Computer stuff

Discussion in 'General Chit Chat' started by Bizzy, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. Bizzy

    Bizzy SHO Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    13,221
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    I built my own computer many years ago, and it was great for quite a few years. I had some issues last year with the processor getting hot so I replaced the motherboard and processor. Well, ever since I've had a lot of stability issues, some caused by bad ram, some driver issues, etc.

    I've finally come to the decision that I need to quit trying to patch things up and just buy a new motherboard and processor and bring my system to more current standards.

    I don't want to spend a whole lot of money and I don't need anything elaborate, like water cooling, etc. Just something that's going to run my programs, and be stable. I'll still be using Windows XP, and yeah I know it's an antique, but I like how it runs. I ran the compatibility wizard for Windows 7 and a lot of my programs are not supported. I know you can use XP mode in Windows 7, but there's still no promises that the programs will work. I also want to be able to use some of my old hardware with the new system as well.

    So, tell me what you guys and gals have in your systems, and what you're happy or not happy with, etc. If you want to get into technical info that's fine too. I'm in research mode right now, so I'm open to read whatever you have to offer.

    I've been an AMD fan for years so I tend to stay away from Intel processors, but whatever advice you have to offer in that department is welcome too.

    Thanks! :wave:
     
  2. SHOdded

    SHOdded SHO Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    7,976
    Likes Received:
    3,486
    Location:
    Maryland
    I believe support for XP is ending/has ended, so you are good as long as you don't connect to the Internet :( Motherboard wise, I use Gigabyte and Asus primarily. I used to use MSI because of all their overclocking feature promises, but I found them electrically fragile. Put a nice aftermarket cooler like Arctic on your CPU if you are not into hardcore gaming or other processor intensive work.

    What old hardware do you want to carry forward? Expansion slot (video/audio/etc), or memory/CPU/etc.? I had at one point years ago invested in a PCIX server system that was amazingly stable, but once the motherboard went, it was too expensive to replace everything. Back to basics for me.

    Always check reviews, I go to TigerDirect, NewEgg, and Amazon to get a feel for the quality of the component.
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  3. roland

    roland Volvo fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    755
    Likes Received:
    348
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chengdu
    I'm with SHOdded on the companies. I used MSI along time ago but kept having issues with them, switched to Asus and Gigabyte but usually prefer Gigabyte. (EVGA is also good, but they're expensive) They're not fancy but very stable and reliable.

    Intel is generally accepted as the more powerful of the two CPU brands right now. I use exclusively Intel but I'm not really a fan boy, it's just better suited towards my needs. If you're on a budget, my personal recommendation would be buying an AMD FM2+ motherboard (this platform just released in January so it should be good for a long time in terms of upgradeablility). I think the latest AMD Kaveri APU's are a bit overpriced, around $170-$180 - so I would recommend a Richland APU. I'm not sure if you do gaming but if you do and plan on getting a separate video card, I'd point you towards the AMD Athlon X4 750K or 760K - it's a quad core and can be had for about $80 which is an amazing bargain. These chips do not have integrated graphics however so you MUST have a separate video card. If you don't plan on gaming I'd look for an A10 6800K - I think they run about $30 more expensive but have a decent on board video chip.

    I always tell people I build computers for to get a Solid State Drive at least for the boot drive that they will install Windows on. Aside from being alot faster than traditional drives they also last a lot longer and are more durable (no moving parts). Many don't want to pay the money but you can usually buy a 120GB for around $80-$90 now, which is a really good investment towards prolonging the life of your computer and making it more "future proof"

    I didn't notice a huge difference when I switched to an SSD until I tried to go back to a regular hard drive. I didn't make it 5 minutes before I was ready to chuck my mom's computer out the window.

    I don't know how old your computer is, but do not be surprised if their is very little you can carry over. If it's older than 3-4 years it likely uses DDR2 memory which is not compatible with newer systems. The Motherboard/CPU/Memory is probably going to be the bulk of your expense. If you have a good case and power supply, that's probably about the most you can bring to the new build. The Hard drive too - but again i think it would depend on how good it is and what you're going to do with it. Alot of people want to carry over components from old systems, I think the thought is that they spent "good" money for it 5 years ago so why replace it? Unfortunately with the rate that components advance they are quickly outdated. This isn't always the case, but in many instances it can be. My build from 5 years ago cost me $1500 to make, I could build a complete new system for $400 today that could easily outperform it in every respect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
    Bizzy likes this.
  4. rubydist

    rubydist SHO Master Staff Member Super Moderators

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6,864
    Likes Received:
    2,717
    Location:
    Denver
    support for XP ends in April, so after that you will begin getting certificate issues online, if you don't already get them. BTW, Windows7 is much better, 8 not so much imho.

    I gave up on the 'build your own' a long time ago, and have found the best reliability in the Dell products. This machine is a Lattitude D810 that I bought on ebay a couple years ago for a song, and it has worked very well for me. Yes, I use a notebook everywhere except at work on my "real desktop" and I find the portability if required is really nice to have. (think of sitting in your car reading online information on your screen while you are debugging one of the countless SHO issues...)

    fwiw, I have had better luck with Intel stuff than the others.

    (Beth, I think this is literally one of those "ask 10 guys, get 10 different answers" type of situations...)
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  5. Bizzy

    Bizzy SHO Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    13,221
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    XP support was supposed to have ended last October from what I read, though I've received quite a few updates from Microsoft as recently as the last week. Who knows what Microsoft is doing.

    I also have been a fan of Asus motherboards for quite awhile. The first one I used was an A8NSLI-DLX and subsequently went with an A8N32-SLI DLX. I had an AMD Athlon 64 processor. I've been quite happy with that set up for a really long time, but it's been one issue after the next, and I'm ready for something faster.

    Stuff I want to carry forward, *insert sigh here* .... is probably not worth trying to find matches for, but darn it all, I'd really rather not spend the bucks for new stuff if the old stuff still works.

    Here's what I'd like to keep:

    2 Maxtor IDE 1TB hard drives. If I keep them for storage and get a SATA HD for a fresh install of the OS is fine, and has been considered.

    MSI N9600GT 512M OC GeForce 9600 GT 512MB 256-Bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

    ASUS XONAR DG Headphone Amp & PCI 5.1 Audio Card which I literally just got January 3rd when the onboard audio quit working properly. I was having a devil of a time with Realtek Audio drivers and I will never go with another audio device that uses their drivers.

    I am not a fan of onboard audio or video, so I'd like to keep the above two items if at all possible.

    And lastly, but not as high a priority, the ram. In December I got 2 sticks (1GB each) of 184 PIN DDR333 ram. I have several other 1 gig sticks of Crucial ram as well that need to be tested for errors. Yes, it's old school stuff, but I hate wasting good parts so if I could find a board that would take them I'd be really happy. On the flip side, ram is cheap, so this is not a huge priority.

    The rest of the stuff (USB ports, etc.) won't break my heart if they can't be used.

    I'm looking at reviews currently between Tiger direct, Newegg and Amazon so we'll see what I find out.

    AMD vs. Intel processors, what's the general opinion these days? It's been awhile since I've looked into these. I know at one point Intel wasn't doing so well so many folks, like myself, went to AMD. I'm looking for stability first and foremost, but speed is also important.

    Asking 10 guys and getting 10 different answers is fine. I learn from everybody's opinions on stuff. I just pick the best of all the answers and fine tune things with my own experiences, opinions and wants. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  6. Bizzy

    Bizzy SHO Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    13,221
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Ok, question. I'm reading a lot about ATX and MicroATX in boards. Is the only difference size? I have an ATX tower that I want to re-use, and I don't care for stuff being crammed in there and having the ability to expand later on. That being the case, I'm supposing I should stick with ATX boards. Assuming that size is the only real difference.

    Thanks all!
     
  7. SHOdded

    SHOdded SHO Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    7,976
    Likes Received:
    3,486
    Location:
    Maryland
    I am running a mATX board right now, but I don't have any addons other than a video card. It's my personal bias, but aside from having more expansion slots (memory/PCIxxx), and more standards support, the larger boards seem to be more stable for a longer period of time. Maybe they have better onboard voltage regulation? IDK.

    You can still find PCIxpress 2.0 spec boards online, that's the good news. But the 3.0 spec is also backwards compatible, so your video card should run fine. My only problem would be you have to watch the video fans/OEM cooling for failure. Do you have a lifetime warranty on the card?

    IDE support will be harder to find, at least for internal storage. External USB drives may be an option for that (Vantec CB-ISATAU2, for example). I assume you are running Memtest or something similar to test the memory?

    A boot SATA drive is a great idea. No specific brand recommendations, gotta go thru the reviews for sure. Don't buy anything that has just been introduced or has the maximum capacity on the market. WD Raptor drives probably a good boot drive choice, speedy with a 5 year warranty. Pricing structure similar to SSD drives.

    As far as CPUs go, I tend to choose the lower wattage ones and put aftermarket coolers on them. Adds to the reliability and longevity of the system.
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  8. rubydist

    rubydist SHO Master Staff Member Super Moderators

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    6,864
    Likes Received:
    2,717
    Location:
    Denver
    worst case you can always get external drive enclosures for your big IDE drives so you can keep them. One of the challenges is that the SATA stuff is so much faster, and as I recall onboard support for both tends to make the SATA drives underperform, so you might be better off setting up the IDE drives as external anyway as far as performance goes.
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  9. tery

    tery Silvia survived the purge- summer car

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Messages:
    727
    Likes Received:
    190
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired Elementary School Music Teacher
    Location:
    minnesnowta
    Hi, I've been through IBM, Dell, various 2nd line brands, and have ended up with MAC, ya plug it in and it goes. My son is a computer wizard and builds his own machines from scratch, but short of wanting to spend hours to get things to work the way I want them to work, Mac has been the simplest and most user friendly. And all the virus spam and crap from the internet goes after the Microsoft products so you're pretty much free of it. I don't have any virus software other than what came on the brain and have never had any problems for over two years now. It's all wireless, the connectivity is seamless and it just goes. I know there are naysayers about mac and how they do all the exclusivity stuff, but there are plenty of i\"issues" with other systems and hardware as well. And btw, if you want a tripped out screen saver, free down load electric sheep.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
    Bizzy likes this.
  10. SoonerLS

    SoonerLS Heed.Obey.Serve

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    934
    Location:
    Norman
    FWIW, general support for XP has already ended (technically, it ended years ago when they stopped supporting anything older than XP SP3); "XPmageddon" is when Microsoft stops providing critical/security updates on April 8th (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/endofsupport.aspx). Reportedly, people are sitting on exploits 'til that day, knowing that the vulnerabilities being exploited will never, ever be fixed.

    I would strongly suggest going to Windows 7 for any Windows computer that will be accessing anything on the Internet; if you need XP for certain programs, that's fine, just don't venture out onto the 'Net with it...
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  11. Mr Anonymous

    Mr Anonymous Tire Wall

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,317
    Likes Received:
    1,942
    Occupation:
    Occupied
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Home Page:
    Win7 FTW IMHO. I've been on various versions of 7 since release, and it's the most stable and reliable OS since NT4 to me. It prolly took me a month to get comfortable with it coming from XP, but once I made sense of it I would never go back.

    Interestingly, I'm typing this on my Win8.1 notebook, which stay as far away from as humanly possible!
     
  12. Fordlover96

    Fordlover96 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    102
    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    Virginia
    I have to agree with tery. I've had the same Mid 2009 13inch Macbook since it was new. This computer has been the most reliable and not given me one problem. Honestly, you get what you payed for. Never had a virus, nothing. Hell, I still have my old PowerBook G4 Titanium and it still works.
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  13. Racer X

    Racer X SHO Pilot

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,447
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Occupation:
    IT/ Telecommunications
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    Home Page:
    Windows XP support ends in 41 days, per the little widget on my desktop. If you go on the internet at all, you're going to have a bad time.

    Honestly Beth, if you're looking for the best way forward with minimal investment for now, Jump on eBay, and buy an off lease Dell Precision T3500 or T5500 workstation, and call Dell to renew the warranty.

    I got a Precision T5500, with Dual Quad Core Intel Xeon processors, 8GB RAM, 2 500GB hard drives, and decent video card for $350 shipped, and renewed the warranty (next day support at that) through 2015 for another $125.
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  14. Racer X

    Racer X SHO Pilot

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    3,447
    Likes Received:
    1,569
    Occupation:
    IT/ Telecommunications
    Location:
    Queens, NYC
    Home Page:
    And also, until Apple fixes the TLS/SSL issue, stay far, far away from any Mac running OS X. If you have an iPhone/ iPad, make sure it's running the latest version of iOS 6 or iOS 7.

    (Yes, it's such a screw up that Apple went back and patched iOS 6, too.)
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  15. Bizzy

    Bizzy SHO Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    13,221
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    I have Win 7 ultimate here, just been holding off installing it. A lot of the programs I have won't work with it, according to the upgrade advisor, which is why I haven't upgraded before now. That, and upgrading a system that's already unstable just doesn't make sense to me.

    I really don't think I'll be going the Mac direction. I know how reliable they are and how they're not vulnerable to the virus'/trojans out there, but I know how limited I would be with bringing my current programs over to it, where at least some of the programs I use now will work with Win 7.

    XP for me is like that old pair of holy jeans. They're just comfy, and very hard to just up and throw them in the garbage. Know what I mean?

    I'm still going through a lot of reviews on different products and am far from making up my mind just yet. I do need to make up my mind soon though. I'm using a borrowed laptop at present, and while allows me to continue functioning online, it's just not the same.

    Thanks everyone for the input! :)
     
    Fordlover96 likes this.
  16. shodazzl

    shodazzl SHO Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Home Page:
    Your best bet take a leap and jump on the Windows 7 bandwagon. Before you know it, you'll look back and wish you would have dumped XP. Were creators of habit, so once you are used to Windows 7 you'll be glad. From an app perspective, is there any way you can test those apps on someone's Windows 7 machine vs using the wizard to tell you if its compatible or not? Depending on how picky the app is, I don't think you'll have any problems installing your software on Windows 7, but you may need to change the compatibility mode.

    Also, from an enterprise perspective Intel has taken the lead and is the more accepted processor. I'd say go with Intel.
     
    Bizzy and SHOdded like this.
  17. roland

    roland Volvo fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    755
    Likes Received:
    348
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Chengdu
    A huge lead, but if you're running XP era programs I think you'd be fine with either AMD or Intel.
     
    Bizzy likes this.
  18. Bizzy

    Bizzy SHO Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2001
    Messages:
    13,221
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    The laptop I'm using right now has Win 7 on it, and it's ok. I do find some things easier to do, while others are just difficult for me to wrap my head around. Yes, creatures of habit we absolutely are.

    I remember back in the day when Win 3.11 was my absolute favorite. In all honesty, I still find it to be the most lightweight version of windows. It seems that each time they go to a different version they fill it with fluff that weighs the system down with process after process that isn't vital to running a PC for my needs. I will often disable things like that, especially software auto updates, because I'd rather update as I see fit, and not be constantly reminded of it. To me they're seat belt chimes in a car. They don't stop the functionality of the car at all and are generally just annoying. :)

    I'm still weighing in with all the results. Before I get anything I'll be sure to post my end results just to make sure that I haven't missed something along the way. Thanks again to everybody for the input, I really appreciate it!
     

Share This Page

If you wish to help keep SHOforum running, please click the donation button below