After the case -- reading recommends

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After the case -- reading recommends

Postby mooresmsr » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:25 pm

I put a topic up for selecting a full tower case, and got good information about full and mid-tower choices, and I'm on the job deciding on a new case. I've read enough here to know it doesn't pay to get a "just get by" power supply, so I'd like a recommend or two on which suppliers make PSs that last. My previous PC went through 4 power supplies in 4 years before I got the one I have now (400 watts, too small for new world), and I don't want to do that again.

What I'm really after is a place or web site that has some current newbie information about today's MB and peripheral technology. When I built my last PC, I spent some time looking into northbridge and southbridge and other 2003 technology, and, since the box I built basically worked just fine and I didn't have a need to upgrade, I've ignored almost everything but USB 2.0 till now. When I look at MB reviews, I see stuff about ivy bridge, thunderbolt, integrated ssd, and bunches of processors I don't understand, but with some reading, will understand. However, I can't find a location or book that covers most of what I need to study.

Suggestions?

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Postby evasive » Thu Apr 04, 2013 5:51 am

the same basics still apply.

what will you be using the system for
what is your budget
are you planning on upgrading to new technology anytime soon
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Postby Karlsweldt » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:42 am

Evasive puts forth the best advice: Design your computer around what you will use it for.. and what hedges you want against future obsolescence.
As to small DC fans, look for ball-bearing types. They last much longer than the sleeve-type.

One of the best guides to repairing or upgrading PCs is from Scott Mueller, now in its 21st edition.. "Upgrading And Repairing PCs".
Not really expensive, considering its depth of knowledge and description of how the mysterious PC works. All fields are covered, from the BIOS to the WiFi field.
Other great reference books are available, from sites such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon, to name a few. You can even get an E-book version of some reference tomes!
F@H.. to solve mankind's maladies.. in our lifetimes!
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Thanks for pointer

Postby mooresmsr » Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:24 am

Karlsweldt,

Thanks for the pointer to Scott's book. I read some of the stuff on Amazon about it, and it sounds like exactly what I need to get up to speed and be able to make sound decisions.

Evasive,

Budget is under $2500. Not looking for gamer specs, just a good, solid box that will last me another 10 years (OK, maybe 5). Speedy processor, but not overclocked; lots of hard drive space (not totally comfy with the "cloud"); Good memory so box doesn't thrash; blu-ray and good-to-great video card to handle movies, both disk and network. I'm retired, and spend time researching whatever interests me at the time on the internet (currently deep in Plantagenet / Tudor royal family history, for instance), some spreadsheet stuff, a little gaming (current favorite is Civ III -- old school, but I like it). I could probably buy a Dell or HP and be quite happy, but I had a great time building my first box, and want to do it again, which means I need to find out if thunderbolt is something from Zeus, a feature in an Avenger movie, or a hardware offering that I need to study to see if I think I'll want it or not (I did guess right about firewire and just ignored it in my last build).....

SMM
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Postby bdub » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:59 pm

for that kind of scratch you can build a mighty machine... (and it would be hard not to have "gamer specs").
i'd suggest you start with this chip...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116492
you could spend another $500 to move up to the next level, but that is truly overkill for what you need.
this mobo to run it...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128562
16 gigs of ram (4x4, upgradeable to 8x4 in the future (8 slots))...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820226281
nice strong vidcard...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814125413
and a solid psu to run it all...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817151109

you still have ~$900 or so to get a solid state disk for OS, and a big 2 TB drive for data, and the bd burner, and a case (casefans, cpu hs/fan or water cooling), OS... all should easily fit in this budget.

my only thought is maybe buy the lesser 2011 cpu ($300, i think) for now, and when 2011 ivy bridge is released get that, but i'm not sure how far down the road that is gonna happen or even if it is before intel's next iteration comes out (haswell?).
my main rig...
asrock 970 extreme3
AMD athlonII X3 440
zalman cpns5x performa hs/fan
crucial ballistix 2x4gb sport ddr3-1333
powercolor ax7750 1GBK3-H vga
antec neo he 650r
Samsung 840 EVo SSD 120 GB
toshiba 2TB HDD 64M cache sata3
seagate 1TB HDD 64M cache sata3
hitachi 2TB HDD 64M cache sata3
lg wh14ns40 bd burner
optiarc ad-7240s sata dvdrw (nec chipset)
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Postby c327 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:53 am

Very interesting post.

I can pass on my experience on how I went about building my very first PC and possibly you can make something of it.

A pretty long time ago when I first decided I want to get a PC I went and bought one from a store. 5 PC's later I realized that by buying these PC's I wasn't getting what I really wanted, which was something that I was able to customize to some degree that wasn't available from the stores at the time (Dell, Gateway etc).

At the time building a PC vs. buying a store bought PC was less expensive and it offered more choices and when I need hardware I didn't have to go back to the manufacturer for parts (proprietary hardware).

I decided to build my own but didn't know how or what components to use. I knew what I wanted the PC to do when it was completed, so I had a destination. I knew what my budget would allow so the only thing left was to figure out how to do it.

I spent one full year doing MY OWN research. I subscribed to two well known PC magazines and joined 4 or 5 PC tech forums and the Mother Boards forum right here was the top place for me to go. I asked all kinds of newbie questions and did a ton of reading from all sorts and after the year was up, I knew what it was I wanted to build and what parts I needed. I waited until I had all the money in place and went and bought all the hardware at the same time and it took me all of 4 hours to put the PC together my very first time. I had no issues with it and still have this PC today which still works fine.

Yes it would have been easier to ask folks what should I buy but by doing it that way I may have ended up with not what I really wanted. By doing it my way at the end of the years worth of research I knew exactly what I wanted to build and exactly what hardware I needed to buy.

Today building vs buying ready built may not be as cost saving as it was once because some factory made manufacturers now offer better performance and have the buying power we all don't have but still they have their grasp on the PC.

Budget is a big consideration and there is no two ways about it. Building a quality PC has its advantages over a thrifty built in some ways. Usually it will last longer and stay in flavor longer, not to mention probably perform better also.

If ones intended us is just general home use (email, browsing and light photo precessing) then cost wise and effort wise a pre-rebuilt bought around the holiday's may be the best way to go. If one wants more control over what their PC will and can do along with having the option of making changes to it down the road then a custom built may be in the mix.

The main thing when building is making sure all hardware is happily married with each other. It seems to me that desktop PC's are not as popular as they once were. There are some really nice laptops out there that can do pretty much what a desktop can do. A quality custom built desktop or a quality laptop will set one back around $2000. probably more.

There are some areas that corners can be cut that won't have an affect on performance or longevity but the MOBO, PSU, CPU and Memory aren't one of them.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:28 am

There really is nothing wrong with "package" deals from known brand companies. Their only fault is that they are built (assembled!) to perform as stated, nothing more.. unless you do an upgradeable model. Some brands are "as they come", with little chance to make them better.. or upgrade.
Best choice for a serious PC user is to DIY with what you know is needed.. and have the open field of upgrades always available.
My main system has been in service for more than 10 years.. with three total upgrades. The case is a full-tower model, and very well built. Air flow is optimal, so no worries about a "hot box" problem. Premium-grade PSU and heat sink/fan ensure a long service life.
As to graphics use, choose a card with minimal 512 MB of its own memory. This will provide great video for almost all needs, unless into intensive high-speed gaming. For this mode, perhaps a dual video card setup would be the only path. But that is for purists only, no?
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Experience circa 2003

Postby mooresmsr » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:40 am

When I built my PC in 2003, I did much the same thing -- a bunch of reading, piled up the money, then bought and assembled. The only shortcut I took was that the Mobo folks would install the chip, memory and vid card, test it all, and ship it to you as a unit. I think I'd like the same path this time, but haven't found (or actually looked for very hard) a supplier that will do this. Waiting for the Scott Mueller book.

Back in 2003, the recommend forum was where I got tons of info from Mother Board, but it doesn't look as active today as it was back then. Which forums are the info-what the hell is this-I have a question - forums today?
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Postby evasive » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:51 am

For building a new system, this is the one. You want an opinion or recommandation on what to use. Oh and don't be too afraid to post in the wrong forum, if we see a lost post we put it in the right forum, no further actions needed...
We hate rut, but we fear change.
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Question(s) for bdub

Postby mooresmsr » Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:48 pm

bdub,

you listed some hardware recommends, and I have a couple of preliminary questions, before I start in-depth looking.

1. My last build (yes, it was a long time ago) used an Asus motherboard, and while it went downlevel quickly, I really haven't had any complaint with it. I see a lot of articles about Gigabyte, and not so many about Asus. What's the current feeling (or at least yours) on choosing Gig over Asus?

2. You recommended Mushkin memory. I thought Crucial was the gold standard. Is Mushkin better today, or was that a price decision, or has memory become a commodity?

3. Video card -- same as number 1 -- I used an Nvidia board for a long time (till the fan gave out, and I found out that nobody sells AGP stuff anymore- well, almost nobody). I was happy with the Nvidia. The little looking I did do makes me think the motherboard manufacturers have taken the technology and tweaked it for their own use and name -- hence the Radeon board with Gigabyte name. It looks like Asus does the same thing, but with Nvidia. Is there a noticeable difference for semi-vanilla users like me, or is Radeon technology the go-to group today?

Still waiting for Amazon to deliver the Mueller book, but looking forward to it.


Thanks for the forum info, evasive. Any great reason there isn't tons of activity here right now? I remember in 2003, I'd make a post and check back in a day or two, and it would have been shoved down to page 2, 3, or 4.

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