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Author Topic: PC Build - OS?  (Read 1585 times)
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KaosKaizer
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« on: June 26, 2011, 03:58:54 AM »

I hope it's fine if I ask you guys on your opinions about this. I trust (most of) you and know that you would help me out. I'm in the process of building my own desktop PC(I already have all the parts picked out and in my Newegg cart, and I don't mind sharing the info on what they are). Before I actually put the order for the parts through, I want to make sure I have an operating system to use. I'm used to both Windows XP Home w/ SP3 and Windows 7 Ultimate. However, after calculating the price of all my parts and shipping in, I will be spending next to 770$, not counting my operating system. Basically, I won't be able to turn around and buy a Windows 7 license and they don't sell XP to my knowledge anymore. I would prefer XP, or a similar one(as it is the most game-friendly OS there is). Does anyone know of a good, freeware OS that is similar to Windows? Or what would be even better is if anyone knew where I could buy a copy of XP? I will eventually save up enough money to buy a 7 license, but shelling out the cash for that now would bump me from 770$ to nearly 850-1000$, depending on which version I bought. I can't really afford that at the moment. (The main reason I ask about XP is because of games... I know of at least 2 games that I would love to play that are incompatible with 7, and I know there are always more.)

If the staff do not want topics on this matter, then I will remove it. However, it is in General, so I hope it's not much of a problem.
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2011, 09:09:00 AM »

You can still get an OEM XP license if you know where to look - folks have stockpiled the thing, 'cause Microsoft kinda shot themselves in the foot by making an OS that was mostly just right for nearly everyone, making it difficult to persuade them to upgrade. Smiley

Have a chat with your friendly neighborhood indie PC repair shop - they've probably got a stack of OEM licenses stashed away.

For everything but games, give Ubuntu Linux 10.04 a try - I made the switch a couple of years back, and I was pleasantly surprised!  Having a dual-boot machine with a Windows partition for gaming and Linux for normal daily use really does give you the best of both worlds.
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KaosKaizer
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2011, 01:56:35 PM »

Okay, I will check out a PC repair shop for XP. If they don't have it, I guess I'll just have to shell out some cash for 7 or find a free game-friendly OS. I would prefer to have only 1 OS that allows for both gaming needs and everyday needs. Anyways, I have finished shopping and now I just have to actually buy the parts. The parts I have on my list are as follows, so tell me what you think Smiley (BTW, they are all on newegg.com's site)

CD/DVD Drive: ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Case: RAIDMAX SMILODON Extreme Black ATX-612WEB 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4EG HD155UI 1.5TB 5400 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Monitor: Acer G195WAb Black 19" Widescreen LCD Monitor
Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card
Power Supply: SILVERSTONE Strider Plus ST50F-P 500W ATX 12V v2.3 & EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Speakers: Cyber Acoustics CA-2018 2.0 2 Piece Speakers
Keyboard: SIIG JK-US0012-S1 Black USB Standard Desktop Keyboard
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR
Motherboard: BIOSTAR TH67B LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
CPU: Intel Core i5-2300 Sandy Bridge 2.8GHz (3.1GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52300

The total is 774.92 + 18.06 shipping = 792.98
Is that a good price for what all I'm getting? I think so, seeing as a lot of new computers right out of the store can cost even more while having only the very basic of essentials. Of course, I'm not going to buy all of this at once. I'm going to buy what I can afford each week as I get my paychecks.

:: EDIT :: And please tell me if I forgot to add anything. I have a feeling I did :/
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 01:59:49 PM by KaosKaizer » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2011, 12:23:46 AM »

It just makes NO sense if you  are going to use windows XP by having built-in  8 GB of memory, since it will not be able to use more than 3.<do not not exact value i think 3.3> GB, since it is a 32 bit OS.
If you considering Windows XP for games i think you mean very old games. If these games are based on DOS, you can try it with Virtual DOS Box. If they are at the level of Windows 98 or what ever old Windows and the windows compatibility mode (have you tried it? it solves most problems) will not work, it will may even work on Linux using Wine. Wine has a pretty good support for old windows apis.

Not for gaming but intended to be a free alternative to windows is the ReaactOS project. But they have a lot work to to - i do not know if gaming is possible. But some windows applications are working pretty good like firefox.  


So I would either skip windows xp in favor of a windows 7 64bit copy or skip the huge amount of RAM. Maybe using 4 GB Ram would allow you to use windows XP and Windows 7. Does you old copy of windows XP not work on another machine?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 12:31:08 AM by vokainer » Logged
KaosKaizer
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2011, 08:21:24 AM »

I didn't know XP had a RAM limit o.O.
I want it because I know that the two(well, only one of them is good) SW:KotOR games aren't compatible with 7(and I can't find any way to make them work), and as for my old copy, it doesn't exist. My computer came with Windows XP and I lost the original installation disc. I would have kept XP, but a virus had deleted some key files that some programs used in order to work, so I installed Windows 7 Ultimate, but that copy belonged to my cousin who was the one that convinced me to go 7.

I didn't what the 32/64 had to do with anything. My current installation is 64 bit. I can't skip the RAM as I always seem to need more(although, with 8, I won't), so I guess I'll skip out on XP and maybe later down the road get me an XBox and I can play the KotOR on there. That way, at least I can get Fable II as well seeing as they never ported it to the PC. xD

Thanks for the help, and I'll take a look at ReactOS.
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2011, 12:51:39 PM »

I didn't know XP had a RAM limit o.O.
This restriction applies to any Windows in a 32 bit Version. Since in 32 bit operating systems the adress space is only 4 GB. Not everything of the adress space are RAM adresses.
So even if you choose Windows 7 32bit you will not get your 8 GB
This is not a Windows XP issue Wink 
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KaosKaizer
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2011, 08:47:49 PM »

Oh, well I've never really understood what the "XX bit" designations were for. :/
Yeah, I'm currently running 7 Ultimate 64-bit. I guess I could save up the cash for Win 7, and install VirtualBox and use it with ReactOS, but the Win 7 I want is Ultimate(of course xD) and it's 500. I am going to settle for the Home Premium, though.

So, how much RAM can a 64-bit OS access? I was wondering because the motherboard I'm getting has 4 240-pin slots for memory, and I already have 2 4-gig RAM sticks (or whatever they are called) on my list. If 64-bit can support 16 gigs, I wouldn't mind adding another set of RAM to my order.
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2011, 10:47:43 PM »

Another reason not to get XP: it's a ten year old OS. Time to move on already!

IIRC, a 64-bit system can address around 1.8 exabytes (yes, exabytes).
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2011, 11:45:53 PM »

The "32" in "32-bit" computing means that the processor works naturally with 32-bit quantities -- very loosely speaking, values between 0 and 2^32 - 1 = 4,294,967,295.  Under the model where a memory address (pointer) is the natural size, this means that a pointer can refer to only 2^32 different values.  That is, the address space (the memory that a program may access) is limited to 2^32 bytes = 4 gigabytes.  These days, this is not entirely sufficient. Smiley

(Also, parts of the address space were often not available; Windows would often allocate the high part of the address space to the graphics card memory, generally limiting the usable address space to 3.5GB or less.)

"64-bit" means that the processor can work easily with 64-bit quantities -- very loosely speaking, values between 0 and 2^64 - 1 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,615.  With pointers of the natural size, the address space is now 2^64 bytes = 16 exabytes = 16,777,216 terabytes.  This is likely to suffice for a while.

Note that this doesn't mean that all of that address space is actually available.  As things stand, currently only the low 48 bits of addresses are used, and the operating system often reserves half of that for its use.  That leaves 2^47 bytes of useful address space = 128 terabytes.  Additionally, it used to be that only 40 bits were available for "physical" addresses -- those corresponding to RAM locations -- meaning that at most 2^40 = 1 terabyte of RAM could be used.  Newer chips may have raised this to 2^48 = 256 terabytes again.

In any case... with a 32-bit OS, 4GB of ram is all you can use.  With a 64-bit OS, you won't be able to exceed its limits so get whatever amount of memory you want.

I see a few posts around suggesting that people have managed to get KotOR 1 and 2 running under Vista, and maybe 7, so maybe it's workable these days.  (See this post, I guess.)  I have no personal experience with this.

My feeling -- as long as you're comfortable with Linux -- is that you'd be well served by installing some (64-bit) Linux variant, and trying WINE for older games.  When you manage to get a copy of XP, run it under VirtualBox.  And you can acquire 7 later (maybe replacing that Linux) if you feel the need.
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Brandon
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2011, 05:01:19 AM »

was wondering because the motherboard I'm getting has 4 240-pin slots for memory, and I already have 2 4-gig RAM sticks (or whatever they are called) on my list. If 64-bit can support 16 gigs, I wouldn't mind adding another set of RAM to my order.

They are called "Flash Drives" lol, I have a 1TB (Yes, terrabite) hard drive, and 12GB of Ram, on my desktop, running Windows 7, Home Premium I think, I got it all decked out for gaming purposes, thank goodness I got the payments going through the company my father works for, or it would of costed even more haha. I can give ya the specs of it if you would like, though you will have to wait till I get home from work to do so. (It's a Dell, and works great, but my screen sometimes flashes to a black screen for a moment then goes back to normal, have no idea why, if you have an answer or a suggestion for the solution to that, would be greatful lol)  Grin
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Talisman
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2011, 08:56:23 AM »

He's talking about sticks of RAM (Internal Memory), not USB thumbdrives...
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Brandon
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2011, 09:13:39 AM »

Woops, my mistake lol.
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KaosKaizer
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2011, 10:09:40 PM »

[...]

In any case... with a 32-bit OS, 4GB of ram is all you can use.  With a 64-bit OS, you won't be able to exceed its limits so get whatever amount of memory you want.

[...]

I see a few posts around suggesting that people have managed to get KotOR 1 and 2 running under Vista, and maybe 7, so maybe it's workable these days.  (See this post, I guess.)  I have no personal experience with this.

[...]

Okay, thanks Boris for the info! And for the link to the fix, I'll try that out! I have decided that I'll save the cash for 7 home premium. I found a 64-bit version of it on Newegg that's only 100. And, if I ever am able to get XP, I'll use it on VirtualBox. I've already DL'ed VirtualBox to test out a few free OS's. ReactOS was buggy and wouldn't do anything, I checked out a really basic OS called MikeOS(basically, it's not what I'll be using xD), and I checked out a linux-based OS called Freespire. I liked Freespire, but I couldn't install it(there was an error, and I can't access the support site), only run it from the disk. I'm still looking through different OS's, though.

@Brandon, yeah, I'm talking about Random Access Memory, not flash/thumb drives. As for the black screen, no idea why. You said it's a Dell? Maybe you should call their Customer Support and find out.
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