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Can you help me evaluate the adequacy of my PCPartPicker system build?


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#1
zorra

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First of all, thank you so much for reading this. I'm thankful for the chance that someone might help me.

 

I am 23 and don't have much money to spend. In fact, for the past few years I have been using a computer that I fortunately got for free. For reference I would like to list the system specs here (sorry this is not all specific or 100% accurate but I don't feel like opening the PC at this time):

 

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+ 2.00 GHz
Memory: 1 GB
Storage: 200 GB HDD 
Optical Drive: DVD+RW Light Scribe Double Layer 16x
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE Graphics
 
This is an HP Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with service pack 3. 
 
I've had moderate success with this PC considering its old but did occasionally get frustrated with the PCs limitations. That being said, I dont use it very often.
 
My heaviest game is The Sims 3 and its expansion packs, and I also play some older games but not very often. Another main use of my computer has been capturing VHS with my Pinnacle Dazzle, video editing/compression in Virtual Dub, burning DVDs, and occasional graphic design/image editing with Photoshop, Paint.NET, or Microsoft Publisher, etc. 
 
So I want to build this http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3s2nF but I was hoping someone could help me know if any of thats going to be too little or too much for my usage. Im skeptical of most of the people Ive talked to about this because they dont seem to understand that I dont care about blazing visual effects or playing any modern games except Sims 3 and eventually 4.
 
Please help me, I would be very grateful, because I am new to the world of hardware and system building.
 
Also any advice on which OS I should use, I feel like I need to go with Windows 8.1 but, again, I am clueless.

Edited by zorra, 15 April 2014 - 06:56 PM.

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#2
phillpower2

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:welcome:  zorra

 

Not bad for a budget build but the quality of some items is not very good or they are out of stock and  I would increase the Ram to 8GB as this is the sweet spot for a 64-bit OS + it is still the most cost effective upgrade that you can do, some pointers for you below;

 

The CPU is good for your budget and intended use.

The MB has no USB 3.0 headers + it gets terrible reviews at Newegg.

Ram as mentioned could do with being 8GB.

HDD is ok.

optical drive is ok.

PSU is a good quality brand.

Case is out of stock + it has no USB 3.0 ports.

 

I have put together an alternative list based around your choice of CPU, see what you think, zorra list

 

If your present optical drive is the SATA type you could reuse it in this build to save some cash.

 

Windows 8.1 64 - bit is a great OS and I suggest that you do not read too much into all negative comments that you may read.

 

Build tutorial provided courtesy of Troy and Artellos respectively - here

Any questions give us a shout.


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#3
zorra

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PhillPower2, you are awesome! I appreciate the feedback, it was everything I was hoping for and more. Your advice about the additional RAM and going for the mobo with USB 3.0 ports is better forward-thinking than I had. Your tutorial is beautiful also. Building my own PC has been a dream of mine since I was young, and in the future I plan to build an even better computer. Thank you, again, you made my day.


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#4
phillpower2

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You are most welcome and thank you for your kind words zorra  :blush:

 

As I said earlier any questions whatsoever give us a shout and we will do our best to help.

 

While you are waiting for your parts to arrive download whatever manuals that you can for the likes of your MB and case etc, this will give you a chance to familiarise yourself with the items before you start your build and this will help things go more smoothly for you with the assembly.

 

Tip: Do a barebones set up outside of the case first to ensure that all parts are functional, I can provide the steps for this if you need them.


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#5
zorra

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Hey PhillPower2, I have a another question for you regarding my build. Do you recommend buying parts from the PCPartPicker merchants or is it okay to try Ebay? Thanks for the tips and insight.


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#6
phillpower2

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Hello again zorra  :wave:

 

Purchasing from ebay depends on the reputation of the seller as in the amount of quality feedback ratings that they have, if you find something and you want a second opinion on it post the link and we can take a look for you.

 

PCPartPicker is fine in the main but you will find other retailers that are offering the same or sometimes a better deal, the merchants suggested by PCPartPicker are long established businesses with a proven track record and that is why they are used.


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#7
zorra

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Thank you so much for another speedy reply. I dont want to bother you. Off the top of your head when you look at my updated parts list (here : http://pcpartpicker....orra/saved/4o5l ) do you immediately think of anything that might be upgraded OR added without getting too far away from being economical? For example, video card(s), case fan(s), CPU, mobo, or storage? Or anything else I havent listed, just wanting to be very certain before I get started.

 

Also I'm a little confused about buying my first OS, is the one chosen (Microsoft Windows 8.1 64Bit English DVD OEM) going to work for a fresh system build? I've been reading and it seems some are meant for upgrading existing systems.


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#8
phillpower2

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No bother at all, we are here to help if we can  :thumbsup:

 

Your list of parts is fine for the use that you mentioned in your OP, if you were to include an add on video card in your build you may need to change the PSU to a minimum bronze rated 500W or have your choice of video card limited to nothing much better or the same as the onboard graphics solution, you would need to add a cooling fan to the front of the case to draw in cool clean air to help keep the internal temps down as an add on video card will generate more heat.

 

Your choice of OS disk is fine, what OEM means is that if you have a problem with the OS you either need to resolve the issue yourself or have a third party such as a local tech or a friend/family member who has the knowledge to put it right to do so, you do not get support from MS for such an issue as you would if you were to purchase a full retail disk, also keep in mind that an OEM licence ties the product key to the MB that it was initially registered to, see my canned text below;

 

Just a cautionary note, unless your OS disk is the full retail edition you cannot use it with a new MB as an OEM disk is tied to the original MB it was paired with, to use an OEM disk with a new MB is software piracy and therefore illegal.

 

Exceptions to the above are 1: If your MB is replaced under warranty and 2: If your MB is replaced out of warranty with an alternative type but same brand due to the original model no longer being available, an upgraded MB however will require the purchase of a new OS licence.

 

 

If you have a full retail disk and a product key that is not in use on another computer the OEM restriction/s is/are not the same.

 

Having your own OEM disk (or a system restore disk that you created for the new build) has it`s merits, if you back up all important data on a regular basis and the OS happens to have problems you have the OS disk and product key to hand to do a fresh install or a system repair.


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#9
zorra

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Wow, I cant believe I'm all set to start this project! I feel much more confident than when I started this thread, thanks to your help. Google has a lot of information, but there's no substitute for an informed person's experience and ability to explain "why".  :spoton: I love Geeks to Go!


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#10
phillpower2

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Glad we could help  :)

 

Keep us posted on your progress and if you have any questions along the way please ask  :thumbsup:


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#11
zorra

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I spoke too soon. I just keep checking this PassMark CPU benchmark website, racking my brain. I made this chart.

 

zl6ecX9.png

 

These are all FM2 CPUs. I'm concerned with how small the AMD A6-5400K caches are, and how low its CPU Mark is, although Im not erudite enough to know how these factors would affect anything. I do recognize that it is supposedly twice as good as what I have been using the past few years, but the others aren't much more money and brag even higher scores.

 

Oh yes, I just realized that not all of them are APUs. But aside from that, shouldn't I shell out the extra $10-30 for one of the ones that are also APU with a higher score? My gut tells me that a lower TDP is more desirable. My mobo only supports up to 100W TDP anyway, seems pushy to go all the way to 100.


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#12
phillpower2

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A8-5600K  :thumbsup:

 

Dont worry about the 100W TDP as the MB is designed to sustain it, your intended use is only lightweight and so will not push the CPU that hard in any event.


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