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Mad Cow's Build a Killer Gaming Rig on a Budget Thread


Mad Cow

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nevermind looks like it is a G2 (2nd gen?) and it supports TRIM, you should be good to go.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductRevie...N82E16820167016

Other Thoughts: This is just to correct someone else's review. This drive DOES IN FACT support TRIM. The G1 drives do not, but this is a G2 drive (as noted by intels part number ending in G2C1) However, windows vista does not support TRIM, but Windows 7 will once it is released next week or sometime shortly after.

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nevermind looks like it is a G2 (2nd gen?) and it supports TRIM, you should be good to go.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductRevie...N82E16820167016

Other Thoughts: This is just to correct someone else's review. This drive DOES IN FACT support TRIM. The G1 drives do not, but this is a G2 drive (as noted by intels part number ending in G2C1) However, windows vista does not support TRIM, but Windows 7 will once it is released next week or sometime shortly after.

Thanks Alias!
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Less than 10 minutes from install start to usable Windows, including formatting the partitions. :lmao:

I am a little curious why it is showing me having a 32-bit OS, though. It was supposed to be 64-bit. Gonna have to check with my stepfather.

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From pressing the Reset button to usable Windows ready to rock - 31 seconds.

:loco:I was just reading about XP to 7 upgrade and it is pretty disappointing from a non-techie home user point of view. It should be some extra business bailing people out that tried to do it themselves though!!
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OK, let's have those Windows 7 tips. :wall:Where are my icons and I know and love? Set me up the bomb here. :excited:

Yeah, I stuck Computer and Documents icons on the desktop. Then, I enabled the Run menu, as it is disabled initially. Then, I did the "Copy To" and "Move To" registry tweak. That's a good start.
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OK, let's have those Windows 7 tips. :wall:

Where are my icons and I know and love? Set me up the bomb here. :excited:

Yeah, I stuck Computer and Documents icons on the desktop. Then, I enabled the Run menu, as it is disabled initially. Then, I did the "Copy To" and "Move To" registry tweak. That's a good start.
Did the other 2, explain these tweaks please. I have zero Win7 experience so far.
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Drat, I forgot my stepfather is on a bizz trip for a few days. Gonna have to live with 32-bit in the interim I guess.

Smoov, you went through the whole 32 to 64 bit deal. If I am sitting at 4 GB of RAM anyway, any real reason to go 64 here? If the upgrade seamless?

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OK, let's have those Windows 7 tips. :thumbup:

Where are my icons and I know and love? Set me up the bomb here. :goodposting:

Yeah, I stuck Computer and Documents icons on the desktop. Then, I enabled the Run menu, as it is disabled initially. Then, I did the "Copy To" and "Move To" registry tweak. That's a good start.
Did the other 2, explain these tweaks please. I have zero Win7 experience so far.
Registry tweak

Drat, I forgot my stepfather is on a bizz trip for a few days. Gonna have to live with 32-bit in the interim I guess.

Smoov, you went through the whole 32 to 64 bit deal. If I am sitting at 4 GB of RAM anyway, any real reason to go 64 here? If the upgrade seamless?

With 4 GB, you probably won't notice a difference, but it is good future proofing. There really isn't a reason to choose 32 bit over 64 bit anymore, as most apps either have already, or are in the process of making the switch. For me, it solved a couple of the minor problems I was experiencing due to installing the 32 bit Release Candidate first on the HDD, and then on the SSD. I love it.
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OK, let's have those Windows 7 tips. :shrug:

Where are my icons and I know and love? Set me up the bomb here. :excited:

Yeah, I stuck Computer and Documents icons on the desktop. Then, I enabled the Run menu, as it is disabled initially. Then, I did the "Copy To" and "Move To" registry tweak. That's a good start.
Did the other 2, explain these tweaks please. I have zero Win7 experience so far.
Registry tweak

Drat, I forgot my stepfather is on a bizz trip for a few days. Gonna have to live with 32-bit in the interim I guess.

Smoov, you went through the whole 32 to 64 bit deal. If I am sitting at 4 GB of RAM anyway, any real reason to go 64 here? If the upgrade seamless?

With 4 GB, you probably won't notice a difference, but it is good future proofing. There really isn't a reason to choose 32 bit over 64 bit anymore, as most apps either have already, or are in the process of making the switch. For me, it solved a couple of the minor problems I was experiencing due to installing the 32 bit Release Candidate first on the HDD, and then on the SSD. I love it.
I had assumed I was getting 64-bit, so I was surprised. Why the heck do they even make 32-bit Windows 7 Ultimate? :lol:
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Where do I check to make sure that WIn7 has deactivated the defrag on the SSD?

Currently on my work computer (the aforementioned crap P4), but if memory serves, I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the Task Manager yesterday, and there was a tab on there that said Services. You can find it there. Although, in my case, and from examples I've read, I believe it will be set to "Manual".
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System ordered sans video card. Went with pretty much the same setup as the Cow but I ordered 8gb of RAM and Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM. Now the video card hunt begins!

Copy cat! :P:thanks:
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System ordered sans video card. Went with pretty much the same setup as the Cow but I ordered 8gb of RAM and Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM. Now the video card hunt begins!

Copy cat! :P:hifive:
This way I have a guinea pig to figure everything out before I get my parts. And someone to blame! On that front, the reviews on the RAM you purchased weren't so hot. I ended up getting some through a different source. Any problems with your build yet?
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System ordered sans video card. Went with pretty much the same setup as the Cow but I ordered 8gb of RAM and Windows 7 Pro 64bit OEM. Now the video card hunt begins!

Copy cat! :P:thanks:
This way I have a guinea pig to figure everything out before I get my parts. And someone to blame! On that front, the reviews on the RAM you purchased weren't so hot. I ended up getting some through a different source. Any problems with your build yet?
Nope, it is all outstanding! Love the mobo and case.
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Where do I check to make sure that WIn7 has deactivated the defrag on the SSD?

Currently on my work computer (the aforementioned crap P4), but if memory serves, I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the Task Manager yesterday, and there was a tab on there that said Services. You can find it there. Although, in my case, and from examples I've read, I believe it will be set to "Manual".
Well, it seems to be set on Manual, so I assume I am good to go. :lmao:
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I want to thank Mad Cow for helping burn a grand from my account...now for my new system:

Case - Antec Twelve Hundred 750 Blue (will need an 8 pin ATX extension due to PSU being at the bottom of the case)

CPU - i7 920

CPU Cooler - Prolimatech Megahalem  Rev. B with (2) Scythe SFF21E 49 CFM fans (went overboard here I know)

Mobo - Asus P6T (regular)

RAM - Corsair TR3X6G1600C7D Dominator 6 GB 1600mhz 7-7-7-20

Video Card - using my current GTX 260

Edited by cstu
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MC -- quick Win7 tip. Click the start button and start typing in the search box to find programs. It's awesome. Just type "defrag" and click the "disk defragmenter" link and then see if it is set to run on a schedule.

I use this method to start many of my programs now.

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MC, not sure if you're a mag guy, but the latest issue of MaximumPC has a great guide on Win7 tips and tricks. Read it on a plane yesterday and some of the mouse gestures are pretty neat.

That said, I'm liking Win7 because it's super-stable and responsive. Extra codec support is nice in Media Center too.

Finally, if you're using a 1GB vidcard, your OS is only seeing 3GB of RAM by using 32bit. I'd flip to 64bit asap if possible.

The easiest way to see if you installed 64bit is to see how many "Program Files" folders it built. In 64bit you will see two (one for 64bit programs, another for 32bit). With Win7 32bit, there will be only one Program Files folder.

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While we're talking Win 7, I just want to say how awesome the new Media Center is. I was coming from an XP machine, so I had never used it before. I've been using it for my music and my TV tuner, but today I was playing around with it and went to the Movies tab. Besides having my Netflix streaming queue available (which is nice), I linked it to my folder that has movies to be burned to DVD. I didn't figure it would work at all, since there is nothing in those folders but .VOB files, but "Voila". All those movies waiting to be burned popped right up and will play on the desktop. Loving this new build.

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I want to thank Mad Cow for helping burn a grand from my account...now for my new system:Case - Antec Twelve Hundred 750 Blue (will need an 8 pin ATX extension due to PSU being at the bottom of the case)CPU - i7 920CPU Cooler - Prolimatech Megahalem  Rev. B with (2) Scythe SFF21E 49 CFM fans (went overboard here I know)Mobo - Asus P6T (regular)RAM - Corsair TR3X6G1600C7D Dominator 6 GB 1600mhz 7-7-7-20Video Card - using my current GTX 260

:popcorn:

MC -- quick Win7 tip. Click the start button and start typing in the search box to find programs. It's awesome. Just type "defrag" and click the "disk defragmenter" link and then see if it is set to run on a schedule. I use this method to start many of my programs now.

Nice, turns out it was scheduled to run. Now, not so much. :)

MC, not sure if you're a mag guy, but the latest issue of MaximumPC has a great guide on Win7 tips and tricks. Read it on a plane yesterday and some of the mouse gestures are pretty neat.That said, I'm liking Win7 because it's super-stable and responsive. Extra codec support is nice in Media Center too. Finally, if you're using a 1GB vidcard, your OS is only seeing 3GB of RAM by using 32bit. I'd flip to 64bit asap if possible.The easiest way to see if you installed 64bit is to see how many "Program Files" folders it built. In 64bit you will see two (one for 64bit programs, another for 32bit). With Win7 32bit, there will be only one Program Files folder.

I might take a look. This is 32-bit but I talked to my stepfather and the 64-bit version is now on the way. :hifive:
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For the 64-bit upgrade, I assume I am going to be deleting this whole disk again, no? Might as well stop installing crap at this point. :kicksrock:

I am a firm believer in reformatting when installing an OS. To me, doing an upgrade just introduces way too much risk.So yeah, stop installing stuff. :)
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I think I am going 64 bit Windows 7 too. I have some software that can have issues in a 64 bit environment, but they swear it runs as a 32 bit app in 64 bit. That was my only issue and now both my PCs are going 64. Looked at posts regarding SSDs and am thinking of buying one. I am looking for a 120 GB SSD that works well. I have looked at this Patriot SSD. It's a little more than I want to spend, but would consider other stable SSDs if they were cheaper and roughly the same. TIA

Edited by Osaurus
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I think I am going 64 bit Windows 7 too. I have some software that can have issues in a 64 bit environment, but they swear it runs as a 32 bit app in 64 bit. That was my only issue and now both my PCs are going 64. Looked at posts regarding SSDs and am thinking of buying one. I am looking for a 120 GB SSD that works well. I have looked at this Patriot SSD. It's a little more than I want to spend, but would consider other stable SSDs if they were cheaper and roughly the same. TIA

My 80 GB had 54 GB left after the Win7 Ultimate, BF2 with all expansions, Bioshock and another game already installed, if that helps. 80 GB seems to be the sweet spot for now.
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I think I am going 64 bit Windows 7 too. I have some software that can have issues in a 64 bit environment, but they swear it runs as a 32 bit app in 64 bit. That was my only issue and now both my PCs are going 64. Looked at posts regarding SSDs and am thinking of buying one. I am looking for a 120 GB SSD that works well. I have looked at this Patriot SSD. It's a little more than I want to spend, but would consider other stable SSDs if they were cheaper and roughly the same. TIA

My 80 GB had 54 GB left after the Win7 Ultimate, BF2 with all expansions, Bioshock and another game already installed, if that helps. 80 GB seems to be the sweet spot for now.
This.

That Patriot drive uses the Indillix Barefoot controller (a good thing) but you're paying a premium for space you probably don't need right now. Better to buy a bigger drive in the future when prices come down. Keep in mind with any SSD-based system you're going to want a traditional HDD for storage of media and other capacity-hogging files.

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I think I am going 64 bit Windows 7 too. I have some software that can have issues in a 64 bit environment, but they swear it runs as a 32 bit app in 64 bit. That was my only issue and now both my PCs are going 64. Looked at posts regarding SSDs and am thinking of buying one. I am looking for a 120 GB SSD that works well. I have looked at this Patriot SSD. It's a little more than I want to spend, but would consider other stable SSDs if they were cheaper and roughly the same. TIA

My 80 GB had 54 GB left after the Win7 Ultimate, BF2 with all expansions, Bioshock and another game already installed, if that helps. 80 GB seems to be the sweet spot for now.
This.

That Patriot drive uses the Indillix Barefoot controller (a good thing) but you're paying a premium for space you probably don't need right now. Better to buy a bigger drive in the future when prices come down. Keep in mind with any SSD-based system you're going to want a traditional HDD for storage of media and other capacity-hogging files.

The trick is going to be policing the installs to make sure everyone installs on the 1TB drive instead of MY SSD. ;):goodposting:
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I think I am going 64 bit Windows 7 too. I have some software that can have issues in a 64 bit environment, but they swear it runs as a 32 bit app in 64 bit. That was my only issue and now both my PCs are going 64. Looked at posts regarding SSDs and am thinking of buying one. I am looking for a 120 GB SSD that works well. I have looked at this Patriot SSD. It's a little more than I want to spend, but would consider other stable SSDs if they were cheaper and roughly the same. TIA

My 80 GB had 54 GB left after the Win7 Ultimate, BF2 with all expansions, Bioshock and another game already installed, if that helps. 80 GB seems to be the sweet spot for now.
This.

That Patriot drive uses the Indillix Barefoot controller (a good thing) but you're paying a premium for space you probably don't need right now. Better to buy a bigger drive in the future when prices come down. Keep in mind with any SSD-based system you're going to want a traditional HDD for storage of media and other capacity-hogging files.

The trick is going to be policing the installs to make sure everyone installs on the 1TB drive instead of MY SSD. :thumbup::(
this

I was horrified the other day when I ripped a Blu-Ray disc. Almost 30 Gigs worth. And it went to my SSD. Almost had a heart attack.

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I think I am going 64 bit Windows 7 too. I have some software that can have issues in a 64 bit environment, but they swear it runs as a 32 bit app in 64 bit. That was my only issue and now both my PCs are going 64. Looked at posts regarding SSDs and am thinking of buying one. I am looking for a 120 GB SSD that works well. I have looked at this Patriot SSD. It's a little more than I want to spend, but would consider other stable SSDs if they were cheaper and roughly the same. TIA

My 80 GB had 54 GB left after the Win7 Ultimate, BF2 with all expansions, Bioshock and another game already installed, if that helps. 80 GB seems to be the sweet spot for now.
This.

That Patriot drive uses the Indillix Barefoot controller (a good thing) but you're paying a premium for space you probably don't need right now. Better to buy a bigger drive in the future when prices come down. Keep in mind with any SSD-based system you're going to want a traditional HDD for storage of media and other capacity-hogging files.

The trick is going to be policing the installs to make sure everyone installs on the 1TB drive instead of MY SSD. ;):shrug:
this

I was horrified the other day when I ripped a Blu-Ray disc. Almost 30 Gigs worth. And it went to my SSD. Almost had a heart attack.

Set for standard HDDs right now with 3 over 2TB and counting. Was looking to a SSD for performance. Saw the Intel 80 GB is sold out at the Egg. The one noticeable thing was the read/write time on these. There is a huge difference among them. The Patriot's is ~260/180 versus some of the Intel's at ~250/70. I guess it doesn't matter that the write time is lagging since the HD is used solely for the OS and apps. Just curious as to why there is so much variation.
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Set for standard HDDs right now with 3 over 2TB and counting. Was looking to a SSD for performance. Saw the Intel 80 GB is sold out at the Egg. The one noticeable thing was the read/write time on these. There is a huge difference among them. The Patriot's is ~260/180 versus some of the Intel's at ~250/70. I guess it doesn't matter that the write time is lagging since the HD is used solely for the OS and apps. Just curious as to why there is so much variation.

I have actually seen Intels at around 250/200 on a few sites. Not sure where you got 70. Could be different models, but I had assumed that G2 ones were better in all ways.
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Set for standard HDDs right now with 3 over 2TB and counting. Was looking to a SSD for performance. Saw the Intel 80 GB is sold out at the Egg. The one noticeable thing was the read/write time on these. There is a huge difference among them. The Patriot's is ~260/180 versus some of the Intel's at ~250/70. I guess it doesn't matter that the write time is lagging since the HD is used solely for the OS and apps. Just curious as to why there is so much variation.

I have actually seen Intels at around 250/200 on a few sites. Not sure where you got 70. Could be different models, but I had assumed that G2 ones were better in all ways.
Here: NE link. Could be a typo I guess. Another Intel 80GB shows the same thing Edited by Osaurus
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Interesting quote from a Toms article reviewing the AMD 5700's and 5800's as it has to do with the CPU. Sounds like I made a good choice with the i5 vs i7.

I think it’s our second-to-last page that’s the most telling here, though. Stepping from a 2.66 GHz Core i5-750 to the same chip running at 3.8 GHz makes almost no difference to the gamers running at 1920x1200. If it means saving a few bucks on a less expensive CPU so that you can step up to a Radeon HD 5850, that’s the move I’d most likely make.

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Set for standard HDDs right now with 3 over 2TB and counting. Was looking to a SSD for performance. Saw the Intel 80 GB is sold out at the Egg. The one noticeable thing was the read/write time on these. There is a huge difference among them. The Patriot's is ~260/180 versus some of the Intel's at ~250/70. I guess it doesn't matter that the write time is lagging since the HD is used solely for the OS and apps. Just curious as to why there is so much variation.

I have actually seen Intels at around 250/200 on a few sites. Not sure where you got 70. Could be different models, but I had assumed that G2 ones were better in all ways.
Here: NE link. Could be a typo I guess. Another Intel 80GB shows the same thing
I think what I saw was on an Anandtech article with testing SSD's, but I could be mistake. :shrug:
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Interesting quote from a Toms article reviewing the AMD 5700's and 5800's as it has to do with the CPU. Sounds like I made a good choice with the i5 vs i7.

I think it’s our second-to-last page that’s the most telling here, though. Stepping from a 2.66 GHz Core i5-750 to the same chip running at 3.8 GHz makes almost no difference to the gamers running at 1920x1200. If it means saving a few bucks on a less expensive CPU so that you can step up to a Radeon HD 5850, that’s the move I’d most likely make.

I was reading about the i9 and how its increased performance relates to gaming. From what I can tell the biggest gain in stepping up from i5 to i7 to i9 is the size of the cpu cache.
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Interesting quote from a Toms article reviewing the AMD 5700's and 5800's as it has to do with the CPU. Sounds like I made a good choice with the i5 vs i7.

I think it’s our second-to-last page that’s the most telling here, though. Stepping from a 2.66 GHz Core i5-750 to the same chip running at 3.8 GHz makes almost no difference to the gamers running at 1920x1200. If it means saving a few bucks on a less expensive CPU so that you can step up to a Radeon HD 5850, that’s the move I’d most likely make.

I was reading about the i9 and how its increased performance relates to gaming. From what I can tell the biggest gain in stepping up from i5 to i7 to i9 is the size of the cpu cache.
I believe the point is, however, that with many GPU's, you are limited by the GPU when you throw in any AA, AF, etc. The CPU, while might affect it, will be minimal unless you are running quad Crossfire or some such thing.
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Pre-ordered the Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack today. It includes 3 upgrade licenses for $150 and seems like a pretty good option for anyone who 1) wasn't paying enough attention to get the RC version; 2) doesn't need the professional or ultimate versions and 3) needs to upgrade 2+ machines from Vista or XP.

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Pre-ordered the Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack today. It includes 3 upgrade licenses for $150 and seems like a pretty good option for anyone who 1) wasn't paying enough attention to get the RC version; 2) doesn't need the professional or ultimate versions and 3) needs to upgrade 2+ machines from Vista or XP.

Where did you get this upgrade package from?
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Pre-ordered the Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack today. It includes 3 upgrade licenses for $150 and seems like a pretty good option for anyone who 1) wasn't paying enough attention to get the RC version; 2) doesn't need the professional or ultimate versions and 3) needs to upgrade 2+ machines from Vista or XP.

Where did you get this upgrade package from?
I have seen this out there a few places. $50 a license is a great deal.
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Pre-ordered the Windows 7 Home Premium Family Pack today. It includes 3 upgrade licenses for $150 and seems like a pretty good option for anyone who 1) wasn't paying enough attention to get the RC version; 2) doesn't need the professional or ultimate versions and 3) needs to upgrade 2+ machines from Vista or XP.

Where did you get this upgrade package from?
I have seen this out there a few places. $50 a license is a great deal.
Premium is all I need. Just want Media Player...that's pretty much it. I have 3 PCs that need upgrading and this is perfect. Now I see it on NE. Awesome! Edited by Osaurus
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I don't know this for sure, so take it with a grain of salt. But I have heard that to use the upgrade, you must have a valid install of XP or Vista in place. Therefore, if you ever have to reinstall 7, you'll have to do XP or Vista first. I don't know if that is the case but it was rumored a few weeks ago.

ETA the link. Win 7 Upgrade That is a very old article so they may have worked something out.

Edited by Nick Vermeil
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I don't know this for sure, so take it with a grain of salt. But I have heard that to use the upgrade, you must have a valid install of XP or Vista in place. Therefore, if you ever have to reinstall 7, you'll have to do XP or Vista first. I don't know if that is the case but it was rumored a few weeks ago.

ETA the link. Win 7 Upgrade That is a very old article so they may have worked something out.

I've seen that mentioned several places and some very recently. Makes sense, can't upgrade something that isn't there.
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