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Author Topic: Building a PC, Take 2  (Read 3698 times)

Coronach

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Building a PC, Take 2
« on: October 08, 2014, 12:13:13 pm »
So.

My wife has noted, correctly, that the new computer assembled in this thread (https://wethearmed.com/science-and-technology/pc-assembly-questions/), is really, really fast and nice. She has also noted, correctly, that due to its fast and nice characteristics, it would make a great second computer for the house, which was intended (the presence of a really massive GPU may or may not have been glossed over by me in the description, which also makes it appropriate for gaming). She finally noted that its presence as the internet link for the network is less than ideal, since it doesn't have access to the printer or the NAS (since it sits in front of the router). And, she said that it would be nicer if it had access to those, so she could use it for her work, too.  :thumbup1

So sad. Now I'm roped into building another PC. If I had told her "hey, I want to build a gaming PC and I also want to build a Windows box to run the internet connection" she would have said "no way." But, since this is all her idea now, I'm just going to be a good husband and go along.

So, here is what I want to do:

Low end processor used for web browsing and internet sharing only.
Needs wireless and LAN (either both on mobo, or on a card).
USB
No optical drive required
Windows 7 capable
VGA-out for video (no need for a separate GPU)
Small size formfactor
Cheap
LOW POWER CONSUMPTION
QUIET

The last two are the big ticket items. It will be always-on, so these will have direct cost-savings benefits down the road (and I'm willing to pay a little more for components if I will recoup them later in energy savings).

After doing the build last time, I'm getting reasonably proficient with PC Parts Picker. I tried to just piece together a build myself without pestering you guys this time, but I realized two things:

1. I can't identify a power-efficient mobo and CPU
2. I don't have a good grasp of what Win7 needs to operate happily.

If someone can just ID an appropriate processor and/or mobo, I can try to do the rest of the research myself.

Thanks again!

Mike
OhioNot stressed, but I am a carrier.

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    Adskii

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 02:40:35 pm »
    Look on newegg  or tigerdirect for htpcs (home theater PC) these will meet most of your needs. An i3 or ivy bridge Pentium would suit nicely for running cool and using little power. Will post specific examples when I'm back at my computer.

    Coronach

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 03:03:06 pm »
    You think that on the low-end side buying a complete unit is more cost efficient than building?

    Thanks!

    Mike
    OhioNot stressed, but I am a carrier.

    Avenger29

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #3 on: October 08, 2014, 04:10:42 pm »
    You think that on the low-end side buying a complete unit is more cost efficient than building?

    Thanks!

    Mike

    Yeah, pretty much so. The makers buy up the parts in quantity and can sell them for about the same price as you would pay for the parts. You can go ahead and build it for the fun or you can just go ahead and buy a ready made desktop.

    High end stuff is where you can save some money, but low end not so much.

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    Coronach

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #4 on: October 08, 2014, 04:31:01 pm »
    I may want to build it just to get a little more experience, even if I don't save much money. Plus, are the HTPCs built with power efficiency in mind, or just low cost?

    Mike
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    Coronach

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #5 on: October 08, 2014, 05:02:31 pm »
    Messing around, I found this build: http://www.homemediatech.net/budget-htpc-build-for-under-250-build-2/431

    I wonder if it would work well enough for my purposes, and if I could even forego some stuff to get the cost even lower...
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    Coronach

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #6 on: October 08, 2014, 05:04:47 pm »
    Also, which is generally more power-efficient for these purposes (a lot of sitting idle), a HDD or a SSD?
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    ksuguy

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #7 on: October 08, 2014, 05:26:32 pm »
    Probably won"t make a difference either way.    The GPU and CPU are really the energy hogs.   
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    Lupinus

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #8 on: October 08, 2014, 05:32:10 pm »
    You think that on the low-end side buying a complete unit is more cost efficient than building?

    Thanks!

    Mike
    Generally the lower you go, the less savings you will see up to it being cheaper to buy the premade one. The advantages are upgradability, customization, and individual parts are usually of a higher quality than what the big box is giving you, but not price when you are talking lower end.

    When building a budget, just remember to be realistic with your needs. Ram for example, graphics for another. For a basic machine you don't need a ton of anything for it to run efficiently.

    Go i3 or AMD, stick to 4-6 gigs of ram, for what you are talking even just going with integrated graphics should work fine though if the budget allows a dedicated card is certainly nice. You can jsut buy a wireless card or go with the USB stick option.

    For quiet there are a few basic ways to help with that. Aftermarket cpu fan will just about ALWAYS be quieter than stock. Also toss some money into decent aftermarket fans and to replace the stock case fans. Choose fans with grommets so there is a vibration buffer.

    For a budget build go with a standard HDD and put the savings elsewhere.
    South Carolina

    Lupinus

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #9 on: October 08, 2014, 06:05:22 pm »
    Also too, can you define "budget".

    Do you have a copy of windows 7 laying around?

    Do you already have a monitor/keyboard/etc?
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    Coronach

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #10 on: October 08, 2014, 06:36:47 pm »
    I do not have a spare copy of Win7, so that will be a cost. I'd say max budget will be $500, all told, and less is better. I'd prefer to not max the budget, but rather push down the price at expense of surplus capability (or, if spending a little more gets me more power efficiency, I'd do it). I do not need keyboard, mouse or monitor. This thing will, literally, just be used to run the internet sharing, web browsing and word processing. It needs no real capability beyond that.

    Mike
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    ksuguy

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #11 on: October 08, 2014, 06:40:49 pm »
    Yeah and you can always remote into it from your other PC if you need to do something on it.   

    I took my old one and moved it out into the living room area and hooked it to my big tv.  That way I can use it as a media server and to play party games on it.   I picked up the whole "You Don't Know Jack" series for a few dollars on a Humble Bundle sale a few months back.  Should work great on the old PC if we have people over.   
    Kansas

    Lupinus

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #12 on: October 08, 2014, 06:54:15 pm »
    http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Lupinus/saved/TwNYcf

    Quick throw together. Under 500 with Win 7. Integrated graphics to keep costs down, MOBO has room for upgrades and the PSU and CPU should have enough headroom for modest upgrades to keep it fresh later on. PSU is semi-modular so a little different than your last build. Basically the standard always need cables (mobo power, cpu power, etc) are fixed to the unit with the cables that are subjective to your build being modular.

    Uses the standard case fans but in all honesty they should be pretty darn quiet.
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    Adskii

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #13 on: October 08, 2014, 07:48:08 pm »
    For power efficiency stay clear of AMD.

    Under $250 http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1671557 Has an LGA 1150 processor in it. If you want to upgrade later there will still be plenty of Sandy/Ivybridge processors in the i3-i5-i7 range and any of them will plug into the board. It has everything but the OS and the peripherals. Will it play flash games? yes. Will it play anything high end? oh no. No way. But it is upgradable, all at once, or piece by piece.

    This one is more http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9152659&Sku=B69-10216 and you would have to play the rebate game. However it does move you up to an i3 (Comparison here http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Pentium-G3220-vs-Intel-Core-i3-4150)

    Personally I think I like the one from tigerdirect better... but take a peek yourself. You would get to put either of them together yourself, and I didn't see any decent deals on HTPCs, sometimes you do. For my home server I have a little used Dell OptiPlex 780. You can get a refurb one (755) for under $200 fairly often. The newer Pentium or i3 would give you better power consumption and processing power, but will cost more.

    Happy hunting

    Lupinus

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #14 on: October 08, 2014, 08:24:05 pm »
    Bundles are also not a bad way to go. Just be sure you look at the individual components involved VERY closely. There's an inherent discount by virtue of a bundle, but they also tend to cheap out somewhere when they want to get the price down. Cases you regret trying to work in, crappy ram, no name or crappy PSU's, etc.

    Intel is always a good option, but you are generally paying more for it. Apples to apples, they give a bit better performance run cooler and draw less power but only marginally so. For a performance build I'd go Intel all the way unless price was a serious factor. Budget build? I gotta go with AMD on this one.
    South Carolina

    Coronach

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #15 on: October 08, 2014, 08:38:16 pm »
    Hmm. I was riffing off of that link I posted earlier, and came up with this: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/y3TY23
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    Matthew Mayner

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #16 on: October 09, 2014, 01:25:01 am »
    Since this is all her idea now, I'm just going to be a good husband and go along.

    This is how we got three ATVs.

    Isn't it great when something that started out as your idea, somehow becomes her idea?

     ;)
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    Coronach

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #17 on: October 09, 2014, 11:51:36 am »
    Hey, man, I just live here. :D
    OhioNot stressed, but I am a carrier.

    Plebian

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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #18 on: October 09, 2014, 10:12:29 pm »
    If you want super quiet you might want to go with liquid cooling. I did a build ago and will never go with anything else. It is quiet enough my typing is the only way the wife knows it is on.
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    Re: Building a PC, Take 2
    « Reply #19 on: November 16, 2014, 06:52:35 pm »
    I'm thinking of taking my box top, its hard drive (still good), and basically getting a new Mobo and processor, even using the old case...

    also thinking about a Blue ray drive and things...

    Only because I looked at the requirements of the PC Call of Duty Advanced Warfare... and am short on RAM and CPU powers.
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