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Old 17/02/2010, 06:13 PM   #1
RobertGraham
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Default PC Questions Thread

Thread was made so people could ask PC related questions in one topic. I, as well as others, would be glad to assist you with your PC-related questions.

Some Q&A:

Q: Can I overclock a mainstream computer (HP, Dell, Gateway, etc)?
A: Not usually. Only if the BIOS on the motherboard supports it.

Q: Can I overclock integrated video cards?
A: No. There is no cooling device, and BIOS restricts any overclocking of onboard video.

Q: What is the difference in DDR, DDR2, and DDR3?
A: DDR refers to the series of pins. DDR only has about 184-pins I believe. DDR2 and DDR3 both have 240-pin slots. Now, the complete difference in all of them, is the clock rate and latency. For example, a DDR2 stick of 800MHz, will run faster than a 667MHz DDR2 stick. You will also want to look for latency. 5-5-5-15 is the norm for gaming RAM in DDR2. DDR3 is able to run higher clock rates with more latency. (ie, DDR3 1336MHz 8-8-8-24)

Q: Is cooling essential to overclocking?
A: Yes. Mass amounts of heat shorten the life of your hardware and eventually blow it out. If you plan to overclock anything, make sure you have proper cooling.

Q: What does wattage, brand, and price have to do with my power supply's?
A: Wattage is the amount of input into your system. The more wattage, the more power. Brands are essential. Taking an unknown brand that builds cheap power supplies and sells them for $20 is not an ideal power supply. You want something with reliability and will replace your power supply if the un-imaginable happens. Price is also a big factor, because you get what you pay for. Your power supply should be the most expensive peice of equipment on your PC.

Trusted brands (in my opinion):
-Corsair
-Antec
-Thermaltake
-Cooler Master
-OCZ
-Mushkin Enhanced
-XFX


Q: Do CPU clock rates count for anything?
A: Yes and no. CPU clock rates don't mean anything unless you have a sufficient amount of wattage going to the CPU. Let's say that I want to run an Intel Core 2 Duo, and it is 2.4GHz. The standard wattage for a CPU is about 95w, 45w at the least. Without sufficient power running through the CPU to keep up with your clock rate, your PC will lag. If you are using too much wattage through your CPU, you could blow it. This is why keeping up with wattage in overclocking is important.

Q: What should I look for in a video card/graphics card?
A: In my honest opinion, your VRAM (video ram/memory) is the most important. 512MB cards will run most games, and 1GB and higher will run almost all. Another thing you should look for is the bit the card is running. When shopping for cards online, you will notice they will say 64-bit, 128-bit, 256-bit. The bigger the bit, the better the performance.

Q: Are PCI-E cards backwards compatible?
A: Yes. For example, I can put a PCI-E x16 2.0 card into a PCI-E x16 1.0 slot. It doesn't work the other way around though. PCI is different from PCI-E, so don't even attempt it.

Q: What should I look for in a motherboard?
A: First, you want to choose what kind of CPU/Processor you want to run. AMD and Intel are the main CPU choices on the market. Which one you pick is up to you. After you choose the CPU, make sure you get a board with the right socket.

AMD Sockets on the market:
-AM2
-AM2/AM2+
-AM2+/AM3
-AM3

Intel Sockets on the market:
-Socket P
-Socket 370
-Socket 478
-Socket LGA 775
-Socket LGA 1156
-Socket LGA 1366


-This, I think is one of the most important parts. You want to find a board that holds a higher wattage than your CPU. For example, my CPU is a 95w, and my motherboard is a 140w. The higher the wattage is on the board, the more options you have for overclocking. If you get any board under the wattage of your CPU, your PC is going to bottleneck.

FUN FACT: AM3 CPU's will fit in an AM2+ socket if you have the right wattage, but an AM2+ CPU will NOT fit in an AM3 socket. Though, this does not work for Intel CPU's.


-Another thing you want to look for is the chipset on the board. Different chipsets allow different features. Some chipsets can SLI/Crossfire your video cards, and some allow the motherboard to overclock your CPU better. The better the chipset, the better performance-wise.

-Memory: Check to make sure what kind of RAM/Memory you are going to use. Some boards allow higher frequencies for Memory. For example, my motherboard can run 4GB DDR2 1066 memory with an AM2+ CPU.

-Check for PCI and PCI-E slots. The newest cards run on PCI-E x16 2.0. If you plan on crossfiring or SLIing any cards, you will want multiple PCI-E x16 slots.

My trusted motherboard brands:
-Biostar
-ASUS
-Foxconn
-MSI
-GIGABYTE
-EVGA



Q: What is bottlenecking?
A: Bottlenecking is when your PC gets stress on certain areas of hardware. For example, I am running a 300w power supply, and all my hardware requires AT LEAST a 600w power supply. Bottlenecking usually happens when your power input is less than your power output.

That's about all the Q&A I can think of for now. Ask questions if you don't understand something!

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Old 17/02/2010, 06:19 PM   #2
itspartytiem
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by iTailsTheStunter
Q: What is bottlenecking?
A: Bottlenecking is when your PC gets stress on certain areas of hardware. For example, I am running a 300w power supply, and all my hardware requires AT LEAST a 600w power supply. Bottlenecking usually happens when your power input is less than your power output.
Bottlenecking isn't to do with areas of hardware being stressed, not at all.
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Old 17/02/2010, 06:20 PM   #3
RobertGraham
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by itspartytiem
Quote:
Originally Posted by iTailsTheStunter
Q: What is bottlenecking?
A: Bottlenecking is when your PC gets stress on certain areas of hardware. For example, I am running a 300w power supply, and all my hardware requires AT LEAST a 600w power supply. Bottlenecking usually happens when your power input is less than your power output.
Bottlenecking isn't to do with areas of hardware being stressed, not at all.
What do you consider it as then? It does have to do with hardware, go ****** it.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/12646...ttlenecks.html <-- You should probably read that.

Quote:
Windows XP and 2000 include tools that help you track down hardware-induced bottlenecks, and a recent update for both those Windows versions makes hardware rehabilitation easier than ever.
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Old 17/02/2010, 06:30 PM   #4
itspartytiem
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Bottlenecking is to do with parts of your computer not being able to process the amount of data they are receiving, nothing to do with stress.
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Old 17/02/2010, 06:34 PM   #5
RobertGraham
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by itspartytiem
Bottlenecking is to do with parts of your computer not being able to process the amount of data they are receiving, nothing to do with stress.
It does have to do with stress, because if it wasn't able to process that amount of data, then it is stressing your hardware. You even said it! You can also bottleneck and disrupt the amount of data they are recieving by not having enough power input to the hardware. I think I rest my case. You still haven't given me any evidence that bottlenecking isn't from hardware.
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Old 17/02/2010, 06:53 PM   #6
Heerlenking
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Nice, pretty helpfull.

Should be stickied.
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Old 17/02/2010, 06:55 PM   #7
weedarr
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Finally a thread that is worthy of this board!

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Old 17/02/2010, 06:56 PM   #8
RobertGraham
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heerlenking
Nice, pretty helpfull.

Should be stickied.
I was hoping.
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Old 17/02/2010, 07:03 PM   #9
Guedes747
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Im a noob on informatics, so i might ask alot of dumb questions here...

Question: What is Overcloking? Ive ******d it and i got several results, but nothing conclusive.
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Old 17/02/2010, 07:10 PM   #10
RobertGraham
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Default Re: PC Questions Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guedes_
Im a noob on informatics, so i might ask alot of dumb questions here...

Question: What is Overcloking? Ive ******d it and i got several results, but nothing conclusive.
Overclocking is pushing the wattage (the amount of power going into the hardware) and the clock rate (how fast the hardware is working).

The equation:
higher wattage + faster clock rate = overclocking

Basically, all your doing is enhancing the performance from a stock part, into a faster part.
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