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New PC build for parents. A few questions

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January 18, 2012 3:06:59 PM

Hello,

My parents requested that I build them a new PC with a budget ~$500 (tower only). Not included in that is the money I'll need to spend on Windows 7 upgrade, that will be separate. So far, I have selected the below components:

Case: Antec 300
Processor: Intel i3 2125
Motherboard: P8H67-M PRO/CSM
DVD/CD: Cheap Sony SATA
HD: 500gb WD Blue caviar
RAM: 8GB G SKill 1333
Wireless Adapter: TP-LINK TL-WIN722N
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 380W

I have a few questions on this build before I pull the trigger:

1. How is the motherboard? I needed something with PATA so I could clone their old HD onto their new HD. I dont need the ability to overclock so the H67 model is fine. I do not want the H61 due to lack of SATA6 incase SDD drives come down in price and I want to give them a bit of a boost in the future. Basically I want to be as future proof as possible, price allowing of course. Is there any benefit to getting an ATX mobo as opposed to Micro ATX?

2. Is there any issue upgrading a Dell Windows installation with Windows 7 upgrade? I'm just making sure they dont have a special version of windows that makes upgrading difficult. I plan on cloning the old HD and then doing a clean install upgrade of windows 7

3. Is 380W enough for the PS? I am assuming it will be. Would it still be enough if I were to throw in my old HD4850 512mb?

4. Is the case overkill? I dont want to get stuck with a cheap flimsy case and the Antec 300 is the one I currently use and I love it. Its not too expensive either.

Thanks all!
January 18, 2012 3:25:10 PM

i would suggest looking at the system builder marathons (buyers guide) for ideas,
1. Atx mobos generally have more memory, pci(e) and other slots for upgrading, other than that, only a bit larger
2. you may want to check on that, swapping hard drive with new hardware can cause problems
3. psu should be fine
4. I would recommend rosewill challenger - best value
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January 18, 2012 3:34:21 PM

Quote:
1. How is the motherboard? I needed something with PATA so I could clone their old HD onto their new HD. I dont need the ability to overclock so the H67 model is fine. I do not want the H61 due to lack of SATA6 incase SDD drives come down in price and I want to give them a bit of a boost in the future. Basically I want to be as future proof as possible, price allowing of course. Is there any benefit to getting an ATX mobo as opposed to Micro ATX?
.

The H61 and H67 are pretty much the low end of the Intel spectrum. If you wanted to be future proof you could always go with a Z68 and then run the video off the motherboard's built-in DVI and VGA connectors. Maybe try something like this:

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

If you're going to be using a GPU though you could go with a Phenom II X4. Maybe try something like this:

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

Quote:
2. Is there any issue upgrading a Dell Windows installation with Windows 7 upgrade? I'm just making sure they dont have a special version of windows that makes upgrading difficult. I plan on cloning the old HD and then doing a clean install upgrade of windows 7


Are you using the upgrade version or are you going with a full OEM installation? You can use your Windows disc and copy the serial number over, and that will be no problem (I've done this on my laptop and it works fine).

The thing about Dell though is that they do include a lot of proprietary drivers and control panels and they do sugar-coat Windows to some extent but not as much as a lot of manufacturers would.

Quote:
3. Is 380W enough for the PS? I am assuming it will be. Would it still be enough if I were to throw in my old HD4850 512mb?


380W is decent but I'm not sure it would power an external GPU. Maybe try going with the Corsair CX430, or the CX500 just to be future proof.

Quote:
4. Is the case overkill? I dont want to get stuck with a cheap flimsy case and the Antec 300 is the one I currently use and I love it. Its not too expensive either.


Not at all, the Antec 300 is a good choice for sure. I totally agree about not wanting to go cheap on the case - I've done that (Apevia and Raidmax - blech). Right now I'm using a Cooler Master HAF 912 and I love it, it's a really great case for the price as well.
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January 18, 2012 4:10:54 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Quote:
1. How is the motherboard? I needed something with PATA so I could clone their old HD onto their new HD. I dont need the ability to overclock so the H67 model is fine. I do not want the H61 due to lack of SATA6 incase SDD drives come down in price and I want to give them a bit of a boost in the future. Basically I want to be as future proof as possible, price allowing of course. Is there any benefit to getting an ATX mobo as opposed to Micro ATX?
.

The H61 and H67 are pretty much the low end of the Intel spectrum. If you wanted to be future proof you could always go with a Z68 and then run the video off the motherboard's built-in DVI and VGA connectors. Maybe try something like this:

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

If you're going to be using a GPU though you could go with a Phenom II X4. Maybe try something like this:

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

Quote:
2. Is there any issue upgrading a Dell Windows installation with Windows 7 upgrade? I'm just making sure they dont have a special version of windows that makes upgrading difficult. I plan on cloning the old HD and then doing a clean install upgrade of windows 7


Are you using the upgrade version or are you going with a full OEM installation? You can use your Windows disc and copy the serial number over, and that will be no problem (I've done this on my laptop and it works fine).

The thing about Dell though is that they do include a lot of proprietary drivers and control panels and they do sugar-coat Windows to some extent but not as much as a lot of manufacturers would.

Quote:
3. Is 380W enough for the PS? I am assuming it will be. Would it still be enough if I were to throw in my old HD4850 512mb?


380W is decent but I'm not sure it would power an external GPU. Maybe try going with the Corsair CX430, or the CX500 just to be future proof.

Quote:
4. Is the case overkill? I dont want to get stuck with a cheap flimsy case and the Antec 300 is the one I currently use and I love it. Its not too expensive either.


Not at all, the Antec 300 is a good choice for sure. I totally agree about not wanting to go cheap on the case - I've done that (Apevia and Raidmax - blech). Right now I'm using a Cooler Master HAF 912 and I love it, it's a really great case for the price as well.


Well, the Z68s are generally higher price and all they give (from what I've heard) is the ability to overclock AND use iGPU. I like that mobo you linked but I do need an IDE/PATA connection so I can clone their old harddrive. I could just do it on my computer but I'd rather not. I wouldn't mind keeping their old HD in the case for backup use. About the AMD, I think I'll stick to Intel. In my personal experience, I've had fewer problems with intel, though its a small sample size.

For installing windows 7, I'd like to use the upgrade. That is the reason I'd like to clone the drive so I can use the windows 7 upgrade on the old version of windows as opposed to buying full OEM version.

I'll check out the Rosewill case and PSUs that were mentioned. I was a bit concerned it was low. Thanks!
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