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Advice for Budget Gaming PC


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#1
latimers

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I'm looking for some advice on a budget gaming rig I will be building. I will be using it for everyday web browsing and some gaming like League of Legends and Starcraft II. My budget is ~$500 including shipping and tax. I will be buying the parts in the US. I am not partial to any brand, just looking for the best bang for the buck. I will be using the optical drive, 1 TB hdd, monitor, keyboard, and mouse from my current computer. I will not be overclocking and my monitor is 1920x1200. I intend to build as soon as possible as my current computer is on its last legs.

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition

Motherboard: BIOSTAR A770E3 AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard (CPU + mobo = $130)

Heatsink: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler ($30)

RAM: G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) OR G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) ($30)

PSU: RAIDMAX HYBRID 2 RX-530SS 530W ATX12V V2.2/ EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular LED Power Supply ($40)

Hard drive: Kingston 64GB SSD V-100 SERIES SV100S2N ($70)

Video card: SAPPHIRE 100338L Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card ($105)

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ($60)

Total without shipping and tax: $465

Does this system look fairly balanced?
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#2
Digerati

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A couple things. It should be noted that using a 3rd party cooler on retail (not OEM) versions of Intel and AMD CPUs that come supplied with heat sink fan assemblies violates the terms of the warranty!

I do not see an OS listed. Note that using an OEM license that was purchased with or for another computer is illegal, and considered software theft. So if Windows is currently on that 1TB drive, and it is an OEM/System Builders version, you must buy a new Windows license for this new computer, or use one of the many capable free Linux alternatives. And I recommend 64-bit so you will be ready when discover 4Gb of RAM is not good enough.

You should not attempt to save a few pennies by buying a cheap power supply. Look for power supply brands listed under the "Good" column of PC Mech's PSU Reference List.
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#3
a.jenery

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... I do not see an OS listed. Note that using an OEM license that was purchased with or for another computer is illegal, and considered software theft. So if Windows is currently on that 1TB drive, and it is an OEM/System Builders version, you must buy a new Windows license for this new computer, or use one of the many capable free Linux alternatives...


This is an interesting point that you raise(I'm also in the middle of a new systems build)which makes me ask the following:
Can I legally use Win-XP on a drive that I salvaged from my previous system(the OS was purchased with the m'board)which was damaged because I dropped it (literally)? BTW - I tested the drive via a USB-to-SATA converter/adapter and it works OK.
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#4
Digerati

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... I do not see an OS listed. Note that using an OEM license that was purchased with or for another computer is illegal, and considered software theft. So if Windows is currently on that 1TB drive, and it is an OEM/System Builders version, you must buy a new Windows license for this new computer, or use one of the many capable free Linux alternatives...


Can I legally use Win-XP on a drive that I salvaged from my previous system(the OS was purchased with the m'board)which was damaged

I don't want to derail this thread so I will say this, then wait for latimers' return.

Probably not! The ONLY exception to the OEM non-transfer rule is this. IF the motherboard is replaced as part of a repair action because the original board failed, it MUST be replaced with an IDENTICAL (same brand and model number) motherboard, or the replacement motherboard as suggested by the same manufacturer if the original board is no longer in production or available - then and only then can you transfer a OEM license to a different computer/motherboard.
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#5
a.jenery

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So, if I have a legally purchased copy of Win-XP (OEM, not retail-boxed edition), I cannot use the original/master cd-rom (not a copy) to install Windows on more than one machine? To clarify, I'm not talking about multiple instalations across multiple PCs (either standalone or on anetwork), but simply instaling it onto a system that is to completely replace a previous system.

Edited by a.jenery, 29 July 2011 - 03:16 PM.

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#6
Digerati

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It is not absurd at all! The OE in OEM means "original equipment". You have a choice. If you want a license you can legally put on different (but not at the same time) equipment, you have the option to buy the full retail version. With that, you can upgrade your motherboard or computer all you want.

If you want to save some money, you have the option to buy WITH the hardware, and at a discount, the OEM version. But that discount limits the license to that hardware. It also requires the builder to provide 1 year tech support. Expecting a discount and unlimited use at the same time is something some may call absurd.

And of course, you have another option if you don't like it - and I encourage you to exercise that Right - boycott Microsoft altogether and go with Linux. That will tell MS you think their prices are too high - and it keeps you from being a software thief.
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#7
a.jenery

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OK, thanks... There is a difference though between the Win-XP installed on the salvaged drive and the original master cd-rom. I can see how M$ could detect something via the Net if I just installed the salvaged drive, but I cannot see how M$ could possibly know that Win-XP hadn't been installed on a PC for the first time, which is what we're talking about, right? :)
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#8
Digerati

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There is a difference though between the Win-XP installed on the salvaged drive and the original master cd-rom.

No. It is the license (and it's associated CD-Key code) that matters, not the CD. The CD is just the "media". The license dictates how the program is used.

I can see how M$ could detect something via the Net if I just installed the salvaged drive, but I cannot see how M$ could possibly know that Win-XP hadn't been installed on a PC for the first time, which is what we're talking about, right?

Understand, just because you may not get caught, that does not make it right to steal software! That's like saying it is okay to run a Stop sign because there are no police watching. It is still wrong. And puts you and others unnecessarily, and irresponsibly at risk.

And as to your question about MS detecting, the CD Key code used to install XP on the salvaged drive would be the same as on the new drive - and thus easily detectable as being installed on two different systems.

Also understand that users of illegally copied Windows are a scourge on the Internet, and a threat to all. Why? Because these thieves, knowing they are thieves, frequently fail to keep their systems updated for fear of being caught. So they allow their systems to fall behind on critical security updates. Badguys love software thieves for that reason and seek them out in order to compromise their systems to use as weapons against the rest of us.

So don't be a scumbag and a thief. If the budget does not allow or you are not willing to pay for a new license, as is required with a new computer, then use one of the many capable, and free Linux alternatives.

Let me make this clear one more time. OEM licenses are NOT transferable to new computers. Period.
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#9
a.jenery

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'Don't be a scumbag....' Who do you think you are?? If I buy a an audio cd-rom or tape, etc, I can use it on more than one hi-fi. What you are saying is that I can only use the CD-ROM of the OEM copy of Windows to install the OS once? I'm not sure this is correct, but if it is, then the situation stinks. But I will find out from MS anyway.
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#10
Digerati

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First, no offense was meant by the scumbag comment. My goal is solely to keep you from breaking the law. CLEARLY, Microsoft has done a poor job of informing its clients - although, the information is in your EULAs.

If I buy a an audio cd-rom or tape, etc, I can use it on more than one hi-fi. What you are saying is that I can only use the CD-ROM of the OEM copy of Windows to install the OS once? I'm not sure this is correct, but if it is, then the situation stinks. But I will find out from MS anyway.

The audio CD is totally different. While it is true, you can use it on more than one player, you cannot listen to it in your car and in your home at the same time - well, you can, but that's not normal listening. But with software, you can run it on two computers at once - and that's where the problem comes in. And I note with music, you cannot make a copy and give it a friend.

And again, you say the situation stinks - but that is not fair. You have choices - including perfectly legal free ones. You got a "single use" license at a discount. It is not fair to complain when you should have bought a multi-use license if transfer rights is what you wanted.

As far as getting the information from Microsoft, since this comes up a lot, I have researched it extensively. Here is where you can find the correct EULA for OEM XP. Note in the OEM XP EULA it says (their ALL CAPS),

Software as a Component of the Computer - Transfer. THIS LICENSE MAY NOT BE SHARED,
TRANSFERRED TO OR USED CONCURRENTLY ON DIFFERENT COMPUTERS. The SOFTWARE is
licensed with the HARDWARE as a single integrated product and may only be used with the HARDWARE. If the
SOFTWARE is not accompanied by new HARDWARE, you may not use the SOFTWARE. You may permanently
transfer all of your rights under this EULA only as part of a permanent sale or transfer of the HARDWARE, provided
you retain no copies, if you transfer all of the SOFTWARE (including all component parts, the media and printed
materials, any upgrades, this EULA and the Certificate of Authenticity), and the recipient agrees to the terms of this
EULA. If the SOFTWARE is an upgrade, any transfer must also include all prior versions of the SOFTWARE.


See Microsoft OEM Licensing FAQs. Note under Transfer of License the following Q and A.

Q. My customer bought a new PC and wants to move the OEM software from the old PC to the new one. Can't users do whatever they want with their software?

A. The OEM software is licensed with the computer system on which it was originally installed and is tied to that original machine. OEM licenses are single-use licenses that cannot be installed on more than one computer system, even if the original machine is no longer in use. The End User Software License Terms, which the end user must accept before using the software, states that the license may not be shared, transferred to, or used concurrently on different computers. System builders must provide end-user support for the Windows license on computers they build, but cannot support licenses on computers they didn’t build. This is a fundamental reason why OEM System Builder licenses can't be transferred.


Under System Builder Licensing section, note the 7th Q and A,

Q. Can a PC with an OEM Windows operating system have its motherboard upgraded and keep the same license? What if it was replaced because it was defective?

A. Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer—except the motherboard—and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty.

The reason for this licensing rule primarily relates to the End User Software License Terms and the support of the software covered by that End User Software License Terms. The End User Software License Terms is a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer and relates only to rights for that software as installed on that particular PC. The system builder is required to support the software on the original PC. Understanding that end users, over time, upgrade their PCs with different components, Microsoft needed to have one base component "left standing" that would still define the original PC. Since the motherboard contains the CPU and is the "heart and soul" of the PC, when the motherboard is replaced (for reasons other than defect) a new PC is essentially created. The original system builder did not manufacture this new PC, and therefore cannot be expected to support it.


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