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Replacing 10 yr. old Desktop

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March 23, 2011 5:19:36 PM

As the title says I want to assemble a new system but most of the info I find is gaming oriented and I'm not a gamer. having said that, I do prefer up to date components to last as long as possible. In the past, I've bought in the sweet spot price vs. performance in procs. I've bought mostly Asus boards
preferring to stay with the tried and true. I'm not averse to other brands, but at the time Asus/Intel was the choice,

My primary question is about motherboards/proc.and video/ graphics boards. Keeping in mind that I'm not into gaming but could use this system for recording music (probably the most intensive proc use). Possible video recording as well. Otherwise nothing out of the ordinary.

Probably will go with 1 onboard 1TB drive and 1 external drive and 8GB memory and an optical drive of some sort, maybe 2. I have my current ATX case that i believe i can use and I'll need a new power supply.

If there is someone who could provide some guidance to help me sift through all the available info in this regard, I could use the help. I don't want to overspend or overbuy and I'm not sure where the 'sweetspot" is anymore :D 

Any and all advice is welcomed

Thanks!

More about : replacing desktop

a b B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2011 5:27:52 PM

What is your budget?
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March 23, 2011 5:54:23 PM

rwpritchett said:
What is your budget?


I don't have a set budget per se, if I had to put a price on it, around 1500 I'm thinking, give or take
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2011 6:36:04 PM

^Decent list, but the video card is unnecessary for the OP. Just switch the board to an H67 to use the integrated video. Also need a PSU... maybe a Seasonic in the 350-400W range.

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March 23, 2011 6:41:06 PM
March 23, 2011 6:42:24 PM

rwpritchett said:
^Decent list, but the video card is unnecessary for the OP. Just switch the board to an H67 to use the integrated video. Also need a PSU... maybe a Seasonic in the 350-400W range.

RW-

what's your take on SS drive's? this is new to me. Lotsa $'s
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2011 7:07:52 PM

SSD vs. HDD is just like broadband vs dial-up. You won't want to go back once you get used to the technology. For a $1500 budget, an SSD is definitely desirable, but not a necessity. It would be a shame if you had a high-end system with an HDD bottleneck, though.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2011 7:09:45 PM

We need more information to make the best possible recommendations. Did the old system die, or has it just become too slow? If it died, but you weren't unhappy with its performance, then basically be prepared to be blown away. In any case, you won't need to spend $1500; actually $1000 seems a little high.
A ten year old system will be blown out of the water by the cheapest Sandy Bridge; there's no need to go for an i5-2500K when the i5-2300 for $50 less will be sufficient. Quite frankly, a $500 low-end AMD build would out-perform the old system by quite a lot also, but isn't quite as future-resistant because the Bulldozer CPUs that will be released this summer use socket AM3+, which is not yet available.
Integrated video may be sufficient, but I'd still get something like a GT240 or GTX430 for better results with Blue-Ray, and possibly CUDA support if your applications use it. If they don't, but use ATI-Stream, then get a HD5450.
8GB of memory is likely to be overkill. Start with 4GB and add more if something comes along later that needs it.
For the PSU, right now the 380W Antec Earthwatts is only $40. That's a solid PSU, and is 80+ bronze certified for efficiency.

Edit: I agree about the SSD. It is amazing how snappy a system is with a SSD in it. There's plenty of room in your budget for it, so even if it can be considered a luxury, I think it is wholly worthwhile to spend ~$225 or so on one. Make sure it has a Sandforce controller.
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March 23, 2011 7:41:44 PM

Onus said:
We need more information to make the best possible recommendations. Did the old system die, or has it just become too slow? If it died, but you weren't unhappy with its performance, then basically be prepared to be blown away. In any case, you won't need to spend $1500; actually $1000 seems a little high.
A ten year old system will be blown out of the water by the cheapest Sandy Bridge; there's no need to go for an i5-2500K when the i5-2300 for $50 less will be sufficient. Quite frankly, a $500 low-end AMD build would out-perform the old system by quite a lot also, but isn't quite as future-resistant because the Bulldozer CPUs that will be released this summer use socket AM3+, which is not yet available.
Integrated video may be sufficient, but I'd still get something like a GT240 or GTX430 for better results with Blue-Ray, and possibly CUDA support if your applications use it. If they don't, but use ATI-Stream, then get a HD5450.
8GB of memory is likely to be overkill. Start with 4GB and add more if something comes along later that needs it.
For the PSU, right now the 380W Antec Earthwatts is only $40. That's a solid PSU, and is 80+ bronze certified for efficiency.

Edit: I agree about the SSD. It is amazing how snappy a system is with a SSD in it. There's plenty of room in your budget for it, so even if it can be considered a luxury, I think it is wholly worthwhile to spend ~$225 or so on one. Make sure it has a Sandforce controller.


Jtt- You bring up some valid points. One concern I have is possible use for recording music which is intensive for proc and mem. and I'm not talking elaborate protools sustems here or I would be Mac bound. But, I think, decent software for windows can be had for what i have in mind. Also, would the onboard video capablilties of the aforementioned mobo's be sufficient for simple videos made with say a thousand dollar Nikon camera or should i be employing a seperate card for this. I always preferred having the video and audio seperate for obvious reasons. Is this an outdated view? Also, a semi-pro audio card may be required which i could always add-on if need be, yes?

Wow 380W is big enough for maybe 2 optical drives and an internal HDD or SS??

Thanks everyone for your advice...keep it coming
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March 23, 2011 8:28:02 PM

I figured he wanted some serious power that would last another 10 years..so I did a sandy rig...I threw the vid card, Blu-ray, and the SSD in for good measure and as far as a PSU I love the Kingwin Lazer 550-watt 80+ Gold for $109.00 from newegg
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March 23, 2011 8:30:33 PM

BTW that list is my new build with the exception of the vid card I am gonna go with a 560...
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March 23, 2011 8:33:01 PM

Any new system he builds will destroy a ten year old system
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2011 8:34:14 PM

I think an atom would destroy a ten year old system. :) 

10 years ago I was rocking an Athlon T-Bird @800MHz!
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2011 8:56:41 PM

Intel integrated video is still pretty weak, even for non-gaming. A $50-$70 video card is a small price to pay to ensure smooth playback of all current video formats.
The 380W Earthwatts can handle that load without breaking a sweat. It could run more drives than it has connectors, particularly with only a low-power video card in the system (none of the ones I suggested need auxiliary power). Like all "good" PSUs, it is somewhat under-rated. By contrast, a "600w" Logisys PSU-shaped object may only be capable of 300W, never mind what its label says.
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March 23, 2011 9:16:46 PM

I'll get a better than average video card but what about audio? no suggestions there?

Any memory more stable than another these days? or is that a thing of the past?
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2011 9:35:01 PM

Onboard audio is surprisingly good these days. 10 years ago a sound card was required. Audiophiles can tell the difference, I'm sure, but you might as well give the onboard audio a shot before investing in a sound card.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 23, 2011 9:45:47 PM

rhp52 said:
Wow 380W is big enough for maybe 2 optical drives and an internal HDD or SS??
Onus said:
The 380W Earthwatts can handle that load without breaking a sweat. It could run more drives than it has connectors, particularly with only a low-power video card in the system (none of the ones I suggested need auxiliary power). Like all "good" PSUs, it is somewhat under-rated. By contrast, a "600w" Logisys PSU-shaped object may only be capable of 300W, never mind what its label says.
Yeah, 380W earthwatts is perfectly fine. Coincidentally, I received a kill-a-watt meter in the mail yesterday. I tested it out on my desktop last night which consists of:

  • Q9650 C2Q @3.6 GHz
  • 4x2GB DDR2 at 2.0V each
  • Radeon HD6950 video card (requires TWO 6-pin axillary power connections)
  • 1x SSD, 1x HDD, 1xBD

    Anyway, I ran 4 instances of Prime95 while simultaneously running Furmark. This is akin to twisting thumbscrews, lit cigarette in the eyeball, while getting kicked in the nuts kind of torture testing. The kill-a-watt meter peaked out at 352W. I have a good quality 450W PSU (Corsair 450VX) that has never even hiccuped.

    The newer parts are very energy efficient. Many people would recommend a build like mine have a 650W PSU. :lol:  Buy quality and you'll be fine.

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    March 24, 2011 1:14:30 PM

    OK i got the Earthwatts on the way. I currently have Mushkin RAM. Is this overkill today? It's not that expensive.

    I just noticed the Gigabyte board has no Firewire? Shouldn't it? Or am I missing something here?
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    March 24, 2011 2:49:48 PM

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

    Whaddaya think of this board vs. the Gigabyte? I'm leaning toward the Asus because of the added connections and the bios features along with some other stuff. For the diff in price and the long haul it might be worth it. Opinions?
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    March 24, 2011 4:39:25 PM

    You can't go wrong with either Asus or Gigabyte. I tend to give a preference to Asus based on my previous experiences with both. Asus also has that really snazzy uEFI interface that no other motherboard maker has matched.
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    March 25, 2011 4:29:49 PM

    Here's what I ordered:

    P8P67Deluxe Rev3.0 B3 W/i5-2500K 3.0
    8GB DDR3 1600
    GeForce GT430
    Win7 Home Prem.
    Will either go with a SSD or Caviar 1TB drive.

    Thanks all for tyour help!
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    !