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07-23-18 12:46:06 AM

Jul - Computers and Technology - Going to build a computer, looking for some advice New poll - New thread - New reply
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stag019

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Posted on 07-24-12 06:14:15 PM Link | Quote
So I'm starting to get a little sick of my old Dell Dimension 2400 from 2004. Can you blame me? It's done much better than I or anyone else would have ever expected, but it's been time to upgrade for a while now and I'm sick of pouring money into this when it's going to be more or less replaced anyways.

So I've been looking at newegg and trying to pick out some parts. I've tried to make sure everything's compatible with one another but then I've never done this before, which is why I ask for your help.

Pay close attention to the PSU, because that's what I understand the least about. I think it should work but I'd like second opinions from people who have done this before.

Also,

[18:08:33] <stag019> i may at some point add another disk drive and/or hard drive
[18:08:49] <stag019> but id prefer to make this last as long as it's still technologically relevant
[18:08:56] <stag019> then replace it completely when that time comes


And now for the list of links: clicky.
paulguy

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Posted on 07-24-12 06:38:02 PM Link | Quote
That's a pretty cheapo power supply. I wouldn't trust something that cheap and off-brand. However, I can't really make any specific recommendations about brands. I've had decent luck with Antec, but they also cost a bit more.
stag019

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Posted on 07-24-12 08:07:46 PM Link | Quote

[18:10:51] <comet> brandwise diablotek is ok
[18:11:05] <comet> its not on the blacklist afaik
...
[18:17:35] <comet> >Pop it apart,give it a visual inspection- look for solder splashes between traces, inadequate solder flow/bad connections to components. DOA usually says to me "it probably worked at factory,shipping/vibration caused failure-bad intermittant connection.
[18:17:48] <comet> if you arent prepared to do this i wouldnt expect much from something as cheap as $15
[18:18:13] <comet> it may work and it may not but theres no way of knowing unless you know what to look for
[18:18:20] <comet> bit of a gamble to be sure
Perhaps if I look someone else for a smaller/cheaper hard drive, I can have more money to spend on the PSU.

*stag019 searches*

How about this one? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171060
paulguy

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Posted on 07-24-12 10:16:12 PM Link | Quote
Another sign of a cheapo power supply is that the cheapo ones will feel pretty light, and if you can clearly see inside (or aren't afraid to pick it apart), you can see if the transformer is some tiny little thing or the heat sinks inside are tiny, and you can probably check the brands on the capacitors and other components. A cheap power supply can easily blow away an investment.
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Posted on 07-25-12 01:09:57 AM Link | Quote
Originally posted by stag019

[18:10:51] <comet> brandwise diablotek is ok
[18:11:05] <comet> its not on the blacklist afaik
...
[18:17:35] <comet> >Pop it apart,give it a visual inspection- look for solder splashes between traces, inadequate solder flow/bad connections to components. DOA usually says to me "it probably worked at factory,shipping/vibration caused failure-bad intermittant connection.
[18:17:48] <comet> if you arent prepared to do this i wouldnt expect much from something as cheap as $15
[18:18:13] <comet> it may work and it may not but theres no way of knowing unless you know what to look for
[18:18:20] <comet> bit of a gamble to be sure
Perhaps if I look someone else for a smaller/cheaper hard drive, I can have more money to spend on the PSU.

*stag019 searches*

How about this one? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171060


I'd say that's a pretty good choice there. A well known brand (at least in terms of cases and such) and well rated with a decent number of reviews.
stag019

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Posted on 07-25-12 01:43:42 AM Link | Quote
Well that's good. I don't know who is or isn't well known brand, so that helps. As far as all the rest of the parts though, are they compatible with each other? I tried looking through myself but I want some people to double-check my work before I invest money in this. If something isn't compatible I don't want to deal with the stress of shipping it back to get a refund and paying return shipping and all that. So when you look at it pretend no one's looked it over before ever.

But especially the PSU. Should all the connections work? Is 450 Watts a suitable number for the other parts I've picked?
BMF54123

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Posted on 07-25-12 12:24:27 PM Link | Quote
450w isn't terrible, but you might be pushing it to the limit if you decide to toss in a dedicated video card later (I didn't see one on your list). I'd go for at least 650w, maybe even 800w if you really want to be future-proof for a while.

The PSU is one part you really don't want to skimp on, as it can easily take out your entire computer if it decides to blow.
stag019

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Posted on 07-25-12 01:04:27 PM Link | Quote
The processor I choose was an APU, which is a CPU and GPU combined.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103943
So that should mean I don't need a dedicated video card, right?

As far as "future proof"ing, I don't intend on adding much to this computer; I'd like to make it last until it becomes obsolete. The most I might do is add a second disk drive or HD, and maybe some RAM. Other than that, I don't think I'll be messing with it. According to this, with my CPU, a "regular desktop" motherboard (which I'm pretty sure the one I selected is), 4 sticks of 4GB DDR3 RAM, 2 Blu-ray players (I'm getting one and might get a DVD drive in the future), and 2 7200RPM 3.5" HDDs, I should only need approximately 284W. Which is odd considering the APU itself takes 100W.

So should I go for more or should I be safe?
paulguy

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Posted on 07-25-12 04:10:01 PM Link | Quote
You won't need a separate graphics card unless you want to play games. The onboard graphics will probably be OK for light gaming (stuff like minecraft probably fine, maybe.) but beyond that, you'll probably run in to problems. As it is now, the 450W power supply should be fine. Also note that the 450W is kind of a theoretical best case scenario. It will have an efficiency rating which will determine the actual capability, and even then you'll want to give about 15% breathing room so it isn't running hot, so if you do go and get a separate graphics card, or plan to in the future, may as well get the good power supply, now. Also I will bet you'll want more than 250GB of hard disk space in the future, especially if you're going to be messing with blu rays or high def video (rent and rip :p).
stag019

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Posted on 07-25-12 04:24:15 PM Link | Quote
To be honest, I'm probably not going to be doing much gaming. I've never really fallen for any PC computer game, so the most I'd be doing is playing emulators. As far as Blu-Ray, the APU description says it should be fine with it.

The APU says the GPU is a AMD Radeon HD 6530D. Anyone have any experience with this?

The efficiency rating for the PSU is 85%. So even if I cut out the efficiency rating, then give it another 85% of that, that still puts it at ~325W...

As far as a hard drive, you have to understand I'm upgrading from nothing. My main internal one is 37.25GB (only 3.5GB is dedicated to my current Windows XP installation because I don't want to format the other partitions). My slave drive is 19.13GB (empty, which I'd like to use to install Windows XP in the mean time, but installation always fails on a specific file... ). My biggest external is a 160GB drive right now, though I also have a 30GB external drive, a 16GB microSD card, and various other 2GB or less cards/flash drives. To be honest, I'm thinking of getting a less than 250GB HD, because the only thing I really want on it is the Operating System and maybe a few choice programs; everything else I want externally.
Joe
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Posted on 07-25-12 04:38:12 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by stag019
installation always fails on a specific file...
Your install CD is bad, your RAM is bad, or there's a bad sector on the hard drive. That last one is easy enough to fix, just choose to do a full format when you install instead of a quick format.
stag019

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Posted on 07-25-12 05:01:25 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Joe
Originally posted by stag019
installation always fails on a specific file...
Your install CD is bad, your RAM is bad, or there's a bad sector on the hard drive. That last one is easy enough to fix, just choose to do a full format when you install instead of a quick format.

It works on any other hard drive, which makes me believe the CD and RAM is fine. And I have full formatted that HD before when trying to install XP, it didn't help.
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Posted on 07-25-12 05:33:41 PM Link | Quote
That's... really weird.

You can't rule out the RAM, though. Really weird stuff can happen when those start to go.

Case in point, I had a computer that I would shut off by pressing the power button on the front and letting Windows do the rest. One day it suddenly stopped shutting down when I did that, but everything else seemed to work. One spectacular crash later, and I discovered that the problem was the RAM.

Your CD is good, though. No problems there.
paulguy

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Posted on 07-25-12 06:05:19 PM Link | Quote
Try this: http://www.memtest.org/

It'll make sure your RAM is good. Might want to run it through a few iterations to make sure.

Also this: http://hddguru.com/software/2005.10.02-MHDD/

Basically, you need to make sure the drive reallocates the bad sectors to other parts of the disk. Unfortunately, my experience with this application is limited, so I can't help you much. The full NTFS format should also pick up on bad blocks, though, and mark them.
stag019

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Posted on 07-25-12 09:23:52 PM Link | Quote
Okay, but I'm really trying not to worry about my current computer or its RAM or HD's anymore. I'm really looking to make sure all these parts are compatible before I order them. I'd like to try to order them tomorrow, if everything looks okay.
Sukasa

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Posted on 08-25-12 03:43:13 PM (last edited by Sukasa at 08-25-12 03:44:42 PM) Link | Quote
Originally posted by BMF54123
450w isn't terrible, but you might be pushing it to the limit if you decide to toss in a dedicated video card later (I didn't see one on your list). I'd go for at least 650w, maybe even 800w if you really want to be future-proof for a while.

The PSU is one part you really don't want to skimp on, as it can easily take out your entire computer if it decides to blow.


I'm not sure that power supplies really need to be that beefy. I'm running three monitors, speakers, a portable HD, my keyboard, my laptop, and a few other components off my UPS, and when I kick the discrete GPU and CPU on my desktop (GTX570 + i7-950) into high gear my total draw at the UPS is only ~494W. About 125-150W of that is from the laptop and accessories, mind you.

(Note: "High Gear" means prime95 in stress test mode, F@H-CPU and F@H-GPU all running simultaneously)
stag019

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Posted on 08-25-12 05:06:35 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Sukasa
I'm not sure that power supplies really need to be that beefy. I'm running three monitors, speakers, a portable HD, my keyboard, my laptop, and a few other components off my UPS, and when I kick the discrete GPU and CPU on my desktop (GTX570 + i7-950) into high gear my total draw at the UPS is only ~494W. About 125-150W of that is from the laptop and accessories, mind you.

(Note: "High Gear" means prime95 in stress test mode, F@H-CPU and F@H-GPU all running simultaneously)

That's reassuring. I have it setup dual monitors right now. I'm currently using Ubuntu 12.04. Is there a program or something that can show me how much I'm using? Do PSU's have circuitry on there to tell you? Or would I have to read it from the PSU itself or something?
Sukasa

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Posted on 08-25-12 05:16:13 PM Link | Quote
I'm reading that value from the 1,350kVA UPS I have feeding the whole system.
paulguy

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Posted on 08-25-12 07:18:36 PM Link | Quote
They make watt meters that you can plug in between the electrical outlet and the device you're plugging in.
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