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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
HOWTO choose hardware for a desktop PC
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linuxcbon

Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 1094

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 00:41    Post subject:  HOWTO choose hardware for a desktop PC  

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This is a very simplified guide.
This applies to desktop PCs only.
Don't need to buy expensive parts.
Prefer good brands = quality quality quality
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1/ POWER SUPPLY UNIT (PSU)
- Good brands : Corsair, Be Quiet
- Most important : if a power supply is of bad quality, it can burn the PC.
- 400W are enough for most of "normal" PCs.
- 80 PLUS (energy saving and less heat).
- "Quiet" is better (less noise).
- Modular is better (so you use only the needed cables).
---------> Good model : Corsair CX430M ($ 50)
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2/ DESKTOP VIDEO CARD
- Good brands : Gigabyte, MSI
- There are 2 types : AMD and NVIDIA.
- There are different extensions generations :
* PCI express x16 4.0 (future 2016)
* PCI express x16 3.0 (latest 2010)
* PCI express x16 2.0 (older 2007)
* PCI express x16 1.0 (even older 2002)
* AGP (even even older 1997)
* PCI (even even even older 1992)
Note : PCI express is "backward compatible" (for instance a PCI-E 3.0 card will also work on PCI-E 2.0 and 1.0 motherboards, but slower).
- 1 x DisplayPort which is more and more used
- For comparison http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php
Order list by Passmark G3D Mark (higher is better).
- Fastest around 150 dollars : GTX 950 (PCI-E 3.0)
-----> Good model : Gigabyte GV-N950WF2OC-2GD ($ 170)
Note : this board will work on any pci-express, but not in agp or pci.
You can buy faster cards, but they are more expensive.
- Fastest around 100 dollars : GTX 750Ti (PCI-E 3.0)
-----> Good model : Gigabyte GV-N75TOC-2GL ($ 100)
Note : this board will work on any pci-express, but not in agp or pci.
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3/ CPU = Processor
- 2 brands : AMD and Intel
- A CPU is defined by its "socket" (= generation).
Examples of old CPU sockets :
* For AMD : 462(Socket A), 754, 939, 940, AM2, F, AM3
* For Intel : 478 , 604, 771, 1156
For modern desktop CPUs, the latest sockets are :
* FM2+ (AMD)
* 1151 (Intel)
See the comparison of CPUs : http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php
Order by CPU Mark.
Fastest modern CPUs at around $ 130 :
-----> Intel i3-6100 (socket 1151) ($ 130)
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4/ MOTHERBOARD
Good brands : Gigabyte, ASRock
How to choose a modern motherboard :
- depends on the CPU socket.
- Size : prefer Micro-ATX (small and energy saving).
- Choose the RAM generation : DDR4 (newest).
- Choose the Maximum RAM speed support (example DDR4 3466MHz).
- Choose the Maximum RAM capacity support (example 64GB).
- Video connection : PCI Express 3.0 8x
- RAID disks supported
- USB : 3.0
--------> Good model for socket 1151 : Gigabyte GA-H170M-D3H ($ 100)
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5/ RAM = Memory
- Good brands : G.Skill
- DIMM is for desktop, SO-DIMM is for laptop.
- Type depends on what the motherboard can accept : DDR1, DDR2, DDR3, DDR4.
- If you need DDR4 : 8GB at 3200MHz is enough (bigger is too expensive).
-----> Good model : G.Skill RipJaws V Series Black 8GB (2x4GB) DDR4 3200 (F4-3200C16D-8GVK) ($ 60)
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6/ INTERNAL HARD DRIVE
- Good brands : Western Digital, Seagate
- There are 2 sizes : 3"5 for desktop, 2"5 for laptop.
- There are 2 types of connection : old IDE and new SATA.
For new hard disks (SATA) :
- Speed 7200 RPM (there is faster but more expensive)
- connection SATA 3.0 (latest).
- 1TB is today cheap
- Disk cache 64MB
----> Good model : Western Digital WD10EZEX Blue ($ 60)
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7/ INTERNAL SSD HARD DRIVE
- Good brands : Kingston
- 240 Gb capacity is cheapest
- Connection SATA 3.0 (or PCI-E which is faster but more expensive)
- Size 2"5 also works for desktops and is usually found
- Max Read speed : more than 560 Mbps
- Max Write speed : more than 530 Mbps
-----> Good model : Kingston HyperX Savage 2"5 240GB (SHSS37A/240G) ($ 100) with SATA 3.0
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8/ PC CASES
- Good brands : Zalman, Cooler Master
- Size : "Mini Tower" (for micro-ATX motherboards)
- Metal : Steel (good enough and not expensive)
- Without power-supply (you can buy it apart)
- Dust filters included
- USB 3.0 ports
---> Good model : Zalman T4 ($ 30)
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These were only simple examples but you get the rough idea.
Web sites for new hardware :
http://www.ldlc.com (france)
http://www.newegg.com/Computer-Hardware/Store (usa)
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If you have other advice , remarks , please answer here.
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Last edited by linuxcbon on Sat 23 Jan 2016, 03:43; edited 12 times in total
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ardvark


Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 1458
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 08:32    Post subject:    

Hi...

Thank you for the rundown. The only two things I would add are...

1. PC Power and Cooling also make good PSU's.

2. I'm not sure Western Digital or Seagate are the best brands but I think they are pretty much who we have left. Wink

Regards...

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Galbi


Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 775
Location: Bs.As. - Argentina.

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 11:00    Post subject:  

For Hard Disks look at this brand comparative:

http://www.omicrono.com/2014/01/cuales-son-los-discos-duros-mas-fiables-del-mercado/

In spanish, but graphs are very clear.

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ardvark


Joined: 01 Jul 2013
Posts: 1458
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 19:05    Post subject:  

Thanks, Galbi but I wonder how old the survey is? I know that Hitachi, Samsung, Maxtor, IBM and Fujitsu were bought out. So apart from WD and Seagate, I guess that leaves Toshiba. Sad

Regards...
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grump


Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 124
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 19:55    Post subject:  

In the middle of last year I built a desktop (actually, an under the desk) PC for home with the following components:

MB - Gigabyte H87M-D3H
CPU - Intel i5-4430
RAM - 8Gb Kingston 1600
SSD - Intel 330 80Gb (system disk)
HDD - WD Green 1Tb (data disk)
DVD - LG
Case and PS - Antec 4482B
MS wireless kb mouse

This boots 64bit Win8 in 15 seconds. The SSD is magic.
I've tried a Puppy (live CD) on it - everything worked straight off.

I based my choices on Charles (seldom) Wright's workhorse PC articles such as this:
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/computers/building-a-workhorse-pc-20130626-2ovtq.html

I'm delighted with this PC.
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NickAu


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 186
Location: Far North Coast NSW ɹǝpunuʍop

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jan 2014, 20:58    Post subject:  

@ grump

I guess you are aware of the fact that you do not defrag a ssd? In fact defraging a ssd can reduce its life. ( windoze os only as linux dose not need defraging.)

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EdD

Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 168
Location: Southside Virginia

PostPosted: Fri 31 Jan 2014, 10:28    Post subject:  

Very good info. I would add that there's a good source for HDDs on ebay, new drives, IDE or SATA , some very economically priced:

http://stores.ebay.com/goHardDrive-full retail plus shipping-and-Retail?_rdc=1

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grump


Joined: 10 Oct 2011
Posts: 124
Location: Melbourne, Oz

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 02:32    Post subject:  

NickAu wrote:
@ grump

I guess you are aware of the fact that you do not defrag a ssd?

Sure diddly neighbouroony.
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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 2195
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 07:49    Post subject:  

Quote:
windoze os only as linux dose not need defraging
Well that shows how much you understand about disks.
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NickAu


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 186
Location: Far North Coast NSW ɹǝpunuʍop

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 20:13    Post subject:  

Burn_IT wrote:
Quote:
windoze os only as linux dose not need defraging
Well that shows how much you understand about disks.


Yet to read a post that says linux needs defraging. But then again im only new to linux, So please teach me how to defrag linux.

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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 2195
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 21:03    Post subject:  

Fragmentation of the data on disks has nothing to do with the operating system using the disk.
It has to do with the file system that is used on the disk.

Puppy Linux very often uses the same file system as Windows, as it is often run on the same disk as Windows is.

As to how to defrag disks using Linux, or in particular, Puppy, that is a good question that I don't know the answer to off the top of my head.
Now I've got to go away and look it up......

Actually I'm misleading you a bit as when you do a frugal install of Puppy it grabs a large chunk of space on the host file system as a single file and creates its own virtual file system within that space. However it is still a good idea to store SFSs and as much as possible in the host file system where it can be shared between Puppies far more easily.

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NickAu


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 186
Location: Far North Coast NSW ɹǝpunuʍop

PostPosted: Wed 05 Feb 2014, 21:18    Post subject:  

Just FYI I am not arguing with you or anybody when I ask these questions I truly do not know or may have read something some place that says something else. And there is a lot of "information" out there and some of it is well lets say not correct. I have found this forum gives good advice.

Heres something I found on the subject of linux fragmenting and yes it mentions the sort of file system it uses etc.

Quote:

Linux’s ext2, ext3, and ext4 file systems – ext4 being the file system used by Ubuntu and most other current Linux distributions – allocates files in a more intelligent way. Instead of placing multiple files near each other on the hard disk, Linux file systems scatter different files all over the disk, leaving a large amount of free space between them. When a file is edited and needs to grow, there’s usually plenty of free space for the file to grow into. If fragmentation does occur, the file system will attempt to move the files around to reduce fragmentation in normal use, without the need for a defragmentation utility.

Because of the way this approach works, you will start to see fragmentation if your file system fills up. If it’s 95% (or even 80%) full, you’ll start to see some fragmentation. However, the file system is designed to avoid fragmentation in normal use.

If you do have problems with fragmentation on Linux, you probably need a larger hard disk. If you actually need to defragment a file system, the simplest way is probably the most reliable: Copy all the files off the partition, erase the files from the partition, then copy the files back onto the partition. The file system will intelligently allocate the files as you copy them back onto the disk.

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Burn_IT


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 2195
Location: Tamworth UK

PostPosted: Thu 06 Feb 2014, 07:44    Post subject:  

Its all right, I'm being finicky.
I object - well get annoyed- when people (generally) say one thing is good and another is bad when they have no idea about the facts behind the case.

I quote an example that most people will have heard.
The Popeye series of cartoons implied spinach was some sort of super food. That was based on the iron content of it. The problem was that the researcher measuring the iron content got his sums wrong and the figures were a factor of ten out.
Another is the myth that SALT is bad for you. Salt is an essential compound for life, as is shown by the fact that Explorers have to carry extra salt tablets. What salt does is enable the body to retain water. If your body does retain TOO much water your blood pressure rises leading to heart problems.

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linuxcbon

Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 1094

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jan 2016, 03:47    Post subject:  

Updated and added SSD. Smile
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drunkjedi


Joined: 24 May 2015
Posts: 177

PostPosted: Tue 05 Jan 2016, 04:49    Post subject:  

Hi in case of RAM, do you think having two identical sticks are better than single big stick?
Something to do with dual channel RAM.
I don't know much about it.

I did asseble PC myself 2 years ago.
I didn't know much about PCs then.
Just bought what some friends suggested. ( who don't know much themselves).

I have processor i3 3220, what I think I made wrong choice is the motherboard and RAM.
Motherboard is Intel DH61BF, should have bought something with more features and latest chipset.
The RAM is 6gb, one stick is of 4gb and other is of 2 gb.
Ohh and I didn't buy any graphics card.... yet.

Thanks for your guide.
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