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Upgrade of my old home built system. New MoBo and Processor needed.

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  • Build
  • Ubuntu
  • Processors
  • Systems
  • Linux
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August 5, 2013 8:32:16 AM

Hi, I run Linux, mainly Ubuntu based, but I change with the wind. My current home-build has undergone lots of revisions over the years, and is used mainly for low-intensity things like web, email, watching video, Skype etc. Sometimes though I get into scanning photos and photo editing. I like trying new operating systems, and like a quick machine. I also like my PC to be _very_ quiet.

Current hardware is an Asus A8V Deluxe motherboard with 2GB of matched RAM, and a AMD Athlon Dual Core 3800+ processor with large heatsink and auto controlled fan. 1TB SATA HD. Enermax Noisetaker ATC 12V Ver1.3 370W PSU - nice and quiet with a variable fan.

Being restricted to AGP, I currently have a Nvidia GeForce 6200 AGP8X 512MB DDR2 video card - notice there is NO FAN on that! I don't like too many fans. ;-)

I chose the Asus MoBo (used) back when, because of it's compatibility with some existing hardware I was continuing to use, PCI cards and stuff, and at that time I didn't upgrade the video card. That came later when the modern Linux stopped wanting to drive the old slow stuff. I have tried several permutations of 4GB RAM on this MoBo, but never managed to get it to work happily with that and eventually gave up.

So now is the time to throw away the old and bring in some new. I hope to re-use the ATX case, PSU, IDE optical drive. Obviously, I'll still keep the keyboard, screen etc. My problem is that I don't keep up to date with hardware issues, and my needs are not those of the gaming community. I've no interest in overclocking. I like to buy used, on eBay, or at discount/clearance, and I don't mind stuff thats a year or three old.

Requirements that I know about:
ATX motherboard with PCI, PCIe, SATA expansion capabilities, lots of ports for future fiddling.
A suitable processor, not too slow.
On board video with no extra fan, but slot to upgrade in the future.
4GB DDR3 RAM, with space to upgrade to 8 or maybe 16GB in the future.
Lots of USB2/3 ports
SSD to be added when more funds become available.

Given that background, what motherboard/processor combination should I be starting with? Overall total budget is £100-150, but the less the better, as I'm now on a pension. Recommendations please!

More about : upgrade home built system mobo processor needed

August 5, 2013 8:46:20 AM

For going with integrated graphics, you would be well served to look at AMD's APU chips (medium performance chip with a medium performance graphics solution built in) or Intel's chips with HD graphics (less powerful than the APU, but runs much cooler.

For the APUs, I would go with an A6 or and A8. Something like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/AMD-Edition-3-6GHZ-HD6570-Socke...

For Intel, I would look at the i3 and i5 chips or a Pentium. Something like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-BX80637G2020-Processor-Sp...

or

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Intel-Sandybridge-Dual-Core-Pro...

Which motherboard you get depends on which processor you go with. I would pick CPU then board. Note that not all of these chips are current and finding a new board might be difficult in your country.
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August 5, 2013 10:15:47 AM

gbryan101 said:
For going with integrated graphics, you would be well served to look at AMD's APU chips (medium performance chip with a medium performance graphics solution built in) or Intel's chips with HD graphics (less powerful than the APU, but runs much cooler.


Excellent advice, and the sort of thing I was looking for - thanks gbryan101. I've been using AMD for a long time now (more power to the pound in previous years) but have no objection to going over to the dark side, as one reviewer put it on your Amazon link. However, I had to look up what APU was, and had never heard of Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge. I thought the Pentium went out when the iCore came in. What's a Bulldozer? A steep learning curve ahead of me on this one, I think.
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Best solution

August 5, 2013 10:29:18 AM

Bulldozer is the micro-architecture AMD released in 2011, their first major revision since 2003. Its successor is Piledriver. Most of these chips are 100+ watts TDP and lack integrated graphics.

AMD's Accelerated Processing Unit is their attempt to get their chips in more low and mid range machines. There are two generations, Llano and Trinity, with Trinity being the current.

Ivy Bridge is the previous Intel generation, with Haswell being current. I use and Ivy Bridge chip and can say that HD 4000 integrated graphics will be fine for most non-gaming users. The Pentium name is still used, with there being examples from all generations of Intel chips. It's usually their low cost option.
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