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#1 millipede

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 11:54 AM

Been toying with the idea of building a new machine for over a year now.  It's time.  My current windows 7 PC is slowly acting up a little more here and there...  freezes once in a while(especially the browser) and blue screens every now and then.  Today it went through startup repair as it didn't boot properly the first try.  I'm on now and everything SEEMS fine... but somewhere, things aren't fine.

 

Last year I bought new memory and a new hdd just to upgrade this machine.  Chances are installing that hdd and reinstalling windows would be a good fix but, I'm ready to move one.  Had this machine for a while.

 

I appreciate the superior knowledge that many of you possess in the area of building machines...  but I do ask that you're patient with me and keep in mind that my needs are not your needs.  Last year when I tried talking about upgrading and such, there were some people that were anything but nice in almost bullying me into agreeing that what they said I needed, I actually needed.  One guy made fun of me for the hdd I chose.  He insisted that I NEEDED WD black.  I was a moron to think otherwise right?  :rolleyes:

I realize that most people that build their own PC want something SUPER powerful to play all sorts of games.  I am an average PC user.  Email, facebook, facebook games, etc.  I'm not a "gamer" and I don't need something that can play the latest and greatest.  Ultimately I want something better and newer than I have now... faster, sure.  But top of the line is NOT necessary. 
My budget is low and my needs are not great.  Depending on what ideas are pushed, I will push back or ask questions.  Please be prepared for that. 

 

My budget, again, is low.  I was recently looking at a deal on amazon(deal is over) for a pc that was definitely better than what I have, for about $400.  madmanrb believed I could build something better for the same or less $. 

 

My skill: never built a whole machine but I've replaced MBs, laptop screens, hdds, ram, power supplies, graphics cards, and more.  Most of that is simple plug and play and I can follow directions quite well. 

 

Last year I bought a hdd and ram to upgrade my current pc.  The hdd never made it in.  I was thinking of installing it, reinstalling windows 7, and then trying to sell this machine to recoup the some of the cost of buying new stuff.  However, I am also thinking of just using the hdd I have now that I bought last year.
It is >>THIS HDD<<    it's the WD Green.  I like the idea of a machine that uses LESS power... I know most builders want more power but, a lower electric bill is always good you know.  :) 
I also have the memory I bought last year.  One stick made it into the machine, the other did not.  it's 4x2gb gskill, I'd have to find the package to tell you the speed.  wait, just checked speccy and this is what it says :
"DDR3 2GB G.skill pc3-10700 (667 MHz)"

however, I think >>THIS<< is the actual memory I purchased.

 

So, in purchasing parts for a new build...  keeping in mind my cost concerns...  what do you think about using that hdd and that memory?  It would be a total of 8GB of that memory that I have.  Could I get away with using the stuff I bought last year or would it be preferable to simply buy everything new?

With ALL of that info... is anyone up for helping me build a machine?  Low cost, low power if possible...  something I wont regret buying, something better than what I have now(details in my profile), and something I can afford.

I've messed around using pcpartpicker before and could technically do this on my own.  But having people that know what they're doing helping with that process sure wouldn't hurt.
Anyone willing to put up with me in this process?
Oh yeah, I am thinking about windows 10 for the OS... possible duel boot with linux mint... haven't decided on that yet.

 

I have a hauppauge pci card for watching tv on my computer.  The ability to watch tv from my antenna is a must... could use the old pci card or there are a lot of newer options out there so that's not a huge deal.

 

Let me know if you need any other details and what you think.



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#2 Drillingmachine

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 12:05 PM

So in summary you need everything except HDD and perhaps RAM for $400? Do you need also Windows 10 for that budget?



#3 millipede

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 12:07 PM

So in summary you need everything except HDD and perhaps RAM for $400? Do you need also Windows 10 for that budget?

That would be ideal...  madmanrb seemed to think it was possible.  I will talk with my wife to see if it's necessary.



#4 RolandJS

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 12:10 PM

I assume you already are prepared for the builder-being-grounded doing the "bench build/test,"  I recommend making sure the receipts are kept in one place for any new purchases.  Concerning RAM, another source long ago mentioned to me making sure the RAM's internal architecture is exactly what the mobo wants, dc3 is one of the best to consult on RAM specs.


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#5 Drillingmachine

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Posted 06 August 2016 - 12:29 PM

SSD included.

 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD A8-7600 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($71.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A88M PRO3+ Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard  ($52.38 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX200 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($79.99 @ Adorama)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1100 MicroATX Mini Tower Case  ($28.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply  ($29.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer  ($13.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home Full - USB 32/64-bit  ($117.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $395.31
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-08-06 13:29 EDT-0400



#6 Rocky Bennett

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 03:01 PM

Wow, Drillingmachine, that looks awesome.


594965_zpsp5exvyzm.png


#7 Drillingmachine

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Posted 10 August 2016 - 08:45 AM

Wow, Drillingmachine, that looks awesome.


Well, it seems to be missing PCI slot.

Alternative http://pcpartpicker.com/product/C2tCmG/gigabyte-motherboard-gaf2a78mhd2

#8 millipede

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 11:39 AM

Wish I could edit the original title, or anything. 
Please, again, be patient with me.  I have trouble making decisions... second guessing every option... and am an extreme procrastinator. 
This machine I'm on is still working but, still not as well as it could or should...  being poor adds to the frustrations of these decisions as my options are quiet limited.
Pros and cons to every choice, every setup, every possibility and I struggle weighing them.  So again, please be patient with me.  I know a lot of people are simple, matter of fact, this is how you need to do it kind of people...  the problem is, there is no one right way and different things work for different people.  Sorry for that rambling.

 

So, I haven't bought anything yet...  I started looking around again, and will continue to do so.  As of this morning I'm weighing several options... none of which are perfect or ideal.

1.  Putting the new hdd(still haven't used it) in this machine and possibly buying a graphics card for some minor performance improvement as well as, well possibly fixing any laggy issues I was having due to the age of the old hdd.  Upside: graphics card would be the only purchase... cheap...  unless I want to also buy windows 10... which I might... might not.

2.  Building a new one.  This one is a BIG struggle as I weigh costs with performance.  More options, more "new" stuff... most likely, the most improvement for my $.  Downside is the waiting on parts and then waiting on me to build, install, transfer files, etc.  Other downsides are limited by the amount of money to be spent.  I carefully compare the prices with the ratings/reviews on the parts.  Sometimes a cheap part is a CHEAP part.  More thoughts on this in a moment...
 

3.  Buying new.  Many computers are on sale these days.  Upside...  can get something faster and already set up.  downside... nothing amazing and, most likely bloatware or something added...  This one is tempting mostly because it's the most pain free option.  Walk into a store, walk out with everything ready to go.  I'm a mostly average computer user... internet browsing, some videos/tv, and basic facebook games and such.  Nothing fancy so my needs are not great.  So, this idea is does not seem as bad to me as it would many of you.

 

so as I'm torturing myself with this decision still...  I spent most of the day yesterday comparing some options.  After spending hours putting a list together with an intel chip, I kind of gave up on it as it was 2 cores...  Was thinking I should aim higher... which meant AMD.  So, I messed around with that for quite a while.  Came up with something I MOSTLY like...  The only thing I don't like is the lack of ANY onboard graphics.  As I second guess and question things... My mind thinks of a failing graphics card... and not having anything to use to troubleshoot it.  Meaning, if it died I wouldn't be able to just switch to the main board and be okay til I figured it out... it would just be a big paperweight til I got a new card.  That troubles me...  not sure if it should, but it does. 

 

Would appreciate thoughts on any of what I just wrote... the cheapest option of just upgrading this machine and hoping it survives another couple years... buying new... or building... and, my graphics worries.

AND...  the build I made a list for... if anyone could go over it and give feedback.  Other than my graphics issue worry, I'm pretty content with the list.  I carefully(spent most of the day) looked at cost, need, cusomter reviews on newegg for EVERY part...  lots of them looked good til I read reviews...  spent LOTS of time doing this... ended up with something that feels pretty good... again, except for that one issue.  >>Here's the list...<< 

Tell me if that doesn't load.  I tried to have someone else look at it and they said it was "not found."  Not sure why.  But I can put links to the individual parts if necessary.

Please note... the hdd and ram listed there are what I already have here to put in... building around those things.  So, ignore those... with those gone and the rebates, I'm looking at under $400. 

anyway...  I hope you guys aren't sick of me going on about this.  I don't want to make a decision I'm going to regret...  this is tough for me.  If I had more money such a decision would be a little easier...  (still tough though... ha)



#9 Drillingmachine

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 01:50 PM

I changed Video card and Windows, also removed thermal compound. Now it's better

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/j3bmFd

#10 millipede

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 02:00 PM

I changed Video card and Windows, also removed thermal compound. Now it's better

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/j3bmFd

And added $30.

1. On the card, I don't have dvi.  I have a blue vga connection for my monitor.  I have a second(smaller and older) monitor hooked up to use two from time to time while watching tv.  This is also vga but I bought an adapter to hook it to the hdmi.  I COULD buy another adapter for dvi to vga but that will add even more money. (edit: that better card also doesn't exactly have stellar reviews...)

2.  What's the difference in the windows versions?  Again, that was an increase in price.

I'm trying to do what I can with what I can...  those few bucks matter.  :(

 

oh, and will I not need some thermal compound?  I can pick it up locally too.  cpu comes with the heatsink and all but I imagine I am putting that all together myself.


Edited by millipede, 26 November 2016 - 02:05 PM.


#11 Planemaster2

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 02:20 PM

Actually, when your budget goes relatively low, it isn't more cost effective to build your own as most PC manufacturers are able to get all the components in bulk - something an individual user can't do. As long as you don't buy from a big brand company (such as Dell, Acer etc...), there shouldn't be any bloatware.



#12 millipede

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 02:26 PM

Actually, when your budget goes relatively low, it isn't more cost effective to build your own as most PC manufacturers are able to get all the components in bulk - something an individual user can't do. As long as you don't buy from a big brand company (such as Dell, Acer etc...), there shouldn't be any bloatware.

hmmm...  :scratchhead:   what companies are there that aren't big brand companies?  and still have newer machines that are cost effective?  Seems in my experience, and from what I've seen, you're not going to find an affordable pc that isn't from one of those companies that have all the extras(hey, here's a "free trial" of 10 programs you know you want).    I could be wrong but, it seems the companies you can buy from that wouldn't have all that stuff tend to cost more.



#13 Planemaster2

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 02:34 PM

 

Actually, when your budget goes relatively low, it isn't more cost effective to build your own as most PC manufacturers are able to get all the components in bulk - something an individual user can't do. As long as you don't buy from a big brand company (such as Dell, Acer etc...), there shouldn't be any bloatware.

hmmm...  :scratchhead:   what companies are there that aren't big brand companies?  and still have newer machines that are cost effective?  Seems in my experience, and from what I've seen, you're not going to find an affordable pc that isn't from one of those companies that have all the extras(hey, here's a "free trial" of 10 programs you know you want).    I could be wrong but, it seems the companies you can buy from that wouldn't have all that stuff tend to cost more.

 

 

Well, my current PC was pre-built (£500) from Amazon. The only software that came bundled with it were computer stress tests/benchmarks (which were useful when I was overclocking my GPU). Admittedly, £500 is a little bit more than what you're willing to spend and it's more of a PC oriented for gaming but it does go to prove that there are small brand companies that don't ship with bloatware (they're just overshadowed by the bigger brands).



#14 Drillingmachine

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 02:48 PM

And added $30.
1. On the card, I don't have dvi.  I have a blue vga connection for my monitor.  I have a second(smaller and older) monitor hooked up to use two from time to time while watching tv.  This is also vga but I bought an adapter to hook it to the hdmi.  I COULD buy another adapter for dvi to vga but that will add even more money. (edit: that better card also doesn't exactly have stellar reviews...)
2.  What's the difference in the windows versions?  Again, that was an increase in price.

I'm trying to do what I can with what I can...  those few bucks matter.  :(
 
oh, and will I not need some thermal compound?  I can pick it up locally too.  cpu comes with the heatsink and all but I imagine I am putting that all together myself.


1. Adapter is like three bucks or so. RX460 is much better than GT730.
2. Full "retail" version can be moved from one PC to another.

CPU comes with heatsink and thermal paste.

You can switch Windows back to OEM and then you stay on budget.

#15 millipede

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 08:20 PM

 

1. Adapter is like three bucks or so. RX460 is much better than GT730.
2. Full "retail" version can be moved from one PC to another.

 

1.  why? or how?  How's it better?  I'm not questioning you exactly but, those are just words.  I don't know enough about them myself.  I can't just take someone's word though.  (paranoia, skepticism, all wonderful traits huh)    According to reviews, it's not better.  Same 2gb of memory on it.  So, I'm asking what about it is better.  As far as reliability goes, the one I chose had higher reviews.  I know that doesn't mean anything necessarily...  but something I have to consider.  Something can be newer or more powerful or, whatever, and still not be the best choice.  Is the one I chose adequate?  I sure wont be needing anything high end.  Mostly basic computer stuff...  some photo editing from time to time... tv through my tuner(which I already watch on this aging machine), facebook games etc.

 

2.  I'll have to think about that.  With "full" I could keep the license even if I end up with a new computer a year or two later?  Is that what I'm hearing?  That may be worth a few extra bucks... I'll have to consider it.

 

I'm still also considering just buying something off amazon or from a store... still weighing my options and going insane doing so.  It really is a bit maddening.
Oh... and thanks for the opinions so far.  Regardless of what I decide(whenever that happens), it's VERY handy to bounce ideas off of people...  so even if I disagree, go a different way, or anything like that... I still appreciate the conversation very much.  :)






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