my current computer = suck, need advice on solid hardware combinations

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by nobody, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. nobody

    nobody New Member

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    I'll try and keep this brief - below I have my current setup, which for some reason just absolutely sucks. Initially my computer would just shut itself off whenever it wanted to, and it turns out Gigabyte had forgotten to include one single transistor on Rev. 1.0 of my motherboard, so I warrantied that SOB and got a Rev. 2.0 which *fixed* the problem. Now my computer doesn't just restart itself (as much) but I can't run any sort of graphics intensive programs (UT2004 doesn't get past the splash screen). Even CrazyBrowser has become unstable to the point where I can't play my online flash games anymore (which I have had to resort to due to my lack of 3D gaming capabilities). I thought it was just the general suxoring of Windows, so I poured my time into learning and installing Gentoo Linux, only to find out that UT2004 performed exactly the same way there. This makes me think I have some hardware conflict that isn't immediately obvious to me. Every part in my computer (sans my processor and one good stick of memory) has been warrantied to try and repair the problem, but alas, my problem still exists and is getting more and more frustrating by the day. what are some good (read "stable, rock stable") configurations that you can all swear by? I would like to stick with AMD because I prefer their processors and already have one. What should I swap out first? Anything?

    Cliff Notes: My current computer configuration sucks ass, and I would like to know what OT swears by and has proven to be stable in your computers. If you know of any conflicts in my current configuration, let me know, or else give me some _specific_ configurations that you know won't be as buggy as mine. Also, this isn't attributable to windows, it happens in linux too, so it is in fact a hardware issue for me.

    Thanks, OT!



    current setup:
    AMD AthlonXP 2000+
    1024 megs RAM (2x512, one of which needs to be warrantied and isn't in my box right now)
    Gigabyte 7VRXP Rev. 2.0 mobo
    Gainward GeForce 4 Ti 4200 with 128 mb onboard memory
    SBLive! 5.1 sound card
    Etherlink (?) network adapter
    3x HDDs (200GB total)
    1x Samsung burner
     
  2. DAN513

    DAN513 OT Supporter

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    Asus P4c800
    Intel P4 2.8 or 3.0C 800MHz FSB Hyperthreading(I would stay away from the prescott cpu's from intel as they tend to run significantly hotter than the C series)
    Corsair, Crucial or Kingston PC3200 ram x2
    WD SATA Raptor hard drive
    ATI Radeon 9600XT or 9800XT
    SB Audigy 2
    Use the OB NIC
    Get a good power supply like an Antec True power 380 or 430 watt
    Antec makes great cases, so does Lian Li, they are both more expensive, but have awesome cooling capabilities
    I would throw in a couple of extra fans, vantec stealth 80mm or thermaltake smart fan 2's, either would work well.
    Stock cooling for the cpu should be fine unless you want to overclock. If you do want to OC, go with a Thermalright SP94 with a 92mm fan that is thermally controlled.
     
  3. nobody

    nobody New Member

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    thanks for your suggestions. i just built this comp two years ago, so i don't know if i'm ready to bone up the cash for an entire rebuild, but it just many come down to that. who knows? :dunno:
     
  4. DAN513

    DAN513 OT Supporter

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    I would say your sound and video are both fine, hard drives should be fine too. If you have the same issue in both windows and linux, it could be a bad video card. You certaintly have enough power to play it smoothly. Have you tried a different video card?
     
  5. nobody

    nobody New Member

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    i've got an AGI 300W power supply, and I have plugs to spare, so I would hope i'm not running short on power. I threw a shitty GeForce 4 MX card in there before I warrantied my mobo and games ran fine on that - slow, but at least they didn't crash out. since then i warrantied my mobo and gigabyte claims that it's fully compatible with GeForce 4 Ti cards now, but i'm not sure that I buy it. Should I maybe try a new motherboard?
     
  6. mdaniel

    mdaniel S is for Shiksa

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    Athlons and modern video cards draw a lot of power. Plus you've got 3 hard disks and a lot of RAM. 300w is kinda borderline for such a system. I'd get a name-brand 400+ unit and see. Saying you're not short of power because you have connectors left is like saying you must have money because you still have blank checks in your checkbook.
     
  7. Stev

    Stev Active Member

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    x2 on the ps... get a 400W and be done with it.

    i would also say just for good form to get a midrange vidcard... the Ti's can still perform but games like UT2004 ive seen those(until now) werent performing that great at all compared to say my 9600xt(which i dont consider high-end). Perhaps the 9600xt itself or something a little lower but just upgrade it to make sure that it isnt the card in general. If problem stays get an Asus mobo that fits your needs. Not only to try to get rid of the problem but to stay a little more current with the new technologies... not sure if that mobo is nForce2 but its a nice chipset to have.

    what im sayin is yea, defininately hardware but u will need to isolate what it is exactly so if u have a friend that has a PC that is willing to part with it for say an afternoon so u can troubleshoot then do it. Replace the vid card try UT2K4... then replace another part so on and so forth.

    good luck.
     
  8. nobody

    nobody New Member

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    would insufficient power be possibly the reason for UT2k4 erroring out on the initial splash screen or should i try a separate video card to troubleshoot that one?
    i used to be 100% confident in my computer skills, until i got absolutely fuxored by this build i made. now i get exhausted just thinking about all of the stress this has caused me. anybody else have any pointers?

    Thanks to you who have already gave me your input - I really appreciate it and I will be looking into what you told me.

    edit: is Antec the PS brand to buy?
     
  9. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    It could be the power supply. It's been my experience that using an expensive power supply isn't really necessary unless you're powering a LOT of components. I have a cheapo 350w Codagen power supply that came with the case running my second rig. I have 2 hard drives, a dvdr, a cdrw, a ti4200 and it's on 24/7 folding and I've never had a problem with it. My main machine has an Enermax 420w Noisetaker that I payed $80 for. It replaced a 420w Raidmax. The only differance that I saw when I put the Enermax in was that it raised the temps in my machine. Just try a 400w cheapo power supply before you go spending big bucks on a "good" one.

    It could also be your video card. I've heard that some 4x agp motherboards don't like 8x cards. If your card is 8x agp then that could be why it's flaking out. Then again it could just be the card itself or maybe the drivers. That actually sounds more likely. You can get another ti4200 for under $100 online. If you don't mind spending around $150-$200 then you can get a 9600 pro or xt. The performance isn't much better than a ti4200 but it supports directx 9.0. I'd suggest spending an extra $50 and going with the 9800 pro if you're going to be spending that much money on a video card anyway. You can find 9800 pros for $200 pretty easily.

    Everything else looks good. You could probably use a motherboard upgrade but if you're not overclocking then I guess it doesn't matter. The only real performance gain you'd get from a new motherboard would be an 8x agp slot and dual channel. 8x agp cards are usually backwards compatible with 4x motherboards so that shouldn't be a problem. The performance differance from 4x to 8x agp is almost nonexistant. Dual channel doesn't offer a noticable performance differance so I wouldn't worry about that either. I just hate Gigabytes.

    Basically, if you put in another video card and it worked then it's obviously your video card that's the problem. That should be the first thing that you fix. If you get another 8x agp card and it still doesn't work then you need to upgrade your motherboard to something with an 8x agp slot. It doesn't sound like your power supply is the problem but it's the cheapest and simplest possible solution to try. You could try that first if you want to.
     
  10. nobody

    nobody New Member

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    i could tell you some stories. they're generally incompetent, but i'll save you my rant
    see my first comment. i was one of the lucky 300 people worldwide to buy rev 1.0 of the Gigabyte GA-7VRXP before it was recalled when they realized that they missed a transistor necessary for compatibility with GeForce Ti cards and not just MX ones. i was pumped when i could finally afford a computer, and two years later it's turned out to be just a huge headache. No longer am I going to try to save a buck by going anything but strong brands (asus) and no longer will i make the mistake of buying rev. 1.x of any product out there.

    Artyboy, thanks for the tips. I'll have to do a little planning to see how I can waste the least amount of money getting my computer to work. I may end up going ATI, as this nvidia never really impressed me terribly much. Thanks again!
     

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