Need to refresh/rebuild my system

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Need to refresh/rebuild my system

Postby gutt3d » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:03 am

I've been out of the game for years. All this "64-bit" stuff is virtually brand new to me :oops: My own system was great in its day (and is still a trooper) but it still only has a single core CPU.

I'm looking to rebuild my rig, which primarily is used for ripping CDs - but with a bit of extra firepower I'd like to use it to transcode music using tools like dBpoweramp etc. A couple of years back I built a cheap new AMD-based system for my wife and it's lightning fast when transcoding from FLAC>>MP3, so I'm after something similar...

Target budget would be no more than £500. This is a bit of a guess, as I don't really know how much things cost these days. If my wishlist means that I'm vastly under-estimating the cost, then I'll revise this figure.

For this I'd be looking to buy:
Motherboard and CPU(s)
RAM
Cheap-ass graphics


Depending on how much change I got from £500, then maybe I could look at getting a couple of bits to make it faster. But primarily this would be a bit of a work horse for ripping, processing, transcoding, etc. I probably would do some gaming on it every now and then - but it'd be very old-school gaming, and wouldn't need particularly exciting graphics.

Stuff that I would like and/or 'need'
CPU processing power!! I'd love to have a motherboard with dual/multiple CPU ports. That? That right there? That'd be awesome - but it's "nice to have" rather than a requirement 8)
Hopefully a motherboard with gigabit Ethernet is a bare minimum these days - this would definitely be a "must have" for me.
USB 3.0 would be a basic requirement too, to make the most of the various external HDDs I currently use.
Plenty of USB ports (not necessarily all USB 3.0) - ideally a minimum of 6
I still have an old monitor without DVI/HDMI - so I'd need something that I could easily connect (via adaptor if needed) to my old kit.
Highest speed SATA I can afford - and as many ports as I can afford - to support existing internal HDDs, and to make most of new HDDs as/when I upgrade.
(Or if SATA is yesterday's news, then whatever is currently fashionable - so long as I can still use my existing internal HDDs for now)

Stuff that I don't think I need for now
PSU: my current (no pun intended) one is a few years old, but is good quality and should be plenty powerful - unless I got multiple CPUs, in which case maybe I'd need to revisit this
Optical drive
HDDs: I'd re-use my existing, but if I got some change from my budget then maybe I could get some faster HDDs
Bleeding edge graphics: would be of no use whatsoever to me - I was never a hard-core gamer
Sound and speakers: this is a ripping station only, and I rarely (if ever) play music through my PC. I'd be happy with basic on-board sound that came with the motherboard.
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Re: Need to refresh/rebuild my system

Postby Karlsweldt » Thu Jun 25, 2015 5:12 am

A 64-bit OS is the coming trend, over a 32-bit OS. More or less here now. We may soon have a 128-bit OS as default.
But some backward compatibility to older standards goes with that.
A multi-core CPU is not as power hungry as equal separate CPUs. The data crunching is shared among cores, rendering data faster than a single core. Each core would have its own instruction cache access for processing data.
AMD and Intel use different formulas to rate their products, but the results are about equal, with similar speed and core count. With today's high FSB speeds, more data flows faster than years ago.
For video needs, HDMI is the best present interface. And there are adapter cables to mate older standards with the new.
USB 3.0 is the latest standard, but is mandated that newer devices are backward compatible to older standards with slower speed. A single PCI-E video card is an effective display engine, and a 1 GB video memory should fill 95% of needs.
SATA is up to a "3" standard, higher data speed. But again compatible to older standards. The latest development with hard drives is to stand the magnetic particles on end instead of flat. This results in higher density storage with less physical size.
Then there are the solid-state drives. Faster than a mechanical hard drive, less power consumption. And almost immune to physical damage.
If your PSU is a few years old, maybe giving it a servicing will extend its life.. cleaning dust out, ensuring the fan(s) are in good health. And inspecting the capacitors for signs of possible failure. Minimum wattage should be up around 700 watts or higher. But use extreme caution when working on a PSU, as dangerous voltages may be present.

To get ideas on your rebuild, check "top ten" comparison listings. And sites such as www.newegg.com/ .
Post a 'want list' here, and let members give pros and cons on what is best.
Good luck with your project!
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Re: Need to refresh/rebuild my system

Postby rascard2007 » Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:35 am

The Graphic Card must be full Directx 11 compatible, because many games today ask for this feature
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Re: Need to refresh/rebuild my system

Postby gutt3d » Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:14 am

Ok - so on first look into this, I'm looking at THIS board from Asus (I have to admit I'm really quite fond of Asus kit - I'm not quite a fanboy, but I've never had a bad experience with Asus so more than happy to stick with them for now). That's around £77 from Amazon.

And while searching for a suitable board, I spotted THIS processor, which looked pretty good (coupled with THIS sort of thing for cooling). APU and cooling combo are about £160(ish) from Amazon.

THIS memory was listed alongside the motherboard, and at around £55 it seemed to be a reasonable price (and had pretty decent reviews on Amazon).

So if I went for this lot as an example I'd be coming in at around £300 - so there'd still be plenty of change left for low/mid-range graphics and maybe even enough spare for a new PSU if needed (I can't remember what PSU I currently have - but I think I might have gone a bit mental and got a pretty high spec PSU, so it might still be perfectly sufficient).

Any comments?

EDIT: I should point out that I have no real preference for AMD vs Intel. All my previous builds have been with Intel, but the last one I built for my wife was AMD and it's pretty sweet. So I'd be happy with either, to be fair. I chose an AMD here just because it would fit nicely within my budget.
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Re: Need to refresh/rebuild my system

Postby gutt3d » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:30 am

Anyone got any comments on the above? Good, bad, otherwise?
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Re: Need to refresh/rebuild my system

Postby Karlsweldt » Tue Jul 07, 2015 3:33 pm

Looks like a good package, but best to check the Asus QVL as to memory types preferred. And what CPU type is compatible, per BIOS version. A lot of sellers of 'package' ads do put together compatible kits, but some just want to sell anything.
As to the PSU, if several years old, may be time for a replacement. But if more than 700 watts, may still be good for a few years more. Check inside (carefully!) as to condition of capacitors. Any that are domed, show leakage, time for a new PSU. The fans in a PSU may only need cleaning and some fresh bearing lube (10W type oil).
To ensure a PSU is safe inside, use a meter set to 250 volts, check those big heat sinks for voltage. Under 20 volts is considered safe.
Be cautious about large CPU cooling features. If very heavy, can bend the motherboard when in vertical mount.
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