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Please mention your case specs? Especially about what type of MoBo's it supports(ie atx, m-atx, btx, etc)

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just saw your edited response...thank you, you answered my question exactly.

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Okay, gotcha...actually, I only have 2 GB installed, it's saying that the maximum I can install is 4 GB.....I was wondering if the mobo supports 8 GB, but my operating system may only support 4 GB...if that's the case, would it be a waste of money to go above 4 GB?

No I didn't mean your able to install 4GB, when I read your post, you accordingly said 4GB of memory was installed. Anyway thats not the point, the point is that 32bit operating systems for windows only support 3GB at Max. It IS possible to have more then 3GB of RAM installed, but nomatter how much more you install, the 32bit operating system will ONLY use 3gb, and support 3GB at a time. While 64bit OS can support much more than will ever be needed, in most cases.

Extra Question: How many DIMM, RAMM, slots are on your MoBo?

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Whenever you post how many RAMM slos your MoBo supports and your case specs(i only need to know if it supports MoBo's with ATX, please list what is supported by your case) then i can start helping you buld a completely new cheap good system.

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the point is that 32bit operating systems for windows only support 3GB at Max. It IS possible to have more then 3GB of RAM installed, but nomatter how much more you install, the 32bit operating system will ONLY use 3gb

actually no. A default setup will use 2gb for apps maximum, and 1gb max for services and system processes, meaning a maximum of 3gb.

However, there is a workaround. If you put /3gb into your boot.ini, a 32 bit version of windows can support up to 4gb if total RAM as it will allow applications to use up to 3gb of memory (services and system processes will still use up to a max of 1gb). Using this on systems with less than 4gb ram can lead to the system running out of memory for important services and system processes and dying.

many programs wont use the /3gb switch correctly though. They need to be compiled specially i think. Only one i know of is MSSQL (what i have just said is taken from the MSSQL documentation)

Using PAE on a 32 bit system (put /pae in boot.ini - most intel cpus from the later pentium 4 era onward) allows up to 8gb of RAM. However, consumer versions of windows are designed not to support this so MS can make more money. Server 2003 Datacentre/Enterprise edition allows up to 8gb of ram in this way, and splits it in hald, up to 4gb for apps, and 4gb for system.

yet aghain, most apps wont take advanetage of this though. Seems to only be IIS and MSSQL thats configured for it.

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Just curious about the operating systems...

Aside from XP, I also have Linux Ubuntu Server Edition installed. Does anyone know offhand how much memory that particular distro supports? Trying to search on google, but not much luck.

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Thank you Jbennet, I was unaware of that. My post was regarding what teachers and my knowledge, which was wrong.

Anyway let me get to the point. There are very cheap MoBos out there that can do everything you need, games/app/etc. Check my system in the signature, just a quick overview.
The MoBo I'm using is perfect for a little of everything, search it here. It's only $80 leaving you $420 left. You can get 1GB of RAM from here and get the other 2GB from here, thus giving you 3GB of RAM. Leaving you roughly $340 left to spend on a processor and video card(if you want one). Processor once again can be found here here. Ok, now after all that, that leaves you $140 left to spend on extras, possibly a new case.

Note: Everything I mentioned is optional, you don't HAVE to get everything I mentioned, but I would if I were on a budget as small as yours. All information was gotten in less than 5 minutes, I may spend some time searching for cheaper better things, but for now you can check this stuff out.

Votes + Comments
Thanks dude, you helped me out a lot
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Ha! That was the exact motherboard that I had already picked out! From the same place even...I thought that was an awesome price to upgrade such a critical component.

However, my budget is only $400, and even then, that is absolutely, positively the max.
I would give my left leg to get all you listed, but unfortunately I know that isn't happening, at least for a little while.

Basically, and I want to make up my mind by tomorrow night, because talking about this just makes me want to hurry up and get this stuff (new toys!), I have narrowed it down to this-

Unless there's a compelling reason to do otherwise, I'm going to get 2 GB memory from crucial.com ($80) and the best processor I can find for $320. The reason is, it's much easier to install and less chance of me screwing something up, either during install or setup. Also, when it comes time to upgrade again, I will have a higher baseline to work with (presumably a better processor will get better top end results when OC'ed).

I'm going to look around tonight for a processor, and whatever I find that falls into my budget ($320 or less for the processor), I will post here for approval.

This has thus far been an enjoyable learning experience for me (for example, before this thread I would have stared at you blankly if you mentioned a socket 775...).

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Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
- Retail
Experience the 45nm Dual-Core Technology
1x Winner of Customer Choice Award - CPUs / Processors


$199.99
Free 3 Business Day Shipping
(Not available in HI, AK and PR)
In Stock


This is the processor that you referred me to....amazing, since my puny little 1.87GHz 2MB L2 Cache E6300 retails for only about $20 less. An extra 1.13 GHz and triple the L2 for $200 sounds pretty nice...and the kicker is that it is $120 under my budget (and comes with a warranty!) I doubt I'm going to find a better deal than that...will get later if I find a comparable deal.

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Will this motherboard fit?

The reason I ask is because if I get the processor that you referred me to I will have enough money left over to get the motherboard to.

My PC's dimensions are:

Width 7.17 in.

Depth 17 in.

Height 15 in.


This board is layed out completely differently from the one in my PC. It looks like it may be too tall, but I'm not sure because I can't find it's dimensions.

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How about this processor-


Intel Xeon E5410 Harpertown 2.33GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 771 80W Quad-Core Processor
$274.99
Free 3 Business Day Shipping
(Not available in HI, AK and PR)


This Xeon is rated at 670 MHz less than the Wolfdale, but has an insane 12MB L2, and of course is Quad Core.
This is where my lack of experience in these things come into play....is this processor better than the E8400 Wolfdale listed in one of the above posts?

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1) probably not. HP, Dell etc... tend to use custom cases and power supplies.
2) the xeon is a server class chip. I dont think your mobo will support it

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Unfortunately, I just realized that...you're right about the processor. That's too bad, that thing is killer...

Since I'll need to get a case too in order to run the mobo, it just blew me out of my budget.

So it looks like I (finally, lol) figured out what I want to do. I'm going to get the E8400 Wolfdale, 2 of the Ballistix DDR2 PC2-5300 (1 GB) memory sticks and another fan to stick somewhere in the case. And I'll have enough left over to run to a payphone and tell the old lady that she's getting a nice Walmart purse and dinner at Denny's for her birthday...

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Thanks to everyone for your time and for sharing your knowledge with me...

Look forward to getting this stuff installed; hopefully these upgrades will make work more productive, and more bearable. Once it arrives, I'll post the results so that anyone who has similiar hardware to mine can have some feedback on these products if they decide to upgrade.

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Just wanted to update on how things have gone...

In a last minute decision, I decided to get the Q6600 Quad Core instead of the Wolfdale, since it was only a $10 price difference. Also grabbed a 2GB kit of Kingston PC2-5300 and a Zotac 8500GT Nvidia graphics card.

Everything was very easy to install, got everything up and running in about half an hour.
Performance-wise, I see a small but noticeable increase in everyday duties such as websurfing, etc...But when it comes to running heavy duty stuff like Flash and Photoshop, the difference is night and day. Am very pleased with the results overall. Multitasking is an afterthought now, too...seems like there is absolutely no drop in performance no matter how many apps I have running.

Unfortunately, now I've been bitten by the bug, and just put in and order for a Biostar mobo, 4GB of OCZ DDR2 8500 memory, a 500w PSU and an ASUS heatsink/fan.
From what I've read, the Q6600 can reach 3.6GHz on air...don't want to stress the system too much because I want to at least get a couple years out of this rig, so I'm just shooting for ~3.2 GHz or so. Should be fun!

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