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seangrogan

Desktop to replace a laptop at school

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP

1. Budget & Location : A loose 500$ and I'm in QC, Canada.  

2. Aim : Writing, coding.  Any heavy program executions (requiring more ram or processing speed) will probably be run on a server or a separate computer in the lab.  
3. Monitors : 1 for now, asking the PI for a second one...
4. Peripherals : Using Windows 10, will obtain outside the budget.  no need for mouse/keyboard.  
5. Why are you upgrading : I want to get an SSD and will probably need a new power supply...  not sure if 300W is enough.  Detailed story below....

 

Hey guys, So I was looking for some advice on this new build/upgrade.  A little background, back in 2010 I built a pc which currently has (more or less) the following part list: 
 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor 
Motherboard: Asus M4A88T-I Deluxe Mini ITX AM3 Motherboard 
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory  ($24.80 @ DirectCanada) 
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory  ($24.80 @ DirectCanada) 
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTS 250 1GB Video Card 
Case: Silverstone Sugo Series SG05W Mini ITX Desktop Case w/300W Power Supply  ($144.98 @ NCIX) 
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-09-17 09:53 EDT-0400

 

The SG05 I have is black, not white...also has USB2.0 on the front.  Not really sure what hard drive is installed, but that's not gonna matter because I am going to buy an SSD.  

 

Back in march, I purchased a laptop which has given me nothing but headaches since I picked it up.  I was in the middle of thesis writing for my masters and couldn't afford to get it fixed/sent in for the warranty until now (the first time I sent it in took 6 weeks).  so I started my PhD and have an office.  I live close enough to school where I feel like I can go without a laptop for the next while.  So, I figured I would reuse the current stuff from above.  So that led me through the following thought process:

 

I wasn't sure if 300w is enough, even back in 2010 i was having some problems so I ended up getting a SG07 with 600w psu... plus the PSU is now 5 or 6 years old.  So I was looking at a new SFX PSU which led me to the Silverstone 500W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply.  my only concern is that one review says 

Quote

This is the SFX-L version ... an extra 30mm longer than the others

So... I was concerned that it might not fit with the current bracket set up (here) and then was playing around on PCPartPicker and it looks like the updated SG05 is a bit better with the internal mounting hardware/brackets.  And, in all honesty, it isn't that expensive (@$50).  the other thing is the front USB has 3.0, my current sg05 has only 2.0.  I was looking online for an upgrade kit, but it could cost almost $35 (with shipping) to get replacement usb3.0 ports here in canada...

 

and on that note, i was wondering how much it would be to build a full, new desktop with all the previous thoughts in mind...

 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: *AMD Athlon X4 845 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($78.99 @ NCIX) 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XN-WIFI Mini ITX FM2+ Motherboard  ($108.00 @ NCIX) 
Memory: Mushkin ECO2 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory  ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada) 
Storage: Mushkin ECO3 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($89.99 @ Newegg Canada) 
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($71.00 @ Vuugo) 
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTS 250 1GB Video Card 
Case: Silverstone SG05BB-LITE Mini ITX Desktop Case  ($49.99 @ Newegg Canada) 
Power Supply: Silverstone 500W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply  ($115.93 @ DirectCanada) 
Total: $553.89
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-09-17 10:40 EDT-0400

 

And I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I do plan on re-using the GTS 250 and/or my GT740 from my current home desktop (if/when I decide to upgrade the GPU on my primary system).  I could probably hold off on the 3.5" drive for a while to save some cash because I won't need that much storage until later where I *may* need dual boot linux to access some of the resources at school.  I can get all the parts from Newegg for $499.94 (except for the 3.5" hdd).  

 

Looking for some input on what is going into this.

 

Note: When I say a loose $500 budget it's for two reasons: 1. taxes and shipping i'm not including and 2. I'll allow the budget to be broken if the marginal increase in performance far outweighs the increase in performance.  What is this performance/price increase?  I dunno... I'll know it when I see it.

 

Edited by seangrogan
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There's not really an especially good reason to replace your old power supply just because it's 5 or 6 years old. It's a good quality unit and should last a long time. And, being a quality unit, if it does fail, it's not apt to damage anything.

 

So, instead of spending $115 on a new power supply, I'd suggest you get the following:

Case - reuse your SG07 with 600watt supply.

CPU - i5-6500 (much better than an Athlon X4) (or i5-6400 if budget is tight, or i3-6100 if budget is really tight)

Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-H170N-WiFi (or H110)

8-16Gigs of DDR4 (preferably 2x4Gigs or 2x8Gigs)

SSD - w/e budget allows

HDD - w/e (leave out the HDD if budget is tight.)

Video card - the GTS-250 is no better than the IGP in the Intel i5-6500, so you can leave it out and get an RX 4xx later when budget allows.


A sieve may not hold water, but it will hold another sieve.

i5-6600, 16Gigs, ITX Corsair 250D, R9 390, 120Gig M.2 boot, 500Gig SATA SSD, no HDD

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Posted · Original PosterOP
5 minutes ago, Quaker said:

Case - reuse your SG07 with 600watt supply.

I'm sorry if it wasn't clear... I can't reuse the SG07 or it's supply. it's my PC at home.  it's the SG05 i'm looking to reuse with a 300 watt psu.  I also can't find a combinatioon of the above that is less than $600 before shipping and taxes.  

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Actually, after looking at your parts list again, I'd make a different suggestion.

 

CPU: A10-7890K APU

Motherboard: same Gigabyte WiFi

RAM: 8Gigs of DDR3-1866 or 2400 (2x4Gig) (faster, dual-channel RAM actually helps the APU's graphics)

Storage: same

Case: SG05 with 300watt supply (300watts is enough for the APU)

Graphics: no GTS 250 or 745 crap - the APU's graphics are better.

 

 


A sieve may not hold water, but it will hold another sieve.

i5-6600, 16Gigs, ITX Corsair 250D, R9 390, 120Gig M.2 boot, 500Gig SATA SSD, no HDD

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