Newbie intro and need some advice!

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Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby davidnavratil » Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:27 pm

My name is David and 1st time computer builder. A little about myself, senior, not into gameing or video editing, I have a desktop at home with Windows 7 and use it for spreadsheets and watching blu ray movies at time. I bought this system new in 2009. It's a Compaq cq5210f with windows 7 preinstalled, 3 gb ram max and 500 gb hd. I have it hooked up to a 24" Samsung TV/Monitor and it works perfect with 1080P, never had a problem yet but of course I can't expand anything at all!!

I need some advice on getting a motherboard to start.

Here is a list of needs and don't need for a motherboard

01 - No liquid cooled system
02 - No raid is needed (Have no idea what it is anyway)
03 - Would like to use a AMD CPU With graphics on chip
04 - At least 1 HDMI output
05 - At least 1 USB 3.0 port
06 - No video card needed
07 - On board audio would be nice (I don't want a soundcard)
08 - No need for multi-monitor support
09 - Motherboard should be able to support at least 16 gb of DDR3 ram
10 - The main thing is I don't want to be using any PCI cards if I don't have to.
11 - I want a 64 bit system, not 32 - but I don't know if the motherboard determines that or not
12 - Don't understand about form factors yet either
13 - For the motherboard and CPU I would spend about $200.00 (Remember I'm not a poweruser or gamer, just like to watch bluray
1080p movies)
14 - As you can tell I don't want to attach a lot of stuff to the motherboard - I guess just the cpu and ram!!

When all you computer geeks are finished laughing at this post, any suggestions would be kindly received!! Tks for reading, David
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Re: Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby Toby B. » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:50 am

I guess first and foremost, we need to clarify the expandability issue.. You state that the Compaq machine cannot be expanded, I am assuming due to the tiny case style. But then proceed to mention the lack of desire to expand the build via add in cards, etc..

1.) onboard video will eventually leave you hanging wanting more/better.
2.) Intel also does offer processors with video/graphics on the chip.
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Re: Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby Mr T » Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:42 am

If you are not gaming or video editing, 16Gb of RAm is going to be wasted... If you wish to watch blu-ray and esp if you want to watch blu-ray in 3D, you need a seperate video card. The AMD's with one built in (APU's) are ok for the playback, but can lag and are not great at all for 3D playback. If you are not interested in 3D (I know a lot of people are not, esp my wife), you have plenty of options.

AMD

Look at FM2 or even cheaper AM1 - both have inbuilt video and both support DDR3.
AM1 are very cheap, you can get a 2Ghz AM1 and motherboard with USB3 for $110. The board will take 16Gb of RAM, but all you need is 8 and you are good to go. Couple that with a decent case, power supply (you won't need a biggie for one of these, look at 300w minimum), solid state drive (speed things up) and a blu-ray drive (with software, you need legal software to play blu-ray as they are pretty stringently copyright protected), you will be good to go.
FM2 have graphics on board too, but are a bit dearer than the AM1.

Intel

Not as cheap, more expensive processors, more expensive motherboards. They are good at what they do, but are a lot better for high end stuff (like video editing).

Don't skimp on the brand and price of the power supply - cheap is not good.
Don't skimp on the brand of RAM either and make sure it is compatible with whatever motherboard you buy.

And don't forget to factor in the price of an operating system (unless you go open source which is free - Linux, not really for the beginner). Don't let people knock you about windows 8. It is much the same as windows 7, is newer, quicker and newer - windows XP is out, gone ,finished with no more support. From experience go with the latest, it is not that bad!
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
I am an apprentice trained Electronics Engineer with qualifications to back it up.
I have been repairing computers since 1996.
Yet to some people I still know nothing...
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Re: Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby davidnavratil » Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:58 am

I've submitted the same info at a couple of sites and I seem to have a lot of people confused!! I told you I was a newbie and really don't know where to start first. Tom's Hardware site mentioned that I should decide on a CPU before anything else. I did some internet surfing the past 4 days and the AMD A8-6600k looks like good, it has 4 cores, on board graphics and seems to be a recent product. The motherboard that can go with this is a GA-F2a88XM-D3H. I don't know how to put links in these posts, sorry. I'm interest in the suggestion "Mr. T" offered and will research them this evening.

I will probably have to go with a video card of some kind, all of the forums have told me that. I'm just worried about how to install it on the mother board, that's why I tried to make it as simple as I could!! - Tks for all the responses and sorry to confuse everyone!! David
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Re: Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby davidnavratil » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:06 pm

Nice response, I checking out your info this evening, very nice of your effort!! David


Mr T wrote:If you are not gaming or video editing, 16Gb of RAm is going to be wasted... If you wish to watch blu-ray and esp if you want to watch blu-ray in 3D, you need a seperate video card. The AMD's with one built in (APU's) are ok for the playback, but can lag and are not great at all for 3D playback. If you are not interested in 3D (I know a lot of people are not, esp my wife), you have plenty of options.

AMD

Look at FM2 or even cheaper AM1 - both have inbuilt video and both support DDR3.
AM1 are very cheap, you can get a 2Ghz AM1 and motherboard with USB3 for $110. The board will take 16Gb of RAM, but all you need is 8 and you are good to go. Couple that with a decent case, power supply (you won't need a biggie for one of these, look at 300w minimum), solid state drive (speed things up) and a blu-ray drive (with software, you need legal software to play blu-ray as they are pretty stringently copyright protected), you will be good to go.
FM2 have graphics on board too, but are a bit dearer than the AM1.

Intel

Not as cheap, more expensive processors, more expensive motherboards. They are good at what they do, but are a lot better for high end stuff (like video editing).

Don't skimp on the brand and price of the power supply - cheap is not good.
Don't skimp on the brand of RAM either and make sure it is compatible with whatever motherboard you buy.

And don't forget to factor in the price of an operating system (unless you go open source which is free - Linux, not really for the beginner). Don't let people knock you about windows 8. It is much the same as windows 7, is newer, quicker and newer - windows XP is out, gone ,finished with no more support. From experience go with the latest, it is not that bad!
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Re: Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby Roach412 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:57 pm

davidnavratil wrote:I've submitted the same info at a couple of sites and I seem to have a lot of people confused!! I told you I was a newbie and really don't know where to start first. Tom's Hardware site mentioned that I should decide on a CPU before anything else. I did some internet surfing the past 4 days and the AMD A8-6600k looks like good, it has 4 cores, on board graphics and seems to be a recent product. The motherboard that can go with this is a . I don't know how to put links in these posts, sorry. I'm interest in the suggestion "Mr. T" offered and will research them this evening.

I will probably have to go with a video card of some kind, all of the forums have told me that. I'm just worried about how to install it on the mother board, that's why I tried to make it as simple as I could!! - Tks for all the responses and sorry to confuse everyone!! David


don't be concerned about installing a video card - it's as simple as installing RAM, honestly boards now make it nearly foolproof. the only consideration i've taken recently on GPUs is the length of the card itself, because sometimes in certain cases it can be too long and interfere with hard drive cages, or cable management. one of the unseen pitfalls of building.

there's a number of different boards that are compatible with the FM2 processors - the one you linked is pretty popular and seems to have pretty good reviews overall. be aware that the board you linked to is a micro board, so it's measurably smaller than a standard board. you will have fewer expansion slots for any additional parts in the future...and my favorite part is that it looks really tiny in a standard case(or a full tower like i have currently). :wink:

there's generally nothing different with a micro board vs. non-micro, except the size. the functionality of the boards are rarely any different than a "normal" sized one...just thought i would make sure you understood the differences(you can look at the board size HxW on most sites, so you can see if your case will accomodate.

when i first started building i basically looked at other's build threads...stole their ideas, changed them to meet my needs, and then posted my new ideas to see if they made sense. it really comes down to what you NEED the machine to do, what you WANT the machine to do, and how much you want to spend on those individual components that give you your needs and wants the most. i've typically built from the case and power supply backwards. i pick what i want for a case(since this can dictate other components, like GPU number and size, heat, HDDs, motherboards...etc). i then choose a high quality powersupply that will easily meet my needs. that's my baseline, my "must spend". from there it's balacing GPU power, or memory size/speeds, or CPU capabilities - hard drive size/types...lots of give and take. but it still comes down to NEED vs WANT. i WANT all solid state drives, but do i NEED them? do you NEED 1tb of solid state drives, or can you do with 256gb and grab a 1tb normal drive for storage for half the price?

you can always come up with a complete list of just your dream WANTS and trim down until you meet your budget based on your needs...sometimes that's easier. it's a learning experience, one that gets a little easier with trial and error. i still have a hard time scaling back on my wants to reach a budgetable build though... :(

-Roach
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Re: Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby davidnavratil » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:20 am

I've been looking into the "AM1" CPU's as Mr. T suggested. I found the AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini 4 core unit looks very interesting! It has 64 bit support, On board graphics and can't argue with price (Includes heat sink and fan). Now I assume to match this with a motherboard I have to look for a motherboard that supports AM1 socket (Remember you guys, I'm a newbie). I went to PCpartpicker and when I entered the CPU I did not get a lot of motherboards that are compatible. Most of these are of the ITX form factor and only offer 2 SATAs storage ports. If I went with an ITX MB would I be able to install this in a Mini ATX case? What do you think of the ASRock AM1B-ITX AM1 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX AMD Motherboard? This has 4 SATA ports!! - Tks for reading - David
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Re: Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby Karlsweldt » Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:29 am

We all were "newbies" at one time. We learn from doing and guidance, and might become pros some day!
On-board video (embedded) is good enough for most uses, but not great for gaming. Plus the CPU has to do double duty in separating the data and rendering the video images. Plus a certain amount of main system memory is dedicated to that on-board video need.
The few critical points of any computer build is to ensure the components are compatible with each other.. memory matching the bus speed and slot type, a video card matched to the slot.. and a CPU that is listed as compatible to the circuit limits. The PSU is the highest on the critical list.. should be at least 25% more wattage than the system requires. And not an "unknown" brand!
The floppy drive is not used much with today's systems, so not a requirement. But at least an optical drive that can read and write to CD or DVD disks is required. SSD or solid-state hard drives are becoming popular, but cost a bit more than the standard types.
For a basic system, go with no more than 2 GB of main system memory, minimal 250 GB hard drive and a CPU that is up around 2.5 GHz speed. The latest versions of the CPU can have up to 8 actual cores.. so can perform better than a single core running higher than 3 GHz. A video card of minimal 512 MB would suffice, but a 1 GB model would give superior video satisfaction. For a PSU, no less than 600 watts. With minimal 2 x 12 volt rails.
The OS version is the controlling factor for system memory.. a 32-bit OS can manage about 3.5 GB total system memory, which must include any device memory. A 64-bit OS version can manage over 32 GB of total system memory.. but that might be overkill, unless doing video editing or server duty.
You might want to check some sources like http://www.newegg.com/ for "kits" or 'bare-bones' offers. Some are almost complete except for the OS. Could alleviate some budget pains.

Do put together a "dream list" of your system. And post here.
As to posting active URL links, after you reach your minimal post count, then you can.
Best to post active links in abbreviated form.. as this example: [url={site link}]{title}[/url].
The {site link} is the actual URL you copy and paste to that location, the {title} is the product name or feature.
You don't need those { } brackets in the link.
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Re: Newbie intro and need some advice!

Postby davidnavratil » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:36 am

Karlsweldt - Tks for the detailed response, much appreciated!!

Karlsweldt wrote:We all were "newbies" at one time. We learn from doing and guidance, and might become pros some day!
On-board video (embedded) is good enough for most uses, but not great for gaming. Plus the CPU has to do double duty in separating the data and rendering the video images. Plus a certain amount of main system memory is dedicated to that on-board video need.
The few critical points of any computer build is to ensure the components are compatible with each other.. memory matching the bus speed and slot type, a video card matched to the slot.. and a CPU that is listed as compatible to the circuit limits. The PSU is the highest on the critical list.. should be at least 25% more wattage than the system requires. And not an "unknown" brand!
The floppy drive is not used much with today's systems, so not a requirement. But at least an optical drive that can read and write to CD or DVD disks is required. SSD or solid-state hard drives are becoming popular, but cost a bit more than the standard types.
For a basic system, go with no more than 2 GB of main system memory, minimal 250 GB hard drive and a CPU that is up around 2.5 GHz speed. The latest versions of the CPU can have up to 8 actual cores.. so can perform better than a single core running higher than 3 GHz. A video card of minimal 512 MB would suffice, but a 1 GB model would give superior video satisfaction. For a PSU, no less than 600 watts. With minimal 2 x 12 volt rails.
The OS version is the controlling factor for system memory.. a 32-bit OS can manage about 3.5 GB total system memory, which must include any device memory. A 64-bit OS version can manage over 32 GB of total system memory.. but that might be overkill, unless doing video editing or server duty.
You might want to check some sources like http://www.newegg.com/ for "kits" or 'bare-bones' offers. Some are almost complete except for the OS. Could alleviate some budget pains.

Do put together a "dream list" of your system. And post here.
As to posting active URL links, after you reach your minimal post count, then you can.
Best to post active links in abbreviated form.. as this example: [url={site link}]{title}[/url].
The {site link} is the actual URL you copy and paste to that location, the {title} is the product name or feature.
You don't need those { } brackets in the link.
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What do you think of this?

Postby davidnavratil » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:59 am

David here again - I've been to PCpartpicker for the last day trying to put together a system and wanted some thoughts of my progress.
CPU = [urlhttp://pcpartpicker.com/part/amd-cpu-ad5350jahmbox][/url]
MB = http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-am1bitx
Case = http://pcpartpicker.com/part/thermaltake-case-vp300a6w2n
PS = http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cx430m
Memory = http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-memory-cmv8gx3m2a1600c11 2 X 4GB
Storage = http://pcpartpicker.com/part/seagate-internal-hard-drive-st2000dm001
OD = http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lg-optical-drive-wh16ns40

Thermal Past = http://pcpartpicker.com/part/arctic-silver-thermal-paste-aa14g

I still need to get a video card
So far the total wattage is 84 Watt, Price is $418.00

I know this post is probably messed up since I don't know how to put url links in here. Tks for any input in advance!! David
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