have it setup and your XP and your setup.  I don't run anything that is unnecessary in the background.  I don't install software that I don't need or want (bloatware).  I uninstall programs that I seldom use (I keep the setup files on a second hard drive if I want to reinstall them......or I have the CD/DVD's to re-install from).  I keep my drive defragged.  And I don't expect top performance from a mid-level system.  People brag about their high end machines and their 90 FPS in areas with 40 avatars and I silently laugh at their lies.

 

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Piers Llewellyn wrote:

Hi everyone,

Hopefully this is the best place to post a question like this.

I've been running SL on an Xubuntu machine that's about four years old, maybe five. I can't remember all the specs other than it's an AMD socket A processor on an ATX motherboard, 4GB ram and a 200GB hard drive. The graphics card is close to ten years old.

Socket A was used for the Athlon line of CPUs sold from 1999 to 2004. If you really have something that old get rid of it now. Do not under any circumstances upgrade such a machine for any reason, it is a total waste of money.

 

If you want advice on what to buy we need more details. Since you have such a low budget we need to know everything about what you have now so we can figure out what you'll keep and what you'll replace. This includes things like your monitor, keyboard, mouse, even the power cord. Yes your budget is that low so we have pinch pennies everywhere.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

Let's dp a little comparison noting the differences in your copy/paste from "About Secon Life" and mine.  Some are insignificant in my opinion and, at least, two are significant.  Here's my spec's as reported by the viewer:

------------------------------------------------

CPU: Intel® Core i5 CPU         750  @ 2.67GHz (2676.02 MHz)

Memory: 8184 MB OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)

Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation Graphics Card: GeForce GTS 250/PCI/SSE2

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0012.5896 OpenGL Version: 3.3.0

libcurl Version: libcurl/7.21.1 OpenSSL/0.9.8q zlib/1.2.5 c-ares/1.7.1 J2C

Decoder Version: KDU v6.4.1 Audio Driver Version: FMOD version 3.750000

Qt Webkit Version: 4.7.1 (version number hard-coded)

Voice Server Version: Not Connected Built with MSVC version 1600

--------------------------------------------------------

My Intell i5 vs your AMD unknown.......not a factor since both CPU's are more than up to the task

My 8 gigs of RAM vs your 3 gigs........significant.  It appears your XP is 32 bit and that's all your system can recognize.  The Windows 7 and your XP might be a small advantage to me (Windows 7 is very much more efficient than XP but for SL that probably is not noticable.

Our graphics cards are the same so that is not a factor in itself.  What may be a factor (and a significant one) is that you are using the newest driver version and I'm using a year and a half old version.  My driver doesn't contain the code that the chipset makers are struggling with on the new OpenGL version that came out a few months ago.  Probably just growing pains that will sort themselves out with a couple or few more driver updates.  I don't update any driver until there's some indication that I need to do so.....if it ain't broke, don't break with an unnecessary update.

Everything else is the same and no factor at all.  On the reason I might be getting so much better performance than you I think it's two main things..........my system RAM being twice yours and my driver not having the growing pains brought on by the OpenGL 4.0 release. 

Maybe another contributing factor would be both my Windows 7 and how I have it setup and your XP and your setup.  I don't run anything that is unnecessary in the background.  I don't install software that I don't need or want (bloatware).  I uninstall programs that I seldom use (I keep the setup files on a second hard drive if I want to reinstall them......or I have the CD/DVD's to re-install from).  I keep my drive defragged.  And I don't expect top performance from a mid-level system.  People brag about their high end machines and their 90 FPS in areas with 40 avatars and I silently laugh at their lies.

 

My computer is a custom built, about 6 months old, and has no 'bloatware.'   I use Avast AV and windows Firewall.  Nothing else runnning in the back ground. 

I originally had older graphics drivers, not sure how much older and updated them after V3 was released in an attempt to overcome the problem.  This was before I new about the open GL problem.   The relative who built this for me downloaded the drivers from NVidia at that time.

I am not looking for or expecting to get 90FPS.  But for me, the 75% drop is massive.  There is how shall I say, no joy in watching avatars moving at 5FPS. 

I use CC Cleaner to keep my machine clean of detritus and defrag at least once a month.

I know that I am stuck on the RAM and I simply don't have the funds to upgrade to Win 7 right now.

I will have to try and find the old drivers (that you have) and see if I can roll back to that.

I'm like you, if it aint broke, don't fix it.

Being that most of the places I go are presently MESH free and that I still rarely see any mesh clothes, I am content for now to continue using Firestorm Beta.  But I really would like to upgrade to a mesh viewer.  I prefer the Firestorm interface.  Just my personal preference.  I still believe, "Your World, Your Choice Of Viewer."

Thanks

 

Thanks

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Quick search for socket A motherboards and just about all I find have AGP and PCI card slots, no PCIx16 which is what most if not all video cards use these days.  Your old CPU and memory will not be compatible with the newer motherboard, and as others have stated you'll have to have a more powerful power supply.  Just about all that's left is the case and hard drive.  It's still doable for under $350, you'll just have to settle the next to newest stuff. 

I did something similar Dec 2010 for about $250 to $300, bought everything from newegg.com.  Got me a Dual Core P4, 2GB RAM, and Nvidia 9500 and put it all into an old eMachine case (if I get robbed they probably will not touch it  :) ).

 

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I'm not convinced that you can build a machine and include a motherboard worth a flip plus a CPU to go with it that has any chance of not becoming obsolete in a year for $350.  Sure you can get a motherboard and CPU for less (maybe even $100 for both).  But what do you have after that?  You're going to be forced to get a lessor graphics card and slower memory.......which are hard to find.  What I think that Piers is wanting is to build a computer in steps with the best he can get that will be interchangable with later upgrades.  It may be that if his motherboard only has PCI or AGP video interfaces that he might have to drop back to a 7000 series nVidia card..........a 7600 or 7800 are both powerful enough to handle most of what SL has to offer at mid settings in preferences.  He's not likely to have any luck with finding an AGP card (but who wants one of those slow things anyway).......PCI's are still relatively easy to find (not to mention that you could pick one up for probably $50 or less brand new).  A PCI card will transfer to any new MB so that's one less device to buy when he takes the next step with a new motherboard and CPU (a good combo will run that $300 or $350).  Then save some more for a new card (this time get a newer series and somewhere near the top in performance) and new DDR3 memory.  After that for all practical purposes he has a new, above mid range computer that should last 3 to 5 years before needing another upgrade.  The power supply, if maintained should out last 2 to 4 computers.......he won't need a new one for quite some time.

 

I just played with the $300 to $350 budget getting what the bare minimum would be and also be good enough to transfer to later upgrade until the finances allow a change to the better.  It takes about $700 to $800 to build a nice high performing computer without transferring things like PSU's and video cards.  The budget for Piers offers a challenge........eventually he can build a very good computer.  It will just take stages and the total is not going to be $350.  With the temporary hardware he might have to purchase, his total cost before he's done might be $900.......paid in stages so it's not so painful.  And, if he buys good stuff that is relatively recent the next build will be about half that.......plus an even better computer.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

 It may be that if his motherboard only has PCI or AGP video interfaces that he might have to drop back to a 7000 series nVidia card..........a 7600 or 7800 are both powerful enough to handle most of what SL has to offer at mid settings in preferences.  He's not likely to have any luck with finding an AGP card (but who wants one of those slow things anyway).......

You can get a GeForce 7 class card on ebay for less than $40 but it's not worth it, the card would be bottle necked by the socket A Athlon.


PCI's are still relatively easy to find (not to mention that you could pick one up for probably $50 or less brand new).  A PCI card will transfer to any new MB so that's one less device to buy when he takes the next step with a new motherboard and CPU (a good combo will run that $300 or $350). 

A PCI video card would be a bottle neck for a socket A system, and nothing more than a bad joke on a modern system.

It is never worth it to upgrade a machine more than 6 years old. The only option is to buy a new machine.

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Well, obviously this is not a choice for Piers.  Yeah an old PCI card would be a bottle neck on a modern system.........it's not the final card though and it will work in the interim.  It will get him by until a PCIe x16 (or however else the x times jump) card can be purchased.  What you are suggesting is almost 3 times his budget.........which if he could afford it I believe he would have said so.  You know as well as I know a good motherboard with longivity and a CPU to go with it is going to cost his entrie budget (or more) and his computer won't be able to be used until he gets more hardware to match..........that's not what he asked.  I'm not arguing that the video card is a great choice.........just one that will be able to move to a new MB until it can be replaced.  Yeah, it's basically tossing $50 down the toilet.  But then so is a lot of stuff we do........for instance this machine I built.  I want to replace it now.  I can't afford it at the moment so I might get me a GTX580 when the 600 series come out.......then when I get a new and better MB and CPU that card will just move over (one less expense to worry about).  The GTS250 is a little over a year old for me and I paid close to $200..........is that money down the toilet?  It could be seen that way if you use your logic.

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I rolled back my drivers to the oldest I could find which was from the Installation CD.  I don't know if they were pre 4.0 or not, I just know it was purchased last spring.

No change, no improvement.

Which leaves me at trying to search out even older drivers or hope whatever the software glitches are that they get ironed out OR eventually I go for broke and upgrade my graphics card.

Charlar Linden said in the SLUMS that he would love to throw some engineers at my (the?) problem when he saw it.  (Is Charlar a he or she?  My apology if I got the gender mixed up).  Whether or not this was just well wishing or something that is going to happen I do not know.  I didn't ask.  I do know when I last looked this afternoon my JIRA was still awaiting review.

Regardless, this has been a very frustrating situation.

LL wants to improve retention?  I am a seasoned user and look what I am going through.  I should have my head examined the number of hours I have devoted to this.  Can you imagine a new user devoting this much effort?  Wow.

 

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

The GTS250 is a little over a year old for me and I paid close to $200..........is that money down the toilet?  It could be seen that way if you use your logic.

In this case yes, you could have gotten a card twice as fast for the same price a year ago (e.g. the GTX 460 768MB).

I understand what you're saying and agree that $350 is really pushing it for decent computer, but as my example above shows there is a fine line between getting cheaper parts that you plan to upgrade at a later date and just wasting money.

ETA: But just to show that it's doable here you go. Just need a hard drive, dvd drive, monitor, keyboard and mouse and you have a machine that can run on high no problem, and run on ultra in some places.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.752616

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127577

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where are you shopping for these parts and stuff are you going with the local bestbuys and frys or are you going website only companys im pretty sure you could build a very nice one for 900 from scratch are all your parts high end and top of the line? He could prolly get away with 4-500 and be good or at lest decent for another 5 to 10 ok not 10 but 5 years.

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Here's the download for the driver I'm using (and have been for a year and a half):

http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp-258.96-whql-driver.html

When I installed my card in my computer I installed the drivers that came with the card......they did not work well at all.  The drivers on that installation disk are most likely the very first driver nVidia wrote for the 250 cards........and almost definitely the same drivers that did not work more me either.

 

I can't guarantee they will work for you.......there are some differences in our systems that do make a difference with any software installed on any system.  I also want to ask if you uninstall the older driver before installing the new driver?  If not, do that instead of installing over the top of the old.  Also, never run an installation setup from the website.....save to your disk and install from there (after scanning for malware).

 

Good luck.......mine works fine so that's about all I can offer.

 

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Did you notice that the motherboard is a micro ATX board?  It's about 80% of the size of an ATX board.  It's designed to fit in a mini tower (though it will fit in a mid tower.......but way too small for a full tower).  It also only takes CPU's and power supplies designed for the micro ATX boards.  You're pretty much locked into micro ATX compatible hardware with the motherboard.  Not really upgradable much.  I would also question whether or not the video card you listed would phsyically fit in the case once the board is installed (especially if it's put in a min tower).  Some of these video cards are huge..........I had a 9800 GTX + that I put in my last computer.  I had to move both hard drives, the DVD writer, and my 15 in one card reader to make room for the card to fit on the single PCIe x16 slot on the motherboard.  It barely fit and was very conscous of heat because it crowded up my cables so much to squeeze it in (that card did fail, btw.......but I don't know if it was due to heat for sure).  I put that card in a mid tower too.  I would investigate before I purchased that combo......what upgrades are possible in the future and if something I might want to put in it would physically fit inside (then how do you cool a cramped case?  Get a cooling pad like you do for laptops?).

 

The card looks good...........but it really just a revamped GTS460 which you can find at the same price.  I wouldn't buy it myself.  You're wrong about the GTX460 when I purchased my card.  The 300 series had just come out and about $100 more expensive.  The 400 series hadn't hit the market yet and when they came out they were almost $400 cards.  I wanted one but I already had my 250 installed and wasn't going to change just because a newest and bestest just came out.  I got the 250 because it was what I could afford and it worked for me.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

Here's the download for the driver I'm using (and have been for a year and a half):

When I installed my card in my computer I installed the drivers that came with the card......they did not work well at all.  The drivers on that installation disk are most likely the very first driver nVidia wrote for the 250 cards........and almost definitely the same drivers that did not work more me either.

 

I can't guarantee they will work for you.......there are some differences in our systems that do make a difference with any software installed on any system.  I also want to ask if you uninstall the older driver before installing the new driver?  If not, do that instead of installing over the top of the old.  Also, never run an installation setup from the website.....save to your disk and install from there (after scanning for malware).

 

Good luck.......mine works fine so that's about all I can offer.

 

thanks.  that will be tomorrows project.  and yes i did to an uninstall first.  will be keeping my fingers crossed.

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This is my favorite site:

http://www.googlebb.magicmicro.com/?gclid=CLyuksaVta0CFWgaQgodIjoMlw

But I shop Newegg and TigerDirect too.  Best Buy is okay for things like memory.  I did purchase my power supply from Best Buy about 5 years ago (i'm still using the PSU by the way........in this computer).  I'm a little hesitant about Frye's.   About 50% of anything I've ever purchased there I had to return.  The happily accept the return and either give me my money back or a replacement for what I returned.........but it's still a pain in the butt.  I've never shopped Frye's online.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

Did you notice that the motherboard is a micro ATX board?  It's about 80% of the size of an ATX board.  It's designed to fit in a mini tower (though it will fit in a mid tower.......but way too small for a full tower).  It also only takes CPU's and power supplies designed for the micro ATX boards.  You're pretty much locked into micro ATX compatible hardware with the motherboard.  Not really upgradable much.  I would also question whether or not the video card you listed would phsyically fit in the case once the board is installed (especially if it's put in a min tower).  Some of these video cards are huge..........

Yes I'm shure, mATX is exactly the same as ATX minus 3 expansion slots on the bottom. It uses the same CPUs, same power connecters, same memory, etc. That motherboard can be upgraded to the $300+ i7-2600K, and altho it only has 2 memory slots you can upgrade it to 8GB of ram.

I know the video card with fit because I have a mini tower case with mATX motherboard and a GTX 560Ti. Works just fine. If you don't believe me than just look at the pictures on newegg.


The card looks good...........but it really just a revamped GTS460 which you can find at the same price.  I wouldn't buy it myself.

The GTX 550Ti is a slightly updated GTS 450, the GTX 460 is a little faster but also costs more since they are discontinued for the most part.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130749


You're wrong about the GTX460 when I purchased my card.  The 300 series had just come out and about $100 more expensive.  The 400 series hadn't hit the market yet and when they came out they were almost $400 cards.  I wanted one but I already had my 250 installed and wasn't going to change just because a newest and bestest just came out.  I got the 250 because it was what I could afford and it worked for me.

You said you bought your GTS 250 a year ago. Well I also bought my GTX 560Ti a year ago (for $250 BTW). The GTX 460 was introduced in July of 2010. The 300 series was introduced in late 2009. Either you bought the card more than a year ago (sounds more like 2-2.5 years from your description) or you could have gotten something better for the same price.

 

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I suppose you are right.  I bought my GTS250 the summer of 2009.  I just looked on the recept that I keep for the warranty.  So that makes my card 2 years plus old.  It was late August, in fact.  My point is not to argue how much I paid for my card.  It's that Piers wants to upgrade his existing system (with, what I interpet, as the goal of building a new system which would entail upgrading in stages with the final outcome determined by the availability of money).  You have to start somewhere and if you start with a brand new motherboard and CPU you are almost guaranteed to make any older hardware you have installed nothing but trash.  What I tried to say was to start with things that will transfer to a new system at a later date......a video card (recent enough series) and a power supply would be a logical step.  So would a little more memory since it's pretty cheap (especially so if it's DRR or DDR2.........even if it going to the trash when a new motherboard is purchased).  I think he wants an increase in performance while he's at it..........a video card that compatible with the existing motherboard and memory would get the ball rolling.

 

That's all I"m saying........you seem focused on going full bore with a new build.  He put a budget of $300 to $350.  If he went your way he's immediately without a system that is more than just a $300 stop gap until he can save for a real computer.  A computer with a micro ATX is a little less than a real computer...........don't those junk Shuttles have micro ATX components?  They are junk if you ever want to upgrade.......he'd be right back where he is today in a year.

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Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

It's that Piers wants to upgrade his existing system (with, what I interpet, as the goal of building a new system which would entail upgrading in stages with the final outcome determined by the availability of money).  You have to start somewhere and if you start with a brand new motherboard and CPU you are almost guaranteed to make any older hardware you have installed nothing but trash.  What I tried to say was to start with things that will transfer to a new system at a later date......a video card (recent enough series) and a power supply would be a logical step.  So would a little more memory since it's pretty cheap (especially so if it's DRR or DDR2.........even if it going to the trash when a new motherboard is purchased).  I think he wants an increase in performance while he's at it..........a video card that compatible with the existing motherboard and memory would get the ball rolling.

That's the wrong path to take tho. Almost nothing that will work with a socket A system will work with a modern system, and prices go up for parts that old due to very little demand.

As it stands right now the only parts from a socket A system that are guarantied to work on a new system are the monitor and case. The keyboard and mouse most likely use PS/2 connecters, the hard drive and dvd drive use PATA, the power supply doesn't have PCIe or SATA connecters and probably doesn't have a P4 connecter either, the memory would be PC100/PC133/DDR400.

You seem to have missed the part about how Piers' machine does not have PCIe slots. There is no modern video card that will work in a socket A system. No a PCI card does not count, they were considered slow and low end back when socket A was new. Any PCI video card you got would most likely be slower than the one Piers has now in the socket A system, imagine what it would be like in a modern system. How is that an upgrade?

There is nothing in that machine you could use in a modern system, you'd have to replace everything anyway. So why spend money upgrading it? If the machine was a few years newer I could agree with you, but this one is way too old to care about, just throw it away.


That's all I"m saying........you seem focused on going full bore with a new build.  He put a budget of $300 to $350.  If he went your way he's immediately without a system that is more than just a $300 stop gap until he can save for a real computer.  A computer with a micro ATX is a little less than a real computer...........don't those junk Shuttles have micro ATX components?  They are junk if you ever want to upgrade.......he'd be right back where he is today in a year.

You're thinking of the ITX / mITX form factor, mATX really is just a sorter version of ATX. While the combo deal I linked to isn't the best quality it is just as upgradeable as an ATX motherboard, using the very same parts, minus the missing slots. Seriously read the specs on newegg, there's no such thing as micro ATX components, that motherboard uses the same CPU and memory as ATX motherboards.

 

 

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