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Old 02-13-2009, 01:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Americas heartland
Posts: 16
Default Re: First Build - need advice

1 important note...
The swap file trick only works on a "separate" HD, don't confuse this with a separate "partition" on the same physical drive or you'll gain nothing for the effort. If the process or reasoning sounds confusing search the web for "tweak + move page file" etc. and you'll quickly understand the benefits.

Originally Posted by thinkink View Post
With SATA drive - Why would you want to keep the "IDE Hard Drive @ 5,400 RPM"?

If you share the same IDE cable for both 5400 rpm and the 7200 RPM the performance of the faster will be downgraded to the slower HD speed.

I like the idea of having the 7200 rpm as the master/single drive on IDE port - use it as your backup/storage drive.

Move everything you want off that drive, hard format it, pull it out and donate it to someone with an older system, "or" put away somewhere as an emergency backup "just in case" the 7200 should fail when your too broke to replace it.

When money permits, get another SATA so you can put your Page file and temp folders on that 2nd SATA for even greater performance. With 2Gig or more of Ram you don't need much of a Page file anyway - the few times(if any) that the OS calls on it, the Page file will respond quicker.

With 2Gig ram and WinXP - I run a custom size Page file setting of 500 - 500 on a 2nd drive, when I defrag main drive I don't have a bloated page file in the mix. Makes for a clean main HD, and in my case, noticeably snappier system.
ZDNet has an article on this but they actually recommend using an old HD you might have laying around. Whoever wrote that article should be slapped. Why would you want to move your Paging file to a slower HD? Defeats the whole purpose of the tweak!

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Old 02-13-2009, 06:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 92
Default Re: First Build - need advice

I don't currently have an SATA drive. I said it was the first addition to my rig I was going to buy. Though now it may be a computer case and then an SATA drive.

And yeah, I know the pagefile problem, that's why I was wanting that super fast Western Digital raptor thing that spins at 10,000 RPM.

On my new rig, the 30GB @ 5,400rpm will be my primary drive, and the 250GB @ 7,200rpm will be my storage drive.

On my current computer the 250GB drive is my primary drive , and the 30GB drive is used for my swapfile on the first primary-partition of 1GB, and the rest of the drive has a copy of WinXP on it as a backup OS incase my system really gets messed up.

With my new rig I am not formatting that 250GB drive, it has very valuable data on it, and it's almost packed now. I'll just be using it as storage and of course to retrieve all that valuable [s]porn[/s] data. But seriously, this 250GB drive has my entire MP3 collection, games, programs, encrypted password lists, contacts, instant message conversation archives, and way too many things I just can't part with. And without a DVD burner and about 50 blank DVD's and some kinda drive clone program, I can't back it up. I got about 15 gigs of free space on it. So it'll just be used as a storage drive.

This is why that super fast 10,000RPM SATA drive was going to be the first addition to my new computerů but now it might actually be a computer case. I still don't know if I can use the old Packard Bell or my current HP case with the new motherboard, I really doubt it.

If I get lucky and the new motherboard does fit the old Packard Bell case, I can really have fun with that old thing. It's pure steel; it weighs a ton. And because I had to bust off all the plastic on the sides to disassemble the case, it's left with hundreds of holes throughout the whole thing including the top. I plan on using tape and carefully cut coffee filters to plug up all the holes for maximum breathability. Getting a power drill and putting a few holes in the front and installing a really big, really powerful, case fan, and taking out the expansion slot brackets in the back as an exhaust. That way all the holes are dust proof and yet breathable. I think this old case has some potential; but that's only if the new mobo fits, and the PSU laying sideways facing the CPU heatsink isn't a problem. So, I'm not really expecting it to work out, but it's worth a shot. Yeah, it'd be one ugly PC case, but I'm a DIY kinda guy whose philosophy is "it ain't gotta look pretty, it's just gotta work".

HP Pavilion 7920
901MHz Intel processor, 256MB SDRAM,
30GB & 250GB IDE Hard Drives (NTFS)
Audio= Intel 82801AA AC\'97 Audio Controller
Video= Intel 82810 Graphics Controller
OS= WinXP Pro / SP3 (32 bit)
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:38 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Default Re: First Build - need advice

Well, I've seen a lot of helpful posts in this thread, but what I haven't seen is how to go about putting it all together.

You should always put a lot of thought in the components you are going to be purchasing. Once all those decisions are complete, and you have all the parts in front of you ready to go, make sure you have these basic steps all set up and ready.
1.) Always make sure you have a clean, dust free environment that you will be working in. A large desk or work bench big enough to fit the case, some components, and tools would be sufficient enough.
2.) Proper tools. Have the proper tools ready before you begin unpacking hardware into the case. Your main tool will be a Phillips screw driver. I also would recommend some thin, long needle nosed pliers, for when your fingers are too large to plug in such a small plug, in such a small area. Also, I cant stress this enough. Before you touch/unpack any piece of hardware you MUST GROUND yourself. Sometimes touching a piece of metal doesn't cut it. I recommend picking up some anti-static/shock gloves for these situations.
3.) Have the case prepared to start inserting the hardware in. Make sure everything is in order and dust is at its minimum. Once the case is prepared, you're going to want to have some of the hardware ready to be installed. Make sure you keep your workplace neat, and in order because sometimes if you have scattered parts everywhere theres a chance of you losing something, forgetting something, or breaking something. We don't want to take those chances.
4.) Take your time. Relax, and handle the hardware delicately. If you ever encounter a problem or are confused on where to plug something into, pick up the motherboard manual and start to read. If you have the time, take it up, slow pase is the best, less screw ups seem to occur when taking your time.
Its not as hard as you think its going to be. Don't let the wires intimidate you, its all plug and play. Building your own PC is very rewarding. Once you boot it up for the first time and encounter no problems, its a great feeling.


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