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Author Topic: I'm Going to Build a PC. Suggestions?  (Read 11493 times)
4wd
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« Reply #50 on: April 04, 2012, 05:39:59 AM »

Even though we have been talking about Intel chips in this thread I still prefer AMD in terms of bang for buck - they are just so my cheaper than Intel offerings - and I have found my Phenom II x6 very good - certainly spending two to three times the price on an i5 or i7 is hard to justify.

I always prefer AMD for the same reason but for others I'll recommend Intel because they always seem that little bit more stable and the less I get rung up about something, the better.

On a side note, I've just been given a Phenom II X6 1100T so  
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MilesOhToole
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« Reply #51 on: April 10, 2012, 03:57:27 AM »

Well, I placed my order but the guy at Global said the Gigabyte motherboard was discontinued.  Sure enough, I can't find it at Newegg or Tigerdirect, either, but at this time, I'm seeing it provided as a refurbished unit at http://www.globalcomputer...No=2055964&CatId=6975

Should I buy that refurbished Mobo (at the same price as the new original mobo, I might add) or is there something else that's equivalent that I should get?   

As a side-note, I got Windows 7 64-bit Professional for $68 and Office 2010 for free, no shipping cost.  I won't bore you with the details but it was quite stressful and it involved my wife (the college student) accusing me of being reckless with our credit card, online, and thinking we got scammed.   My wife was extremely upset and called the toll-free number and the supervisor at Microsoft Store showed some real sympathy for her and ultimately we were the fortunate party.  I'll elaborate if anyone's interested.  In the end, I'll have to congratulate Microsoft for their customer support.  It was an adventure for a few hours, that's for sure.

I also received my Antec case, through Amazon.  That thing is amazing!  I might set up my tent and sleep in it tonight.

Thanks, everyone!
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4wd
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« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2012, 04:54:10 AM »

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel Z68 Chipset, 2133MHz DDR3, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, RAID, 7.1-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, CrossFireX/SLI Ready

Pretty much the same specs for $149.99, (less with rebate) - has onboard gfx which won't be used, only two USB3 ports, (but eight USB2 ports), no PCIe x4/x8 slots but unless you're going to plug in a RAID, USB3 or SATA6 card, (which can also fit in the extra PCIe x16 slot), it's unlikely you'll need them.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2012, 06:37:24 AM »

I wouldn't touch reburbished motherboards with a barge pole.
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Tinman57
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« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2012, 06:52:17 PM »

  One of the most overlooked components on a computer system is the power unit.  Make sure you get one that has enough connections and wattage for what your putting into it, and a little more for future "enhancements/upgrades".  For the ultimate game machine with lot's of energy eating CPU's,GPU's, components, etc, the power unit needs to be around 500 watts.
  There is a help file on the net somewhere called "The Truth About Power Supplies" or something to that effect that will help guide you to finding the best PS for your computer specs, plus it tells you a secret or two about what specs to look for....

  I've never dealt with AMD graphics before, even though I am a AMD CPU fan (no not the fan that blows....).  lol  I've always used nVidia graphics, but it just depends on what time of year it is weather it's the top dog or not.  Last I read, nVidia just took the honors again, but that can change in a month or so.....
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2012, 07:25:19 PM »

Sadly I don't recall the precise specs I put into my comp, but as general advice, plan on making it last 8 years. That means spending a little more on misc components. The Power Supply post above is in that ballpark. So is a little extra ram. So is slightly better casing and fan. I (think) I put in a special digital converter chip because I make so many hobby copies of music ripped speed and pitch down. Better quality low level parts. etc. I have 1.74 terabytes of HD.

In return my then-high-end box from 2006 for some $1800 is still mid grade today, and I'm waiting out the whole Win8 fiasco. By the time it settles down into either Win7-or-bust or Win9 my design goal will be complete.


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Tinman57
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« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2012, 06:24:04 PM »

  I inherited my present computer from my dad when he passed away back in 03.  He had bought this top of the line puter about 6 months prior, a HP Pavilion 9880 with a 1.5 ghz Intel cpu.  Soon after I got it I proceeded to upgrading it.  Wink
  First thing I did was to blow away Winblows ME and installed XP SP3, then I added another half gig of RAM.  Then I pulled out the 1.5 ghz cpu and installed a 2.8 ghz P4, replaced the CD to a DVD +-RW dual layer drive and a 52X CD RW, doubled the hard drive space, added an external 1 tb hard drive, replaced the graphics card with an nVidia 7600GS GPU with 512 mb on-board RAM, Audigy ZS surround sound card, bigger badder cooling fan + an extra cooling fan, bigger badder power supply and a host of other "little" things.  Needless to say, even today this computer is faster than greased snot.  Wink
  I haven't been happy with Windows since they bombed us with Vista (even though ME was a tragedy), and now they're going to bomb us with Win 8 Metrocrap.  Either they'll get their stuff together or I'll install Linux and use this computer for another 10 years.   undecided  I just hate to have to abandon all of my Windows software, like ScreenShotCaptor.  Cry
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4wd
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« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2012, 07:24:33 PM »

.... plan on making it last 8 years..

I have a different philosophy these days regarding computers:

Buy one generation behind the current - it will do the job for years ahead, it will cost heaps less and you'll be able to upgrade more often.

The old components get recycled into another whole computer for someone else or used for upgrading relatives computers, (my mum's still using my old Athlon XP 2500 machine - she doesn't want it upgraded because it just works).
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MilesOhToole
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« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2012, 09:53:48 PM »

GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Intel Z68 Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA 1155), Intel Z68 Chipset, 2133MHz DDR3, SATA 6.0 Gb/s, RAID, 7.1-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, CrossFireX/SLI Ready

Pretty much the same specs for $149.99, (less with rebate) - has onboard gfx which won't be used, only two USB3 ports, (but eight USB2 ports), no PCIe x4/x8 slots but unless you're going to plug in a RAID, USB3 or SATA6 card, (which can also fit in the extra PCIe x16 slot), it's unlikely you'll need them.

Thanks!  I've put the order in, along with a 1.5 TB HDD that I'll end up using for secondary storage after I RMA my failed 500 GB Seagate drive.  I'm now wondering if that 5900 RPM will simply annoy me at the end of the day, though.

Also, a few years ago (maybe 3) I had my heatsink separate from the CPU and bought some Arctic Silver 5 to fix it.  Is is still good to use or should I buy more thermal paste?
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4wd
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« Reply #59 on: April 12, 2012, 03:48:50 AM »

As long as the tube it came in was sealed, then there should be no problem.

I still use stuff that's years old without a problem.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #60 on: April 12, 2012, 04:36:47 AM »

Ditto - I use Arctic Silver that is a few years old too - just squeeze a small blob out and discard if it looks as though the nozzle has started to dry out - the stuff inside the tube should be fine.
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wraith808
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« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2012, 09:19:48 AM »

I'm also thinking about this monitor, mainly due to it's 2ms response, size, price and the reviews are pretty good.  Thoughts?

That price doesn't look so good to me... especially in a non-LED backlit monitor.

http://www.newegg.com/Pro...aspx?Item=N82E16824236175

If I'm paying near $150, I'm going for a bit larger monitor, LED backlit.

I wouldn't touch reburbished motherboards with a barge pole.

This.
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Tinman57
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« Reply #62 on: April 12, 2012, 06:07:46 PM »

OK, I hear you guys.

How about this monitor?  Oh, and a link in case that one doesn't open for our friends across the pond here.

I have never heard of I-Inc but most of the online reviews I've seen are positive and, as mentioned by Innuendo, it has a 16:10 aspect ratio.

  I just bought the 23 in ASUS LED backlit monitor and only paid $168, and it's totally awesome.  Has the "Splendid" Video Intelligence Technology that save you a lot of time adjusting the monitor automatically.
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MilesOhToole
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« Reply #63 on: April 21, 2012, 07:15:11 AM »

OK, guys...I'm now 8 hours into my PC build and officially exhausted.  I've got to sleep right after this post.

And sorry I haven't been active here, lately.  I've worked 6 days, straight with a 12-hour shift thrown in to make sure I have no life, whatsoever.

So, after hours of pouring over various manuals and research on the internet, I was finally finished with the PC, all except for the video card.  I left that for last, just so I could see if the system would POST and all that.

I really had my doubts.  I expected a complete failure, as I'm so exhausted from such a long day and stayed up WAY past my bedtime.  (Luckily, I'm off tomorrow).

So, my PC works, as far as I know, since it did POST and I was able to install Windows 7 Pro 64.  I don't know about the front-side USB and audio yet...no time to test it.

I have a question, though.  Like I said earlier, I bought Windows 7 at a discounted price since my wife is in college.  They mailed me 2 discs, one labeled Windows 7 Professional 32 Bit and another, Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit Upgrade.

Do I have to install the 32 bit first?  Because I skipped that one and went straight for the 64 Bit one, instead.  Install went fine, but when I tried to type in the registration key, it was denied...twice. The registration key was emailed to my wife's college address from Microsoft.  Of course, I was able to finish install, but why isn't the key working?  And, I only have one key, not like I have one for both versions.  Oh, and they failed to give me Office 2010.  I only have a download available for Windows and they sent a backup copy on disc, free of charge.  I'm not even going to bother with that.  I'll download OpenOffice, instead.

I took various pictures of the build that I'll upload later.  I really thought I would be able to do some clever cable management, but that thing is a mess.  Cables just don't seem to be long enough to reroute and it's eSpaghetti, in there.  Probably my fault, as it's my first build and not understanding what should go where, first, and what will get in the way of the other thing.

Hey, at least (so far) I plugged the right cables into the right hardware and it's actually working!!!

Thanks to all of you for helping!
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4wd
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« Reply #64 on: April 21, 2012, 07:38:53 AM »

Do I have to install the 32 bit first?

No.

Quote
Install went fine, but when I tried to type in the registration key, it was denied...twice.

Right-click Computer->Properties->Change Product KeyActivate Now

Enter your key there and it should register just fine - I have to do the same thing because I'm using an "upgrade" DVD to do a scratch install.

As a side note to your build, I picked up the February issue of Australian PC User from the local library the other day and they had a feature on upgrades:
Intel Core i5-2500K (PCUser Best Buy) - Comparing it to an i7-2700K:- Only until they overclocked the i7 to 4.4GHz was it able to get ahead of the i5 @ 4.4GHz in their benchmarks - that's got to say something about the sheer grunt the i5 has.
As they put it:
Quote
Ask yourself which do you want: 5% more speed or AU$140 in your pocket?

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (PCUser Best Buy)
Radeon HD6850 or HD6870 - Best cards under AU$200
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 01:03:19 AM by 4wd » Logged

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MilesOhToole
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« Reply #65 on: April 21, 2012, 11:50:36 PM »

Do I have to install the 32 bit first?

No.

Quote
Install went fine, but when I tried to type in the registration key, it was denied...twice.

Right-click Computer->Properties->Change Product Key

Enter your key there and it should register just fine - I have to do the same thing because I'm using an "upgrade" DVD to do a scratch install.

As a side note to your build, I picked up the February issue of Australian PC User from the local library the other day and they had a feature on upgrades:
Intel Core i5-2500K (PCUser Best Buy) - Comparing it to an i7-2700K:- Only until they overclocked the i7 to 4.4GHz was it able to get ahead of the i5 @ 4.4GHz in their benchmarks - that's got to say something about the sheer grunt the i5 has.
As they put it:
Quote
Ask yourself which do you want: 5% more speed or AU$140 in your pocket?

Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (PCUser Best Buy)
Radeon HD6850 or HD6870 - Best cards under AU$200

Well, I did what you said and now it's coming up with "The Software Licensing Service determined this key is...for upgrading, not clean installation."

I just double-checked and, yep, I only have that one key.  And microsoft store is closed right now, of course.  I have 2 more days left.

Edited above.  Actually, it says 2 more days before automatic activation.  So, will it automatically activate without me having to do anything?  I don't really understand that.
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4wd
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« Reply #66 on: April 22, 2012, 12:41:33 AM »

Well, I did what you said and now it's coming up with "The Software Licensing Service determined this key is...for upgrading, not clean installation."

That's what I usually get...wait, I think I got that the wrong way round.

Click the Activate now link, select Activate online now and then enter the key.



Sorry, the Change Product link if for you buy an Upgrade to Professional or Ultimate - you just enter the key and the requisite features are enabled.

Quote
Actually, it says 2 more days before automatic activation.  So, will it automatically activate without me having to do anything?  I don't really understand that.

It will go into trial mode which lasts for 30 days, after that time you have to activate it, remove it or rearm.

As you can see from the pic above, there's 22 days left to activate, (WHS 2011), when it gets close to 0 days I can enter the following at a CLI prompt, (assuming I haven't bought it by then):

slmgr.vbs –rearm

After reboot, I'll have another 30 days grace period - I can do this 3 times for a total of 120 days activation grace period.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 12:48:56 AM by 4wd » Logged

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MilesOhToole
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« Reply #67 on: April 22, 2012, 12:51:42 AM »

That's what I usually get...wait, I think I got that the wrong way round.

Click the Activate now link, select Activate online now and then enter the key.
 (see attachment in previous post)
Sorry, the Change Product link if for you buy an Upgrade to Professional or Ultimate - you just enter the key and the requisite features are enabled.

It will go into trial mode which lasts for 30 days, after that time you have to activate it, remove it or rearm.

As you can see from the pic above, there's 22 days left to activate, (WHS 2011), when it gets close to 0 days I can enter the following at a CLI prompt, (assuming I haven't bought it by then):

slmgr.vbs –rearm

After reboot, I'll have another 30 days grace period - I can do this 3 times for a total of 120 days activation grace period.

Oh, haha...well, somehow I read "change product key" and it completely left my brain, so I did do the activate now.

Thanks for the help and I'll try it again.  If I'm unsuccessful, I'll call Microsoft tomorrow morning.

I just found this.  I wonder if it really works.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 01:00:39 AM by MilesOhToole » Logged
4wd
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« Reply #68 on: April 22, 2012, 01:10:05 AM »

Oh, haha...well, somehow I read "change product key" and it completely left my brain, so I did do the activate now.

Well put it this way, one of those links will accept the cd-key - that's the only way I've done it.

I've never had to call Microsoft even though I'm using Upgrade media for Clean install, (since you need to Clean install anyway if you had XP, I don't see much point in installing XP first just to verify that I'm Upgrading XP).
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #69 on: April 22, 2012, 04:37:21 AM »

Windows should just activate or click activate now.

If it complains there is something wrong somewhere.

Change Product Key isn't used for upgrading - you do that through the Anytime Upgrade window. It maybe the original key you type was incorrect - use change product key again and enter the key again - make sure to distinguish the letter B and number 8 - I have had a number of occasions when they are almost imperceptibly different on the labels. After entering they key use activate now or let it activate immediately if offered - make sure you have an active internet connection before you start.

The only reasons for activation to fails after that are:

  • You tried to activate too many times in quick succession and so the server refuses to allow further automatic activation.
  • You have a dodgy key - a while ago MS used to produce OEM packages with the keys on the outside - if you got old stock someone may have already used it. Recently the keys have been on the inside of the packaging.
  • You still have the wrong key entered - but that is unlikely because the system won't accept one it doesn't consider valid.
  • Microsoft server are screwed (probably most likely)

In any of these scenarios you need to call Microsoft and get a manual activation key.

Have you tried the MS automated phone system - that should work 24/7. Your local number shows up when activation fails. (Sorry haven't read all the comments above).
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