Help me build my new PC!

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Help me build my new PC!

Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:53 pm

So I'm finally getting paid for my new couple of jobs (two jobs at once!  I'm fucking KNACKERED!) and, in addition to using the money towards stuff we need, I want to upgrade my PC.  Problem is the last time I had the money for components was... almost 4 years ago.  So I no longer have any idea who's making decent kit these days or what I should be aiming for.  

My plan is to buy the new parts 1-2 at a time and, over the next few months, overhaul my baby to something not cutting-edge, but just good enough that I won't worry about upgrading again for a couple of years if I don't want to.  Most of the games I play are not graphics-heavy, and I'm not looking to spend on any fancy cooling systems or new case or anything for the time being.  My plan right now is to have a FUNCTIONAL PC.  

First priority is the motherboard, because at the moment my other one is a piece of shit.  I have to very slightly unseat the ram to get it to post, and only 1 of 4 memory slots actually works at all.  Budget for a replacement is... around £60-ish.  If there is a slightly more pricey one that's great I'll consider it.  If there is a cheaper one that is on a par with others in the £60 range I will also consider that.  I am currently using an Intel Pentium D 3.2 processor, so will need my replacement MB to be compatible with that while I work my way towards money for a new processor.  So that means socket 775.  Which... I'm having trouble finding at the moment!  I've been tempted by Gigabyte for YEARS now, but recently heard they have some weird little issues like running at a higher temp when idle compared to other MBs, so I'd appreciate some advice on what's good right now - are Gigabyte still decent? Is ASRock still shite?

Next step will be determined once I know what MB I'm going for.

So, any recommendations?

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by username_6916 on Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:58 pm

I would say that you're going to have to replace your motherboard and CPU (and probably RAM) at about the same time. I'm not seeing much of an upgrade path from your "Super-Prescott" chip that uses LGA-775.

As far as brands go... I'm not too sure myself. My parents box that has had all sorts of trouble of late had and ASUS motherboard, which I thought was one of the best. Of course, I'm not sure that the issues are result of the Motherboard.

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by UristMcBunny on Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:40 pm

Yeah, it's looking more and more like I'm just going to have to wait a little longer and get both at once - it is hilarious how badly out of date my set-up is now!

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:44 pm

I hated ASUS/ASRock a few years ago but they seem all right now. Not sure how much of that is just personal anecdote, though. I hadn't heard the thing about Gigabyte running hot, either; Web searching makes it seem like most of the complaints about this are from people a) overclocking high-end CPUs or b) doing something wrong on their own installation.

Is the "regular" ATX form factor not available in the UK? Seems like everything available over there is micro-ATX. (That's not a bad thing; just a curiosity that came up while I was browsing UK sites for motherboards.)

If there's anything at the front of your case that you like using (e.g. headphones, usb ports), it might be worth considering motherboard layout, just to further complicate things. I didn't think about this when purchasing at all, but my case has a really short cable for the front headphone jack, so if I run it across my new, large motherboard to plug it in, I get a lot of noise from other high-power parts running close to the cable. In my case, not a big deal to me either, though.

If you're going to hold out until you can replace the CPU too, I'd say at least consider going for an i3 processor. i5/i7 might be overkill, but even the low-end i3 blows Celeron chips away. Pentium series is still a fine middle-of-road budget processor otherwise, though.
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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by username_6916 on Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:47 pm

Hey, you're talking to someone who's posting this from a P4 Northwood based machine.

I'm not even sure you'll be able to re-use the RAM. All new systems have DDR3 or DDR4 in them now and you're machine was right around the change-off between DDR2 and DDR3 if I remember correctly.




I get a lot of noise from other high-power parts running close to the cable.

You might try double-checking that the outside of the headphone jack is electrically connected to the case chassis.

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by UristMcBunny on Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:35 am

Good to hear the Gigabyte issue is more on the overclocking side of things - that's not something I'm planning on doing with my PC, so one less thing to worry about. I like a lot of what Gigabyte do, so that's reassuring at least.

I think it is mostly micro-ATX over here. I've certainly not seen much regular ATX where I've been browsing.

Ehhh yeah... my current lumbering old beast is DDR2. Aw man, I was really hoping not to have to replace all three in one go. Shit. At this stage, what are the chances my graphics card will need replacing at the same time too? It's a decent card (need to remind myself which card it is later as the other half has swapped my card, his card and the emergency card around quite a bit!). Shit, will my current power supply hold up to all of this? *cries*

There's nothing in the front of my PC right now, but actually that is something I've been meaning to sort out, so that's a good point. I'll need to keep an eye out for that, too.

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by Dr_Goth on Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:49 am

Although upgrading your rig sounds awesome I think your components are just a bit too out of date. Trying to find a compatible socket 775 mobo is going to be difficult unless you look to ebay, but you're limiting yourself to the older tech that goes with it. As username_6916 pointed out by replacing the mobo and chip you might find your RAM is no longer compatible.

Depending on your budget i'd recommend having a look at http://www.freshtechsolutions.co.uk/custom-built-computers.html you can get a brand new PC with half decent specs for less than £300. Yeah the cheaper PC's are somewhat basic in terms of performance and graphics but then for the price its pretty decent and if possible you could salvage the graphics card and other hard drive from your older machine.

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by UristMcBunny on Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:12 pm

Oh, no. I never, ever buy them built - not even custom. Half the fun is building your own! I'm thinking i5 processor for £150-ish, Gigabyte MB for around £60-£70, RAM for... whatever ram is going for these days. Keep some by for a new power supply just in case it's needed. Don't need a new graphics card, HD or case, or any of the other bits, so it's a waste of money to pay someone else to send me a complete one with all those extra bits I have zero need for.

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by Archetype694 on Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:40 pm

I recently upgraded a old AMD Phenom ddr2 system.  As I was on a budget I was able to scrape together some of the parts from the old system toward the new build. I spent around $380 (not including OS) though these specs are in the budget gaming range they may be a bit more then what you need.This build was done back in Nov 2013 so it is likely a bit dated.

CPU AMD FX-6300 $109.99
Mobo Biostar A960D+ Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard (Cpu and Mobo deal)
Ram PNY Optima 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory $35.99
GPU Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card $110
PSU Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze $38.98 @ Newegg
Total $348.93

I was able to reuse the case and hard drive. This was my first build and the below links were helpful in getting me up to speed on the current state of things.

Best Gaming CPU's for the money  Nov 2014

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-2.html

Best GPU's for the money Nov 2014

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html

This site is nifty when trying to figure out what is the sweet spot for your budget and needs.

http://www.logicalincrements.com/

Good luck and have fun! I can't wait to see the build you settle on.

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by username_6916 on Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:49 am

There's a good chance that your graphics card will work just fine (if not a little bit better) in a new machine if it's PCIe. PCIe cards are largely forwards and backwards compatible across different versions of the bus, with the caveat that putting a newer card in an older bus will work at the bus's slower speed, and vice versa.

I was piecing together a $500 USD AMD APU based rig on http://pcpartpicker.com/. It's a handy site for trying different builds against your budget. Then I managed to buy a Wolfdale-era machine from a friend for $25 (USD), which means this can wait until I get a Real Job (tm) and build a more powerful box.

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Re: Help me build my new PC!

Post by UristMcBunny on Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:11 am

Okay, those are really handy sites, thank you!  And it looks like I could get a fair Gigabyte board, a decent i5 and  goodly amount of ram for... actually not quite as scary a price as I was anticipating.  Still will need to wait until after Crimbo, but that all looks good to me. And yeah, I am on PCI-E, thank the gods. An old PCI-E, but it's still in good nick.

Thanks guys!

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