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Posts posted by MBJ

  1. @Philly: The price of the parts as listed comes to about $1350 with about another $50 for shipping.

    @Hidinger: Thanks for the advice. I suspected that the graphics card that I picked might be more powerful than I need. I picked it based on the most recent Best Video Cards For The Money: Dec '08 article at Tom's Hardware. Tom's review listed the 8800 GT as providing "good 1600x1200 performance in most games;1920x1200 in most titles with some lowered detail". I had selected the Radeon HD 4870 because Tom's suggested that it could provide good 1920x1200 performance (without lowering detail). I'll be using a 24" widescreen monitor at 1920x1200 resolution. Aside from the Sims 3 I'll likely be doing some HD video playback (downloads at first but I'll probably add a Blu-ray drive once the prices drop a bit more). If you think that the 8800 GT can handle those then I'll go with that and save some cash.

    As for Vista/XP, I can get XP Pro 64 bit at Newegg for $140 ($40 more than the version of Vista I had picked out). I know that Vista vs. XP is a debate that is still raging in the IT world. I've been using Vista on my personal machines for about a year and a half and have grown to prefer it. XP is still a great OS but I've been perfectly happy with the experience I've had with Vista. Plus, my wife (who would also be using the computer quite a bit) has a strong preference for Vista and I don't relish the thought of debating the issue with her. Anyway, I appreciate the recommendation and I definitely understand that you have more experience with and knowledge about PCs than I do but I'll probably just stick with Vista.

    Thanks for the advice on the thermal paste. I have never done anything with processors before and that was the part of the building procedure that I was most nervous about. I've read some guides online but your tips offer some details I hadn't heard before. Thanks again.

    Finally, in your third point when you said that a dual core processor would run the Sims 3 just fine, were you suggesting that my selection for the quad core Core i7 920 was overkill? If that's the case then I'm well aware of that. I've been holding off on replacing my old NetBurst based system until the true successor to Conroe came along. Now that Nehalem is here, I'm ready to jump into the Next Generation. Plus, since I'll be using the new LGA 1366 socket on my MOBO, I should be able to upgrade the processor for another several years down the line. I know that I could save about $300 and get amazing performance by going with a Core 2 Duo E8500 or Core 2 Quad 6600 setup but I have been looking forward to Nehalem for quite some time and that's probably the one component I'm most excited about.

  2. I'm thinking of building a PC to replace my 5+ year old desktop. This would the the first time I've built a computer myself. I've done many different types of upgrades/replacements before (RAM, hard drives, video & expansion cards) so I feel comfortable enough to take the next step.

    I don't really do much PC gaming but my wife is into The Sims in a big way and wants to make sure that we have a state of the art machine to run The Sims 3 when it releases in February. I do some video encoding so the extra power will be appreciated. My budget is in the $1300 to $1500 range. I'd like this PC to last me another 5-6 years and to be easily upgradeable.

    Below is a list of components I've selected at Newegg. I'd love to hear any thoughts or recommendations that anyone has.

    Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

    Power Supply: Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU 500W ATX 12V 2.0 Power Supply

    MOBO: ASUS P6T Deluxe/OC Palm LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

    CPU: Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920

    RAM: Crucial 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model CT3KIT25664BA1067

    Video card: HIS Hightech H487F512P Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

    Hard drive: Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

    Optical drive: SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F

    OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD


    SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 Port supports SDHC/VISTA

    Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound

    (2x) Nippon Labs 18" (1.5 ft.) SATA II Cable with locking latch Model SATA-L0.5-R

    Microsoft Comfort Curve 2000 B2L-00047 Black USB Ergonomics Keyboard and Mouse

  3. I was born in 1980 but never played an Atari 2600 until recently. I did play some games on our old Tandy Color Computer 3 before I got my first console: the NES. I got my NES for Christmas in 1988 and I was instantly addicted. I still have home video of Christmas morning when I got the system and played Super Mario Bros for the first time. Ah, memories.

  4. Based on the most recent state polling data, it's looking like Obama is most likely to win. There are still a few weeks until the election though so a lot of things could still happen to turn it around. McCain has regained some ground over the past few days but Obama still has a clear advantage when you look at where the electoral votes are likely to go.

    IMHO national polls aren't of much use since we don't use the popular vote anyway. If we did, Dubya never would have been "elected" in 2000. :rolleyes:

  5. I want to see a Castlevania II: Simon's Quest remake on the DS. This classic gem is hardly ever talked about these days.

    I can't think about Castlevania 2 without remembering the Angry Video Game Nerd's first video: Castlevania 2. CLASSIC.

    NES games I'd like to see re-made include Rad Racer, A Boy and His Blob, Silent Service, Kid Icarus, and all of the original zapper games (Duck Hunt, Hogan's Alley, Wild Gunman, etc.).

  6. @Crazylightsaber: I spent most of my life in Texas (ages 1-24) until I moved away for grad school and I'm proud to say that I'm a liberal.

    Back on topic....

    Although I support Obama, I did feel that the third and final debate was much more balanced between the two candidates. McCain went on the offensive early on and I think that it made him look dominant, which is what a lot of people look for in a leader. Obama, on the other hand, was very balanced throughout and McCain didn't seem to have much success rattling his cage. By the time we got to that final debate we had heard pretty much all they had to say about the issues and 90% of the time they were just regurgitating previous talking points. There were a couple of interesting moments though.

    First, the "Joe the Plumber" business was a farce. This should have turned out to be a much bigger embarrassment for McCain than it has. Follow-up research has indicated that the real Joe the plumber isn't licensed, almost no plumbers make anywhere near $250,000 a year so Obama's tax plan would actually benefit them, most plumbers are pro-union (most Republicans hate unions), and Obama has tax exemptions in place to give small business owners a break. McCain's strategy here was not well thought out.

    Second, the part of the debate that focused on abortion was interesting. McCain was not willing to get into the issue very much. This is probably because he knows that a majority of swing voters are pro-choice. Obama, on the other hand, revealed that he understood that this was a delicate issue to which he had given a lot of thought. He also did a great thing by shooting down McCain's ridiculous "pro-abortion" comment.

    So to sum up, I didn't think that there was a clear winner in this debate as both candidates played to their respective strengths. As usual, when people evaluate these debates they will let their biases get the best of them: they think that the candidate that they favor clearly won and that everyone else should think so too.

  7. This is my first forum post on Retromags. Does a First Post about politics make me politically incorrect? You betcha! Darn right it does! I'm a maverick! I'm a Retromags outsider!

    Though politics and video games make strange bedfellows, there's certainly nothing wrong with political posts as long as they are on topic for the thread in question. BTW, love those Palinisms!

  8. It's odd that he would talk about the PSP's "role in transferring movie and TV content" to the living room. I thought that one of Sony's primary goals was to push Blu-ray adoption. Other than possibly serving as a remote control for the PS3, I can't imagine that the PSP could have any use when it comes to Blu-ray playback.

  9. I've just downloaded and set up F@H, and I have it running right now.

    Welcome to the team. It's good to have another person (and another CPU) contributing to the cause. In the last week we've moved up about 60 places in the rankings.

    I also want to remind anyone reading this that if you happen to have a PS3 you can use that to contribute too. In fact, the PS3 can process about three work units per day, which is more than the average PC.

    Folding@home PS3 FAQ

  10. In recent memory I'd say I was most disappointed by the Guitar Hero expansions: Rocks the 80's & Aerosmith. I was also very disappointed with some first party titles from Nintendo during the Gamecube era such as Mario Kart: Double Dash and Super Mario Sunshine. I had very high expectations for those but they failed to replicate the magic of their predecessors (Mario Kart 64 and Super Mario 64).

  11. How about adding a PSN (PlayStation Network) ID field to the profile options to go along with the Wii & DS friend codes and Xbox Live Gamer Tag?

  12. I spend most of my time reading various websites or prepping for the class that I teach. When it comes to recreational reading, I'm actually a fan of science non-fiction. Some of my favorite authors include Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan, E. O. Wilson, David Buss, Steven Pinker, and Richard Cialdini. I guess that my recreational reading is closely linked to my academic interests.

    I've also been reading some graphic novels lately including Watchmen and Y: The Last Man.

  13. I have a lot of fond childhood memories of the NES but the SNES beats it hands down in my book. Super Mario World was a fantastic launch game and the first game I remember staying up until the wee hours of the morning playing. Super Mario Kart started a classic franchise and is the first multiplayer game I remember really getting addicted to. Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid are are still my favorite titles in their respective franchises to this day. Those truly were epic games. There was just so much greatness on that system. Donkey Kong Country, F-Zero, Star Fox, Super Mario RPG, and I haven't even touched on all of the third party titles, RPGs, and that awesome accessory that was the Super Game Boy.

  14. Not all of us have the luxury of owning every system ever made. Although ports can be a controversial topic among purists, they can afford one the ability to play games from other systems.

    So the question is: What game would you like to see ported to which system? Would you like to see some of the FPS games from Xbox 360 or PS3 on the Wii with IR control? Would you like to see some Xbox 360 or PS3 exclusives ported to the other system? More PS2 or Gamecube games ported to the Wii?

    Personally, I'd like to see an HD version Geometry Wars: Galaxies on the PS3. I'd also like it if the amazing PacMan: Championship Edition could be brought from Xbox Live Arcade to Playstation Network or WiiWare. It would be nice if Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts weren't a 360 exclusive and could be brought to Wii or PS3 but that will never happen since MS owns Rare.

    Finally, although this doesn't exactly count as a port, I'd like to see the complete soundtracks from Guitar Hero 1 & 2 made available as DLC for Rock Band 2 or Guitar Hero: World Tour.

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