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tobytobes

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About tobytobes

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  1. thanks for the advice everyone. I'm so out of my mind with work right now I don't even think I have the time to configure a computer let alone put one together. I've been taking a gander at what's out there and found ibuypower.com to be a really good site, honestly the only thing I don't like about them is their cases. FUGLY. I did leave this until the last minute but sometimes life just plays out that way. It's looking like my budget is going to have to go up a notch.... I'm thinking about $1,200 currently. I have about one day left to decide on the computer. Now... Last night I saw an article about how HP is building custom order pcs and I took a look into it. I was up all night, and was able to configure a computer with all the niceties a pretty good price. I was even able to get a monitor included in the deal. These rigs use ATX cases and have good ventilation - they honestly look like a viable option at this point. Not bad even though it is far from a "real" custom build. Does anyone think HP would be a viable alternative? If so, I may consider sending out an order... philip- hah. don't get me wrong. I used to be a die-hard Dell fan but the XPS systems are just too far out of my price range, and I don't want to be stuck with a mid-tower. Any other insight or comments about HP systems would be greatly appreciated. -thanks! Toby
  2. Hi guys, I am a scant few hours away from ordering a new computer for College, and due to time constraints, I don't have time to put it together myself which is something I've been looking forward to for a few years now. [] To make things ugly, I am being railroaded into buying a DELL if I can't come up with a solution in about 72 hours. A DELL people! My question to you guys (the experts)... Where can I purchase a SOLID build from a reputable company that doesn't skimp on quality?? I'd like to be able to customize the order if possible. I've been using Dell's for years now and I don't want another. I know the major manufacturers skimp on everything and you end up buying a tiny box with a woefully underpowered PSU. Needless to say, I want something upgradeable that can handle ANYTHING I throw at it for a few years to come... I will continue my search, but I won't be able to rest easy on this one until I've gotten the opinion of the forum. Thanks for taking the time to read this one, it's truly appreciated. Toby
  3. Hi guys, I am a scant few hours away from ordering a new computer for College, and due to time constraints, I don't have time to put it together myself which is something I've been looking forward to for a few years now. [] To make things ugly, I am being railroaded into buying a DELL if I can't come up with a solution in about 72 hours. A DELL people! My question to you guys (the experts)... Where can I purchase a SOLID build from a reputable company that doesn't skimp on quality?? I'd like to be able to customize the order if possible. I've been using Dell's for years now and I don't want another. I know the major manufacturers skimp on everything and you end up buying a tiny box with a woefully underpowered PSU. Needless to say, I want something upgradeable that can handle ANYTHING I throw at it for a few years to come... I will continue my search, but I won't be able to rest easy on this one until I've gotten the opinion of the forum. Thanks for taking the time to read this one, it's truly appreciated. Toby
  4. No I haven't, next time I feel like a headache I'll look into it. Driver support for ATI AGP boards has been dismal since catalyst stopped offering AGP support. There is a hot fix, which doesn't seem to work for me. (big surprise there) I looked into the Omega drivers; read many on line discussions. Apparently, since Omega drivers are essentially based on ATI's drivers, even the newest Omega AGP drivers use code dating back to catalyst 7.7. (Again, that's for AGP users, not PCI-E) Anyone still running an AGP rig knows all too well how painful it can be to get everything running smoothly. After months of fussing about hacking drivers etc. I finally went back to using the Manufacturer- supplied version of the Catalyst drivers with the Control Center disabled on startup as I mentioned above. Keeps the memory usage down, and framerates are more than acceptable even at high resolutions.
  5. thanks for the reply Mud... Unfortunately, I've never been able to get Omega to detect the 2600xt AGP. I'll be the first to admit the ATI stock drivers are memory hogs and I usually block the CLI start up application and/or forego installing Catalyst alltogether. You can open and close the CLI application at any time to make changes and overclock etc. Well .... I figured out the problem. I stumbled across the answer.... This seems like a no brainier, but: Apparently if you set the Screen Saver to "None" or "Blank", the power saving features will not kick in. This seems to be the fix (at least for me).
  6. Hello everyone- Searched and searched for an answer... haven't found anything so far. I'm running Windows XP Pro, have an ATI Sapphire 2600xt 512mb. It has dual outputs - one VGA and one DVI. The DVI is the secondary output. I recently picked up a new 22" Wide Screen with DVI input; I set the secondary DVI display as my primary output and now everything is running in DVI mode. The only problem is that the monitor does not enter sleep mode when using DVI - this is not a problem when using VGA as far I know. I'm sure some of you would say just switch back to VGA, but the DVI signal is much crisper in my opinion (everyone has differing views but that's my take on it as a graphic designer who spends a lot of time looking at monitors). I have tried everything I can think of; I can only assume the ATI drivers do not have any code built in which tells the secondary monitor to sleep when Windows gives the command. I'm sure there has to be some way to get the monitor to respond to the power saving commands. I'm not programmer, but I'm assuming it's not out of the question that there is a patch floating around the Web somewhere for this kind of issue. I haven't gotten any help from ATI or HP (just stock answers: change drivers, change cables etc.)... Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm loving the new monitor, and I'd like to keep the back-light hours to a minimum as its a big investment for me. Thanks guys- Toby
  7. Update: I installed Service Pack 2 and the problem seemed to resolve itself. My PSU will go into hibernate mode now when I set it up. I have no idea why that would happen? The Case Fan also seems to be more responsive and it actually revved up in-game to a quite a speed. I still bought the PSU with the better fans and speed dial control... retail therapy.
  8. Well I got the drivers installed properly last night... The system certainly seemed a bit less sluggish with the Omega Drivers. However, my GPU performance didn't change so I rolled back to the original drivers... Thanks for the info guys. It's a shame it didn't help in the timedemos but I still really appreciate it. edit: php, I used the ATI uninstall utility. The drivers it was asking me for were dvd decoder files I believe or something to do with theatre. I was so tired and felt so defeated last night I just had a night cap and went straight to bed. -Toby
  9. The installation won't take, it's asking for ativtmxx.dll and the only copies I have of it are from ATI. I search my whole HDD for ativtmxx.dll, only could find it in sysbackup. Maybe I'll try the previous release... edit: okay it want's more files s*it and it made another internet connection?
  10. Php, you are the man. I will report back and let you guys know what happens...
  11. Now we're getting somewhere! Omega drivers?? Tell me more of these Omega drivers you speak of..... Please don't say they are for Linux only....
  12. I do have everest, thanks coknuck. dilated - Here is the PSU I was looking at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817182002 I do get stuttering in games, it's just more noticeable with First Person Shooters. Honestly, the sad thing is I shelled out 270 or something for this card not knowing about the PSU which was another 40.. etc etc... It's like a snowball rolling down a hill that keeps getting bigger and more expensive. My previous card was a Nvidia GeForce 5200 which came with the computer. The computer was all-around much faster before installing this card. The drivers slowed down the computer so much I actually put in another 512MB of RAM to make an even GIG. I made sure to get matching dual channel ram exactly the same as the original. There's another $90 right there not including shipping.. I noticed a boost in my overall performance, but when it comes to this new PSU and card... It's like it's rejecting an organ or something. My thermaltake PSU is is more than powerful enough @ 420w. I really don't notice any difference when playing other games such as URU, or Prince of Persia in term of smoothness. If anything it's worse. And that's sad because that card came with the Dell for free. Right now I'm just mad at myself for even buying anything "ATI". The ForceWare drivers had a double scan option for lower resolutions which was really useful and were much less resource intensive. ATI Drivers require that you have .NET Broadcasting installed on your computer and the drivers really soak up a lot of resources: CLI.exe 10,632 CLI.exe 11,940 ati2evxx.exe 2,248 Don't understand why they need 2 CLI apps running. Plus the resources for the .NET Framework.... When I buy a new card it will be a Nvidia for sure, just because they actually know how to write software. I don't know.... I was looking at the ATI tech support page and they reccomend you install SP2. I've tried it before and all it really did was slow down my computer and eat up my resources imo. I have a copy on CD and I am willing to give anything a try at this point. So that may be the next step. After that I'm probably going to try reformatting *again* and install everything one step at a time. I use Norton 2005 and that may have to come out of the equation, as it's a real resource hog... But that really keeps my system secure and it's the only software I trust right now. I almost wish this mobo would fry so I would have an excuse to build my first computer from scratch. ahhh.... well keep the advice coming.. I'm thinking too much,,,, Maybe this is something simple.....
  13. Dilated... I'm back.. did a little research.. OK... Pentium 4 is designed to automatically have its clock throttle (slow itself down) if its core thermal diode reads higher than the maximum safe operable temperature. Thus, to avoid an unintended shutdown, performance is sacrificed when that critical temperature is reached. What makes this hard to determine for me is that I can't see my CPU temperature. BUT.. I've figured a way around that. If I can keep an eye on my Clock Speeds while the timedemo is running, I will know when and if a high temperature has been reached, because the clock will slow. I ran about 20 time demos in a row while running a clock monitoring program. I took a screenshot of the results when I was done: 50 FPS @ 1024x768 High Quality timedemo1 The Clock Speed never went under 2793.00MHz which is totally acceptable for an Intel p4 2.8 and it appears the CPU is not in any danger of overheating. After that the fan slows down to low, which is a sign that the fan is getting some type of signal from the mobo. I just wonder why it never gets the signal to "kick it up a notch" when there is more strain on the system. What I'm seeing are faster refresh rates and a better draw speeds when the fan is pushing more air. When air isn't being circulated, it seems to "stutter" more often. The only thing I can keep coming back to is the PSU. First off, the Thermaltake TR2 (my current PSU) is a little bit longer than most PSUs. It's too bulky for a Mid-Tower Case.. the cables have nowhere to sit happily. The exhaust vents directly into the back of my CD-Rom Drives, just like the old PSU.... Not very efficient. I am looking into getting a dual fan PSU which pushes air down into the case, and also has a dial for controlling speed manually. I'm just so sick of throwing money at this computer. Dude, you're getting a Dell.
  14. Hello Rocco, Yes it's true. Because of proprietary components on the Dell mobo - cpu, case, and rpm changes cannot be measured. I only have my Hard Disk, and the sensor on my Video Card to go by. I really have no clue what is going on temp wise on the cpu... but I dont think it's running above average. (I don't get any strange crashes or blue screens which would be a tell-tale sign). The Fan does respond to my hand on the exhaust, but will not respond automatically without taping over about 3 rows of pinholes on the exhaust. As far as using one of those thingies from Home Depot - I actually did think about that. The reading probably wouldn't be a very good indicator of my actual core CPU temps. I can't help think somehow this 3rd power supply unit is interfering with fan speeds. Ever since I replaced the old PSU I have not been able to hibernate which lets me know something is amiss. Dell does sell 400w+ power supplies for 190 dollars.. but you have to call between 9 and 5 between monday and friday, and ask for an XPS gaming PSU. Even then Choose your words carefully and *might* give you what you want. It took me about three weeks to get these guys to cough up two sticks of pc2700 256 MB RAM. I found a heat-sink that I hope will fit in this unit. From what I've read it's not easy to install, but it's got some great features. I'm not looking forward to affixing the heatsink as I've never done dealt with the cement before. Here is what have come up with from newegg.com: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835106042 If anyone knows anything about this subject, please feel free to chime in. I'm still not convinced slapping a new heatsink on there is the fix I'm looking for... I know this computer can run Doom 3 @ 1024x768 on High Quality @ 60 FPS in a timedemo with Norton 2005 running in the background..... that's saying something... I'm not giving up on this rig quite yet.
  15. I know what you mean. I had this guy send me pictures of his modded Dell before I would even try the operation. Hey man.. I'm already confused.. you linked me to the Socket LGA775 Coolers. According to Everest, I have: Socket 478 - Intel Pentium 4 - Northwood. I'm really confused here.
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