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Build your own computer advice


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#1 yu gnomi

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 08:24 PM

My current Win XP machine has been chugging along dutifully for a while now (~ a decade), but I've been looking into replacing it. I specifically want to try building my own, even though there are probably a lot of things that need tweaking while doing it. I am hopeful that the fine folks who frequent this forum can assist me in my endeavor. 

 

I have not even looked at new computers for a while, so I did some reading up on processors. I gather that AMD's products aren't really measuring up to Intel's any more, and that for the same number of cores, Intel is always the better option. Did I get that right?  

 

I'm a bit fuzzier on how many cores I would need. I don't plan on doing high-powered gaming, or doing 3-D animation, but I will be programming (C++ and probably Flash), and want to make sure it is capable of running any software I download for it going forward. It also has to run Windows 7 nicely. I think dual core Intel would be good for me, but again I'm not sure.

 

Where I really get confused is trying to pick out a motherboard. The specific processors I saw mentioned in recent articles are Intel's "Haswell" chips, and I know that the socket for these is 1150 h87 or z87 (z87 is better than h87). Where I am completely confused - and this probably tells that I haven't shopped for a computer in a while- is I can't tell for the life of me which motherboard I would need.

 

Does a dual core processor need 2 sockets? or does the whole thing go in 1 socket? What about a quad core? How can I tell how many cores a motherboard can handle? 

 

I will doubtless have more questions later on, but the motherboard thing has me completely stumped right now. Any help appreciated.



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#2 yu gnomi

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:06 AM

This is what I have so far: (For now. I'm just assuming that a socket 1150 motherboard can run any 4th gen processor, regardless of number of cores)
 
Component                                                                            Amazon price
----------------                                                                            --------------------
Intel Pentium Processor G3220 3.0 GHz LGA 1150                 $60
BX80646G3220 [Haswell socket, not architecture]
 
MSI Z87M-G43 Desktop Motherboard                                        $96
 
MSI AMD Radeon R7 265 Graphics Card                                 $160
 
Kingston HyperX Blu 16GB Kit (2x8 GB Modules) 1600MHz $160 
240-pin DDR3 Non-ECC CL10 Desktop Memory
 
Cooler Master HAF 912 Advanced Midi Tower Case                $57
 
(Don't know about which/how many Fans for ^^)
 
Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500w Power Supply          $43
 
ViewSonic VA2037A-LED 20-Inch LED-Lit LCD Monitor          $99
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
so far:  w/o more fans, more HDs or OS                                 ~ $ 675
 
I have a new internal HD and a relatively new large external HD that I could transfer to new machine, although it might make sense to buy an extra internal hard drive (like an 80GB Western Digital drive- they are cheap). I also have a fairly new DVD burner I could transfer over.
 
My OS choices would be Linux, Windows XP or buy something (probably Win 7)
 
edit: there is a SATA-3 capable 250 GB HD by Western digital for $44 (current price) that would probably be a nicer add over what I mentioned before.

Edited by yu gnomi, 28 April 2014 - 01:33 AM.


#3 killerx525

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:24 AM

 

I will be programming (C++ and probably Flash), and want to make sure it is capable of running any software I download for it going forward. It also has to run Windows 7 nicely. I think dual core Intel would be good for me,

A Intel dual core CPU can easily handle C++ programming and flash as programming is not exactly the most taxing CPU task you can perform, so a dual core should do the trick.

 

 

I can't tell for the life of me which motherboard I would need.

Trying looking at it from a 'what you need' perspective as in do you want built-in Wifi or high end power delivery system for overclocking purposes etc. My suggestion would be the H87 chipset as it should server your purpose unless there is something specific you want within the system. 

 

 

Does a dual core processor need 2 sockets? or does the whole thing go in 1 socket? What about a quad core? How can I tell how many cores a motherboard can handle? 

The amount of cores does not correlate to the socket or motherboard. You would first check the CPU support list for the motherboard to see which CPU will be compatible with it.

 

In terms of your build list, do you plan to play games? If you don't then a low end graphics card should be sufficient. The Coolermaster HAF 912 has more then enough fans to produce enough airflow in the system, so you do not need to purchase extra case fans. For a bit more, you could get a higher quality power supply from the Corsair CX series as the Coolermaster eXtreme Power Plus is a "so so" quality and it is important to select a quality power supply.

 

 

My OS choices would be Linux, Windows XP or buy something (probably Win 7)

 I highly recommend against the usage of Windows XP due it's lack of support since Microsoft ended it on the 8th of April 2014 and it is riddled with security vulnerabilities which more or likely compromise your system. 


Edited by killerx525, 28 April 2014 - 01:24 AM.

>Michael 
System1: CPU- Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.4GHz, CPU Cooler- Noctua NH-D14, RAM- G.Skill Ripjaws 16GB Kit(4Gx4) DDR3 2133MHz, SSD/HDD- Samsung 850 EVO 250GB/Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB/Seagate Barracuada 3TB, GPU- 2x EVGA GTX980 Superclocked @1360/MHz1900MHz, Motherboard- Asus X99 Deluxe, Case- Custom Mac G5, PSU- EVGA P2-1000W, Soundcard- Realtek High Definition Audio, OS- Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
Games: APB: Reloaded, Hours played: 3100+  System2: Late 2011 Macbook Pro 15inch   OFw63FY.png


#4 bludshot

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:37 AM

A socket 1150 motherboard can only run cpu's that are socket 1150. Also, the motherboard manufacturer's website for the motherboard will list the supported cpu's.

 

It does not make sense to buy a 80 gig hard drive. Don't go lower than 250gigs in my opinion.

 

And don't choose windows XP, that makes no sense with support ended.

 

In my opinion, choosing Linux vs Windows 7 is kind of ... well let's just say linux and windows 7 are not interchangeable. It depends on your requirements and what you will do with the machine. Many games and some software won't run on linux, netflix has no native support on linux. Also the programming environments between the two are completely different (Visual Studio vs linux ide's). You need to look at what 3D animation software you will be running etc. Also if you go with linux, then to avoid headaches, check if your hardware is natively supported by linux first.

 

From a quick glance, you seem to be putting a disproportionate amount of money towards ram. (ie: if you are going to spend that much on ram you should spend more than you are on the cpu Or, you should be spending less on ram). If you want a decently long future life for the machine, and you can swing the cost, I recommend you get an i5 (the cheapest one).



#5 yu gnomi

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:51 AM

That line about OS choices was really because I had forgotten to look up the cost of Win 7 (which I think is ~ $100) when I posted. I agree, Win XP makes no sense on this build and I am not that big a fan of Linux.

 

I think buying a SATA-3 capable drive to boot off of makes sense, the actual size doesn't matter much to me. I have a large external drive that can hold hundreds of GB more without me deleting anything, and I could probably find hundreds of GB of stuff to delete if I wanted.



#6 yu gnomi

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:13 AM

This is exactly what it says at MSI site regarding Processor support for the motherboard I picked

 


• 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 / Core™ i5 / Core™ i3 / Pentium® / Celeron® processors for LGA 1150 socket
Please refer to CPU Support for compatible CPU; the above description is for reference only.

 

The Pentium Processor G3220 is a Pentium, which I think means it's technically not 4th gen (I don't think Celerons are really 4th gen either), but it uses the 1150 socket. I'm guessing it's supported or 4th gen Pentiums wouldn't be mentioned in this list. 

 

I'm not getting started on this immediately, it will probably be a month or two before I start buying anything- maybe longer. I"ll need to have all the details worked out before I start buying stuff though

 

edit: I found a pull down menu that led to a detailed table of all the supported processors. G3220, and probably every other 4th gen processor I looked at, is listed. It'll still be a while before I can get started because money is too tight right now.


Edited by yu gnomi, 28 April 2014 - 02:22 AM.


#7 bludshot

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:30 AM

But the price difference between a 80 gb and a 250gb drive is negligible (not sure where to even find a hard drive that small), and you will find a 80gb C drive to be too cramped for comfort soon enough.

 

They say "Please refer to CPU Support for compatible CPU"  which is what I was talking about. I actually can't get the web page to render properly in firefox. In IE you can see the cpu's, but, still the page is a bit messed up looking (for me)  http://msi.com/product/mb/Z87MG43.html#/?div=CPUSupport  There you can see it specifically lists the G3220. So it's compatible.

 

Things change fast enough in computing (prices, etc) that you can't spec out your machine 3 months before you buy it. You will need to re-spec it when you get closer to buying it (the research you are doing is good though, I'm just saying.)



#8 yu gnomi

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 08:31 PM

Ok, have read the feedback from you guys, looked some more stuff up and done a bit more thinking- and yes, I realize that prices will all be different by the time I actually start building, and that could affect my choices, so this is just a "what if" build.

 

I don't really know if I need a video card, the default GPU might be sufficient for games that aren't very demanding, and the other software I want to run. If I buy one though, I want it to be a good one. Any advice? 

 

I also realized that if I really wanted to go chintzy, I have a case with a P/S already in it from a HP Pavillion no one wants. I think I could gut it and use it, instead of buying new case- although I would want to be sure that the installed P/S is safe and of adequate wattage.

 

Component                                                                  Amazon price
----------------                                                                   --------------------
Intel Core i3-4130 3.4 3 FCLGA 1150 Processor        $120
 
MSI Z87M-G43 Desktop Motherboard                              $96
 
Kingston HyperX Plug n Play 16GB (2x8GB) Kit of 2    $160
1600MHz  PC3-12800 DDR3 Non-ECC CL9  DIMM
Desktop Memory KHX16C9P1K2/16
 
WD Blue 250 GB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch,               $44
7200 RPM,SATA III, 16 MB Cache - WD2500AAKX
 
ViewSonic VA2037A-LED 20-Inch  LCD Monitor             $99
 
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder   $88
OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging)
 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
total using default GPU and old computer case               ~$607
 
 
MSI AMD Radeon R7 265 Graphics Card                          $160
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
total using old computer case                                              ~$767
 
 
Cooler Master HAF 912 Advanced Midi Tower Case           $57
 
Corsair Builder Series CX 500 Watt ATX/EPS  80 PLUS    $58
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
total including new computer case                                         ~$882
 
 
can also save ~ $60 by using Pentium G3220 processor instead of I3 4130

Edited by yu gnomi, 28 April 2014 - 08:39 PM.


#9 yu gnomi

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:12 PM

Last one- this looks like something I would want to build and could afford to build soon.

 

Component                                                                                             Amazon price
----------------                                                                                              --------------------
 
Intel Core i3-4130 3.4 3 FCLGA 1150 Processor                                      $120
 
MSI Computer Corp. Motherboard ATX DDR3 1333 LGA 1150                $76
Motherboards B85-G41 PC MATE
 
Kingston ValueRAM 8 GB 1600MHz DDR3 (PC3-12800)                          $84
Non-ECC CL11 DIMM Motherboard Memory (KVR16N11/8)
 
WD Blue 250 GB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM,                       $44
SATA III, 16 MB Cache - WD2500AAKX
 
Cooler Master HAF 912 Advanced Midi Tower Case                                   $45
 
Corsair Builder Series CX 430 Watt ATX/EPS 80 PLUS                            $40
 
ViewSonic VA2037A-LED 20-Inch LED-Lit LCD Monitor                             $99
 
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit, System Builder                                $88
OEM DVD 1 Pack (New Packaging)
 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
total                                                                                                                      $596
 
add DVD drive (plus cable), keyboard and mouse from current system
 
edit: removed SATA cable from parts list due to info provided in next post

Edited by yu gnomi, 29 April 2014 - 06:58 PM.


#10 compnovo

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:23 PM

Did you know that motherboard comes with two right-angle SATA cables?  I can tell you're on a strict budget so this will help a little.


Core i7 4771 - GA-B85-HD3 - PNY GTX760 - 16GB G.Skill 1333 - Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD - Toshiba 2TB HDD - Corsair 200R Carbide Case - Corsair CX600M - Windows 8.1 Pro


#11 yu gnomi

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:55 PM

No, I did not know that.

 

That will save me a little money, thanks!



#12 yu gnomi

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:57 PM

So, saving up for this project has taken longer than expected (cuz of them pesky bills that need paying- both routine ones and unexpected ones). I have done a little re-thinking on the sort of system I should build: the builds above assumed I would be upgrading the processor and adding hardware as necessary, but I am now thinking that Intel's next series of chips (the Broadwell chips) might not be all that much better than Haswell, and I might as well spring for a nicer Haswell processor and other niceties such as a video card and an SSD.
 
I actually have the money to order this right now, but it would virtually clean out my account. I will probably wait until my next paycheck (this Friday) to actually order all the parts.
 
New Egg has a deal on the video card I picked out for a $100 worth of free games- I am very unclear on the details though, I think you have to go to the manufacturer's website and maybe make an account to get credit towards game purchases. 
 
The case fan I picked is for a front intake fan - the Antec one case has 2 exhaust fans at rear and top of case. So I want to ensure the best flow paths of airflow in at front and bottom, and out at rear and top.
 
Latest Build
##########
 
Intel Core i5-4690 Processor                                      $223.99 Amazon
 
MSI H97 PC MATE ATX Motherboard                            $89.99 Amazon
 
Kingston Memory KVR16N11 8GB                               $79.99 Amazon
 
Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 250GB SSD   $118.99 Amazon
 
WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive                                 $58.00 Amazon
 
MSI R7 265 Video Card                                                  $149.99 NewEgg
 
Antec One Computer Case                                              $46.59 Amazon
 
Corsair Builder Series CX 600 Power Supply                  $62.99 Amazon
 
ViewSonic VA2249S 22-Inch LCD Monitor                      $129.99 Amazon
 
Antec True Quiet 120 Case Fan                                       $12.47 Amazon
 
Microsoft Windows 8.1 - Full Version                               $104.69 Amazon
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Total                                                                                  $1077.68
 
add 2TB external HD, DVD writer, speakers, mouse & keyboard from current system
 





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