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Old 01-06-2012, 01:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Need help with a PC build for my old man...

Hey again guys (if any of you remember me, LoL)!

CLIFF NOTES:
  • Are AM3 CPU's backwards compatible with AM2 Mobo's?
  • What is a decent, fairly quite GPU in the sub $150 range?
  • I understand the CPU will be a bottleneck in the system
/CLIFF NOTES:

I got my dad a game for Christmas, and it just won't run on his old Dell machine. I have been bugging him for years to get a new PC, and he now finally has a reason to do it. He is currently running an old Pentium 4 Dell, and there just no point in upgrading it. A guy at work has given him an Micro-ATX motherboard and AMD CPU to use, even though they are quite a few years old, but I think it will be sufficient.

Here are the details for the game:

Trainz Simulator 2010: Engineers Edition (Page has sound on it)
Minimum
  • Windows XP (SP3)
  • 1GB RAM
  • Pentium D 3.4GHz (or equivalent)
  • nVidia Geforce 7200/128MB (or equivalent)
  • 15GB Free Hard Drive Space

Recommended
  • Windows Vista/Windows 7 (64bit)
  • 2GB RAM
  • Core 2 Duo (or equivalent)
  • nVidia Geforce 8600 (or equivalent)
  • 15GB Free Hard Drive Space
Here is what we already have. At this point, I know that it's quite a few years old, but this is a nice step up from the Pentium 4, and it's free, this is what we are going to run with. I haven't done much research lately, but are the AM3 processors backwards compatible with socket AM2 motherboards? Just thinking possible CPU upgrade path for the future, should there be a need.

Motherboard: ASUS M2A-VM-HDMI ....... Review: ASUS M2A-VM HDMI 690G Motherboard - HotHardware
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 4800+ - (specific model isn't clear at this time, we think it's a 4800, but not 100% positive)


This is what I am looking at to have him order for the machine. Things not listed are OS, Windows 7, which we already have taken care of, opticle which is a DVD burner which will be recycled from the old Dell, no need for Blu Ray at this point, so no worries there. Hard drive will be one of my old 500 Gig Seagate SATA drives that I swapped out with 2TB drives a while back, so that will all be no cost.


The place where I get stuck now, is the GPU. I REALLY REALLY REALLY HATE the GPU naming conventions that are out there. It's just do dang confusing. Especially when you don't read reviews for a couple years, and you just don't know what compares to what.

GPU Info:
  • Minimum: 7200
  • Recommended: 8600
  • Budget: $150 (for GPU)
  • Monitor: Dell 19" LCD (might be a 20", whatever), and sometimes a 46" Samsung LED LCD TV.
  • Output: Needs DVI & HDMI
  • Needs to be a quiet card, NO WATERCOOLING, I am not going to bother with that, too much of a headache for me.

I was thinking about a fanless card, but there are no Nvidia cards that look decent in the sub $150 range, they all look pretty low end, I think. ATI has some cards that might be good, a Sapphire 6670 (100326UL) for $105 ($90 with rebate), and a Gigabyte 6770 (GV-R677SL-1GD) for $139.

So here I am stuck. Those are just 2 options, fanless ones, but that doesn't have to be the case. I just don't want something that is going to be one of those screaming loud annoying cards, because that will annoy the heck out of him, and in turn it will annoy me. I also don't want to find some old 8800, because this way at least he has some parts which can be used if the motherboard & CPU get upgraded, so something midrange right now is what I am looking for. From what I saw on the Nvidia side, I see the GTX 550 Ti and the GTS 450 in the right range.

Thoughts?? Opinions?? (Side note, UGH, sorry for the long-winded post).


EDIT:
Fail.... Guess I should have taken 3 seconds to google the AM3 CPU in AM2 socket... At least if the Wiki is right. Anyone have REAL WORLD experience here??

Quote:
Socket AM3 processors are able to run on Socket AM2 and AM2+ motherboards with appropriate bios updates, but not vice-versa. AM3 processors have a new memory controller supporting both DDR2 and DDR3 SDRAM, allowing backwards compatibility with AM2 and AM2+ motherboards. Since AM2 and AM2+ processors lack the new memory controller, they will not work on AM3 motherboards.
/EDIT
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2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 01-06-2012, 04:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help with a PC build for my old man...

I wish I had seen your thread eariler, shellshocker for today had a HD 6770 1gb for $70 bucks after rebate.
The reference designs of GTX 550 TI, GTS 450 (same heatsink) and HD 5770 you pointed out are all supposedly very quiet.
but if you must have a fanless unit, I guess the gigabyte would probably be your best bet.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help with a PC build for my old man...

Yeah, I get the shell shocker texts also, but wasn't ready to jump on it.

Also got an email showing that there is a 72 hour sale on an EVGA GTX 550 Ti for $115.
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Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 01-13-2012, 05:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help with a PC build for my old man...

Ok, so we put the order in, and the parts came in earlier this week. This is the video card we ended up going with... EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti . We both work at the same place, so we work on the build during lunch breaks. Today was the 2nd hour of the build. Since it's my dads computer, I have been letting him put it all together, and I just explain it all to him as we go. Yesterday we got the chassis fans mounted, mounted the motherboard, got the PSU in, and cleaned the CPU and heatsink (got them used from a friend of his for free). Today we went to mount the CPU, did that, and as I was looking at the heatsink mount, we found that the plastic base for it was broken, one of the tabs the heatsink latches to was broken clean off, so we really didn't make any progress. He talked to his buddy, and got another motherboard, same model (he had a large number of them, and forgot to check if the base had broken, as some did when he was taking them apart).

So, today I got an email from Newegg with a $15 promo gift card for our purchase, and I was looking into a few additional supplies.
  • 18" SATA cable - the one I brought might not be long enough, it's from an old SFF Shuttle case
  • ATX12v 4 pin 8" extension - the PSU cable might not be long enough to clear the CPU HSF and/or the GPU
  • 3 pin fan Y power cable

Here is a question I have... We have 4x 120mm case fans right now, likely only going to use 3 of them, as the stock one might be removed depending on how loud it is. That said, to keep the wiring clean, I am thinking about getting 2 of the 3 pin Y cables so that we can connect them directly to the motherboard instead of using the 3 to 4 pin Molex adapters, and we have the gift card anyways, so it's free.

We aren't going to be monitoring fan speeds or anything, so I am not worried about using a Y cable off of the Mobo header. What I AM worried about, is if they will be able to spin at full speed, or if they will draw too much power, and spin slower. I worry because these are LOW RPM fans, 500 RPM, 24.50 CFM, 7.50 dBA.


Any thoughts on the Y cable question??
__________________
Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 01-13-2012, 07:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help with a PC build for my old man...

Those low speed fans probably use very little power, you should be good using a Y-adapter. I've used them with higher more powerful fans with no problems.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help with a PC build for my old man...

Thanks for the reply!!

With our $15 promo card, it ended up being only $0.99 to ship out a 12 inch ATX 4 pin power extension cable, 2x sleeved 6 inch 3pin Y cables, and 3x 18 inch SATA cables with securing clip. That would have been about $50 in a store. PHEW!
__________________
Gaming Laptop: - ASUS K501LX-EB71 - Stock (Wife's) - Gateway P-6860FX - Stock (Mine)
General Laptop: - Sony Vaio SVE141D1L - Stock (Mine)
Gaming Rig: BACK ONLINE!! ASUS Z87-PRO (V EDITION), Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell (Stock Cooling), HyperX FURY 8GB DDR3 1866,
XFX Radeon HD 4870, SILVERSTONE DA700, Samsung 840 500Gig SSD MZ-7TD500BW, 3x WD20EARS 2 TB Green,
ASUS DRW-2014L1T (DVD), LG WH14NS40 (Blu Ray), Dell 2709W, Sony SDM-HS95P, Windows 10 Pro
The NAS Box: OFFLINE D-Link DNS-323, 0.1RC3 Alt-F firmware, 2x 7200.14 ST3000DM001 3TB EXT4 - NO RAID - 6 TB
Home Server: BUILD LOG!! - Supermicro SC826TQ-R800LPB chassis, X8DTN+, Dual Xeon E5620 (Stock),
4x Nanya NT4GC72B4NA1NL-CG (24GB Reg ECC DDR3), 12x MICRON MT36JSZF51272PZ-1G4G1FG (48GB Reg ECC DDR3), (72GB total memory)
2x OCZ Agility (60GB) (OS & Backup), 6x WD40EFRX (4TB) in RaidZ2 (14.3 TB usable), 2x Q Series HDTS225XZSTA (256GB) ZIL & L2ARC mirrored

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Old 01-14-2012, 02:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help with a PC build for my old man...

Let us know how it goes
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