Reliable System build


BUDGET RANGE: Let's say no more than $600 for the board, processor, and memory. I don't have to spend that much, this is a work PC.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Mild CAD/CAM (minimal rendering), Office Apps, Internet, No games, No music, No movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Case, keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, Harddrives. I should likely replace the PS seeing how the old system died (see story below).

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg has been good but I don't care much and will be shipping parts next day air to Wisconsin, USA.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Just quality parts. I don't mind using 6 month old parts if they have proven reliability

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I'm not sure what this is

MONITOR RESOLUTION: I'm running a 21" Hitachi CRT so does this matter?

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Long term stability, will likely upgrade the processor and mem in a few years.


The story:

I've been running an Epox 8KHA+ since 2002 and it was finally killed last night by a power surge. Obvously I don't need bleeding edge hardware but I want something that can offer that kind of reliability, I rarely shut it off. More details below.

No gaming, mostly office apps and CAD/CAM. No need to overclock but OC friendly boards tend to be robust. Budget isn't overall critical (I plan on a min of 5 years of service life). Let's say no more than $600 for the board, processor, and memory

I've simply been a PC user the last few years and my head is starting to spin from trying to catch up.

Any suggestions for a bullet proof motherboard?

Specs on system that is being replaced.
Epox 8KHA+
AMD Athlon XP 2800
1.5 Gig PC2100 Corsair
2 - 160 gig SATA Seagate barracudas running a raid 1 on a Promise PCI controller
300 gig IDE and 80 gig IDE running on an Adaptec PCI controller
Generic PCI video card
4 80mm case fans
350 watt PS

7 answers Last reply
More about reliable system build
  1. Assuming you can source parts from newegg, here is a config that you can look into...

    CPU + RAM
    AMD Phenom II X4 955 + OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB)


    CASE + PSU
    Antec NSK 4480B II Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel for chassis durability Computer Case EarthWatts 380W Power Supply

    Any good 500GB HDD for about $60


    Graphics -
    ATI 4350

    Total - Around $595 and it has the fastest AMD CPU too...
    If you dont require that much CPU power, then you can get the X3 720 or even for that matter the X2 550 and save a lot of money...
  2. Oops just noticed that you had given total $600 for just the board, processor, and memory :P...
    You can get better mobo but again you wont need more features than that Gigabyte offers...
    You can try the i7

    CPU - i7 920 - $280
    Mobo GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R - $195
    RAM - $95

    Total - $570
    I guess filling this would avoid misunderstandings and would give us more info...
  3. gkay09 said:

    I guess filling this would avoid misunderstandings and would give us more info...


    Sorry about that, I've edited my original post.

    Thank you for the recommendations. I wasn't expecting such a quick response.

    I've been reading some other threads and started to put together this package. I think I should be fine with on board video when you consider what I was using before. Any suggestions on a PS and fan/sink?

    ASUS M4A78T-E AM3 AMD 790GX HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Xtreme Phase for AM3 CPU w/ DDR3 support, TurboV

    AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor - Retail

    OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P16004GK - Retail

    Thanks again,
  4. Quote:
    Any suggestions on a PS and fan/sink?

    Doing some more reading and I think I'm going to go with:

    BFG Tech LS-450 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Power Supply - Retail

    XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler - Retail

    Also Arctic Sliver 5 and a Sony SATA optical drive

    It looks I need to do some price checking though. I really have no need for a couple of 15' USB cables and magazine subscription.
  5. Hi...
    Its a good setup that you have come up with...and Yes the onboard would certainly be suffice for you...
    Save some cash by going with any of these power supplies...
    Antec EA 380
    That PSU is a 80+ certified and has enough power to run your setup...
    But if you want little more power, then get this ...
    Antec EA430
    Both have Free Shipping too...

    And you wouldnt be needing an aftermarket CPU cooler...the stock does a good job of cooling the CPU at stock...Just apply the AS5 or TX2 for better results...
    But if you still want an aftermarket cooler, make sure the Xig fits the case that you have...
  6. For anything other than serious gaming, a mb with a 790GX chipset combined with an AM3 CPU is a good choice for and office computer.
  7. I ended up ordering the build I listed because I was coming up on the same day shipping cutoff. Unfortunately It still didn't ship yesterday.

    This is a newer version of the case I have.
    I hope I won't have any issues with clearance.

    The computer will be used in my office at my machine shop so I feel more comfortable with the better heat sink. Fans tend to get dirty/pluged quickly.

    Thanks again for all the help this is a great community.
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