My new PC under construction

Level 10
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
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282
Okay, I've recently brought a new PC for myself, and leave this one (The one I'm typing right now.) to my sisters. My new PC has the following components:

- ASUS P5AD2 Premium (Motherboard.)
- Pentium 4 3400Ghz with HT (Processor.)
- Floppy Disk Drive (Everybody has one.)
- DVD-ROM from Samsung (Reads up to 52X for CDs and 16X for DVDs.)
- DVD-RW from NEC (Reads and records up to 52X for CDs and 16x for DVDs.)
- 2 HDs (One 250 GB, and other 320 GB. Due to power-hungry programs and video games.)
- NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT with 128 MB of memory (Old Graphic Card but still kicking.)
- No Internet connection (I'll keep using my sisters' PC to chat here.)
- High Definition Sound Card (Already attached to Motherboard.)
- 6 USB ports (Excessive ports but worth getting.)

All that remains now is RAM and an AV Software (Anti-Virus.)

Now, my manual says that my Motherboard comes with four Double Data Rate 2 (DDR2) Dual Inline Memory Modules (DIMM) sockets. So I know that I need to buy DDR2 chips.

But the problem is, what's my Motherboard's limits? My manual says:

You may install 256 MB, 512 MB and 1 GB unbuffered non-ECC DDR2 DIMMs into the DIMM sockets.

- For dual-channel configuration, the total size of memory module(s) installed per channel must be the same (DIMM_A1 + DIMM_A2 = DIMM_B1 + DIMM_B2).

- Always install DIMMs with the same CAS latency. For optimum compatibility, it is recommended that you obtain memory modules from the same vendor. Refer to the DDR2 Qualified Vendors List on the next page for details.

- Due to chipset resource allocation, the system may detect less than 4 GB system memory when you installed four 1 GB DDR2 memory modules.

- This motherboard does not support memory modules made up of 128 Mb chips or double sided x16 memory modules.

Does this all mean my Motherboard supports up to 4 GB or less? And what's an unbuffered non-ECC memory chips? I have enough money to afford maximum memory, but I'm afraid if I buy the wrong ones. And I don't know if it supports 2 GB memory modules. What should I do?

As for the AV Software, which one of them can grant me maximum PC protection? My sisters have NOD32 AV Software and it seems to be potent. But I may be wrong, so I wish to hear your opinions.
 

Dr Super Good

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Level 62
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Pentium 4 3400Ghz with HT (Processor.)

Horrid processor also you spelt it wrong.

Pentium 4 - 3.4Ghz with Hyper Threading (Processor.)

I use a 3.0 GHZ P4 with HT and it pretty much gives up at the oblivion range of games, definatly will not hold out if you want to play SC2 or supreme commanders.

NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT with 128 MB of memory (Old Graphic Card but still kicking.)
I had a simlar graphic card before it died. It will work for older games but definatly do not expect new games to play well on it (if they even do play).

Anway on topic, do not bother getting 4GB of ram with those specs, 2GB is more than enough if your using XP (which is probably all that system will run properly). Rather save moeny for an extra 2GB for better hardware as it will pay of in the long run. 4GB of ram is only good with vista and playing modern games (which your PC will run slowly anyway).

I strongly recomend you rather put that money into a better graphics card if you want better preformance.

As for anti virus, I am currently not sure as I use norton and it seems recurce hungy.

However this is only my view and so do not jump to descisions on it and wait for other experts ideas.
 
Level 15
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Does this all mean my Motherboard supports up to 4 GB or less?
Your motherboard supports up to 4GB of memory. However, if you run a 32-bit operating system (like standard Windows XP), then you will not be able to make use of 4GB of RAM since your operating system will not be able to address the full 4GB (due to memory-mapped I/O). I would suggest instead getting 3GB (2x1GB + 2x512MB) or 2GB of RAM.

Also, your motherboard accepts DDR2 only at 400MHz and 533MHz (based on the spec) so don't bother getting 667MHz or 800MHz DDR2.

And what's an unbuffered non-ECC memory chips?
Unbuffered, non-ECC memory is what nearly all standard desktop computers use. ECC is an error correction and detection scheme used on memory for servers and workstations.

I have enough money to afford maximum memory, but I'm afraid if I buy the wrong ones. And I don't know if it supports 2 GB memory modules. What should I do?
Based on your previous description, it sounds as if the motherboard does NOT support 2GB modules. I would stick with 1GB or 512MB modules.

As for the AV Software, which one of them can grant me maximum PC protection? My sisters have NOD32 AV Software and it seems to be potent. But I may be wrong, so I wish to hear your opinions.
Many commercial virus scanners are decent, and their individual performance tends to fluctuate depending on the current virus threats and the response time of the companies to maintain their virus detection heuristics.

You should take a look at some comparisons if you want to be absolutely sure. For example:
http://www.av-comparatives.org/seiten/ergebnisse_2007_11.php

That said, I personally use AVG free on a few of my machines because it's free and works reasonably well.

As a final note, don't spend any extra money on this machine. It is using very dated components. It would be much better to save your money for a bit and buy a newer machine with an Intel Core 2 chip as you will get far faster performance and a system that runs cooler and much more efficiently.
 
Level 10
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Sep 26, 2007
Messages
282
I've already said that I've brought all the components except RAM and AV. So it's too late to replace them. But don't worry, they'll serve me well for many years to come. I only came here for help concerning RAMs and AVs.

I use a 3.0 GHZ P4 with HT and it pretty much gives up at the oblivion range of games, definatly will not hold out if you want to play SC2 or supreme commanders.
My aim with this new PC, is not only just for games, but to handle programs such as FL Studio 7 XXL, Pinnacle Liquid Edition, and others. I can take some slowdowns or choppy frames during games.

I had a simlar graphic card before it died. It will work for older games but definatly do not expect new games to play well on it (if they even do play).
When a game doesn't run at all, I check on the graphic card's vendor's site for updates. They have patches that make older graphic cards compatible with newer games (Unless the games require more graphic card memory.).

do not bother getting 4GB of ram with those specs, 2GB is more than enough if your using XP (which is probably all that system will run properly). Rather save moeny for an extra 2GB for better hardware as it will pay of in the long run. 4GB of ram is only good with vista and playing modern games (which your PC will run slowly anyway).
I never liked Vista so I'll stick with XP. Due to my Motherboard's limits, I'll be getting only 3 GB. Because many games or programs drain too much RAM, which will likely cause a crash. A real pain if you ask me.

I strongly recomend you rather put that money into a better graphics card if you want better preformance.
I'll upgrade my graphic card (And probably my CPU) in the future (Due to ridiculously expensive prices and as they are not available in my country yet.). But for now, I'll stick with this one.

As for anti virus, I am currently not sure as I use norton and it seems recurce hungy.
Yes, I know they slow the PCs down a bit. But it's worth having our PCs protected from all malwares. AVs can be disabled before running games, so they won't slow down the performance. And Norton is also a good program, let me write that on my list paper.

However this is only my view and so do not jump to descisions on it and wait for other experts ideas.
Don't worry, I'm never in a hurry. But thanks for your help and advices.

i think 2GB ram will be enough
i use avast! antivirus and is good enough for me
I prefer 3 GB of RAM to keep my games and programs stabilized (No crashes). Avast! is also a good AV program so I'll add it to my list paper...

Your motherboard supports up to 4GB of memory. However, if you run a 32-bit operating system (like standard Windows XP), then you will not be able to make use of 4GB of RAM since your operating system will not be able to address the full 4GB (due to memory-mapped I/O). I would suggest instead getting 3GB (2x1GB + 2x512MB) or 2GB of RAM.

Also, your motherboard accepts DDR2 only at 400MHz and 533MHz (based on the spec) so don't bother getting 667MHz or 800MHz DDR2.
So XP won't detect up to 4 GB? Okay, so I'll get 3GB (2x1GB + 2x512MB). Nice, they'd perfectly fit in all four sockets. I'll also keep in mind of their MHz as well...

Unbuffered, non-ECC memory is what nearly all standard desktop computers use. ECC is an error correction and detection scheme used on memory for servers and workstations.
So, are all (Or almost all.) the RAM chips from many vendors always unbuffered and non-ECC?

Based on your previous description, it sounds as if the motherboard does NOT support 2GB modules. I would stick with 1GB or 512MB modules.
Okay, so no 2 GB modules. And I've almost purchased that without knowing it! Thanks for warning me.

Many commercial virus scanners are decent, and their individual performance tends to fluctuate depending on the current virus threats and the response time of the companies to maintain their virus detection heuristics.

You should take a look at some comparisons if you want to be absolutely sure. For example:
http://www.av-comparatives.org/seiten/ergebnisse_2007_11.php

That said, I personally use AVG free on a few of my machines because it's free and works reasonably well.
Okay, I'll take a look of that link. And as well adding AVG AV in my list paper.

As a final note, don't spend any extra money on this machine. It is using very dated components. It would be much better to save your money for a bit and buy a newer machine with an Intel Core 2 chip as you will get far faster performance and a system that runs cooler and much more efficiently.
I know they're quite old-fashioned, but there are no Intel Core 2 Chips in my country yet (My country is so delayed with imports.). And I've already spent my money on these components, like I've said in this post. But I'm happy about it. I'll probably buy that after few years...

But with my new Pentium 4, I've already brought a special cooler device that will replace that Intel's tiny fan. I don't know what's called, but it's a huge bronze metal thingy that attaches on the P4 Chip and absorbs most of the heat, and the other two huge fans installed in my tower will expel the heat, thus keeping my PC fresh.

I have the same video card on my old computer, its crap and causes my old computer to restart automatically (overheats even when I have 5 fans). Try getting a video card with atleast 512MB of memory, they will run most of the latest games.
Okay, so what kind of PC and tower do you have? Mine has many holes, and two huge fans to cool everything down. And a huge bronze metal thingy that absorbs excessive CPU heat. Ah well, I might have to post a picture of my PC to show to everybody (Could be fun.).

As for the memory, keep in mind that the RAM is even more important, because if you play TES4 - Oblivion with only 1 GB of RAM for too long, it'll crash. Why? Because I've used the Task Manager to monitor the RAM availability and there was only 36 or less MB of RAM available, it had no more room to store more textures data.

Now, again with 1 GB of RAM for The Sims 2 (With all Expansions), if you play for too long, the Sims' graphics will become garbled with twisted vertices and displaying colorful messy stuff. Why? Because, once again, there was not enough RAM memory to store more textures.

That's the reason why I need 3 GB of RAM.
 

Dr Super Good

Spell Reviewer
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Joined
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Messages
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Geforce 6600 GT will run all games extreemly slowly (WC3 and other games like it will run perfectly however at full at a resonable resolution) and most cutting edge games will struggle to even load up. My current 7800 GTS strugles to keep oblivion at 15 FPS (which is the maximum for some reason) at near max settings and that card is a lot stronger. Oblivion at maximum however is equal to most games nowdays at slightly higher than medium. So if you play the very lattest games (crysis and others with that detail in graphics), do not expect the game to run at all well even on minimum graphics.

Atleast it is better than what my bro is using. He is using a geforce 4 card and that still runs WC3 at maximum. Thus there is no denying your card will work perfectly for most games, but be aware that cutting edge ones will not run.

And as far as RAM goes, I have 2GB and I hardly ever hit that limate (unless a program goes badly wrong).
 
Level 10
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Okay, I've got two chips of 512 MB of RAM, and the other two chips of 1 GB will have to wait for a while (I couldn't find them yet.). So, my PC's ready with only 1 GB of RAM for now.

I've turned my PC on and checked the BIOS. The system, voltage and heat statuses are okay. Everything's installed and ready to use. Here's some pictures of my PC (Inside and outside.).

I forgot to mention that I've mounted the components two days ago with some help, the RAMs were only mounted today. I know it looks so dusty right now, because my room ALWAYS gets dusty, but I'd better clean my PC soon.
 

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Level 15
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Seriously, that's too much dust in the CPU heatsink. I'm glad you will be cleaning it out soon because it looks as if there won't be much airflow at all to cool the CPU.
 
Level 10
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Indeed. I'll wipe out the dust, it won't be shining but the large portion of dust on it will be gone soon.

But when I turned my PC on for couple of hours ago, the heat levels were shown as follows in ASUSProb:

CPU: 23 C Mboard: 20 C - Idle.
CPU: 34 C Mboard: 26 C - Busy, using programs.
CPU: 41 C Mboard: 38 C - Playing Oblivion, etc..

And my NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT remains fresh.

All these heat levels are not dangerous during the winter, but the heat levels might increase up to 48 C on CPU and 45 C on Mboard (Or more.) during the summer. And of course, I'll be wiping out the dust from time to time.

As for the games, I've already tested them all. My NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT supports them all (The games I have.). Here's some examples that worked:

TES4: Oblivion (With SI and KotN Expansions.)
Black & White 2 (With BotG Expansion)
The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Need for Speed: Most Wanted
The Sims 2 (With all Expansions.)

And, of course, both Warcraft 3 and its tools work real well.
 
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