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Building the perfect work pc (basic use)

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Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
So I just put together a pc to use at work and am considering making more in the future or more like it. We sell car parts and use a web based tracking system for the drivers with firefox and dual monitors. Nothing too demanding. Before you say it's way overkill consider that I'm trying to make something fast/efficient without too much waste that will be very reliable for years. I know you can get $350 pre builts but I'd rather make something that will last and have enough speed for the future as everything gets more bloated. Don't need much hard drive space. Just trying to make it so it will never die and have zero lag for anything we use it for. I also hate prebuilts because they're harder to upgrade. Here's what I came up with. How did I do?

samsung evo 120gb

asus z97m-plus micro atx motherboard

intel i3 4130 cpu

4gb gskill ram

asus dvd-r ($20, perfect reviews, etc not too important)

asus gt 630 video card

antec earthwatts 380w power supply

fractal arc mini case (dirty place. wanted it to be dust proof. went overboard but whatever)

windows 7 64 bit

P.S. what's the cheapest way to get windows 7 for lots of computers? This is the main expense with home made pc's I haven't found a way around yet. I don't know how dell and the rest of them manage to get windows for almost free on the pc's they sell.
 
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Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
You want a Windows enterprise license. I don't understand why you went with a Z97 board for a locked CPU. Could have gone with a B or H board. No need for Z.

Also, forget Win 7. Win 8 is the future. It's less heavy on the hardware too. You can make Win 8 run just like Win 7 with the classic Shell. It's a 5 minute tweeak.
 

Ben333

Folding for Team 32!
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
OEM boxes are harder to upgrade?? Sometimes years down the road, you might not know if a newer CPU will work... but that's about it. And I suppose, I've seen odd PSU configurations in new boxes, not allowing for additional drives to be installed. But for the most part, a PC is a PC. And that $300 / $400 Dell is your cheapest solution. And I'm with the OC noob. Go win 8! I said "I don't EVER wanna touch that" but now, I'm using it! Posting this from it! lol

Classic shell FTW! :)
 
OP
Brando

Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
You want a Windows enterprise license. I don't understand why you went with a Z97 board for a locked CPU. Could have gone with a B or H board. No need for Z.

Also, forget Win 7. Win 8 is the future. It's less heavy on the hardware too. You can make Win 8 run just like Win 7 with the classic Shell. It's a 5 minute tweeak.

It wasn't so much about the board being z97 but that it has the most modern features and best upgradeability. It has nothing but sata3 ports, fan xpert 3 and both pci and pcie slots so I can use any card with it should the need arise. Plus if I decide to upgrade the ssd someday it has the new m.2 plugin for when they start making 1000 mb/s drives. It also has all of the beefed up components that asus uses for supposedly way longer life and durability which is what I'm aiming for and I don't mind spending a few extra bucks on the one part that requires a reinstallation of windows if you change to a different one. The other boards I looked at were missing one thing or the other that I was looking for in a board. As for the OS I have windows 7 for free and I've seen it work with prism with my own eyes. This is an old but stable inventory/invoicing program that all of our stores use and wasn't really meant to work with modern OS's. One pc in the office has win 7 and runs this program well from what I can see. I don't want to take chances especially when I already have 7 for free like I said.
 
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OP
Brando

Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
OEM boxes are harder to upgrade?? Sometimes years down the road, you might not know if a newer CPU will work... but that's about it. And I suppose, I've seen odd PSU configurations in new boxes, not allowing for additional drives to be installed. But for the most part, a PC is a PC. And that $300 / $400 Dell is your cheapest solution. And I'm with the OC noob. Go win 8! I said "I don't EVER wanna touch that" but now, I'm using it! Posting this from it! lol

Classic shell FTW! :)
I don't like all the bloat that pre builts have. I just want a pure windows installation and I want to be able to reinstall whenever I want. Also, and I could be mistaken, I think a pre built i tried to upgrade (brand?) parts in had some non standard parts. Like normal ram wouldn't fit and the fan had to be a specific one from the manufacturer. Maybe I'm trippin since it's been a few years but it seemed like they didn't want anybody elses stuff in their box. I know for a fact that when we upgraded to video cards for dual monitors on all of our pc's one of them wouldn't accept ATI drivers no matter what and the other one developed an issue with random restarts. I put in a better power supply, new/more ram, ran stability tests and memtest, and still we had issues. Being in total control of the building process is the way to go IMO.
 
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OP
Brando

Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Ok so I went overboard on the motherboard but this is my own computer and I spoiled myself a little. If I were to make more of these on a larger scale I think maybe this motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131986 would make more sense. It at least has solid caps, some kind of fan control, and is a decent brand. I haven't studied up on the limitations of the different chipsets yet. Will it be inferior in any noticeable way during normal use? I can't help but think that spending just over half the cost of the other one must have some kind of drawback. I'm also hesitant to get something that doesn't have at least one pci slot JUST IN CASE but I know there's a 99% chance it will never matter.
 

Lvcoyote

Overclocked Moderator, Overclockers.com Lead Edito
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Location
Omak, WA
If it were me, I'd be tossing an AMD A10-7850K system together and use the onboard graphics. Would be perfect for what you're trying to accomplish. Boards are less expensive, the APUs run cool, and case airflow is great with no vid card installed. Pop an SSD in there and you've got a terrific system for office use.
 
OP
Brando

Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
If it were me, I'd be tossing an AMD A10-7850K system together and use the onboard graphics. Would be perfect for what you're trying to accomplish. Boards are less expensive, the APUs run cool, and case airflow is great with no vid card installed. Pop an SSD in there and you've got a terrific system for office use.
I assumed I needed a video card for dual monitors. Did I waste $60 by buying a gt630?
 

Lvcoyote

Overclocked Moderator, Overclockers.com Lead Edito
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Location
Omak, WA
I know the Kaveri A10-7850K supports dual monitors with no discrete vid card....
 

Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
I'd go with an AM1 system personally. CPU+mobo is about $100. Supports dual monitors on the onboard graphics, too.
Really don't need more power than that IMO.
 
OP
Brando

Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
I guess I thought intel would be better for older programs because of the single thread performance. The 4130 is already installed. You think it will handle 2 monitors well enough? I can still send back the gt630. A apologize for my ignorance. I know how to build a gaming pc pretty well but that's about it.
 
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Bobnova

Senior Member
Joined
May 10, 2009
Give it a shot. 2d is not demanding in the slightest GPU wise.

On one hand Intel is better on old stuff for single threaded and x87, but both are so wildly overpowered compared to the chips that those old programs were written for that it rarely makes a difference.
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/mistersprinkles/saved/v6Jtt6

This is the business computer I would build today. Everything you need, nothing you don't, and it's tiny. Good when you're setting up a bunch of systems. Plus it's low wattage, and produces low amounts of heat, also good when you're setting up a bunch of systems. Supports dual monitors through HDMI/DVI/VGA/DP If both your monitors are HDMI or DVI you can use HDMI>DVI conversion cables or conversion modules. They're dirt cheap online or in specialty stores.

If you don't need the optical drive, nuke it for savings. Same goes for the 1TB of storage. The system would be helped by ditching the HDD and using a 240GB midrange SSD like a Crucial M500.
 
OP
Brando

Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Give it a shot. 2d is not demanding in the slightest GPU wise.

On one hand Intel is better on old stuff for single threaded and x87, but both are so wildly overpowered compared to the chips that those old programs were written for that it rarely makes a difference.
I have a feeling I could flip a coin between amd/intel and be fine with either one but the 4130 won the tie for me on potential single thread performance and lower power usage. Plus I'm just more used to intel because I've been using them for years. I may drop the video card though. I'll put it back in the box and try without it first to see if it matters.
 
OP
Brando

Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/mistersprinkles/saved/v6Jtt6

This is the business computer I would build today. Everything you need, nothing you don't, and it's tiny. Good when you're setting up a bunch of systems. Plus it's low wattage, and produces low amounts of heat, also good when you're setting up a bunch of systems. Supports dual monitors through HDMI/DVI/VGA/DP If both your monitors are HDMI or DVI you can use HDMI>DVI conversion cables or conversion modules. They're dirt cheap online or in specialty stores.

If you don't need the optical drive, nuke it for savings. Same goes for the 1TB of storage. The system would be helped by ditching the HDD and using a 240GB midrange SSD like a Crucial M500.

Looks decent but I can't get firefox to go over 2.2gb ram usage on my home rig even with newegg, sidewinder, youtube, amazon, and some random other video site open playing videos all at once. Even 4gb seems to be almost twice what I need so that's an easy $30 off right there. For the main drive I only need enough space for windows 7, prism, elite extra, and maybe office/excel/other random light stuff. 128gb is plenty so I went with an $80 evo 120gb with an incredible track record and high speed. I think last time I checked I was under 20gb but this is with xp so I'll need a little more for win7/8. I was tempted to go mini itx though. I like the idea of tiny computers. In the end I just really love that the fractal case is so well sealed against dust (which we have tons of in the warehouse) and is so well thought out. I'm going to look into that evga case right now. Looks promising.

EDIT: The only problem I have with the evga case is you have to use a slim drive and mini power supply. I prefer to have more choices on replacement parts if something breaks. I may flipflop on this but my gut says to keep everything standard.
 
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Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Corsair 250D. If you want to go Retro use a Silverstone FT03 Mini. Gorgeous case.
Slimline optical is a "standard" part. It just may not be the standard people are used to. The Hadron is a poor choice for a dusty environment.
 

Theocnoob

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2007
Location
Near Toronto Canada
Just an afterthought- I don't think the Gold rated PSU in the EVGA Hadron is likely to fail. It's a high quality part. It's usually the cheaper PSUs that die or go funky on you IME.

Can you link me to the case you're talking about that is well sealed against dust?
 
OP
Brando

Brando

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Just an afterthought- I don't think the Gold rated PSU in the EVGA Hadron is likely to fail. It's a high quality part. It's usually the cheaper PSUs that die or go funky on you IME.

Can you link me to the case you're talking about that is well sealed against dust?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...034&cm_re=fractal_mini-_-11-352-034-_-Product
i love that you don't have to open the case to take them off and blow them out. the front intake, top, and bottom are all filtered and the front and top use the foam type so they actually seem to work unlike the mesh type.