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Best motherboard to run win7 ultimate 64 bits?

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March 12, 2013 4:03:06 PM

Hi chaps. I hope this is the right section. If it is not please MOD move it to the right one.
I want to build my own desktop system and would like to run windows 7 ultimate 64 bits on it and was wondering what is the best but not too expensive motherboard to do it.
Ideally I would like 8gb ram, i3 or i5 and be able to watch hd movies on it or stream internet hd videos.
I am new to this all so any suggestions are welcome.
My budget is no more than £400 for the project but can go slightly over. Although the cheaper the better if it is possible.
Thank you in advance for your help.
March 12, 2013 4:11:02 PM

the two best low cost mb are msi and asrock. the non z77 mb and a locked i3/i5 will give you your best build for $$ budget. also look into the new i5 that dont have build in video if you have a good pci video card from your old system.
if the sandy bridge cpu are cheaper (i5-2500) the h61/h67 chipset mb will be a good match. the sandy bridge chips are a little slower then ib cpu. also look into the new amd cpu on the fm2 mb with the 7000 gpu build in. the chips may be the same price as the i3 cpu but your getting a better gpu built into the cpu.
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March 12, 2013 4:20:19 PM

an even b cheaper build is an amd a10 or a8 which actually has a better built in gpu than the i7s. its more than enough to do what you asked and even run certain games decently. also for what you listed you really dont need 8gb of ram a nice pair of 2gb sticks of 1600mhz should be enough. head over here to find some good deals on whatever you decide to choose.

apu
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mobo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

hope this helps
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March 12, 2013 4:36:24 PM

Thank you for your help. I am more used to intel and would not consider amd at all. Sorry i should have mentioned it.
I was thinking about asus p8b75-m (but not sure if it runs on 64 bits) or the ASRock H61M/U3S3.




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March 12, 2013 4:52:04 PM

Do you need everything (Case, power supply, motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD, OS, and monitor) or just some of the parts?

Which ones do you not need? Also, at which sites/stores do you prefer to make your purchases?

This should be a decent build, trying to completely minimize cost based on the information you have given so far, that should meet your needs:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£87.54 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£62.99 @ Novatech)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£39.56 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7750 2GB Video Card (£71.99 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Xigmatek Asgard II Black ATX Mid Tower Case (£29.62 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£34.99 @ Aria PC)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer (£14.99 @ Novatech)
Total: £377.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-12 23:58 GMT+0000)
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March 12, 2013 5:01:10 PM

I will need everything. From the casing to the fan. All the hardware (I have the software). I thought about mobo bundles too.
I was checking the Asus P8Z77-V LX2 and it looks like it may just do it. I can find it for 80 quids too so not too bad.
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March 12, 2013 5:15:52 PM

no offense to to our god sir, but rams are so cheap that i dont see any reason not to grab an 8gb (2x4)
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March 14, 2013 9:06:57 AM

MartyMacfly said:
I will need everything. From the casing to the fan. All the hardware (I have the software). I thought about mobo bundles too.
I was checking the Asus P8Z77-V LX2 and it looks like it may just do it. I can find it for 80 quids too so not too bad.

What sites/stores do you want to use for part purchases?

And does "all the hardware" include a monitor?
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March 14, 2013 9:15:27 AM

I would go for something akin to the below.

Just to give some insight, you only need a z77 board for overclocking, if you're not overclocking then a B75 or H77 board is sufficient and will be cheaper.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.94 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£56.72 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£39.56 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card (£84.54 @ Aria PC)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case (£39.95 @ Aria PC)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£34.99 @ Aria PC)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.45 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £393.38
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-14 16:15 GMT+0000)
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March 14, 2013 10:52:15 AM

Many thanks for all the suggestions. After a lot of reading on the forums, reviews and so on, I have decided to go for this motherboard:
Asrock Z77-PRO3 ATX form
I will need everything to build the desktop. So I mean the following:
CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.94 @ Aria PC)

ram Memory:8gb DDR3
Storage: Internal Hard Drive
Video Card:
Case:
Power Supply:
Optical Drive:
CPU fan/cooler:
I have all the peripherals such as monitor, printers, mouse, keyboard & the OS too...just looking to build the case.
I can buy from any shops in the UK or online including second hand if necessary. PCpartpicker seems very handy
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Best solution

March 14, 2013 11:20:04 AM

MartyMacfly said:
Many thanks for all the suggestions. After a lot of reading on the forums, reviews and so on, I have decided to go for this motherboard:
Asrock Z77-PRO3 ATX form
I will need everything to build the desktop. So I mean the following:
CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.94 @ Aria PC)

ram Memory:8gb DDR3
Storage: Internal Hard Drive
Video Card:
Case:
Power Supply:
Optical Drive:
CPU fan/cooler:
I have all the peripherals such as monitor, printers, mouse, keyboard & the OS too...just looking to build the case.
I can buy from any shops in the UK or online including second hand if necessary. PCpartpicker seems very handy

Excellent. Wow, I have no idea why I initially stuck a Sandy Bridge CPU on that build... Here is a build recommendation that fits those requirements then:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.94 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£76.30 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£39.56 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card (£84.54 @ Aria PC)
Case: Xigmatek Asgard II Black ATX Mid Tower Case (£29.62 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£34.99 @ Aria PC)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer (£14.99 @ Novatech)
Total: £406.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-14 18:11 GMT+0000)

I bumped up the GPU to a 7770 (which will give you a little boost in gaming performance), but that nudged the total price over £400. If you prefer to stay under £400 then you can stick with 2GB 7750 card (Gigabyte GV-R775OC-2GI) from my first parts list. The 7750 should still do OK for your uses.

You should also notice there is no CPU cooler listed. The Intel CPU is a retail boxed option (as opposed to OEM), which means it comes with a CPU cooler made by Intel. Since the i3-3220 CPU is a locked processor, you don't really have the option to overclock. Therefore you don't need to spend the money on an after market cooler. Intel's stock coolers actually work very well and their fans are fairly quiet.
Share
March 14, 2013 12:59:10 PM

Isaiah4110 said:
MartyMacfly said:
Many thanks for all the suggestions. After a lot of reading on the forums, reviews and so on, I have decided to go for this motherboard:
Asrock Z77-PRO3 ATX form
I will need everything to build the desktop. So I mean the following:
CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.94 @ Aria PC)

ram Memory:8gb DDR3
Storage: Internal Hard Drive
Video Card:
Case:
Power Supply:
Optical Drive:
CPU fan/cooler:
I have all the peripherals such as monitor, printers, mouse, keyboard & the OS too...just looking to build the case.
I can buy from any shops in the UK or online including second hand if necessary. PCpartpicker seems very handy

Excellent. Wow, I have no idea why I initially stuck a Sandy Bridge CPU on that build... Here is a build recommendation that fits those requirements then:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£89.94 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£76.30 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£36.23 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£39.56 @ CCL Computers)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB Video Card (£84.54 @ Aria PC)
Case: Xigmatek Asgard II Black ATX Mid Tower Case (£29.62 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£34.99 @ Aria PC)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer (£14.99 @ Novatech)
Total: £406.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-14 18:11 GMT+0000)

I bumped up the GPU to a 7770 (which will give you a little boost in gaming performance), but that nudged the total price over £400. If you prefer to stay under £400 then you can stick with 2GB 7750 card (Gigabyte GV-R775OC-2GI) from my first parts list. The 7750 should still do OK for your uses.

You should also notice there is no CPU cooler listed. The Intel CPU is a retail boxed option (as opposed to OEM), which means it comes with a CPU cooler made by Intel. Since the i3-3220 CPU is a locked processor, you don't really have the option to overclock. Therefore you don't need to spend the money on an after market cooler. Intel's stock coolers actually work very well and their fans are fairly quiet.

Thank you so much Isaiah. I very much like the your suggestion.

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March 14, 2013 1:03:23 PM

You know that was pretty much the same as my build but more expensive right?
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March 17, 2013 4:31:39 AM

Hi chaps.
I have another question. This time regarding a ssd drive.
I am a nobbie so forgive me if that question seems too obvious or stupid for you but I would like to understand it.
There I go.

Is it possible to install windows7 on 64 bits into this kind of drives and if yes is a 32gb capacity enough or do I need more? as I am thinking about future os updates taking more and more space.
Also what is the main advantage in doing so?
I have read somewhere this:
ssd drive should be the only drive connected while installing Win 7 and that any secondary ssd's or hhd's should be connected after Win 7 has been installed. And that the bios needs to be set to AHCI mode
So I am sure that if I install win 7 on ssd I need to select the ssd to boot the system.
Many thanks in advance for your responses.
Marty
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March 17, 2013 5:55:02 AM

with a ssd drive you want a 12g drive as the bare min for your os and a few apps. a 64g drive will hold just windows install but then you have to install the apps to the slower hard drive. i have a i5-3540 and a 120g intel ssd. the ssd will hold a few games and main programs like word or photoshop. with an ssd you need to leave room for garbage collection and wear. when a ssd fill up to much it take a real big performance hit. most new mb the bios for sata ports should be in achi mode by default. (always look at the mb guild online before you buy). with windows install if you dont read the menus widows can install itself onto the hard drive. to rule out redoing or losing data most people just unplug the sata data cable from the hard drive. when you install windows for the first time you have to change the boot order in the bios.
myself I picked up a 4g usb stick and used the microsoft iso to usb tool and made a bootable usb stick. I then put my windows 8 cd away in a safe place. (windows install is a little faster from a usb stick then a dvd). once windows is installed you go back into the bios and set your ssd drive as the first boot device. on my asus bios i had to put the ssd as the first hard drive.
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March 18, 2013 9:27:52 AM

MartyMacfly said:
Hi chaps.
I have another question. This time regarding a ssd drive.
I am a nobbie so forgive me if that question seems too obvious or stupid for you but I would like to understand it.
There I go.

Is it possible to install windows7 on 64 bits into this kind of drives and if yes is a 32gb capacity enough or do I need more? as I am thinking about future os updates taking more and more space.
Also what is the main advantage in doing so?
I have read somewhere this:
ssd drive should be the only drive connected while installing Win 7 and that any secondary ssd's or hhd's should be connected after Win 7 has been installed. And that the bios needs to be set to AHCI mode
So I am sure that if I install win 7 on ssd I need to select the ssd to boot the system.
Many thanks in advance for your responses.
Marty


In a nutshell, some of what you have read is true and some of it is false. Here's a bit of a breakdown:

  • Yes, Windows 7 64-bit will fit on a 32 GB SSD. You probably won't be able to fit much else though. You would definitely want to try to keep under 20 GB used on that size drive.
  • I'll go into the advantages at the end of this post.
  • You shouldn't have any issues installing Win7 on the SSD while a mechanical HDD is also connected. You will have to make sure you select the proper drive for the Windows installation though. More on this later as well.
  • Yes, BIOS should be set to AHCI mode (not IDE, Legacy, or RAID).

    Alright, now the benefits of a SSD are pretty simple. Solid State Drives read and write data much faster than mechanical hard drives. As such, software installs to and loads from, and data files are read from solid state drives much more quickly than they are from mechanical HDDs. This means that, in order to see this benefit in any given program, that program must be installed to the SSD.

    In a computer with a 32 GB SSD you will install Windows on the SSD and likely want to move your 'Users' folder and "Program Files" (default program install location) to your mechanical drive, each of which requires a registry change. Under this scenario, you will only have Windows installed on the SSD. All of your other programs will be installed to the HDD. This means your only benefit will be a faster boot time. All of your other programs will have standard mechanical HDD load times. I'm guessing you are looking at a 32 GB SSD costing you roughly $40 or so. So you would then be spending $40 to have your computer boot in 17 seconds instead of taking 45-60 seconds to boot.

    I personally will never build a computer like that as the benefit is very minimal for the money you put into it.

    The maximum benefit with a solid state drive will be seen when you load your operating system and all your programs onto the SSD and have a mechanical HDD for all your data storage. This usually means you need a minimum of 120 GB capacity in the SSD, but all depends on how much you intend to install on the SSD. Under this scenario you would see the same fast boot times as you would with the 32 GB SSD, but you would also see faster program load times. You would still have to make a minor registry change to have your 'Users' folder get moved to the HDD, but doing this is a fairly simple process. I prefer this configuration because the benefits are much more real and visible. Smaller programs like Internet Explorer literally load instantly. Other programs like MS Office applications are instantaneous as well. I haven't gotten a chance to test load times with more intensive programs like Adobe applications, but I am sure they would load very quickly as well. I have performed this type of setup using a 128 GB Samsung 830 drive without any issues.
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    March 19, 2013 1:12:24 PM

    Isaiah4110 said:
    MartyMacfly said:
    Hi chaps.
    I have another question. This time regarding a ssd drive.
    I am a nobbie so forgive me if that question seems too obvious or stupid for you but I would like to understand it.
    There I go.

    Is it possible to install windows7 on 64 bits into this kind of drives and if yes is a 32gb capacity enough or do I need more? as I am thinking about future os updates taking more and more space.
    Also what is the main advantage in doing so?
    I have read somewhere this:
    ssd drive should be the only drive connected while installing Win 7 and that any secondary ssd's or hhd's should be connected after Win 7 has been installed. And that the bios needs to be set to AHCI mode
    So I am sure that if I install win 7 on ssd I need to select the ssd to boot the system.
    Many thanks in advance for your responses.
    Marty


    In a nutshell, some of what you have read is true and some of it is false. Here's a bit of a breakdown:

  • Yes, Windows 7 64-bit will fit on a 32 GB SSD. You probably won't be able to fit much else though. You would definitely want to try to keep under 20 GB used on that size drive.
  • I'll go into the advantages at the end of this post.
  • You shouldn't have any issues installing Win7 on the SSD while a mechanical HDD is also connected. You will have to make sure you select the proper drive for the Windows installation though. More on this later as well.
  • Yes, BIOS should be set to AHCI mode (not IDE, Legacy, or RAID).

    Alright, now the benefits of a SSD are pretty simple. Solid State Drives read and write data much faster than mechanical hard drives. As such, software installs to and loads from, and data files are read from solid state drives much more quickly than they are from mechanical HDDs. This means that, in order to see this benefit in any given program, that program must be installed to the SSD.

    In a computer with a 32 GB SSD you will install Windows on the SSD and likely want to move your 'Users' folder and "Program Files" (default program install location) to your mechanical drive, each of which requires a registry change. Under this scenario, you will only have Windows installed on the SSD. All of your other programs will be installed to the HDD. This means your only benefit will be a faster boot time. All of your other programs will have standard mechanical HDD load times. I'm guessing you are looking at a 32 GB SSD costing you roughly $40 or so. So you would then be spending $40 to have your computer boot in 17 seconds instead of taking 45-60 seconds to boot.

    I personally will never build a computer like that as the benefit is very minimal for the money you put into it.

    The maximum benefit with a solid state drive will be seen when you load your operating system and all your programs onto the SSD and have a mechanical HDD for all your data storage. This usually means you need a minimum of 120 GB capacity in the SSD, but all depends on how much you intend to install on the SSD. Under this scenario you would see the same fast boot times as you would with the 32 GB SSD, but you would also see faster program load times. You would still have to make a minor registry change to have your 'Users' folder get moved to the HDD, but doing this is a fairly simple process. I prefer this configuration because the benefits are much more real and visible. Smaller programs like Internet Explorer literally load instantly. Other programs like MS Office applications are instantaneous as well. I haven't gotten a chance to test load times with more intensive programs like Adobe applications, but I am sure they would load very quickly as well. I have performed this type of setup using a 128 GB Samsung 830 drive without any issues.


  • Thank you ever so much for this very informative answer. You understood exactly what I was trying to do. I guess that the 128gb will be a bit too dear for me right now :(  I will have to wait before I buy one.
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    March 19, 2013 3:53:56 PM

    No problem. And don't feel too bad about not having an SSD in your build. While the performance improvements are very noticeable, it isn't an absolute necessity. SSDs, due to their still high prices, are still a luxury item and therefore don't fit well in low budget builds.

    Look on the bright side: once you have save up enough you can buy a solid state drive and your PC will seem like a whole new build due to the speed improvement.
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