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Thread: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

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    Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    Hi all.

    I'm hoping you wise people on here can help me.

    As per the title, I've be away from the self build market for a long time. Last time I built stuff it was IDE ports and Intel Celeron CPUs etc.

    Presently I have a 15in HP Pavilion g6 laptop, and while it's served me well for a few years, I now need something bigger and more powerful.

    The more I look, the more I get frustrated. Do I go for dual core, 4 core, 6 core or even 8 core. I think I've decided on an AMD CPU or should I be going for an Intel? Do I need a very good motherboard? I was looking at the Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0. Then comes the graphics and memory and DVD/Blu-ray writer.

    ARGH!!!!!!

    What I shall be using it for is mainly desktop publishing with Adobe InDesign, not overly graphic intensive. I am 95% sure I'll not be playing games.

    I shall be getting a 24in monitor.

    Are the selections I've made above more of a high end gaming machine and just a bit over the top for what I'm needing.

    I think I've almost decided on a Fractal X5 case, but what power supply should I be getting?

    Getting very frustrated and confused over the whole thing.

    Many thanks for you help

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    • george1979's system
      • Motherboard:
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      • Memory:
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    Re: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    The system requirements on Adobe's site seem to be pretty low so you could do this fairly cheap -

    https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/sys...uirements.html

    It does seem to like RAM as it recommends 8Gb - 2 4Gb sticks should cost around £56.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(...-9-9-9-24-150v

    As for the CPU since you won't be gaming you could go for something like this AMD quad core APU and save the money you would have spent on a dedicated GPU to spend on an SSD -

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-a...mhz-65w-retail

    Compatible motherboard (I'm not familiar with this platform so other's may have better suggestions) -

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigab...dvi-d-hdmi-atx


    SSD Drive -

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/256gb...c-95mm-adapter


    This PSU would be more than enough -

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/430w-...m-atx-v231-psu


    So far that amounts to about £270. Add the Fractal X5, about another £50, and a HDD, another £40 to £50 for 1Tb plus optical drive and delivery should bring it all to about £450. - I've only used Scan links purely cos I know the site so its easy for me to find what I'm looking for. Shop around obviously but factor in delivery costs from multiple vendors.

    I'd be inclined to spend a bit extra to go up a rung or two with the CPU just for some future proofing but even that would only cost you another £30 or so.

    Best of luck with the build

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    DDY
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    Re: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    Hello and welcome,

    What's your budget? Since you don't have any particularly demanding requirements, I think it will be easier to choose components based a budget.

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    Re: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    Thanks both.

    Really not thought about a budget, but I'll be buying it bit by bit on my credit card and paying that off before I buy other things. So lets say £500, maybe I shouldn't pay more than that.

    What occurs to me is that I don't need to be buying high end stuff, but maybe I'd like some USB 3.0 ports available at the front as well as the rear.

    The power supply looks good so I'll go for that one and the case I suggested too, so that's up and running.

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    Re: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    OK, so how about this lot.

    A88X-G45 GAMING MSI Motherboard

    Ram - as per above
    CPU - as per above
    PSU - as per above

    SSHD - Seagate ST2000DX001 2TB Desktop SSHD Hybrid 3.5" 8GB SSD 7200rpm 64mb Cache
    (I have reasons for wanting a dual boot machine)

    Blu-Ray writer - Pioneer BDR-209DBK 16x Blu-ray DVD-RW OEM

    Case - Mid Tower Gaming Case from Fractal Design Core 2500

    I may go for the smaller Fractal case.

    Total cost (without monitor) £433.93

    Add a dual band wifi adaptor too for £25

    I think that looks very good.

    Can't add urls atm sorry

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    Re: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    AMD mainstream CPUs are pretty hopeless these days. One or two are just about price competitive but unless your program of choice particularly favours their current design then Intel should be your default choice, particularly on a budget and without any need for graphical grunt.

    Expensive motherboards provide more features and higher quality components. The latter are mostly of interest to people heavily stressing the system (overclocking etc.) so your primarily want to be buying a motherboard based on the ports, sockets and technologies it offers. £40-50 will typically get you a perfectly acceptable choice.

    What's your current system spec? That laptop appears to be a recent model, so it might serve as a good benchmark as to what you need a substantial improvement over. A description of which actions are slow would help too.

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    Re: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    I had my system all planned out and ready, and now I'm not so sure.

    Quad core AMD "sounds" much better than Dual Core Intel, but then again, is it?

    The main reason for upgrading is I need a bigger screen so I'm going for a 24in Iiyama. I'm using a 15in laptop screen atm and I'm constantly scrolling it.

    Here's the spec of my laptop...

    Microprocessor 1.7 GHz AMD Dual-Core E2-1800 APU with Radeon HD7340 Discrete-Class Graphics
    Chipset AMD A68M FCH
    Microprocessor Cache 1 MB L2 cache
    Memory 8 GB DDR3
    Memory Max Upgradeable to 8 GB DDR3 (2 DIMM)
    Video Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7340 Discrete-Class (up to 3.91 GB)
    Hard Drive 1 TB SATA (5400 rpm)
    Up to 24 GB partition for system recovery
    Multimedia Drive SuperMulti DVD±R/RW with double layer support
    Display 39.6 cm (15.6") HD BrightView LED-backlit (1366 x 768)

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    Re: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    I would suggest ditching the hybrid SSHD for a regular SSD which are significantly faster as a OS and applications drive. Install a separate HDD if you also need additional storage.

    On Intel vs AMD, broadly, you get more cores and a faster on-board GPU with an AMD FM2+ APU compared to an Intel CPU of equivalent value, though the Intel chips are a bit more efficient have significantly faster cores.

    I would guess for Adobe InDesign the faster cores of the Intel chips may be a better choice, since it's not a multithreaded application and won't make use of the AMD chip's numerous cores. Having said that, InDesign isn't exactly high requirement and the performance difference the between equivalent AMD and Intel chips would likely be imperceptible.

    I'd personally would go for an Intel i3 Haswell build along with a cheap motherboard and SSD.
    Last edited by DDY; 23-02-2015 at 01:24 AM.

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    Re: Not built a computer in 20 years and I don't know where to start

    I definitely reckon an AMD APU solution will be best for your needs. The main Intel performance advantage is pretty much only for single core applications which I assume InDesign isn't

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