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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 22nd March, 2005, 08:40 PM
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Question I think, perhaps, I purchased a Dog

I was in the local megga store, Havey Norman, with all the flash 42"tvs and stuff and I just couldnt help myself.

I bought a new Packard Pell cpmputer. It was advertised as having SATA and PCI express.

Packard Bell
NEC K8T800 MOBO
AMDXP64 x 3200
200 GIG WD caviar HDD
1 GIG PC3200 RAM
9 in One card reader
DVD Burner Dual Layer (Disguised, but its actually an LG)
TV Tuner card
A Real Nice 17" LCD Screen
Radeon 9550 256MB Graphics x 8agp
3D Mark 2001 = 10960
3D Mark 2005 = 1302
Halflife2 = 75 fps @ 1024 x 768

These benchmarks are from stock - with the radeon tweaked up a little.
(To 340 core x 200 mem)

When I got home, I pulled off the cover (probably voiding the warranty) to see what was inside. I was disappointed to find it only has two IDE connections.

My questions are

1) Will SATA or RAID drives fit inside, do they connect to the same ide slots.
I can find no referance to SATA in control pannel - device manager.
It says

2) The graphics card has only a heat sink and no fan. Is this correct for a 9550?

3) It has no PCI express card, only AGPx8 Slot

4) It seems to play Half Life 2 fine, in the highest settings. Does this sound right, given the benchmarks?

5) The bios is locked, i cannot change cpu settings. Is there any way to over ride this?

Given all this, should i take it back?
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Old 22nd March, 2005, 08:58 PM
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First half life is optimised for Radeon cards so will run well on anything above a 9500. If this system was definately advertised as having pci-e then they have lied plain and simple. It probably has sata connectors, but they will have used ide as it's cheaper, the sata connectors are small, ~1cm long connectors down near the southbridge, as long as they are present you can always add sata drives to it, the psu will also need sata power connectors which you will recognise as not being standard molex connectors.

You won't have void the warranty pening the case unless it explicitly stated that doing so would, usually there would be a seal that would be broken when taking the case side off, if there wasn't one then you've done nothing to void the warranty, pc's by their very nature are designed to be upgradable and configurable.

The graphics card being passive is right, 9550's don't give off much heat and so as long as theres a good amount of case air flow you are fine.

There may not be any way to set cpu settings, there may be a jumper that unlocks advanced features or a key you need to hold down etc.. during boot up, I'm not a packard bell expert I'm afraid, perhaps someone else knows how to do it, but you can still use software programs to increase the voltage slightly , lower the multiplyer and increase the fsb, you need to know what the clock generator of the board is, it should be a small ~1cm chip, just to the right of the agp slot with a silver chip next to it, note down the make and serial number of it and then look here for the correct program for this chip.

http://www.cpuid.org/clockgen.php

Personally I would take it back, I would sooner have a self built system or one built by a company who uses none proprietory components, but if this system will do for you then it's fine, but for me, and most people here, it would go back.
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Old 22nd March, 2005, 09:44 PM
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Trouble with buying an off-the-shelf PC is that it is a bit like buying a car and not looking under the hood until you get it home.

Some years back I was stupid enough to buy a PC with AGP, except it wasn't until I had bought it that I realised it had on-board AGP graphics, but no AGP slot. It's the kind of mistake you don't make twice!
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Old 22nd March, 2005, 11:05 PM
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I hate things like that. I went to a computer fair once, had a look round. I found a dell that seemed good, only £89. It didn't have anything installed on it but was ok as a work/office PC. We got it home, only to realise that he had given us the wrong one (on purpose i think), it wasn't as good as the one we had payed for. so we took it back and he gave us the right one this time. When i got home, i managed to borrow a copy of windows 95 from the local council (they let me keep it a few weeks after that) and install it. The computer worked for about 3 weeks then something went wrong, i can't remember what it was. £89 down the drain, just like that. I did get everything i could out of it though before it was thrown away.

Regarding your computer though Hoppster, i would either take it back or if you can't be bothered, mod it!
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Old 23rd March, 2005, 01:56 AM
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Question Not sure what to do

I like the look, it seems to play games faultlessly, heaps of hard drive space, nice monitor, and dvd and card reader are good.

I double checked, no SATA ports, just two ATA IDE slots.

Looking at the futuremark site, benchmark results seem OK for a stock standard rig with these specs.

Shop said they would take it back, but ive all my games apps and stuff loaded, took me ages, even got xp pro 64 bit installed on another partition.

Ive tried to talk them into giving me a kick ass graphics card to keep me quiet but they have yet to get back to me on that score. Tf they dont front up, I mite take it back

Oh, how does 1475 on 3dmark 2005 and 11700 on 3dmark 2001, 75 fps on hl2 benchmark sound to you guys?
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Old 23rd March, 2005, 02:20 AM
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They're about right for the card, though you want 3000 in 3dmark05 to be able to cope with upcoming games really, older games should be fine though, even HL2 should do well with it being so scalable

Are you sure there are no sata ports? They look like this
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I think, perhaps, I purchased a Dog-board.jpg  
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Old 23rd March, 2005, 03:19 AM
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Just pulled her apart again

Definately no sata ports

its got a Eberly GA-K8VM motherboard
i think its gigabyte
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Old 23rd March, 2005, 03:38 AM
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How much did you pay for this by the way?
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Old 23rd March, 2005, 04:01 AM
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Way too much.

In New Zealand dollars $2700

its about right for a proprietry brand tho

They have just offered a 9600GT card

I might take it.
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Old 23rd March, 2005, 04:39 AM
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9600XT? This is a pretty decent card, it would run anything out currently and probably last until the end of the year for newer games.
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Old 23rd March, 2005, 06:01 AM
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Lightbulb Method to the madness

Yes, its a xt, and ill sell the other card on trademe.

All up, ill get a bit better card and a few bucks back.

Ill look at a gruntier card come xmas.
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Geil 2GB RAM
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Old 23rd March, 2005, 06:31 AM
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You should have plenty of choice by then, current cards will likely have had another price cut and that 9600XT will last until then, It's alredy a great card for HL2, Battlefield2 will likely cope on it as well.
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