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betelgeuse

Re-build after PSU failure

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Hello! My PSU blew up and has destroyed my mobo, perhaps the CPU, DDR etc.My system was: Abit AV8 3rd eye; AMD 64 3500; Arctic Cooling Freezer 64; Sapphire Radeon (ATI) 9800 Pro 128 MB AGP; Corsair 1GB DDR XMS3200C2; WD Raptor 74GB SATA 8MB cache; WD Caviar Special Edition 40 GB ATA-100 8MB cache; Antec Neopower 480W; Surge Protector; Win XP Pro.I have replaced the PSU (500W Blue Storm) and now must replace the mobo etc in turn, testing as I go. I suppose I should go for PCI-Express compatibility since my AGP card (128MB) was always a little underpowered and should probably be upgraded anyway. I use quite a lot of addon scenery and I undock AI planes, FS Nav etc to a second monitor. I think I do not need RAID. So, my first questions: Which motherboard and which video card? I avoid the latest 'cutting edge' hardware but I like good quality kit which has been 'tried and tested'. Cost is not irrelevant but is not the main factor.Thanks.Betel


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John

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Guest Edwin

Hi Betel,Motherboard: Anandtech recently reviewed the ASUS A8N32-SLI Deluxe and was very complimentary of it. You may wish to check out the review here: http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2589Since you said you avoid the latest cutting-edge hardware, you may wish to consider the DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-D instead. Strictly speaking, that is a more "tried and tested" motherboard. However, I'd urge you to strongly consider the A8N32-SLI instead - it's a newer derivative of a board that was tried and tested itself - the A8N-SLI Deluxe. Besides, ASUS has always been a very trustworthy brand.Video card: It's just impossible to give a recommendation without a budget because there are just so many out there according to price point. If price were irrelevant, I'd suggest the NVIDIA GeForce 7800GTX 512MB, which is currently retailing for ~US$700. A bit more down-to-earth would be the "basic" 7800GTX, around US$450-500. Even cheaper, the US$350-400 7800GT is also a good solution.Hope this helps.Edwin

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Thanks, Edwin. Yep, it helped a lot! The link too - great!I've gone for broke with the Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe mobo, and the NVIDIA GEForce 7800GTX 256MB. I could not justify the extra cost of the 512MB version. Maybe you can advise me re. the use of a second video card for running a second monitor as I describe in my first post. At the moment I run two monitors off a single AGP card. How does one set up a second video card to run with FS9? Obviously there is no point in doing so unless two or more monitors are connected. Can I use my AGP 9800 Pro Sapphire Radeon card at the same time as the new PCI-Express card?Thanks again!Betel


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John

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Guest Edwin

Hi Betel,An AGP video card just won't work in a PCI-Express motherboard - it physically won't fit.If all you are trying to do is to set up a secondary monitor, then it wouldn't require a second video card. The 7800GTX comes with two DVI ports so all you would have to do is to connect a monitor to each port. If one of (or both) your monitors is a CRT or an older analog LCD, then the 7800GTX should come with an adaptor that allows you to connect the D-SUB connector from the analog monitor to the digital DVI port on the card.Hope this helps.Edwin

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Hi Edwin, (Sorry to chip in Betel)..... just a quick question of my own but connected with your reply to Betel - is there a large performance hit in using two monitors? I've often wondered what the advantage is (other than not having to keep switching screens of course) ..... or if it's worth doing on an older set up.I get a great deal of information by just reading your answers to the postings here - even if I don't always understand the technical bits. Again, Thanks.Regards, Blue

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Guest Edwin

Hi Blue,First, thank you so much for your kind words and am glad I can share some computer hardware knowledge with you. Frankly, I don't know the very complex technical details either - just all that I need to know. Also, sometimes, I get stumped myself with some of the hardware questions here because I only really follow the high-end of the market so the questions here prompt me to do some research too into hardware I didn't know so much about. Anyway, on to your question.Frankly, I don't know the answer to your question and wish I did! But I can tell you that even if there's a hit, I can't feel it. I see the FPS posted on this board by other people with setups similar to mine (both my older machine and my current one), and I get basically the same results. My guess is that the gauges/windows I am showing on my secondary monitor would be running hidden in the background anyway so displaying them doesn't impact FPS much? What would impact FPS for sure is if you added another view (say, a spot view from outside) because that would be another 3D window (thereby adding work to your GPU and CPU) But displaying gauges and so forth seems to have little to no FPS impact.Hope this helps.Edwin

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Edwin, Many thanks for taking trouble to reply in a way I could understand:-)In light of your answer it may provoke me to give it a bash!Many thanks. Keep up the good work.Regard, Blue

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