Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Hello

Last response: in Systems
Share
February 21, 2012 2:50:20 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about getting back into working on computers as a hobby. It was something I started in high school when I taught myself how to completely dismantle my 486DX2, learned a little programming, got a computer degree, built one machine and got a job in the oil field doing nothing with computers hardly. And so, I've kind of been out of the hardware side for the better part of the last 10 years other than upgrading the RAM in my laptop, installing a DVD drive, or setting up a new system for someone and playing video games.

So what I've got now that I use everyday is this Dell Studio XPS 1770, Intel Duo Core 2.4Ghz, 4 GB RAM, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650. It's bogging down on low settings of SWTOR, and runs WOW on moderate settings.

I've got two old desktops, one is a wal mart HP, the other is a custom built my father picked up for a couple hundred bucks that never would power up. The latter has a 300 watt power supply, the HP's got a HD I'd like to use and altogether they have 3 HD's in them. I'd like to use the custom machines box/PS with the hard drives. Drop in a new mobo, processor, memory and video card. I've got a Sony DVD drive as well for it.

I'm assuming the custom machine is an ATX box, full size I believe. Right now it has a AMD Sempron processor in it. Here are some pictures:

https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=a5b73647579d3e...!425&parid=A5B73647579D3E0E!174&authkey=!ADkBCpTx_x6YWbE

https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid=a5b73647579d3e...!424&parid=A5B73647579D3E0E!174&authkey=!AOXnti0aQqx5rUk

I hope those links work right.

I'd like to keep price as low as possible, spending more on the video card/RAM and getting an affordable processor to handle it all. Would love to read some suggestions.

Thanks :) 

More about : question

a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2012 4:11:24 AM

Please list the parts you think you want to re-use (with details) and clairfy your budget
February 21, 2012 4:23:53 AM

QuietPC said:
Please list the parts you think you want to re-use (with details) and clairfy your budget



Ok, sorry. It's late and I'll try to get into them more tomorrow and list the parts with a little more detail.

I'd like to keep budget around 500 dollars, but I can spend more if need be over time. Not in any hurry to build it. Just want something to tinker with and play SWTOR a little smoother. I'd like to use more than one of the hard drives from those two machines and set it up to dual boot to two different OS's.
Related resources
February 22, 2012 2:30:30 AM

Ok, got some updates.

Not sure about using the box on the left, would save me 50 bucks on the build, haven't made up my mind on that yet.



Right now it has this mobo:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?model=k8upgrade-v...

Not bad for back in the day maybe, but it's got to go. It's a micro-ATX mobo, and I think that case from the image on the left is a full ATX case. Haven't found a brand on it anywhere.

I'm presuming that micro-ATX will fit any ATX box?

This Hitachi Deskstar HD is 80 GB 7200 RPM and I believe it has Windows Vista on it:



But I have this Western Digital 160 GB to go along with it:



My only concern is that they are both IDE HD's. Is that even compatible with modern day mobo's?

Like I said, I've been out of the game for awhile, got a lot to brush up on before I start making any purchases.

Thanks :) 

Oops, almost forgot.

I have this PS:



I'm not too worried about the overall cost, would like to keep the prices in the mid range area. So I was thinking maybe AMD processor, since you can get a quad core AMD for the price of a dual core Intel.
February 22, 2012 4:35:38 AM

Well, been doing some reading.

Still not sure on the existing HD or case. But if I just scrap what I've got and start fresh was thinking about something along these lines:

https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

I hope that link works to the public wish list I made.

Look ok?

Since I own a Dell laptop with Windows 7 64 bit on it, if I have to buy a new HD, can I somehow put 7 on the new HD without paying for it again?

February 22, 2012 6:52:30 AM

Newegg is asking for a login in my case.
I think you should specify what you expect from the system you are building. Gaming? Do you have examples of games you want to play? Photo/video editing? Rendering stuff?
And if games, some expectation on how well/high settings they should run.
Also, I'll hazard a guess that those old PC's have some quite light power supplies? If you are going to be using a graphics card of any umph, you will probably need a new power supply as well.

EDIT: I think most new motherboards do not have IDE connections, and Intel CPU's are a lot stronger at games at the moment, to the point where an Intel dual core (i3 2100/2120) is better than most AMD quads
February 22, 2012 11:06:57 AM

Quote:
Newegg is asking for a login in my case.


Sorry about that, I apologize for my posts not being as well organized as others as well.

Quote:

I think you should specify what you expect from the system you are building. Gaming? Do you have examples of games you want to play? Photo/video editing? Rendering stuff?


Yes, mostly gaming. Right now I'm playing SWTOR on low settings on my laptop and it can get kind of choppy. I play WoW as well, it runs on a little bit higher settings though and a little bit smoother.

Quote:
And if games, some expectation on how well/high settings they should run.


Normal settings is fine for me, I'd like room to upgrade in the future.

Quote:
Also, I'll hazard a guess that those old PC's have some quite light power supplies? If you are going to be using a graphics card of any umph, you will probably need a new power supply as well.


Yea, after trying to google the PS I have, I think I may be in for a new one. :) 

Quote:

EDIT: I think most new motherboards do not have IDE connections, and Intel CPU's are a lot stronger at games at the moment, to the point where an Intel dual core (i3 2100/2120) is better than most AMD quads


Hmm, ok. Is it possible, to transfer the data off those HD's, including the OS to a new HD? Trying to do this without spending money on an OS. I have 7 Home Premium on my laptop as well as I think Vista on one of those older HD's.

I will list the components I chose off of newegg. I tried to keep the prices reasonable, nothing high end but nothing cheap either.

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASRock A75 PRO4 FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HIS H675F1GD Radeon HD 6750 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX Core Edition PRO550W (P1-550S-XXB9) 550W ATX12V 2.2 & ESP12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD A6-3500 Llano 2.1GHz (2.4GHz Max Turbo) Socket FM1 65W Triple-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6530D AD3500OJGXBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital AV-GP WD3200AVVS 320GB 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal AV Hard Drive -Bare Drive
https://secure.newegg.com/WishList/MySavedWishDetail.as...

I'm not stuck on AMD, especially not if an equal priced Intel Dual Core can outperform that processor.

The only thing I left off I believe was memory which I'll probably drop 8Gb in for now, maybe a DVD drive although I have a Sony. It may be IDE as well, haven't pulled it out of the case yet.

I plan on taking my time with this build. Like I said, I'm not really looking at overall cost so much as the cost of the components themselves. As they will be bought over a period of the next three to four months.
February 22, 2012 11:31:28 AM

The Llano is a fusion core, having CPU and GPU in one, and neither being so strong as to really be suited for gaming. So I would probably avoid that one.
For MMO's the CPU is very important. I was having 5 fps in SWTOR PVP no matter settings with my old amd athlon 64 x2, Then I tried the i5 2500k with nothing but the small built in GPU, and suddenly I had 40 fps (on minimum graphics though)

As for OS, moving an installed OS into a new system that has another motherboard is not going to work. And the code for the laptop Windows will be tied to the laptop. You might be able to install the Vista one if you have the code for it, and have the DVD around or can borrow the DVDfor that version. But you might have to contact Microsoft when registering because it will detect that the hardware is significantly different. They might agree to activate it if you call it an upgrade (as opposed to you building a complete new PC). It is a bit unclear exactly when something is another PC, as opposed to an upgrade.

Also, the 6750 is a bit on the weak side. If we are talking games like WoW and SWToR, a 6770 would be good, but for new games that are more graphically intensive, even that is quite weak. I believe the 6870HD or either GTX 560 TI or 6950HD are good at their prices if you want to go a bit higher, take a look yourself: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...
February 22, 2012 12:35:39 PM

Thank you for the feedback.

What's your opinion on the i3 vs. the i5?

I've been playing MMOs since Everquest, and played MUD games before that. Use to know all about the hardware back then, looking to get back into geek shape.
February 22, 2012 5:00:54 PM

an i3 2100 is enough for now, but might start to become a bottleneck some time in the future. It also cannot be overclocked (more than like, 5%) But if you buy a Z68 board, most likely you can upgrade to an ivy bridge CPU (not out yet) if you start to have problems.
The i5 2500K is a little overkill right now unless you have 2-3 high end graphics cards. (at stock speeds SWToR seems to be between 20-40% CPU load) It overclocks easily and alot. So you will probably not have issues with CPU power for gaming for a long time.
Now the i5 2500K (and the 2500 and 2400 which is almost the same, but does not have unlocked overclocking) Is quite overkill when paired with a 6750 or 6770 HD (yes I am aware that I have a 5770 myself :3).
You would get the most performance out of taking the i3 2100 or 2120 and then spending the money saved on better graphics card.

If you want to be fairly certain to have ivy bridge support and/or be able to overclock I would choose a Z68 motherboard. If you are fine without those things, a H61 board can be quite cheap, but also have few features in general.

EDIT: don't forget to get some RAM aswell. I suggest you find a 2x4gb 1600mhz kit. Ram speed is not all that important (at least it is usually plenty) but the RAM prices up to 1600mhz is almost identical anyway. Where I buy, the Corsair vengeance LP was not much more expensive than the cheapest stuff around. If you get RAM with heatsinks, remember that tall heatsinks might attempt to occopy the same space as a cooler for the CPU. A big cooler like that will only be relevant if/when you want to overclock however. Also, for 97% of users, heatblocks on ram are just for looks (FACT: 98% of percentage numbers are made up on the spot)
February 23, 2012 4:06:26 AM

Ok, so been doing some additional reading and along with your advice I edited my Newegg list, deleted the AMD board and CPU and added:

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

Intel BOXDZ68BC LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

And

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

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32100

And for memory:

CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ4GX3M1A1600C9B

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

I guess, the only questions I have left that I can think of, will the power supply I listed above be adequate? And the graphics card size/brand ok?

Best solution

February 23, 2012 6:16:31 AM
Share

The Intel motherboards are reportedly very durable, but not that many features for the price. I picked this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Which is quite a bit cheaper and can still sport 2 graphic cards if you wish to in the future (and is cabable of PCI-E 3.0 if paired with an ivy bridge processor, so you know they will be supported).

With a price difference non existant I would choose the i3 2120 instead http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It is 200mhz faster and has hyper threading (so it can in some cases do 4 things at once despite only 2 cores)

In my oppinion, the low profile Vengeance look better, and you will not have to worry about conflict with a cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Same price aswell. Of cause, the way they are smaller they don't stand out as much.

The XFX cores edition is good quality, 550w is more than enough for 6750 or 6770, Should also do it for something bigger, the top-cards would be a squeese though, I think.

I would recommend at least a 6770 HD. For your current MMO's that should provide good fps at fairly high settings. If you want it to be plenty for the future, and current demanding games, you might wish to consider something better, such as GTX 560/6870HD or even GTX 560 Ti/6950HD.
If you look at the software category in Toms articles, you can find some performance analysis which are quite good at giving an idea what you need for games to play well: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Solutions,3/Softwar...
EDIT: If you look at those performance analysis, the 5770HD is the same as a 6770HD (perhaps the 6770 is 2-3% better due to new bios)
EDIT2: Todays article should also give a good idea what sort of settings you can play at, even paired with the i3 2100: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-4100-core-i3-210...
February 23, 2012 11:23:02 AM

Alright man, I've made the changes. I agree with you on the CPU, surprised I didn't catch that. Looking over it all, it looks like a pretty solid system.

I ordered the case last night, I wonder if I could paint the inside of it, that would look pretty sweet.

I've got three kids, about to drop 500 bucks on one to have his tonsils taken out. So I'm going to take my time and buy each piece as the budget allows. I appreciate all your help. When I get it built I'll post some pics.
March 1, 2012 2:24:14 AM

Best answer selected by macten.
!