How should I set up all my Hardware

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January 20, 2009 at 09:32:54
Specs: Windows XP, Pentim(R) D 3.00GHz, 4GB 1066 Corsair
Hey guys hoping you could help a bit here. After changing my PC setup and infinite other options
more times times than I care to count, just using the trial and error method, I was hoping
someone can tell me what would be the best configuration for my pc to run games.

Some things I have tried for example...

- Having two diff o/s, one on Raptor, and One one the
Western Digital 250GB, keeping the Seagate for file storage. On the Raptor I have the absolute
bare minimum as far as programs and stuff go, (I figure the less the better), and just have
games on it, the WD I have all my office programs and everything else like normal. When i want to
play games I just swap the SATA cable from the WD to the Raptor.

- Having the o/s on the Raptor, Seagate as file storage, Western Digital for programs. Have
nothing starting up with windows, ending all the processess possible in task manager,
and disable as many services as possible. I figure the less running the more performance
to my games.

- Having a duel boot system, with Vista for normal windows use, and XP 64 bit for games. But
I hate duel boot systems anyway, vista is s---, and nothing runs on 64 bit far
as I know...

I really have no idea what would be best, I just need someone who knows what they are on about
(actual qualifications, not a back yard techy like me ahah..) say "Look, do it this way..."
and I'll be happy as larry.


O/S - Windows XP Professional SP3
MOBO - Gigabyte P35-DS4 rev 1.1
CPU - Pentim(R) D 3.00GHz
RAM - 4 GB 1066 Corsair
H/DRIVES - 70 GB Raptor + 250 GB Western Dig + 250 GB Seagate
POWER SUPPLY - Thermaltake TR2 RX 550W
INTERNET - ADSL2+ >30MB/S (supposedly that speed)
GFX CARD - NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT 1GB Turbo
OTHER CARDS - Hauppauge HD PCI Tuner
SPEAKER SETUP - harman/kardon Desktop speakers and Sub
MONITOR - V7 22 inch LCD

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January 20, 2009 at 10:32:33
Your hardware configuration is pretty decent but that Pentium D has got to go. Pick up a low end Core 2 Duo such as the E7400 for about $120 & overclock the crap out of it. How about 3.5GHz (10.5 x 333MHz) with the RAM underclocked to DDR2-667 to give you the coveted 1:1 ratio?

Install XP SP3 (32-bit) on the Raptor along with your games. Use one 250GB HDD for the rest of your programs & the 2nd 250GB HDD for storage & backups.

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January 20, 2009 at 11:53:34
thanks for the advice mate! Yeah I have been told once by a guy my cpu is s---, I'll replace asap. As for the 'coveted 1:1 ratio', I wish I could sound smart know exactly what you are talking about, but could you please explain? Why would I underclock my RAM when I have sweet RAM?

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January 20, 2009 at 12:28:28
"Why would I underclock my RAM when I have sweet RAM?"

Using your current setup as an example, the RAM frequency of 533MHz (1066MHz DDR) far outpaces the CPU frequency of 200MHz (800MHz DDR). What that means is the system has to compensate for the differences in the two frequencies & that introduces "wait-states" which tend to hinder performance. It's generally recommended to run the CPU & RAM at the same frequency to avoid these wait-states.

That being said, there is a point where the RAM frequency is SO much faster than the CPU frequency that it's speed makes up for the wait-state losses. You *may* be there with your configuration as it is.

One more curve to throw at you is that because the P4's netburst architecture is realtively inefficient, it's usually recommended to run the RAM frequency a bit faster than the CPU frequency. But the P4 (& it's derivatives) is the only CPU where this is recommended. So basically, with all Intel systems other than the P4, it's just much easier & efficient to run the CPU & RAM frequencies at the same speed. That means, 800MHz FSB CPUs w/DDR400 RAM, 1066MHz FSB CPUs w/DDR533 RAM, 1333MHz FSB CPUs w/DDR667 RAM.

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January 20, 2009 at 13:13:03
ok, so how do I find out how to set my bios to the right settings for my hardware?
I'm finding it a little hard to make it do what I want it to. They hide things....

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