First new build in 11 years... Will this work?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by echter, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. echter

    echter n00b

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    I'm finally taking the advice of the people here who told me last year it was way past time to upgrade from a Core 2 E6750. The parts list below came after a good bit of research, but I've been away from this for so long I'd like to hear what more experienced people think.

    Priorities are:
    (1). Interface !!! (getting Win7 to work on coffee lake. Not at all interested in being talked into Win 10)
    (2). Quality (stability/longevity of the hardware, and hopefully avoiding RMAs).
    (3). Enough RAM for Photoshop / Video editing / ramdisks
    (4). No overclocking. No gaming.

    I already bought the i5-8400, so I'm mostly wondering if these are good choices for mobo, ram, video PSU and case. Is the MSI adequate for running a 1920x1200 + 1280x1024?

    Case: Corsair Carbide 200R
    CPU: Intel Core i5-8400
    Mobo: Gigabyte Z370 HD3
    RAM: G.SKILL Aegis 32GB (2x16) 2400
    Video: MSI GeForce GT 710 1GD3H LPV1
    PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G2
    SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 250

    The motherboard is the hardest question for me. I've narrowed it to a Z370 for Win 7 compatibility, but there are still so many of them, including 2 other Gigabytes, the Z370 HD3P and Z370P D3.
     
  2. -=SOF=-WID99

    -=SOF=-WID99 Limp Gawd

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  3. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Gawd

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    The Z370 chipset does nothing to get you Win7 support. MS ties OS support to the CPU generation. If you want a current CPU/system, you're going to have to run Win10. Windows CPU Requirements. Also, the Intel "Z" chipsets are for gaming/overclocking typically. You probably want something in the H370 range.

    That CPU accepts up to DDR4-2666 RAM, what you have is slower. Also, are you certain you need 32 GB? 16 GB is usually fine unless you're working with some really huge files.

    That GPU is almost useless, the Intel integrated GPU is just as good and will support multiple displays just fine.

    PSU is over-specced. a 3-400 W unit is plenty.

    Consider a larger SSD. The Samsung 860 is a good choice, as are other SATA units from Crucial, WD/SanDisk, etc.
     
  4. echter

    echter n00b

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    I'm not interested in "support"/updates from MS I'm only interested in having it functioning. I've seen where others have been able to do this. See here.

    I've aleady made a bootable flash drive with the usb drivers slipstreamed into it for installation.

    "useless"? Do you mean it can't run a 1920x1200 and a 1280x1024? How can that be when my current Radeon 2400 pro runs them? I'm not going to be gaming and would prefer fanless. I can't use the onboard graphics because there are no Win 7 drivers for it.

    I definitely want at least 32gb of RAM. It's the one thing that's frustrated me for years. I'll be dragging large video files to ramdisks and editing them from there and putting large scratch disks on them, etc. The quantity of the RAM is far more important to me than the speed. I picked 2400 because of price. Would prefer not to have to mess with timings, etc. Just want something dependable after installation.

    Not much is going on this SSD besides the operating system, so the size is adequate. I have existing hard drives and another SSD that I'll be moving from the old computer.

    I was reading some arguments here last week over whether that much wattage is needed for a non-gaming system. They agreed it wasn't, but some said the component quality is better in the higher watt CPUs. Also, it's only power on demand, right? It doesn't commit you to using more power at idle or anything does it? The CPU is just such an important component, I don't mind a few $ extra if it gets me better quality.
     
  5. Brian_B

    Brian_B 2[H]4U

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    I can't really understand what you're trying to accomplish here, but it sure seems like a fool's errand. Part selection is all over the map. No clear use case, and design criteria that contradict...

    I think you have in mind what you want to do - it may well work. I don't think you'll find a lot of support in recommending what you're trying to do.

    Either drop to a 6Gen Intel (or earlier), AMD pre-Ryzen (not really a recommendation here, just an option) or go up to Win10 (or Linux, or Hackintosh, or whatever else). Going with Gen4 or earlier can get you into DDR3 RAM, which you may have laying around already.

    Trying to do what you're going to do is going to introduce a lot of headaches. Particularly since you are stressing reliability and stability....

    But if you do pull the trigger, I'll be interested in hearing about your results. Maybe it will be smooth sailing.
     
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  6. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Gawd

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    Yeah, I guess if you want to have a hacky system and have to worry about updates breaking things, you can get Win7 working on a current Intel CPU. But why fight it? Afraid of the oogga-boogga Win10 telemetry and such? Hate to break it to you, but that's all been backported to Win7/8 as well. You can try to play whack-a-mole with the updates that implement it, have fun with that.



    Useless in that it's no more powerful/capable than the Intel iGPU, it's just extra cost and power draw. And you're making the system unnecessarily complex to get around Win10.



    RAMdisk, in 2018? Work from a SSD. If you're doing some kind of processing that is slowed even by a SATA SSD, you may be one of the edge cases where the extra $ for a NVMe unit makes sense.



    PSU you mean? Level of components used is more variable between brands/models than across the wattage range of a given model. a quality PSU brand (e.g., Seasonic) will be just fine at 3-400 W.

    There's also efficiency to consider. PSUs are most efficient at ~50% of their rating, and least efficient at <20%. Oversize the PSU and you're needlessly pulling more power from the wall.
     
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  7. DogsofJune

    DogsofJune 2[H]4U

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    <Looks in thread and promptly walks back out>
     
  8. echter

    echter n00b

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    More than anything I'm trying to avoid the hideous INTERFACE that is Windows 10. That ugly flat look and the appearance/usage of File Explorer. The author of Classic Shell abandoned it for Win 10 after updates kept breaking it. I use and stare at those things for hours a day and love my cascading start menu that's organized the way I want it. I've used Win 10 and hate it with a firey vengeance. Updates? I haven't downloaded any of them since 3/17. Never had a single issue because of it. I did go to the MS Catalogue and manually downloaded all the updates that are on my current system, so I'll have that. Bottom line: I'd rather reinstall Win 7 ten times a year after virus infections than spend that year staring at Win 10. But as I said, I've never had a single virus. Ever.

    Do you mean too complex for what I'm trying to do or just that it's more complex than going to Win 10? If more effort + a video card is the only path to Win 7 then I'm eager to learn whatever I have to to get it done.

    My idea is that my constant rewriting/saving of huge files during editing is just an unnecessary wearing of an SSD. Browser cache and profile go there too (Firefox can write 14gb/day just sitting idle). Also, isn't RAM a bit faster than SSD? Even if as many argue, SSDs can handle it, I don't see anything wrong with using RAM.

    Yeah, sorry, I meant PSU. Didn't know about the efficiency per power usage level. So a 550w EVGA/Seasonic/Corsair would be more efficient for my setup than a 650?
     
  9. echter

    echter n00b

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    My use case is Photoshop and video editing and heavy web browsing and I want to do it on Windows 7 with an i5-8400.

    I mean stability of hardware. If I can get the initial OS install and drivers correct so that the OS functions normally, that's what I'm looking for.


    I really hope to report back eventually with success. I look at it this way.... The worst case scenario is Win 7 non-compatibility with drivers (though I've read of many cases where this works fine) I could always use Win 10 just fine with this hardware, right? My only extra Win7 related expense here is a $40 video card.
     
  10. echter

    echter n00b

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    Just to refocus things a bit.... I didn't want to get into a debate of Win 7 vs Win 10, which is a personal preference thing. Instead I really would like opinions about the hardware, especially the various Z370 motherboards. It seems everywhere I read there are contradictory views about mobo reliability/defects. I've also looked at:

    Gigabyte Z370 HD3P
    Gigabyte Z370P D3
    MSI Z370-A Pro
    MSI Z370 PC Pro
    MSI Z370 Gaming Plus
    MSI Z370 SLI PLUS
    ASRock Z370 Pro4
     
  11. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    Do you mean you are concerned that a motherboard you buy will fail? If you are running a cpu at stock I would have thought that any brand of motherboard would not fail unless you are unlucky and get a DOA board.

    Last time I looked into an intel board for a non k chip I decided the best option on a budget was Gigabyte H370 AORUS GAMING 3 WiFi
    According to this review with a thermal imaging camera the VRM cooling is good.

    https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/8584/gigabyte-h370-aorus-gaming-3-wifi-intel-review/index9.html
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  12. echter

    echter n00b

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    Not so much fail over time, but arrive with faulty NIC, USB, RAM slot, etc. I'd like to avoid sending components back and it seems motherboads are the worst at that. Unfortunately the linked board is not a Z370. I do need a Z370 for Windows 7 because they use the older ASMedia USB controllers, while newer cheaper boards come with an Intel custom USB controller. Apparently with the Z370 it will accept the 3.0 drivers when slipstreamed into the OS. Discussion about that here.
     
  13. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    Right ok I missed the Z370 requirement. I don't really know which brand is more likely to fail or not (or arrive DOA). I've not had a motherboard fail since owning my first pc a 486 dx2 back in the day.
     
  14. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    You'll hear about failures quite a bit on forums, but they are relatively rare. Much of the time, when its a NIC or something its due to environmental variables such as power surges. Higher end motherboards actually have some surge protection built into their RJ-45 ports now.
     
  15. echter

    echter n00b

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    I hope that's true. The reviews of motherboards at newegg/amazon etc are loaded with problems. On forums, you read, "I've never had a bad Asus, but had to send back 3 Asrocks." Then someone else will just switch the brands and say the same thing. I guess I lean toward the Gigabyte because my current one, a P35-DS3L, lasted for over 11 years. But... it was my second board in that build. The first was an MSI, that paired with ADATA RAM did nothing but produce blue screens. I sent both back and the replacement Gigabyte worked fine. Also the reviews of the current ones seem ever so slightly better than the Asrocks/MSIs. But I feel like I'm just guessing blindly here.

    I'll probably be using the onboard audio, and I know that it varies by model (like with the NIC) but I haven't found much info about whether one is better than another.
     
  16. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    The onboard audio some boards use the Realtek ALC892 HD audio codec to cut costs. The Realtek ALC1220 120dB(A) SNR HD Audio codec is regarded as being better. I don't know if it makes a big difference or not.

    The onboard LAN the Realtek NIC is cheaper and regarded as inferior to the Intel NICs. Again I'm not sure what difference it makes.

    What is the system you are replacing? Trying to think back 11 years, a Athlon64 or P4? Oh I see your motherboard is for a Core 2, I had one of those an E8600. Still in a box somewhere. Well an i5 8400 will be so much faster lol.

    Well my suggestion is a Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 5. It has the good audio and NIC and if your planning on keeping your system for another 11 year years you might as well pony up for a decent board.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  17. echter

    echter n00b

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    Thanks, I checked the 4 Gigabyte models. Ouch.... the AORUS gaming is about twice the price of the ones I was looking at. It looks nice but I'm not sure I can justify $100+ more for better onboard audio. Maybe a sound card later if I'm not satisfied. The HD3P with the ALC1220 audio is now out of stock at newegg and the price has shot up elsewhere, so that leaves:
    Z370 HD3 $105 which has Realtek ALC892 audio and Intel LAN
    Z370P D3 $104 which has Realtek ALC887 audio and Realtek LAN

    They seem similar otherwise, so unless there's evidence that MSI or Asrock boards in that range are better, the Z370 HD3 is starting to feel like a good fit.

    My current setup is an E6750, P35-DS3L, 8gb gskill RAM, Radeon 2400pro, Corsair 520HX. Passmark's score on that CPU is 1714, while the i5-8400 is rated at 11660. LOL. Yeah, a little faster.
     
  18. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  19. echter

    echter n00b

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    OK, that one's better - has ALC1220 & Rivet Networks LAN. MSI same with Intel LAN. My price reaction was to the 5 model which was $210. Hmm. I don't know. Is there a benefit beyond the ALC1220 for how I'll be using it?

    About the case... The more I keep reading, the more I like the Corsair 200r, but there is a concern. The reviews on youtube show a center motherboard standoff that is suposedly permanent and people are claiming it will short out the board. There are arguments back and forth about whether this is a problem and whether you can actually remove it. Someone suggested putting electrical tape over the top and it wouldn't be a problem. I wonder if anyone here actually has the case and has dealt with the standoff. The review here is about 6 years old and didn't mention it.
     
  20. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    I don't know probably not. External DAC/pre Amps are all the rage now supposedly. I might buy one.

    That doesn't sound great. Maybe check out another case. Fractal Design are pretty good. Are you buying a cpu cooler? Coz the stock intel one is really loud.

    If I was building a whole new system I would go smaller, either mATX such as Fractal Define Mini C, or ITX board and a Fractal Define Nano S. My R4 is too big lol
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
  21. echter

    echter n00b

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    No I hadn't even considered anything but the Intel cooler because everyone said it was very adequate if no overclocking. Loud is not good. I'll have to check into this further. My E6750 has been great, but years ago a friend had a Northwood P4 stock fan that was terrible, and I think it was known for that, but I hadn't heard complaints about recent sky/kaby/coffee models.

    As for the case size, it won't be moved much, so not really an issue. I'd rather not be cramped with the build. I checked out the R4... 27 lbs! For the Fractals, I guess the Focus G black is closest to what I'm looking for. I'll read up on it.

    I feel like I'm making progress. Because of what was mentioned above about efficiency at 50% rating I've redone some PSU research and now lean toward the Seasonic Focus 550W which I can get for $66.
     
  22. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    The Focus G looks alright a bit ugly maybe. I prefer the NZXT H500. Cases are hard to recommend. The Phanteks Eclipse P300 also looks pretty good. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO is very popular for an inexpensive cpu cooler. Although it maybe overkill for you.

    Just read your parts list again and can't see why you chose an i5-8400 over a 2600X. You get 6 extra HT cores and a free decent heatsink/fan all for a few bucks less.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  23. echter

    echter n00b

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    CPU was the first thing I looked into. I couldn't see much of a consistent performance difference between the Ryzens and Intels for how I'll be using it. They're both very good. But I did like the power efficiency of the 8400, that it's only 65w and that there was far more info about how others had gotten it to work with Win 7. I went ahead and bought it before everything else because they had it at Best Buy for $199 when everywhere else was higher. Of all the parts, it's the one that gives me no concerns.

    I spent late last night reading user reviews of cases. Talk about frustrating. There's something wrong with every one of them except the most expensive. Cramped, bad cable management, odd placement of cages, parts missing, weird venting, ultra cheap fans, etc. I keep coming back to the 200R. Best reviews for the price and has room for optical drives up front. Maybe I can cut the standoff if it can't be removed.

    If the Gigabyte Z370 HD3 is a good choice and is a good fit with the Aegis RAM, I'm pretty much ready to go except for uncertainty about the video. The MSI got criticized for not being better than the onboard, but what's relevant to me right now is just being able to run the 2 monitors I mentioned. I just need to know if it'll be good for that. No one's mentioned any incompatibilities/conflicts, so I'm assuming that's not an issue with any of the parts.

    Er... on second thought.... the cooler. That's one thing I'd hoped to avoid, but I don't want to go back in and have to change it if I hate the noise.
     
  24. ochadd

    ochadd Gawd

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    You spent 11 years on the last rig and you seem to be building this one with just asking for problems. Maybe you feel like you haven't had enough problems and would like some? I knew this old guy that had a car always running spare donut tires he got for free from a junk yard. It got him to town just fine.

    If I wanted to build a Windows 7 system for editing I'd return or sell that processor and get a workstation. Server grade components designed for 24/7 operation. You'll get your reliability, Windows 7 support, and enough inexpensive RAM to choke a horse.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Z420-Wo...Mr:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!57312!US!-1:rk:3:pf:0

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Z820-Wo...h=item2a84f92522:g:1T8AAOSw8lhbqrKc:rk:3:pf:0

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Z420-Wo...v:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!57312!US!-1:rk:32:pf:0
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  25. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    You want to know if a graphics card can run 2 monitors? I'm pretty sure it can, otherwise it would be kind of pointless lol. From the product specs:
    Ports:
    HDMI 1 x HDMI
    D-SUB 1 x D-SUB
    DVI 1 x DL-DVI-D
    Multi-Monitor Support 2
     
  26. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    So the one thing you know is going to give you a hard time due to incompatibilities is the one thing you have no concerns with... Interesting.

    You should have gotten a 7xxx series CPU, however you made a mistake and now you’ve committed to defending it.
     
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  27. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    I'm with you on this, it's impossible to find the perfect case. I wouldn't worry about the included case fans they can always be replaced with high-quality fans at a later date. Other than that just keep looking.
    This one is nice:
    LIAN LI PC-A05FNB https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112331

    I would buy an aftermarket cooler. Again I'd suggest a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO but if you want something cheaper then here are some options:
    DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 400 https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835856005&ignorebbr=1
    ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134&ignorebbr=1
    ENERMAX ETS-N31 https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835214074&ignorebbr=1
    DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 300R https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA4RE7574346&ignorebbr=1

    I didn't really pay much attention to your Windows 7 requirement. At some point you will have to switch to Win 10 when they stop supporting it and it goes EOL. I just looked it up its Jan 14th 2020.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  28. echter

    echter n00b

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    LOL, no, I'm just asking for what I want, which is a new current gen PC with Windows 7. It's either gonna work or it isn't. If the worst happens and I have to use Win 10, I'll have spent $40 for a video card I didn't need, but still have the new system. Well worth the try for me. I don't understand the attitude coming through from some. If people don't like the Win 7 + coffee lake mix, fine, just assume I'm building it for Win 10 then. I put my priorities up top in case someone here had experience doing this, which would be great, but if not, I'm grateful for any insight I can get about the mobo, case, PSU, cooler, etc.

    Well.. that's interesting, but I didn't really want to get a prebuilt used computer, and know very little about Xeon systems. Maybe they're great, I don't know. I do like the RAM and CPU specs, but those linked seem to have Win 10, no SSDs, are used, etc, yet are priced similar to what I'm going to build. I like having a system I've put together so that I'm more familiar with the internals, know how to upgrade things easily and not deal with proprietary designs.
     
  29. echter

    echter n00b

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    About concerns with the CPU, I meant that there are almost never DOAs/failures with new processors. Motherboards litter newegg and Amazon with complaints. Not so with CPUs.

    "mistake" in what sense? I wanted a coffee lake CPU and did my research in finding out that it could work with Win 7 if you slipstream the USB drivers into the installer and use a graphics card. I did this BEFORE buying the CPU. It's not a mistake to want something just because someone else doesn't want it or thinks it's too much trouble. I'm aware of how MS doesn't want people to use Win 7 with the new Intels and how they're tyring to make it difficult, but I'm not obligated to go along with it. Sometimes you have to choose between imperfect alternatives. Here, I'm trying to do the best I can with what I want. I'm not trying to tell anyone else they should take the same path.
     
  30. echter

    echter n00b

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    I'm reading good things about the Hyper 212 -- seriously considering it. Also keep coming across the Cryorig M9i - good reviews. At this point I'm definitely getting an aftermarket. Too many complaints about the loud and less effective stock intel. Thanks for warning me about that! Most of them come with thermal paste. Is it good quality? I was planning to buy Arctic Silver 5, but maybe I don't need it now.

    As for the OS support, that doesn't really bother me now. It'll only become an absolute must when it can't run software I want. That will of course eventually happen, but you know..... if they told me I'd have to amputate a leg now or 4 years from now, I'd take the 4 years even if I had to limp a little in the meantime.
     
  31. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

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    The Cryorig M9i also looks like a good option. I think the supplied thermal paste is good enough, but if you want to shave a few degrees from your cpu temperature you can buy better paste. It depends how much it costs, better to invest money in the heatsink rather than the paste.

    You don't really need great cooling for an i5-8400 you just want something better than stock, and pretty much any tower cooler will do that for you.
    Well it's up to you but I wouldn't run an OS that no longer receives security patches or updates from Microsoft as your system could become vulnerable to malware, viruses or rootkits.
     
  32. echter

    echter n00b

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    OK, good, the Hyper 212 is only about $5 more than others and seems like a good quality/cool/quiet mix. The install vids on yt make it look straightforward.

    Thanks for all the advice. I'm gonna give it another day of thought, look at some more case reviews and then pull the trigger.
     
  33. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    I used to think pre builts were horrible. But not anymore. All the computers in my house are older Dells. Off lease dirt cheep. For your case a T3600 is going to do what you want. Win 7 and 10 compatible. Slower than current gen but well over 100% faster than your core duo. Just get the right processor
     
  34. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    You don't need to 'know anything' about a Xeon, they are professional grade CPU's that work extremely well for professional applications live content production. You won't hear much about them because they are not suitable for gaming. Lots of cores, lower clocks and not designed for overclocking.
     
  35. echter

    echter n00b

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    Some of those Dell & HP workstations do look like really good bargains used. From reviews, satisfaction seems to be hit and miss. Some labeled with 32gb arrived with 8 or 16, some were pristine, some dirty, etc. There were debates about whether power supply could be replaced with with standard size - a problem with the newer Dells. Graphics setup & included RAM can vary quite a bit, so it's hard to find exacly what I want. Most don't seem to have SSDs, etc. I guess at this point I'm just so much more familiar with what I'll be getting new that I'd rather go that way where I can control the parts than hunt for the perfect used xeon system while being uncertain of the condition it'll arrive in.
     
  36. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    Not for most Xeons. For instance, X58 platform W3680/90 is pretty much the same chip as the I7 990X and benchmark basically the same while all being unlocked. Ivy bridge I7 3770 is nearly identical to a Xeon E3 1240 V2. The Xeons almost always cost less than the equivalent "I" processors. They will game just the same as the "I" processor. The newer gens have the same crossover. The Xeons with high core count and low core clocks are more of the exception then the norm when looking at the cheaper workstation based computer
     
  37. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    Dec 18, 2016
    If you go through a reputible company there is no issuer. I buy lesser boxes and upgrade them. ECC memory is cheap which the Xeons can use, processors are inexpensive if you need to upgrade.
    For instance, this one https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-Preci...h=item3d79e5df0e:g:iekAAOSwhGtb6veV:rk:7:pf:0 They come with a Windows 7 COA ( Windows 10 will also activate on that COA ) and the E3 1240 V2 is basically identical to I7 3770. If you upgraded to 32gb ECC ram ( 8gb sticks about $30 each ), you would have everything you want. A GT 710 is about a $20 video card nowdays. Also that model uses a standard ATX power supply. If you spent a little more on a T1700 ( sandy bridge ), then they need a $20 power supply adapter to use ATX power supply but it fits the form factor
     
  38. rinaldo00

    rinaldo00 [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,431
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    There are many ways to make the Win 10 interface exactly like Win 8, Win 7, or anything you want.
     
  39. echter

    echter n00b

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    "Exactly"? That would be fantastic. Can you make File Explorer look exactly like this ? And importantly, I want Explorer to OPEN with the folder tree opened as I specify it every single time I click it from the start menu - not some "quick access" view or "This PC" view. Note the GRAY background color, the lack of intrusive crap at the top, the clean folder tree at left with the lack of unwanted MS stuff (libraries, "my music," "one drive", etc.) the font I like with no smoothing, the custom icons at top, the small status bar at bottom that shows only what I want, etc. I achieved all this with Win 7 sometimes by changing several MS files with hacking tools and a hex editor. Thankfully there were instructions available to do so because others had wanted the same thing. I've not found similar info for Win 10.

    Can you make the start menu into exactly this, especially with the cascading menus with fully customizable icons, fonts, line spacing, background color, and easy drag & drop functionality where you can add all the subfolders you want and easily organize as you choose? The ability to remove absolutely anything you want from that start menu? Unfortunately, the only method to do that reliably has been Classic Shell, and the author of that abandoned it in frustration last year because MS kept constantly breaking it with updates (though there is a fork of it that's attempting to keep up with MS updates). I've never actually installed it on Win 10. Other progs that attempt to do the same only offer limited functionality in comparison.

    Can you get rid of the cheap minimalist flat look so that scroll bars, buttons, dividers and such have the gradients and texture to them that Win 7 has? Then there's a list I have of an enormous number of changes I have to make to Windows in order get it civilized so that it can be used without constant annoyance, nagging, reporting, updating, and on and on and on. Can ALL of that be done in Win 10 as it can in Win 7? If so I'd be thrilled. But from what I've been able to tell from my limited use of it and online searching, important parts of it are not possible.
     
  40. TheFlayedMan

    TheFlayedMan Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    400
    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Maybe you should stick with Windows 7. Will you post a picture of your new build?