View Full Version : Bought new crap - discuss

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
15-12-2005, 22:59:34
Freecell was getting a bit slow on my old PC, so I decided to upgrade. Here's what I bought (and am waiting for delivery of):

MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813130484)
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice core CPU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103535)
Corsair 1GB DDR 400 RAM (http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16820145560)
MSI GeForce 6800GS PCIe (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814127200)

This is about the best I could get that my budget would allow, and even then I had to cut my RAM purchase by half to 1Gig (to be doubled in April when I've paid this lot off).

Would have liked a slightly faster CPU, too, but couldn't find one for a decent price. Oh well. At least I've got all the other bits, should be a breeze to install and get running.

It might not be the "ultimate" system, but it's better than the Athlon XP 1800+ system I have now :)

16-12-2005, 13:58:16
I have that motherboard in our newest and am building a $1000 system for my parents with the same when we visit for Christmas - I've had no problems with it other than the somewhat narrow space between the different slots inside - I have an unused slot that could easily be blocked by the PCI-Express video card, depending on what I might someday try to fit into it.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
16-12-2005, 15:08:15
Yeah, I'd read about that. Still, I have no PCI cards so that's not much of a concern for me. I think one day I'll want to get a decent sound card, since onboard sound is never really all that hot, but I've been saying that for 3 years now, so probably not going to happen.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
22-12-2005, 17:03:42
Received the last two packages yesterday, and spent a few hours putting it all together. And now my PC won't boot. Not even in safe mode!

Safe mode does show that it loads Mup.sys, and then reboots. I'm guessing driver issue, and that I'll have to reinstall the operating system to a bland "vanilla" state.

I'll be taking my Knoppix CD home today, to see if that boots, and maybe to clean up the OS install partition prior to reinstall. Glad I've got a 4 day weekend - I might need it...!

24-12-2005, 01:04:18
Tis Very Common for XP not to boot if you change the mobo/processor.

A reinstall leaves you having to phone MS for a new activation code. Ho hum.

You can generally fool them at least once, but don't make a habit of it.

Your Noppix should work fine.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
27-12-2005, 15:11:15
Indeed, my Knoppix worked like a charm. Set the HDD to read only, though, and I couldn't be bothered re-figuring out the UNIX permissions (it's been a while) so I took the plunge and repaired the OS without backing up my crucial data (a selection of documents I hadn't got around to putting on the NAS and wasn't particularly important).

Yes, I called to reactivate, which went smoothly except that on that day my phone line was crossed with someone else's modem, and the rep and I could barely hear each other speak.

The only thing that broke during the process was my virus scanner, which needed reinstalling and then worked fine, and the microphone, due to stupid hidden "Advanced Properties" Mic Boost setting.

So, it's up and running as of last Thursday and is really really nice :)

30-12-2005, 12:49:59
So WoW is looking better than ever?

Got my mom's put together this week just before we had to leave.
It took FOREVER to update everything because I forgot she only had dialup. :bash: everything else was easy

I used MSI's liveupdate tool to upgrade the mobo/bios stuff on my computer and hers - I was having problems with a frequent freeze on bootup (before even getting to XP). It went away.

If only I could get mine to consistently recognize I have a USB keyboard when I boot up.

edit: the other slightly irritating thing was that that mobo doesn't have a regular dialup port, and wouldn't play nice with the modem from her old Gateway. I had to buy a new one.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
30-12-2005, 20:34:56
Well, noone in their right mind uses dialup anymore :D

Haven't had any problems with the machine since I've gotten it working. WoW does indeed look better than ever:beer: and things run much faster and more smoothly than before. Still hampered by an underabundance of RAM though, but that should be sorted in a couple of months.

Sir Penguin
31-12-2005, 11:51:57
I assembled my parents' new computer today. It has an Athlon64 of some sort, an ASRock motherboard of some sort, 1 GB of Corsair cheap-o RAM, and some other stuff. It's Socket 754, mini-ATX. I had a bunch of problems. Firstly, I put the motherboard in before installing the HSF and CPU. It turns out the heatsink seat that was installed on the motherboard wasn't compatible with the quiet HSF we bought to replace the stock unit. I had to take the motherboard back out, but two of the motherboard standoffs had stripped screws, so it took about 45 minutes and some acrobatics to get the damn thing out. The heatsink came with its own seat, so I managed to install that, re-seat the CPU, and mount the heatsink.

Then I discovered that with the HSF mounted, I couldn't get the hard drive into the 3.5" bay. Instead of being sensible and taking the time to remove the whole motherboard, I just took off the heatsink. Of course, the CPU had stuck to it via the thermal compound, so that got yanked right out of the closed socket. I installed the hard drive, wiped some thermal compound off of the heatsink, and put it back in, but the CPU had moved on the heatsink, and it wouldn't go in. A couple dozen bent pins and a mess of thermal compound later, and I'd managed to get it back in. It seems not to be broken, at least not yet.

Then I tried to connect the case connectors. Firstly, the case USB connectors had 5 pins--WTF? There were the usual 4, including the COM, and extra COM pins on a separate lead. I think I plugged them into the COM pins on the nearby gamepad port. The case sound connector had too many pins, and was marked differently from the motherboard sound connectors, so I gave up and took out the sound cable. They can damn well use the back of the computer. I managed to get the rest of the case plug sorted out, and discovered that the case doesn't seem to have a PC speaker (???). The case came with two chassis fans pre-installed, a 120 mm one in the back, and a 92 mm one in the front. The motherboard has three 3-pin fan ports, but unfortunately, they forgot to put the connector on one of them, so the big rear fan is sitting idle.

It's a pretty nice machine for the price (about C$650 after tax), I'm pleased with it. I wouldn't buy it for myself, of course, but I would consider something similar with a different motherboard and a real video card. I especially like the 16" mini-ATX case. It was a lot of hassle to put together, but that's nothing compared to the fact that now my parents have a faster computer than I do (again).