Processor - What Motherboard to get?

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Alan, May 17, 2008.

  1. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Hi All,

    I am thinking of getting a new processor (upgrading to a Quad Core)
    such as this one for about $275 - $300:

    http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=155784932

    How can I tell what motherboard I will need to either:

    1) Get the full use out of it (all the features including the
    virtualisation technology)

    2) At least minimal features (so that it does work)

    This is a new area to me so I don't really know where to start!

    Thanks,

    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

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    more recent post by me to find my current
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    Alan, May 17, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Alan

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "Alan" typed:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I am thinking of getting a new processor (upgrading to a Quad Core)
    > such as this one for about $275 - $300:
    >
    > http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=155784932


    I wouldn't deal with that trader. No record and no pick-ups? No thanks.
    (although he does address this issue in the questions, seems like he's
    familiar with Trademe... Call me paranoid.)

    Personally I'd get a new CPU for a bit more, with a warrantee backed by
    Intel:

    http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=23_24&products_id=6661

    IMO unless you're saving ~40%+ (and you won't) buying 'new' on Trademe, it
    makes more sense to buy from dealers who've gone through the proper NZ
    dealership chanels rather than imported a bunch of stuff from Singapore.
    It's not often that a thing like a CPU goes wrong but when it does it's more
    likely to be a grey import and you're not likely to get a refund.

    > How can I tell what motherboard I will need to either:
    >
    > 1) Get the full use out of it (all the features including the
    > virtualisation technology)
    >
    > 2) At least minimal features (so that it does work)
    >
    > This is a new area to me so I don't really know where to start!


    All I can do in this situation is tell you what I'd do. I'd buy an Asus
    P5K-E or P5K-E WiFi/AP (the board I'm using now):

    http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=32_33&products_id=6288

    http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=32_33&products_id=4078

    Either of those boards would be a great buy and should last for many years
    in a well-vented case.

    Then again, if I were buying now I wouldn't get a 65nm CPU, I'd get a 45nm
    one such as:

    http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=23_24&products_id=6737

    If you want a quad core. However, again, personally I'd get a dual core
    unless you have a ressing need for quad such as software that will fully
    utilise four cores and really benefit from it. To my mind the best buy in
    CPUs at the moment is the E8400:

    http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=23_24&products_id=6214

    It has the same L2 cache as the quad, is faster (and overclocks well if
    you're into that) but only produces 60% of the heat/uses 60% of the power of
    the quad. Even though I have an E4500 overclocked stable at 3.2GHz (it'll do
    3.3) I'd upgrade to the E8400 if I could afford to upgrade rather than go
    with a quad.

    Others might say different, it's all good.

    Oh, while I've bought from OC Zone with no trouble I'm not saying that
    they're a one-stop-shop. As always it pays to look around. I just used their
    pages to show you what I'd do.

    Luck,
    --
    Shaun.
     
    ~misfit~, May 17, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Alan

    Alan Guest

    "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    news:482eccbd$...
    > Somewhere on teh intarweb "Alan" typed:
    >> Hi All,
    >>
    >> I am thinking of getting a new processor (upgrading to a Quad Core)
    >> such as this one for about $275 - $300:
    >>
    >> http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=155784932

    >
    > I wouldn't deal with that trader. No record and no pick-ups? No
    > thanks. (although he does address this issue in the questions,
    > seems like he's familiar with Trademe... Call me paranoid.)
    >
    > Personally I'd get a new CPU for a bit more, with a warrantee backed
    > by Intel:
    >
    > http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=23_24&products_id=6661
    >
    > IMO unless you're saving ~40%+ (and you won't) buying 'new' on
    > Trademe, it makes more sense to buy from dealers who've gone through
    > the proper NZ dealership chanels rather than imported a bunch of
    > stuff from Singapore. It's not often that a thing like a CPU goes
    > wrong but when it does it's more likely to be a grey import and
    > you're not likely to get a refund.
    >
    >> How can I tell what motherboard I will need to either:
    >>
    >> 1) Get the full use out of it (all the features including the
    >> virtualisation technology)
    >>
    >> 2) At least minimal features (so that it does work)
    >>
    >> This is a new area to me so I don't really know where to start!

    >
    > All I can do in this situation is tell you what I'd do. I'd buy an
    > Asus P5K-E or P5K-E WiFi/AP (the board I'm using now):
    >
    > http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=32_33&products_id=6288
    >
    > http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=32_33&products_id=4078
    >
    > Either of those boards would be a great buy and should last for many
    > years in a well-vented case.
    >
    > Then again, if I were buying now I wouldn't get a 65nm CPU, I'd get
    > a 45nm one such as:
    >
    > http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=23_24&products_id=6737
    >
    > If you want a quad core. However, again, personally I'd get a dual
    > core unless you have a ressing need for quad such as software that
    > will fully utilise four cores and really benefit from it. To my mind
    > the best buy in CPUs at the moment is the E8400:
    >
    > http://www.nzoczone.com/product_info.php?cPath=23_24&products_id=6214
    >
    > It has the same L2 cache as the quad, is faster (and overclocks well
    > if you're into that) but only produces 60% of the heat/uses 60% of
    > the power of the quad. Even though I have an E4500 overclocked
    > stable at 3.2GHz (it'll do 3.3) I'd upgrade to the E8400 if I could
    > afford to upgrade rather than go with a quad.
    >
    > Others might say different, it's all good.
    >
    > Oh, while I've bought from OC Zone with no trouble I'm not saying
    > that they're a one-stop-shop. As always it pays to look around. I
    > just used their pages to show you what I'd do.
    >
    > Luck,
    > --
    > Shaun.
    >


    Hi Shaun,

    Thanks for that.

    However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing how
    to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was just
    an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).

    Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to a
    list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one in
    Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads me to
    believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!

    Thanks again for any further guidance you can provide,

    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

    If you are trying to contact me after that time,
    it MAY still be valid, but may also have been
    deactivated due to spam. If so, and you want
    to contact me by email, try searching for a
    more recent post by me to find my current
    email address.

    The following is a (probably!) totally unique
    and meaningless string of characters that you
    can use to find posts by me in a search engine:

    ewygchvboocno43vb674b6nq46tvb
     
    Alan, May 17, 2008
    #3
  4. Alan

    Damos Guest

    On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan <> wrote:

    >
    > Hi Shaun,
    >
    > Thanks for that.
    >
    > However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing how
    > to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was just
    > an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).
    >
    > Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to a
    > list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one in
    > Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads me to
    > believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!




    Well I've built a number of pc's in my time. Usually goto hardware review
    sites
    or pc mags and see what MB they say are the best interms of features,
    stability, price.
    What CPU goes in what MB is detectated by the chipset of the motherboard
    and the
    reviews/articles will tell you this. Then goto pricespy or local shop for
    local costings
    then assemble.

    Whether you go down an intell or AMD line depends on your prediliction.
    Popular opinion is probably
    that intell CPU are the popular ones now. Multiple core processors really
    need software optimised to run on
    mulitple cores otherwise the benefit is questionable. (quads vrs dual)

    I think decide what you want your computer for ie games vrs general.
    Then look in mag such as PC advisor which has a table in the back of the
    highest rated motherboards
    or hardware review sites (www.tomshardware.com/, www.anandtech.com).
    Another useful thought is to read reviews of complete pc systems and look
    at what the individual components are
    Decide what features you want, then buy the motherboard then the CPU then
    RAM etc.
    If you really dont know, just get a local shop to put one together for you.



    Damos


    --
    "It's a foreboding I have - maybe ill placed - of my children's generation
    or my grandchildren's generation ... when clutching our horoscopes, our
    critical faculties in steep decline, unable to distinguish between what
    right and what feels good, we slide, almost without noticing, into
    superstition and darkness."

    Carl Sagan.
     
    Damos, May 17, 2008
    #4
  5. Alan

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "Damos" typed:
    > On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan <> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Hi Shaun,
    >>
    >> Thanks for that.
    >>
    >> However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing how
    >> to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was just
    >> an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).
    >>
    >> Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to a
    >> list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one in
    >> Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads me
    >> to believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!

    >
    >
    >
    > Well I've built a number of pc's in my time. Usually goto hardware
    > review sites
    > or pc mags and see what MB they say are the best interms of features,
    > stability, price.
    > What CPU goes in what MB is detectated by the chipset of the
    > motherboard and the
    > reviews/articles will tell you this. Then goto pricespy or local shop
    > for local costings
    > then assemble.
    >
    > Whether you go down an intell or AMD line depends on your
    > prediliction. Popular opinion is probably
    > that intell CPU are the popular ones now. Multiple core processors
    > really need software optimised to run on
    > mulitple cores otherwise the benefit is questionable. (quads vrs dual)
    >
    > I think decide what you want your computer for ie games vrs general.
    > Then look in mag such as PC advisor which has a table in the back of
    > the highest rated motherboards
    > or hardware review sites (www.tomshardware.com/, www.anandtech.com).
    > Another useful thought is to read reviews of complete pc systems and
    > look at what the individual components are
    > Decide what features you want, then buy the motherboard then the CPU
    > then RAM etc.
    > If you really dont know, just get a local shop to put one together
    > for you.


    Hi again Alan, Damos is pretty spot on here. There is a pool of available
    knowledge for matching CPUs with motherboards but it's scattered. People
    like me (and I think Damos and a few others here) keep abreast of the
    situation as we find it interesting and we also build a few machines.

    Motherboard choice comes down to CPU/chipset compatability, then features
    you want, followed by any preference of manufacturer really. The best value
    chipset (and also one of the best performing, especially at it's price) for
    the Intel 'Core' range of CPUs (the best choice currently IMO) is the P35
    northbridge which handles the CPU and RAM coupled with Intel's top range
    southbridge, the ICH9-R. (Such as can be found on the boards in the links I
    gave you.)

    I like Asus boards. Gigabyte are also good. You don't want bottom of the
    range boards as they're usually not worth the trouble. In the instance I
    gave you, the Asus P5K-E is middle of the P5K range and the cheapest of that
    range to feature an 8 phase on-board CPU power supply. (The vanilla P5K has
    a cheap'n nasty 3-phase circuit.)

    Ultimately I think you either need to take specific advice or learn it all
    for yourself. I didn't build a PC for a couple of years and I let my
    knowledge of current hardware lapse as it got (seemingly) exponentially more
    complicated with the introduction of hyperthreading, 64-bit CPUs, then
    multi-core CPUs. When it came time to build again it took me the best part
    of a month to get up to speed on what was the best suited for my needs. I
    read sites such as Damos pointed you towards, revisited my old haunts,
    alt.comp.hardware and alt.comp.hardware.overclocking and read on-line
    forums, reviews... (It's always good to hear what the overclockers have to
    say, even if you don't intend to overclock. Overclockers know which CPUs and
    motherboards have the 'headroom', making them a good buy for
    non-overclockers too.)

    So, without wanting to sound preachy, IMO you either need to spend a couple
    hundred hours (or maybe less) accessing all the resources out there and then
    make an informed decision for yourself, buy a pre-built machine, or perhaps
    take specific advice from folks who are up to speed (or nearly so. <g>).

    There are some knowledgeable hardware folks here making this group a
    valuable resource. If you decide to go down that path then maybe just tell
    us what you want the machine for, or get more specific about which CPU etc.
    you want and maybe we can give you some suggestions from there. We rarely
    agree completely so you'll still have the final decisions to make.

    G'night,
    --
    Shaun.
     
    ~misfit~, May 17, 2008
    #5
  6. Alan

    impossible Guest

    "Damos" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:p.ubav00la2an4t6@andrew-orac...
    > On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan <> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Hi Shaun,
    >>
    >> Thanks for that.
    >>
    >> However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing how
    >> to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was just
    >> an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).
    >>
    >> Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to a
    >> list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one in
    >> Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads me to
    >> believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!

    >
    >
    >
    > Well I've built a number of pc's in my time. Usually goto hardware review
    > sites
    > or pc mags and see what MB they say are the best interms of features,
    > stability, price.
    > What CPU goes in what MB is detectated by the chipset of the motherboard
    > and the
    > reviews/articles will tell you this. Then goto pricespy or local shop for
    > local costings
    > then assemble.
    >
    > Whether you go down an intell or AMD line depends on your prediliction.
    > Popular opinion is probably
    > that intell CPU are the popular ones now. Multiple core processors really
    > need software optimised to run on
    > mulitple cores otherwise the benefit is questionable. (quads vrs dual)
    >
    > I think decide what you want your computer for ie games vrs general.
    > Then look in mag such as PC advisor which has a table in the back of the
    > highest rated motherboards
    > or hardware review sites (www.tomshardware.com/, www.anandtech.com).
    > Another useful thought is to read reviews of complete pc systems and look
    > at what the individual components are
    > Decide what features you want, then buy the motherboard then the CPU then
    > RAM etc.
    > If you really dont know, just get a local shop to put one together for
    > you.
    >
    >
    >


    Or use the custom search tools here:

    http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=280&name=Intel-Motherboards

    Newegg's database of current products is about the most extensive I've ever
    seen, and in most cases they provide you a direct link to the manufacturer's
    own product page for further details. Note that they absolutely won't take
    orders from NZ. But their search tools are brilliant and they can save you a
    lot of time when you're trying to narrow down your choices and make
    comparisons based on hard information. One tip: stick to just a single
    search specification (cpu type, manufacturer, price, etc) at a time and then
    drill down deeper at subsequent levels.
     
    impossible, May 17, 2008
    #6
  7. Alan

    Alan Guest

    "Damos" <> wrote in message
    news:eek:p.ubav00la2an4t6@andrew-orac...
    > On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan <> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> Hi Shaun,
    >>
    >> Thanks for that.
    >>
    >> However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing
    >> how
    >> to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was
    >> just
    >> an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).
    >>
    >> Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to
    >> a
    >> list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one
    >> in
    >> Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads me
    >> to
    >> believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!

    >
    >
    >
    > Well I've built a number of pc's in my time. Usually goto hardware
    > review sites
    > or pc mags and see what MB they say are the best interms of
    > features, stability, price.
    > What CPU goes in what MB is detectated by the chipset of the
    > motherboard and the
    > reviews/articles will tell you this. Then goto pricespy or local
    > shop for local costings
    > then assemble.
    >
    > Whether you go down an intell or AMD line depends on your
    > prediliction. Popular opinion is probably
    > that intell CPU are the popular ones now. Multiple core processors
    > really need software optimised to run on
    > mulitple cores otherwise the benefit is questionable. (quads vrs
    > dual)
    >
    > I think decide what you want your computer for ie games vrs general.
    > Then look in mag such as PC advisor which has a table in the back of
    > the highest rated motherboards
    > or hardware review sites (www.tomshardware.com/,
    > www.anandtech.com).
    > Another useful thought is to read reviews of complete pc systems and
    > look at what the individual components are
    > Decide what features you want, then buy the motherboard then the CPU
    > then RAM etc.
    > If you really dont know, just get a local shop to put one together
    > for you.
    >
    >
    >
    > Damos
    >
    >
    > --
    > "It's a foreboding I have - maybe ill placed - of my children's
    > generation
    > or my grandchildren's generation ... when clutching our horoscopes,
    > our
    > critical faculties in steep decline, unable to distinguish between
    > what
    > right and what feels good, we slide, almost without noticing, into
    > superstition and darkness."
    >
    > Carl Sagan.


    Hi Demos,

    Great post - very helpful, if intimidating!!

    Thanks,
    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

    If you are trying to contact me after that time,
    it MAY still be valid, but may also have been
    deactivated due to spam. If so, and you want
    to contact me by email, try searching for a
    more recent post by me to find my current
    email address.

    The following is a (probably!) totally unique
    and meaningless string of characters that you
    can use to find posts by me in a search engine:

    ewygchvboocno43vb674b6nq46tvb
     
    Alan, May 17, 2008
    #7
  8. Alan

    Alan Guest

    "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    news:482ee9e0$...
    > Somewhere on teh intarweb "Damos" typed:
    >> On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>
    >>> Hi Shaun,
    >>>
    >>> Thanks for that.
    >>>
    >>> However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing
    >>> how
    >>> to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was
    >>> just
    >>> an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).
    >>>
    >>> Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to
    >>> a
    >>> list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one
    >>> in
    >>> Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads
    >>> me
    >>> to believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Well I've built a number of pc's in my time. Usually goto hardware
    >> review sites
    >> or pc mags and see what MB they say are the best interms of
    >> features,
    >> stability, price.
    >> What CPU goes in what MB is detectated by the chipset of the
    >> motherboard and the
    >> reviews/articles will tell you this. Then goto pricespy or local
    >> shop
    >> for local costings
    >> then assemble.
    >>
    >> Whether you go down an intell or AMD line depends on your
    >> prediliction. Popular opinion is probably
    >> that intell CPU are the popular ones now. Multiple core processors
    >> really need software optimised to run on
    >> mulitple cores otherwise the benefit is questionable. (quads vrs
    >> dual)
    >>
    >> I think decide what you want your computer for ie games vrs
    >> general.
    >> Then look in mag such as PC advisor which has a table in the back
    >> of
    >> the highest rated motherboards
    >> or hardware review sites (www.tomshardware.com/,
    >> www.anandtech.com).
    >> Another useful thought is to read reviews of complete pc systems
    >> and
    >> look at what the individual components are
    >> Decide what features you want, then buy the motherboard then the
    >> CPU
    >> then RAM etc.
    >> If you really dont know, just get a local shop to put one together
    >> for you.

    >
    > Hi again Alan, Damos is pretty spot on here. There is a pool of
    > available knowledge for matching CPUs with motherboards but it's
    > scattered. People like me (and I think Damos and a few others here)
    > keep abreast of the situation as we find it interesting and we also
    > build a few machines.
    >
    > Motherboard choice comes down to CPU/chipset compatability, then
    > features you want, followed by any preference of manufacturer
    > really. The best value chipset (and also one of the best performing,
    > especially at it's price) for the Intel 'Core' range of CPUs (the
    > best choice currently IMO) is the P35 northbridge which handles the
    > CPU and RAM coupled with Intel's top range southbridge, the ICH9-R.
    > (Such as can be found on the boards in the links I gave you.)
    >
    > I like Asus boards. Gigabyte are also good. You don't want bottom of
    > the range boards as they're usually not worth the trouble. In the
    > instance I gave you, the Asus P5K-E is middle of the P5K range and
    > the cheapest of that range to feature an 8 phase on-board CPU power
    > supply. (The vanilla P5K has a cheap'n nasty 3-phase circuit.)
    >
    > Ultimately I think you either need to take specific advice or learn
    > it all for yourself. I didn't build a PC for a couple of years and I
    > let my knowledge of current hardware lapse as it got (seemingly)
    > exponentially more complicated with the introduction of
    > hyperthreading, 64-bit CPUs, then multi-core CPUs. When it came time
    > to build again it took me the best part of a month to get up to
    > speed on what was the best suited for my needs. I read sites such as
    > Damos pointed you towards, revisited my old haunts,
    > alt.comp.hardware and alt.comp.hardware.overclocking and read
    > on-line forums, reviews... (It's always good to hear what the
    > overclockers have to say, even if you don't intend to overclock.
    > Overclockers know which CPUs and motherboards have the 'headroom',
    > making them a good buy for non-overclockers too.)
    >
    > So, without wanting to sound preachy, IMO you either need to spend a
    > couple hundred hours (or maybe less) accessing all the resources out
    > there and then make an informed decision for yourself, buy a
    > pre-built machine, or perhaps take specific advice from folks who
    > are up to speed (or nearly so. <g>).
    >
    > There are some knowledgeable hardware folks here making this group a
    > valuable resource. If you decide to go down that path then maybe
    > just tell us what you want the machine for, or get more specific
    > about which CPU etc. you want and maybe we can give you some
    > suggestions from there. We rarely agree completely so you'll still
    > have the final decisions to make.
    >
    > G'night,
    > --
    > Shaun.
    >


    Hi Shaun,

    All much more involved that I had really considered!

    I think I'll have to reconsider the DIY approach (it was more of a
    'want to do it' than anything else - not trying to save money).

    However, sometimes you have to be more realistic I guess.

    Thanks,

    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

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    Alan, May 17, 2008
    #8
  9. Alan

    Alan Guest

    "impossible" <> wrote in message
    news:RWBXj.113729$TT4.14439@attbi_s22...
    > "Damos" <> wrote in message
    > news:eek:p.ubav00la2an4t6@andrew-orac...
    >> On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan <> wrote:
    >>
    >>>
    >>> Hi Shaun,
    >>>
    >>> Thanks for that.
    >>>
    >>> However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing
    >>> how
    >>> to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was
    >>> just
    >>> an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).
    >>>
    >>> Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to
    >>> a
    >>> list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one
    >>> in
    >>> Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads
    >>> me to
    >>> believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!

    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Well I've built a number of pc's in my time. Usually goto hardware
    >> review sites
    >> or pc mags and see what MB they say are the best interms of
    >> features, stability, price.
    >> What CPU goes in what MB is detectated by the chipset of the
    >> motherboard and the
    >> reviews/articles will tell you this. Then goto pricespy or local
    >> shop for local costings
    >> then assemble.
    >>
    >> Whether you go down an intell or AMD line depends on your
    >> prediliction. Popular opinion is probably
    >> that intell CPU are the popular ones now. Multiple core processors
    >> really need software optimised to run on
    >> mulitple cores otherwise the benefit is questionable. (quads vrs
    >> dual)
    >>
    >> I think decide what you want your computer for ie games vrs
    >> general.
    >> Then look in mag such as PC advisor which has a table in the back
    >> of the highest rated motherboards
    >> or hardware review sites (www.tomshardware.com/,
    >> www.anandtech.com).
    >> Another useful thought is to read reviews of complete pc systems
    >> and look at what the individual components are
    >> Decide what features you want, then buy the motherboard then the
    >> CPU then RAM etc.
    >> If you really dont know, just get a local shop to put one together
    >> for you.
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Or use the custom search tools here:
    >
    > http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=280&name=Intel-Motherboards
    >
    > Newegg's database of current products is about the most extensive
    > I've ever seen, and in most cases they provide you a direct link to
    > the manufacturer's own product page for further details. Note that
    > they absolutely won't take orders from NZ. But their search tools
    > are brilliant and they can save you a lot of time when you're trying
    > to narrow down your choices and make comparisons based on hard
    > information. One tip: stick to just a single search specification
    > (cpu type, manufacturer, price, etc) at a time and then drill down
    > deeper at subsequent levels.
    >


    I'll have a look. Whether I go ahead and build my own or not it will
    be interesting to see what they have on there.

    Thanks,

    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

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    Alan, May 17, 2008
    #9
  10. Alan

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "Alan" typed:
    > "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    > news:482ee9e0$...
    >> Somewhere on teh intarweb "Damos" typed:
    >>> On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>
    >>>> Hi Shaun,
    >>>>
    >>>> Thanks for that.
    >>>>
    >>>> However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing
    >>>> how
    >>>> to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was
    >>>> just
    >>>> an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).
    >>>>
    >>>> Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to
    >>>> a
    >>>> list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one
    >>>> in
    >>>> Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads
    >>>> me
    >>>> to believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Well I've built a number of pc's in my time. Usually goto hardware
    >>> review sites
    >>> or pc mags and see what MB they say are the best interms of
    >>> features,
    >>> stability, price.
    >>> What CPU goes in what MB is detectated by the chipset of the
    >>> motherboard and the
    >>> reviews/articles will tell you this. Then goto pricespy or local
    >>> shop
    >>> for local costings
    >>> then assemble.
    >>>
    >>> Whether you go down an intell or AMD line depends on your
    >>> prediliction. Popular opinion is probably
    >>> that intell CPU are the popular ones now. Multiple core processors
    >>> really need software optimised to run on
    >>> mulitple cores otherwise the benefit is questionable. (quads vrs
    >>> dual)
    >>>
    >>> I think decide what you want your computer for ie games vrs
    >>> general.
    >>> Then look in mag such as PC advisor which has a table in the back
    >>> of
    >>> the highest rated motherboards
    >>> or hardware review sites (www.tomshardware.com/,
    >>> www.anandtech.com).
    >>> Another useful thought is to read reviews of complete pc systems
    >>> and
    >>> look at what the individual components are
    >>> Decide what features you want, then buy the motherboard then the
    >>> CPU
    >>> then RAM etc.
    >>> If you really dont know, just get a local shop to put one together
    >>> for you.

    >>
    >> Hi again Alan, Damos is pretty spot on here. There is a pool of
    >> available knowledge for matching CPUs with motherboards but it's
    >> scattered. People like me (and I think Damos and a few others here)
    >> keep abreast of the situation as we find it interesting and we also
    >> build a few machines.
    >>
    >> Motherboard choice comes down to CPU/chipset compatability, then
    >> features you want, followed by any preference of manufacturer
    >> really. The best value chipset (and also one of the best performing,
    >> especially at it's price) for the Intel 'Core' range of CPUs (the
    >> best choice currently IMO) is the P35 northbridge which handles the
    >> CPU and RAM coupled with Intel's top range southbridge, the ICH9-R.
    >> (Such as can be found on the boards in the links I gave you.)
    >>
    >> I like Asus boards. Gigabyte are also good. You don't want bottom of
    >> the range boards as they're usually not worth the trouble. In the
    >> instance I gave you, the Asus P5K-E is middle of the P5K range and
    >> the cheapest of that range to feature an 8 phase on-board CPU power
    >> supply. (The vanilla P5K has a cheap'n nasty 3-phase circuit.)
    >>
    >> Ultimately I think you either need to take specific advice or learn
    >> it all for yourself. I didn't build a PC for a couple of years and I
    >> let my knowledge of current hardware lapse as it got (seemingly)
    >> exponentially more complicated with the introduction of
    >> hyperthreading, 64-bit CPUs, then multi-core CPUs. When it came time
    >> to build again it took me the best part of a month to get up to
    >> speed on what was the best suited for my needs. I read sites such as
    >> Damos pointed you towards, revisited my old haunts,
    >> alt.comp.hardware and alt.comp.hardware.overclocking and read
    >> on-line forums, reviews... (It's always good to hear what the
    >> overclockers have to say, even if you don't intend to overclock.
    >> Overclockers know which CPUs and motherboards have the 'headroom',
    >> making them a good buy for non-overclockers too.)
    >>
    >> So, without wanting to sound preachy, IMO you either need to spend a
    >> couple hundred hours (or maybe less) accessing all the resources out
    >> there and then make an informed decision for yourself, buy a
    >> pre-built machine, or perhaps take specific advice from folks who
    >> are up to speed (or nearly so. <g>).
    >>
    >> There are some knowledgeable hardware folks here making this group a
    >> valuable resource. If you decide to go down that path then maybe
    >> just tell us what you want the machine for, or get more specific
    >> about which CPU etc. you want and maybe we can give you some
    >> suggestions from there. We rarely agree completely so you'll still
    >> have the final decisions to make.
    >>
    >> G'night,
    >> --
    >> Shaun.
    >>

    >
    > Hi Shaun,
    >
    > All much more involved that I had really considered!


    Yes, it's changed a lot in the last 5 years or so.

    > I think I'll have to reconsider the DIY approach (it was more of a
    > 'want to do it' than anything else - not trying to save money).


    A very noble sentiment. I build all my own computers, even when sometimes I
    see 'great' deals on upgrade boxes or similar. However, there's always at
    least one component that breaks the deal for me. Very rarely do I see a
    well-priced pre-built machine that uses all what I'd call 'good' components.

    > However, sometimes you have to be more realistic I guess.


    As I mentioned, you can still self-build, if you're prepared to accept some
    help (or spend the time). The site that impossible sent you to can be useful
    as long as you don't 'decide' on a component that isn't available in NZ. The
    build itself isn't that hard, not far off from building a PC of yesteryear.
    (Easier, depending on when "yesteryear" was. <g>)

    There is a lot of satisfaction to be had from having built your own PC,
    knowing that you got quality components.

    If you're building from scratch the chioces are actually really easy. We
    don't have that big a range of components as most other countries and,
    realistically, there are only a few companies worth considering for things
    like the motherboard.

    For a PSU it's hard to go past AcBel. I've used them for my last few builds
    and they're awesome for the price. I've never had a problem with them, even
    when overclocking to the extreme. They're half the price of the 'boutique'
    brands and often more stable.

    A friend, who I'd always built PCs for since back in the 486 days, came
    around with his latest PC, the first he'd not got me to build. He'd seen a
    flyer and they had a 'gaming PC' at a price that the really liked. All set
    up, Windows and software/drivers installed. However, they'd not put any AV
    on it. Needless to say, two weeks ater he dropped it off to me to fix for
    him. ('Fix' being a full reinstall.)

    After three Windows XP installs and a day and a half of banging my head
    against a wall I fired up Google and checked out the motherboard as I had a
    problem I simply couldn't resolve. Seems that the motherboard used, an Asus
    M3A, (with 4 core Phenom AMD CPU) is a lemon. Once I Googled I saw literally
    hundreds of people saying "don't buy this board".

    Turns out that the only way to get it stable is to change the BIOS (which
    was done) then, not use the NIC driver off the install CD but download and
    install the 'latest' from Asus. However, here's the bit that bit me twice;
    You then have to click "Microsoft Update" on the start menu (something I
    would normally never do) and get a different driver for the on-board NIC
    from the update site. If you didn't do that, in that order, the PC would
    hang at the scrolling blue bar at the start of loading Windows as it tried
    to load a conflicting NIC driver. In forums a lot of people had simply given
    up and sent the board back. Others had fitted a PCI NIC.

    Another thing about this motherboard was that, although the CPU itself (with
    stock heatsink) didn't get too hot under 100% load, the 'northbridge', right
    in the middle of the board, got really hot. HW Monitor reported temps
    getting close to 80°C. I thought the sensor must be wrong so touched the
    tiny 30 x 30 mm heatsink. I burnt my finger, had a red mark that took days
    to go away. I checked forums again and found that this was also a known
    problem (although not as well-known as the driver issue). Even directing a
    fan onto the 'sink only helped by literally a couple degrees. The 'sink
    simply isn't bit enough to transfer the heat.

    The proprietary attachment for the heatsink precluded fitting anything that
    was available on the market. It attached to the mobo by two steel loops in
    the mobo and a spring-steel clip. I read of a guy who modified an
    after-market heatsink to fit, only to have the anchors pull out of the mobo.
    They're only suitable to hold the ~15gm factory-fitted 'sink.

    Personally I wouldn't want a mobo that has a northbridge that runs that hot.
    It's in the middle of the board and, with thermal expansion, has to limit
    the life of the board IMO.

    It was painfully obvious why this particular store was selling a 'cheap'
    gaming system. There's no way they'd move that motherboard any other way and
    they must have had stocks of them

    Also, while working on this PC I discovered that, even though the
    motherboard supported SATA II and the HDD was the same as the ones I've
    bought recently, fast Seagate 7200.11 500 GB SATA II drives, they builders
    hadn't removed the small jumper from the drive so it was still limited to
    SATA I speed.

    My point? IMO self-build is usually the best option if you have a bit of
    knowledge and a screwdriver. At least you know what you're getting. There is
    another option but it's not the cheapest. I believe that a certain NZ store
    allows you to select all your components (from their stock list) and then
    they will build it for you, for a fee. I can't recall who the store is but I
    think it's Wellington based. Someone here should know.

    Cheers,
    --
    Shaun.
     
    ~misfit~, May 18, 2008
    #10
  11. Alan

    Alan Guest

    "Smoking Causes Lung Cancer (SCLC)" <> wrote in
    message news:p...
    > On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan wrote:
    >
    >> However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing
    >> how to
    >> match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was just
    >> an
    >> example - I won't necessarily go for that one).

    >
    > One possibility is to ask the shop assistant to point out the
    > various
    > MoBos that would work with XYZ CPU and, also ask him to point out
    > the
    > differences between those MoBos.
    >
    > Armed with that information you can then research what those
    > differences
    > mean.
    >
    >
    > --
    > ANON: "Considering the number of wheels Microsoft has found reason
    > to
    > invent, one never ceases to be baffled by the minuscule number whose
    > shape even vaguely resembles a circle."


    Good call - Assuming they know what they're talking about of course,
    but I guess that means going into a smaller 'specialist' shop rather
    then DSE or similar.

    Thanks,

    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

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    it MAY still be valid, but may also have been
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    to contact me by email, try searching for a
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    Alan, May 18, 2008
    #11
  12. Alan

    Tony Guest

    Alan wrote:
    > Hi All,
    >
    > I am thinking of getting a new processor (upgrading to a Quad Core)
    > such as this one for about $275 - $300:
    >
    > http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=155784932
    >
    > How can I tell what motherboard I will need to either:
    >
    > 1) Get the full use out of it (all the features including the
    > virtualisation technology)
    >
    > 2) At least minimal features (so that it does work)
    >
    > This is a new area to me so I don't really know where to start!
    >
    > Thanks,
    >


    If you use Ascents website http://ascent.co.nz its motherboard section
    has pretty good specs that are easy to follow.
     
    Tony, May 18, 2008
    #12
  13. Alan

    Alan Guest

    "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    news:482eccbd$...
    > Somewhere on teh intarweb "Alan" typed:
    >> Hi All,
    >>
    >> I am thinking of getting a new processor (upgrading to a Quad Core)
    >> such as this one for about $275 - $300:
    >>
    >> http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=155784932

    >
    > I wouldn't deal with that trader. No record and no pick-ups? No
    > thanks. (although he does address this issue in the questions,
    > seems like he's familiar with Trademe... Call me paranoid.)
    >


    I've decided against going for that particular CPU - I'm going to
    consider buying a case, motherboard, and CPU all together to ensure I
    don't have an issue with respect to compatibility.

    On your point about buying from TM, that trader is offering SafeTrader
    at their expense. That would mean it's fairly safe I would have
    thought?

    Anyway, I am still going to head down that self build path, but start
    halfway along and just add the Video, Sound, Memory, HDDs etc myself.

    Next question: Any other recommendations on a Case / MB / CPU
    combination and what I should be looking to pay? My aim is a general
    purpose PC with abaility to play mid range games (nothing 'latest and
    greatest'). Should happily do Vista and cope with running VMs (I am
    aiming for 4GB of memory and a 64bit processor I think).

    Thanks,

    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

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    it MAY still be valid, but may also have been
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    to contact me by email, try searching for a
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    email address.

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    can use to find posts by me in a search engine:

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    Alan, May 18, 2008
    #13
  14. Alan

    Malcolm Guest

    On Sun, 18 May 2008 12:39:20 +1200
    "~misfit~" <> wrote:

    <big snip>
    > My point? IMO self-build is usually the best option if you have a bit
    > of knowledge and a screwdriver. At least you know what you're
    > getting. There is another option but it's not the cheapest. I believe
    > that a certain NZ store allows you to select all your components
    > (from their stock list) and then they will build it for you, for a
    > fee. I can't recall who the store is but I think it's Wellington
    > based. Someone here should know.
    >
    > Cheers,

    Key Computers if the are still there?
    I would also recommend Nvidia as a the video card. I was running an
    EN6600 but now have a EN8600GT (Which allows overclocking) both silent
    versions no fan as I also run water cooling on this machine for the CPU.

    --
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
    SLED 10.0 SP1 x86_64 Kernel 2.6.16.54-0.2.5-smp
    up 5 days 23:57, 1 user, load average: 0.03, 0.11, 0.22
     
    Malcolm, May 18, 2008
    #14
  15. Alan

    Alan Guest

    "Tony" <> wrote in
    message news:newscache$e2k11k$4r7$...
    > Alan wrote:
    >> Hi All,
    >>
    >> I am thinking of getting a new processor (upgrading to a Quad Core)
    >> such as this one for about $275 - $300:
    >>
    >> http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=155784932
    >>
    >> How can I tell what motherboard I will need to either:
    >>
    >> 1) Get the full use out of it (all the features including the
    >> virtualisation technology)
    >>
    >> 2) At least minimal features (so that it does work)
    >>
    >> This is a new area to me so I don't really know where to start!
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >>

    >
    > If you use Ascents website http://ascent.co.nz its motherboard
    > section has pretty good specs that are easy to follow.


    Good resource - thanx!

    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

    If you are trying to contact me after that time,
    it MAY still be valid, but may also have been
    deactivated due to spam. If so, and you want
    to contact me by email, try searching for a
    more recent post by me to find my current
    email address.

    The following is a (probably!) totally unique
    and meaningless string of characters that you
    can use to find posts by me in a search engine:

    ewygchvboocno43vb674b6nq46tvb
     
    Alan, May 18, 2008
    #15
  16. On Sun, 18 May 2008 12:39:20 +1200, ~misfit~ <>
    wrote in <news:482f7aba$>:

    > My point? IMO self-build is usually the best option if you have a bit of
    > knowledge and a screwdriver. At least you know what you're getting. There is
    > another option but it's not the cheapest. I believe that a certain NZ store
    > allows you to select all your components (from their stock list) and then
    > they will build it for you, for a fee. I can't recall who the store is but I
    > think it's Wellington based. Someone here should know.


    Both Paradigm and Ascent (among others, no doubt) in Wellington offer this
    service. There will certainly be any number of them in Auckland also, and
    very likely in other major centres.

    --
    - Nic.
     
    Nicolaas Hawkins, May 18, 2008
    #16
  17. Alan

    bugalugs Guest

    ~misfit~ wrote:
    > Somewhere on teh intarweb "Alan" typed:
    >> "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    >> news:482ee9e0$...
    >>> Somewhere on teh intarweb "Damos" typed:
    >>>> On Sun, 18 May 2008 00:27:45 +1200, Alan <> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Hi Shaun,
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Thanks for that.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> However, I guess I was looking for a more generic way of knowing
    >>>>> how
    >>>>> to match a motherboard with a given CPU (the one I linked to was
    >>>>> just
    >>>>> an example - I won't necessarily go for that one).
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Is there some reference site that matches a processor reference to
    >>>>> a
    >>>>> list of motherboards that will work with it? I tried to find one
    >>>>> in
    >>>>> Google but couldn't see anything that would do that, which leads
    >>>>> me
    >>>>> to believe that I am missing the point somewhere along the line!
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>> Well I've built a number of pc's in my time. Usually goto hardware
    >>>> review sites
    >>>> or pc mags and see what MB they say are the best interms of
    >>>> features,
    >>>> stability, price.
    >>>> What CPU goes in what MB is detectated by the chipset of the
    >>>> motherboard and the
    >>>> reviews/articles will tell you this. Then goto pricespy or local
    >>>> shop
    >>>> for local costings
    >>>> then assemble.
    >>>>
    >>>> Whether you go down an intell or AMD line depends on your
    >>>> prediliction. Popular opinion is probably
    >>>> that intell CPU are the popular ones now. Multiple core processors
    >>>> really need software optimised to run on
    >>>> mulitple cores otherwise the benefit is questionable. (quads vrs
    >>>> dual)
    >>>>
    >>>> I think decide what you want your computer for ie games vrs
    >>>> general.
    >>>> Then look in mag such as PC advisor which has a table in the back
    >>>> of
    >>>> the highest rated motherboards
    >>>> or hardware review sites (www.tomshardware.com/,
    >>>> www.anandtech.com).
    >>>> Another useful thought is to read reviews of complete pc systems
    >>>> and
    >>>> look at what the individual components are
    >>>> Decide what features you want, then buy the motherboard then the
    >>>> CPU
    >>>> then RAM etc.
    >>>> If you really dont know, just get a local shop to put one together
    >>>> for you.
    >>> Hi again Alan, Damos is pretty spot on here. There is a pool of
    >>> available knowledge for matching CPUs with motherboards but it's
    >>> scattered. People like me (and I think Damos and a few others here)
    >>> keep abreast of the situation as we find it interesting and we also
    >>> build a few machines.
    >>>
    >>> Motherboard choice comes down to CPU/chipset compatability, then
    >>> features you want, followed by any preference of manufacturer
    >>> really. The best value chipset (and also one of the best performing,
    >>> especially at it's price) for the Intel 'Core' range of CPUs (the
    >>> best choice currently IMO) is the P35 northbridge which handles the
    >>> CPU and RAM coupled with Intel's top range southbridge, the ICH9-R.
    >>> (Such as can be found on the boards in the links I gave you.)
    >>>
    >>> I like Asus boards. Gigabyte are also good. You don't want bottom of
    >>> the range boards as they're usually not worth the trouble. In the
    >>> instance I gave you, the Asus P5K-E is middle of the P5K range and
    >>> the cheapest of that range to feature an 8 phase on-board CPU power
    >>> supply. (The vanilla P5K has a cheap'n nasty 3-phase circuit.)
    >>>
    >>> Ultimately I think you either need to take specific advice or learn
    >>> it all for yourself. I didn't build a PC for a couple of years and I
    >>> let my knowledge of current hardware lapse as it got (seemingly)
    >>> exponentially more complicated with the introduction of
    >>> hyperthreading, 64-bit CPUs, then multi-core CPUs. When it came time
    >>> to build again it took me the best part of a month to get up to
    >>> speed on what was the best suited for my needs. I read sites such as
    >>> Damos pointed you towards, revisited my old haunts,
    >>> alt.comp.hardware and alt.comp.hardware.overclocking and read
    >>> on-line forums, reviews... (It's always good to hear what the
    >>> overclockers have to say, even if you don't intend to overclock.
    >>> Overclockers know which CPUs and motherboards have the 'headroom',
    >>> making them a good buy for non-overclockers too.)
    >>>
    >>> So, without wanting to sound preachy, IMO you either need to spend a
    >>> couple hundred hours (or maybe less) accessing all the resources out
    >>> there and then make an informed decision for yourself, buy a
    >>> pre-built machine, or perhaps take specific advice from folks who
    >>> are up to speed (or nearly so. <g>).
    >>>
    >>> There are some knowledgeable hardware folks here making this group a
    >>> valuable resource. If you decide to go down that path then maybe
    >>> just tell us what you want the machine for, or get more specific
    >>> about which CPU etc. you want and maybe we can give you some
    >>> suggestions from there. We rarely agree completely so you'll still
    >>> have the final decisions to make.
    >>>
    >>> G'night,
    >>> --
    >>> Shaun.
    >>>

    >> Hi Shaun,
    >>
    >> All much more involved that I had really considered!

    >
    > Yes, it's changed a lot in the last 5 years or so.
    >
    >> I think I'll have to reconsider the DIY approach (it was more of a
    >> 'want to do it' than anything else - not trying to save money).

    >
    > A very noble sentiment. I build all my own computers, even when sometimes I
    > see 'great' deals on upgrade boxes or similar. However, there's always at
    > least one component that breaks the deal for me. Very rarely do I see a
    > well-priced pre-built machine that uses all what I'd call 'good' components.
    >
    >> However, sometimes you have to be more realistic I guess.

    >
    > As I mentioned, you can still self-build, if you're prepared to accept some
    > help (or spend the time). The site that impossible sent you to can be useful
    > as long as you don't 'decide' on a component that isn't available in NZ. The
    > build itself isn't that hard, not far off from building a PC of yesteryear.
    > (Easier, depending on when "yesteryear" was. <g>)
    >
    > There is a lot of satisfaction to be had from having built your own PC,
    > knowing that you got quality components.
    >
    > If you're building from scratch the chioces are actually really easy. We
    > don't have that big a range of components as most other countries and,
    > realistically, there are only a few companies worth considering for things
    > like the motherboard.
    >
    > For a PSU it's hard to go past AcBel. I've used them for my last few builds
    > and they're awesome for the price. I've never had a problem with them, even
    > when overclocking to the extreme. They're half the price of the 'boutique'
    > brands and often more stable.
    >
    > A friend, who I'd always built PCs for since back in the 486 days, came
    > around with his latest PC, the first he'd not got me to build. He'd seen a
    > flyer and they had a 'gaming PC' at a price that the really liked. All set
    > up, Windows and software/drivers installed. However, they'd not put any AV
    > on it. Needless to say, two weeks ater he dropped it off to me to fix for
    > him. ('Fix' being a full reinstall.)
    >
    > After three Windows XP installs and a day and a half of banging my head
    > against a wall I fired up Google and checked out the motherboard as I had a
    > problem I simply couldn't resolve. Seems that the motherboard used, an Asus
    > M3A, (with 4 core Phenom AMD CPU) is a lemon. Once I Googled I saw literally
    > hundreds of people saying "don't buy this board".
    >
    > Turns out that the only way to get it stable is to change the BIOS (which
    > was done) then, not use the NIC driver off the install CD but download and
    > install the 'latest' from Asus. However, here's the bit that bit me twice;
    > You then have to click "Microsoft Update" on the start menu (something I
    > would normally never do) and get a different driver for the on-board NIC
    > from the update site. If you didn't do that, in that order, the PC would
    > hang at the scrolling blue bar at the start of loading Windows as it tried
    > to load a conflicting NIC driver. In forums a lot of people had simply given
    > up and sent the board back. Others had fitted a PCI NIC.
    >
    > Another thing about this motherboard was that, although the CPU itself (with
    > stock heatsink) didn't get too hot under 100% load, the 'northbridge', right
    > in the middle of the board, got really hot. HW Monitor reported temps
    > getting close to 80°C. I thought the sensor must be wrong so touched the
    > tiny 30 x 30 mm heatsink. I burnt my finger, had a red mark that took days
    > to go away. I checked forums again and found that this was also a known
    > problem (although not as well-known as the driver issue). Even directing a
    > fan onto the 'sink only helped by literally a couple degrees. The 'sink
    > simply isn't bit enough to transfer the heat.
    >
    > The proprietary attachment for the heatsink precluded fitting anything that
    > was available on the market. It attached to the mobo by two steel loops in
    > the mobo and a spring-steel clip. I read of a guy who modified an
    > after-market heatsink to fit, only to have the anchors pull out of the mobo.
    > They're only suitable to hold the ~15gm factory-fitted 'sink.
    >
    > Personally I wouldn't want a mobo that has a northbridge that runs that hot.
    > It's in the middle of the board and, with thermal expansion, has to limit
    > the life of the board IMO.
    >
    > It was painfully obvious why this particular store was selling a 'cheap'
    > gaming system. There's no way they'd move that motherboard any other way and
    > they must have had stocks of them
    >
    > Also, while working on this PC I discovered that, even though the
    > motherboard supported SATA II and the HDD was the same as the ones I've
    > bought recently, fast Seagate 7200.11 500 GB SATA II drives, they builders
    > hadn't removed the small jumper from the drive so it was still limited to
    > SATA I speed.
    >
    > My point? IMO self-build is usually the best option if you have a bit of
    > knowledge and a screwdriver. At least you know what you're getting. There is
    > another option but it's not the cheapest. I believe that a certain NZ store
    > allows you to select all your components (from their stock list) and then
    > they will build it for you, for a fee. I can't recall who the store is but I
    > think it's Wellington based. Someone here should know.
    >
    > Cheers,


    I'd be interested in checking that option out if anybody has got any
    more info on who or where they are.

    Finding that the 4 year old Dell with 512RDRAM and AGP graphics is
    struggling with what I want to do now. Had been considering upgrading,
    or building, but I recognise that I know just enough to be dangerous but
    not enough to dig myself out of the hole I will inevitably fall into
     
    bugalugs, May 18, 2008
    #17
  18. Alan

    Alan Guest

    "bugalugs" <> wrote in message
    news:g0ob2o$ufo$...
    >
    > Had been considering upgrading, or building, but I recognise that I
    > know just enough to be dangerous but not enough to dig myself out of
    > the hole I will inevitably fall into
    >


    Now THAT is a perfect descrption of where I think I am at!!

    --

    Alan.

    The views expressed are my own, and not those of my employer or anyone
    else associated with me.

    My current valid email address is:



    This is valid as is. It is not munged, or altered at all.

    It will be valid for AT LEAST one month from the date of this post.

    If you are trying to contact me after that time,
    it MAY still be valid, but may also have been
    deactivated due to spam. If so, and you want
    to contact me by email, try searching for a
    more recent post by me to find my current
    email address.

    The following is a (probably!) totally unique
    and meaningless string of characters that you
    can use to find posts by me in a search engine:

    ewygchvboocno43vb674b6nq46tvb
     
    Alan, May 18, 2008
    #18
  19. Alan

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "Alan" typed:
    > "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    > news:482eccbd$...
    >> Somewhere on teh intarweb "Alan" typed:
    >>> Hi All,
    >>>
    >>> I am thinking of getting a new processor (upgrading to a Quad Core)
    >>> such as this one for about $275 - $300:
    >>>
    >>> http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=155784932

    >>
    >> I wouldn't deal with that trader. No record and no pick-ups? No
    >> thanks. (although he does address this issue in the questions,
    >> seems like he's familiar with Trademe... Call me paranoid.)
    >>

    >
    > I've decided against going for that particular CPU - I'm going to
    > consider buying a case, motherboard, and CPU all together to ensure I
    > don't have an issue with respect to compatibility.
    >
    > On your point about buying from TM, that trader is offering SafeTrader
    > at their expense. That would mean it's fairly safe I would have
    > thought?


    Actually at the buyer's expense. However, yes, that would probably be quite
    safe. However, that's the last generation of Intel's CPU, probably why he's
    getting rid of it. Buying now I strongly suggest going for a 45nm part. The
    current crop of Intel CPUs will be the last to use Socket 775. The next
    range to come out, Nehalem, will be quite different beasts, with the memory
    controller etc. on board the CPU. As you're buying now there's no real
    reason to be buying anything but the latest. There is going to be a flood of
    those Q6600s on Trademe soon as all the gamers upgrade to 45mn CPUs.

    > Anyway, I am still going to head down that self build path, but start
    > halfway along and just add the Video, Sound, Memory, HDDs etc myself.
    >
    > Next question: Any other recommendations on a Case / MB / CPU
    > combination and what I should be looking to pay? My aim is a general
    > purpose PC with abaility to play mid range games (nothing 'latest and
    > greatest'). Should happily do Vista and cope with running VMs (I am
    > aiming for 4GB of memory and a 64bit processor I think).


    I would strongly suggest the combination of the Asus P5K-E motherboard
    (~$250 inc.) and Intel E8400 CPU (Dual core, 3.0GHz, 6MN L2 cache, ~$300
    inc.). It's my opinion that a faster dual core CPU is probably of more use
    (and will be for a while) than a slower four core at a similar price-point.
    However, if you want four core then I suggest either a Q9300 (Quad core,
    2.5GHz, 6MB L2 cache, ~$400) or a Q9450 (Quad core, 2.66GHz, 12MB L2 cache,
    ~$500).

    You could get one of the last generation 65nm Q6600s but I wouldn't
    personally. They are cheaper, as you would expect from older tech but they
    also run a bit hotter and are more power-humgry than the 45nm processors.
    (Quad core, 2.4GHz, 8MB L2 cache, ~$350.

    As far as case goes, I got the middle one in this review:

    http://pcworld.co.nz/pcworld/pcw.nsf/reviews/56FC71DAD9E5C67BCC2571ED000C70D2

    and am really happy with it. In fact, it really suits the Asus motherboard
    as the sole IDE connector is right at the bottom making if awkward to run a
    ribbon cable all the way up through the case to a top-mounted optical drive
    (if your optical drive *is* IDE). With this case I have an IDE DVD writer in
    the bottom slot and the cable all neatly folded. I paid around $120 for the
    case. You'll pay a lot more for any other case that is as well ventilated
    and designed as this one. However, browsing the usual suspects of NZ on-line
    PC stores will give you some ideas.

    With this case and my motherboard (Asus P5K-E WiFi/AP) I just plugged in the
    front USB headers and front audio and they simply worked. First time I've
    had that happen.

    You didn't mention PSU. Either you have one or you neglected to mention? As
    I said earlier, IMO you can't go past AcBel. They've been building power
    supplies since 1983, originally building all supplied for IBM branded
    machines, then Apple and several other big-name players in the PC field. It
    wasn't until a few years back that they started selling to the public. When
    I bought my first AcBel PSU Google gave me almost zero results. Now there's
    heaps. I still use them exclusively as they're as good as PSUs twice the
    price.

    www.acbel.com

    You should be looking at around 500W from a good brand, 650W from a less
    good brand (not recommended). I bought this one:

    http://www.qmb.co.nz/p.aspx?107059

    Cheap as chips and so far very reliable voltages. Running a dual core at
    3.2GHz and 4 HDDs. Maybe go up a model if you're going to run a quad *and* a
    power-hungry graphics card. However, I feel that model should be just fine.
    (My graphics card is a 7800GT)

    I'm sure others will chime in if they have different suggestions.

    Cheers,
    --
    Shaun.
     
    ~misfit~, May 18, 2008
    #19
  20. Alan

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "Malcolm" typed:
    > On Sun, 18 May 2008 12:39:20 +1200
    > "~misfit~" <> wrote:
    >
    > <big snip>
    >> My point? IMO self-build is usually the best option if you have a bit
    >> of knowledge and a screwdriver. At least you know what you're
    >> getting. There is another option but it's not the cheapest. I believe
    >> that a certain NZ store allows you to select all your components
    >> (from their stock list) and then they will build it for you, for a
    >> fee. I can't recall who the store is but I think it's Wellington
    >> based. Someone here should know.
    >>
    >> Cheers,

    > Key Computers if the are still there?
    > I would also recommend Nvidia as a the video card. I was running an
    > EN6600 but now have a EN8600GT (Which allows overclocking) both silent
    > versions no fan as I also run water cooling on this machine for the
    > CPU.


    That was it, http://www.quay.co.nz/ They used to have a system builder on
    their web site but I can't seem to find it now. :-(

    Perhaps it got too complicated for them to match all the components?

    I second the Nvidia thing. I always buy them and have had no trouble.

    Cheers,
    --
    Shaun.
     
    ~misfit~, May 18, 2008
    #20
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