View Full Version : Proposed new computer

3rd Apr 2009, 23:06
I went shopping today to add a newer computer to the clayman household - this below is the front runner for a good balance between gaming, other entertainment, and work :

HP Pavilion AMD Phenom 9750 X4 Quad Core Processor
750 gb Serial ATA hard drive
8 gb PC2-6400 DDR SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT graphics
and a bunch of other stuff that really doesn't matter much...

So, the plan is to keep the 4 year old Dell XP based box for older games successfully running there - Thief Gold, T2, all Thief FMs, Deus Ex, Alice, Wheel of Time, Delta Force, golfing crap, other older than Noah stuff, etc. And email stays there also for now, as Vista seems to not want to behave with my email provider (chartertn.net, clayboy1 and I gave up and just got him a yahoo account). Separated hard drives, so was also planning to set up T2X and CoSaS on a separate drive as well.

New computer will have Thief Dark Shadows, FEAR, Dark Messiah, and all the newer games I've not bought yet as I didn't have the horsepower for before.

Trying to work out some sort of switch box arrangement to share the 24" DVI monitor and gaming keyboard/mouse to allow swapping between the two desktops.

....And making sure clayboy1's laptop still stays connected to hub also...

So with all this, will all the Thief parts and pieces work ? Or does someone have some incredibly dumbed down solution that all my old stuff can move to the new box and I can give the Dell to my mother to play with ? :D

4th Apr 2009, 03:09
Get a KMVKVM switch. Dyslexia strikes again. :o: You can hook up as many a 6 computers to the same Keyboard and mouse and single monitor.

I have a 2 unit one I have been using for about 4 years, and I just got a 4 unit switch.

The 2 unit ones cost about 15.00.

Fry's electronics has them all the time at 10 to 15.

Check this one out. It's a little expensive but you can GOOGLE KVM SWITCH and probably find them a lot cheaper. As I said Fry's Electronics just advertised one in my area for about 15:00


Mr. Perfect
4th Apr 2009, 03:43
KVM might turn up better results then KMV. :) Be mindful of what connections the KVM has though. A 24" monitor may want a DVI cable, not a VGA one(DVI should look better anyhow). Also, does the new PC have PS2 ports? Inexpensive KVMs usually have PS2 for keyboard and mouse, but newer PCs don't.

I haven't really played with one yet myself, but you could also create a virtual machine on the new PC. You could then have a virtual copy of whatever version of Windows works with your old games. The software can be had for free from Sun (http://www.virtualbox.org/) or Microsoft (http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx). A friend uses a virtual PC like those on his Mac, so he can run XP and all of his PC games without having two physical boxes.

BTW, have you considered building a box rather then buying?

4th Apr 2009, 19:34
If you can get the new box with XP instead of Vista (what I would do), you can move Thief to it with no problems. Various versions of Thief have different problems with Vista that can be solved, I think, but I am not sure about it. Don't give away the old box until you are completely happy that your older games will run on the new one. Note also that there is a wide screen fix for Thief 1 and 2 now. I read about it at the TTLG legacy gaming help forum. If you don't use that, you will have aspect ratio distortion. I am not a fan of the stretched, fat-man mode. Another thing that can help is if your video card has a method to display 4:3 with side pillars. I think Nvidia has that, but I have never had the monitor to try it.

I should note that a colleague at work was told by HP that he could dual boot XP, or something like that. There was a problem with drivers, and HP was of no help solving it. He regrets his purchase.

It is for reasons such as this that I would never buy a manufactured computer. There is too much special purpose junk on them that is difficult to get around.

4th Apr 2009, 22:46
Thanks for the advice so far. :)

I had a friend's help in scratch building an over-clocked-to-the-hilt box before I got the Dell 4 years ago. It was a real hummer, and I built it for about 60 cents on the dollar for a comparable Dell/Gateway and I was really pleased with the 3 second boot time, fast and smooth gameplay......until it blew up 13 months after assembly. :D

No one in the greater East TN area in an official computer technician capacity would even agree to look at it when I told them what the decidedly non-standard mother board and other boutique components were. The manufacturer of the motherboard had changed hands and my board was not supported by the new company, the power supply that had exploded was from a company that was entirely out of business. So I salvaged the video card and gave the rest away as nice parting gifts for the contestants who didn't make it to the bonus round. ;)

To me, its the same as my wanting a fully restored 1970 Mustang Mach I (dark green with black racing stripes, btw) : why buy something that unique when I'm not even mechanically qualified to raise the hood on when it breaks ?

So I stick with the things that I can take to the Geek Squad et. al. and say "here, fix it, dude-with-black-tie". :rolleyes:

Mr. Perfect
4th Apr 2009, 23:31
Gee, I wonder why an over-clocked-to-the-hilt pc would die an early death? :D

I only mention a custom built rig, whether by you or a mom-and-pop computer shop, because what you have listed there has room for improvement, gaming wise. The Phenom was replaced by the Phenom 2, which itself has been re-released in an updated version. Also, a 9500 GT was a decidedly midrange card a generation ago. Don't get me wrong, they'll have no problem with Thief 3. But that game is coming up on it's 5th birthday this year, and you know that "T project" Eidos Montreal is working on? :naughty: It might be something worth preparing for. :cool:

If you're on a budget, this is where that 60cents-on-the-dollar thing comes in. :) Is there a local shop who will custom build something for you?

5th Apr 2009, 16:31
I will make local inquiries - I was assuming something scratch built by a mom and pop shop would be more expensive than something mass produced by one of the behemoth companies.

It also sounds like I avoid a lot of trouble, gaming and email, if I make it a XP box instead of Vista.