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should i get a new pc?


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i have a computer thats a few years old.

250 GB hard drive IDE

1 gig of ram

windows xp

3.2Ghz HT

128mb radeon 9200

bad power supply and a case i hate with glowing neons.

id like to upgrade for mame and other emulators

do u think with what they have out now it would be worth upgrading?

if i do upgrade what should it be to? should i stick with xp? or go to vista? or to Linux?

all i wanna do with this computer is play emulators and music. some times videos.

your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

thanks in advance.

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If you're just doing emulation, I don't see why you would need a better computer.. most emulators have low processing overhead, I thought. However, that machine does sound like it's about 4 years old, so if you wanted a new one in general, I would recommend the following:

* Windows XP Pro. Don't go to Vista yet.

* 4gb of RAM. RAM is so cheap now that this is worth getting.

* A new intel Core 2 Duo processor. The e8400 for example is 3.0ghz and faster than previous 3ghz duals, and is <$300, so it's a good bargain.

* Any old HD or two.

* Dunno about graphics card.

prophet of mephisto on these forums builds computers. You might want to talk to him.

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XP Pro 32bit would be your best bet still if you want to be into the emulation scene.

I would advise against 4gb of ram, since 32bit XP Pro can only address 3.25gb of it, not including graphics card memory. My advice would be to get 2 gigs, and run it in dual channel, XP needs no more than that unless you do HEAVY Photoshop work, CAD work, heavy audio work, or something of the like. It will also be faster than 3 gigs, since you cant run 3 gigs in dual channel.

Processor wise, a Intel e8400 Dual Core is a good bet. If you want to go Quad Core, a q6600 is a good deal.

Get the biggest hard drive you can afford to get, magnetic storage is ridiculously cheap these days. Seagate or Western Digital would be the preferred brands, although Samsung is nice as well.

What graphics card you need depends entirely on what you want to do. If your monitor is at or under 1440x900 (1280x1024 if its non widescreen), then a ATI HD3850 will do anything you need it to do. Above that, start looking at a nvidia 8800GT or GTS.

For a case and power supply,

This case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119106

And this power supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139003&Tpk=Corsair%2b450w

EDIT: Like zircon said, talk to mephisto. He can build it for you.

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What's your budget? You can build a pretty damn powerful computer now for under $800 that will run most games out currently at high settings.

Here are some pretty simple recommendations (match with what some have said in the thread already)

CPU: E8400

Motherboard: Gigabyte DS3L

RAM: Unless you overclock this doesn't matter, just get 2 gigs of DDR2800

Graphics Card: 8800GT

Hard drive: Cheap as hell now, buy whatever you can here

Case: I like the Antec P18x line or the Antec 900 but these cases can run sorta expensive unless you find a nice deal

Power Supply: Antec, Corsair, OCZ, Seasonic are some brands I would recommend looking at. Don't skimp here it can really hurt if you buy something cheap.

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What's your budget? You can build a pretty damn powerful computer now for under $800 that will run most games out currently at high settings.

He's only running emulators and videos. Which actually sounds a lot like my setup...I'm currently getting by on a 8500GT (apparently quite good for video decoding).

I really think a 3.2Ghz CPU should run emulators fine (assuming you're not trying to use PS2 EMULATOR?!). If you're experiencing slowdowns, it's most likely the bottleneck is somewhere else. Replace your ugly case, add an extra GB of RAM and run it in dual-channel if your motherboard supports it, plop in a cheap graphics card, and you should be set. A Windows re-install might also be in order...you've most likely accumulated a lot of nasties over 4 years.

If you're going for PS1/N64 emulation, you're not gonna need anything faster than an 8600GT GDDR3. If you just play 2D emulators, I'm not sure you'd even need a new card...I think they mostly use CPU anyway. I was running ZSNES full-speed on my 200Mhz IBM Aptiva with 2MB of video RAM. :lol:

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Alternatively, keep the machine you've got now, and put a lightweight linux distro on it. I'd recommend Vector Linux as it's my preferred distro, but also because it's fairly light and has good dev support - if need be, you can simply grab the source code for your emulator of choice and compile it. I've done that with ZSNES, VBA, and a few others quite well.

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Your current specs are high enough to run most if not all emulators to date. Personally, I use SNES9x and a little of Kawaks, which is very similar to MAME. Even on the laptop I have now, they work flawlessly and don't produce any decrease in performance.

Laptop specs:

1.6 Ghz

256 MB RAM

20 gig HD

Win XP SP2

32 MB ATi mobile graphics card.

You really don't need to upgrade your computer at all for MAME. But if you're downloading all of the games for MAME ever made, then you might have to worry about hard drive space. With 250 gigs, you should be fine.

As for everyone else spouting out processors and other stuff, they're just making suggestions for a possible upgrade or overhaul. For what you want to do, your current rig should be able to do it. I'm not too sure exactly why you would want to upgrade unless you're having a specific problem.

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  • 3 weeks later...

something i'd like to point out. if you're just looking to run stuff like that (which, if he's talking PS2 emulators, that's a way different problem with the graphics stuff), i'd suggest going with the e6750 processor. it's a 2.66ghz processor, huge fsb, and it's 190$ at newegg. beyond that, you could probably piece something together for cheap without too much effort - a mid tower case (the centurion 5 by cooler master is great), cheap mobo (gigabyte makes good low-end atx and microatx mobos), at least 2 gigs of ram (~40$), and a decent power supply that'll have overhead should you choose to upgrade. if you're running more than emulators, look into one of the 8600 cards - they've got a decent amount of power for about 100$ after rebates. you'll want a graphics card, but you might even be able to go as low as the 8500 or 7600 cards and still be able to play modern games as well.

stay xp. vista sucks balls.

if you want, just message me via pm or AIM and we can talk a bit about what you want to do and how much it'd cost to do it. i'm really cheap if you want me to build it, too.

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if you're running more than emulators, look into one of the 8600 cards - they've got a decent amount of power for about 100$ after rebates. you'll want a graphics card, but you might even be able to go as low as the 8500 or 7600 cards and still be able to play modern games as well.

An interesting point of note is that the 7600GT actually preforms better than the 8600GT is most DX9 games. Don't ask me how nvidia managed to pull that off.

Oh, and the 8500 is trash for anything modern. The best thing you will be able to play with that at decent frames and at a decent resolution is Counterstrike.

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8500 works great for movies and the like, and emulators. and it handles some games reasonably well. it does hitman 4 with decent graphics, at least. not perfect, obviously, but workable.

and the 7600 is still an awesome card, two generations removed. i'm using one right now, actually, and i can play just about anything...with lowered settings, obviously.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay, coming from a guy who just got his computer upgraded like hell, this is what I would recommend. It all depends on what emulators you are playing on it, what games if any you are going to install, and how much you are going to be doing at once on your computer.

Here's the deal. For a graphics card I have an 8800 GT, and they are very,very nice. You won't want to go past that at all because GTS and GTX for the 8800 aren't as different as you'd think. I think in Counter Strike:Source when I played it, it makes about a 20 Frames per Second difference between each. Once you get to a certain point, you can get too much FPS and start goldsteining or something close to that word haha, which is basically when your graphics card is getting too much FPS for your monitor to handle and it starts looking REALLY weird. 8800 GT probably won't cause you that problem, as it has not caused me any.

Now, for the processor, I agree with Zircon. I have a Core 2 Duo, and it runs very quickly and efficiently. Quad core processors are probably pushing it, but if you are looking for the very best, go for it. I don't know the difference as I have not seen the work a quad core does, but core 2 duo has not failed me in anything I have tried to do on my computer.

As for the RAM, go with 2GB. I say this because 4GB is not a noticeable change really yet, so I would buy 2GB, and then if you need to upgrade to 4, go for it only if needbe. You could buy it all now when its cheap however in case prices happen to go up in the future. You could stow some extra RAM away until you need it installed on your computer.

Thats mainly it really. Get at least 500 W of power source, because 8800GT takes up quite a bit, and you want to make sure you get enough to power everything. The case, is up to your tastes. Can't help you with the motherboard, not really all that familiar with them.

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