View Full Version : Spec validation and advice
Hi everyone. It's been many moons since I've left the world of IT in favour of music. Anyhoo, I decided to put together a new machine for my mother as she's running a 9 year old computer which is cruelty in itself and she can't really afford a new one. There are however a few blanks and this is why I turn to you dear dabs users. The build I have in mind is intended for general use such as watching movies in HD, web browsing and puzzle games that don't really require all the firepower of modern games. My budget is roughly Â£450 and I don't really want to go over as I am stretching it as it is. Here is what I have in mind:
OCZ Technology 500W CoreXStream Series Power Supply
EVGA GeForce GT 630 810MHz PCI-Express HDMI
Intel Core i3-3220
4GB Corsair XMS3 Memory
WD 1.5TB Green SATA 6GB/s 3.5" 64MB Hard Drive
Sony Optiarc 24x Internal DVD Multi Writer (DVD-RW/RAM) with Black Bezel Bare
Win 7 Home Premium
I opted not to buy a soundcard as the onboard audio will do the job sufficiently I hope. My questions are:
Is the power supply a bit of an overkill for this spec?
I cannot decide on a case for my components as the motherboard is uATX and I am not sure if the chosen power supply will fit. Any recommendations would be appreciated be it the power supply or the case.
I want this computer to serve her well for the next couple of years which I hope is achievable with this spec as she's not really pushing her computer to the max at any point.
Any suggestions or replacements for my spec? Feel free to throw in anything you've got. Thanks a lot.
The PSU is overkill your setup is around 220w total power but for the price of that OCZ you can't get a good brand cheaper with a lower wattage, and a little overkill doesn't hurt. The Processor, Motherboard, and RAM I am guessing you have gone with as it's a bundle but you may want to consider
AMD FX-6100 AM3+ 3.3GHz 14MB 95W Â£87.99
ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+ AMD 990FX DDR3 ATX Â£81.99
Kingston 4GB (1 x 4GB) HyperX 10th Anniversary 1866MHz DDR3 DIMM CL9 Â£21.74
It works out a bit more expensive but the processor performs significantly better and future advancement of software will be mainly on using multiple cores better at the moment as that is the current weakness of most software. The otehr drawback of course is the board is full ATX so slightly bigger case. I have no experience of lower end cases not touched a case under Â£80 in a while :p but the brands I would trust to be quality are Antec, Bitfenix, Xigmatek, Corsair, and Coolermaster which all make sub Â£40 cases that would be suitable if I had to pick one i would find an extra 2 quid for the Antec One Gaming Case. The graphics card is fine and will handle HD video fine, and it was a good choice to leave out the soundcard you won't really notice a difference without some good speakers. The only other thing I would say is the Hard Drive is a mistake you don't want a green drive with the operating system on it as it will keep needing to spin up, so you want a WD Black or any Seagate drive.
2o2o, I would think that with his budget and what his mother would need it for wouldn't he be a lot better off with an AMD A10-5800K? That way he could leave out the graphic card and save Â£42.
Let's face it a cheap graphic card is going to have a pretty rubbish fan on in that will be noisy. So he could splurge out on a water cooler for the CPU and still stay within his budget. There is no way he would get away with using the stock cooler that Intel supplies with their CPUs and they are really noisy as well. So he could get a Corsair H60 (I haven't used any other water coolers than the H60 and H80 from Corsair so I can't vouch for them) for instance.
RAM is so dirt cheap now that I would get 8 GB and go for a 64-bit version of Windows 7.
I have tried to keep within the Â£450 budget and get you what I think your mother would be happy with for more than just a couple of years. And I managed to squeeze in a water cooler for the CPU.
Gigabyte F2A85XM-HD3 FM2 AMD A85 DDR3 mATX Â£54.51
AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz FM2 4MB 100W Black Edition Â£99.99
Corsair 500 Watt Builder Series CX 500 Modular Power Supply Â£49.81
Corsair Hydro Series H60 2013 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler Â£59.98
Corsair Carbide Series 200R Compact ATX Case Â£49.99
Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB 7200RPM Hard Drive Â£69.99
Pioneer DVD-RW 24x SATA Internal - Retail Box Â£16.87
Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) HyperX Beast DDR3 1600MHz DIMM CL9 Â£47.98
This comes to a grand total of Â£449.12
I wanted to recommend something that would not only stay inside the budget but also operate quietly. I'm sure that Dunc could probably do you a deal on the 64-bit Win7. Failing that you can get a legitimate copy of Win7 64-bit Premium with serial number from EBAY for Â£42 including postage. Just look for "Windows 7 Pemium 64-bit". Don't buy anything that says "Restore disk"!!
I would strenuously advise you to get a new computer casing because the one you have, being as old as it is, will be a heat trap where you will have to build your PSU into the top and that could well kill it off over time (hot air rises). I also don't think you will be able to put the water cooler into it. If you go with a normal cooler then your system will probably die a heat death of some kind (blown capacitor on the motherboard for instance) or you get BSODs because your CPU has to shut down because it is overheating and I don't think that is really worth it. With the new case I stated you build the PSU into the bottom, but put the PSU in with the fan facing upwards.
Aside from that you old case might not have the proper mount points for the motherboard you do select and after eight years your old case will be looking pretty grotty anyway.
BTW buddhamaster I am not slagging off your choices, I am just going with what I know.
What do you think 2o2o?
I like the look of the build it will do all that is needed and has some good degree of future proofing, I am personally not a fan of built in graphics as it robs performance from the processor but the 7660D that is on that chip does outperform the 630 in some tests. I would say there is no need for the water cooler the difference between what it would do and what say the Arctic Cooler Freezer 7 would do would be minimal on a non overclocked CPU and that difference wouldn't last as watercoolers suffer from dust far more than air coolers and I believe this will be a mainly unmanaged system so won't be opened up to clean out. There are ways around this problem with the Carbide 200r case as you could setup the radiator so it can just be occasionally vacuumed without removing fans if you mount the radiator to the rear exhaust and only have 1 fan as an intake on the radiator and then putting fans in the top removing the warmer air. The Kingston RAM you should get asap because RAM prices are rising fast I expect due to memory now heading towards DDR4 due with next gen processors at end of the year.
I have set up the H80 and H60 I have to exhaust air out of the case. Compared to the amount of dust one would be sucking into the radiator if one set them up the way Corsair recommends (to blow air from outside through the radiator) the cooling is still good - on my i990x I am at 41 degrees Celsius idle for a slight overclock and have gone as high as 58 degrees Celsius when the processor is under full load.
Whenever I am building a system for someone else I always ask them what price they can pay and what they want to use the system for and I then compromise accordingly. To me the "EVGA GeForce GT 630 810MHz PCI-Express HDMI" was a bit of an eyesore in the system, where I have the feeling buddhamaster would be regretting that choice after a few weeks of the system running.
I see and concede your point with regard to the "Arctic Cooler Freezer 7" being good enough in the system he is building.
Thank you all for such prompt responses. These are some good specs you provided.
I agree about the case, I didn't even want to keep it. It's so small and cluttered, it barely accommodates what it has already got. So yes, I will invest in a new case with better airflow. Thank you.
One other thing is. Couple of years ago if I remember correctly, AMD was slightly ahead of Intel technology wise for a brief moment (I could be wrong) but I noticed that AMD is getting a lot of bad press lately. Is it justified? I looked at benchmarks of multiple AMD CPUs and as 2o2o mentioned they are optimised for multi core software and this is where intel's are beaten to a pulp but to be fair, the most resource intensive software I've found on my mom's computer was the OS itself. Is Windows going to utilise the AMD processor without compromising the performance? What I mean is, will it use more cores as required? After all AMD's single core performance is sub-par.
Also, thanks for the pointers on cooling. I was wondering whether stock fans will do the job or should I invest in some extra coolers.
How is the situation with onboard graphics these days? Not that long ago I was running a system with integrated ATI graphics and it was terrible. I didn't experience any technical difficulties per se but when I ran anything that would require a bit of 3d rendering the temps jumped up and performance was less than satisfying. I didn't intend it to be a gaming machine by any measure but I couldn't even fire up thief 3...2004 game not running on a 2007 machine didn't bode well. The most I could get out of it was WoW on low-medium details in 1024x768 and I would get about 30-35 fps but I guess it's more RAM intensive than gfx hungry. It wasn't a good experience so I hope you'll understand my reservations towards the integrated graphics.
By the way, If there is something that will reasonably benefit the system, I guess I can delay the building by another week and add Â£50 to round it up to Â£500. I'll just dig into my savings a bit. If you have any ideas off the top of your head, I'd appreciate them. If it's just a minor upgrade, I'd be hesitant to spend more money on it so don't loose any sleep over it :)
Thanks for your answers I really appreciate them!
Integrated GFX at the moment are very good they do not cause random temperature increases like solutions of old mainly because they are dealt with on the processor now rather than a separate chip, it is capable of playing modern games as long as you can accept low-med settings and has the advantage of boosting the performance of another card you may put into the system at a later date. The one addition I would add for Â£50 is a 64gb SSD boot drive it just makes the general Windows experience much better just install the Operating system and the most used programs and they will load nearly instantly. Stock fans are fine the main purpose of fans is to keep air moving the amount of air makes little difference the only exception to this is fans on a radiator which must be pressure optimised.
Buddhamaster, in the high end single-die processor market AMD is and will continue to lag pretty far behind Intel for the next couple of years at least. I have just built a NAS system for myself which could act as a backup in case my main system were ever down for a time. The best deal I could find was an AMD A8-5600K/mobo/RAM bundle. This was the first AMD processor I have ever bought, so I think that should answer your question with regard to the "lot of bad press lately".
Unfortunately the fanboys and girls are predominant in the field of computer "journalism" and their reporting does not really reflect the boots on the ground reality of the computing world.
Personally the only computer magazine I read and subscribe to is the "c't Magazin" from Germany (I am German) for the past 25 years because they do not cave to the pressure of advertisers. So large pinches of salt are more than warranted with regard to anything you read or hear in the media. I mean if you look at the "reporting" then a 19 inch desktop monitor is completely obsolete and over the hill, yet a 4.5 inch screen on a smartphone is just absolutely great for watching a cup final football match. Really?? How stupid do the twits reporting this rubbish think I am?
OK, I just had to get that off my chest. Now back to your system. At the end of the day you are putting your own hard earned money on the line. I would like you (or rather your mother) to get the biggest bang for your buck (and the quietest running system) I can think of and I think 2o2o is of the same mindset in this regard. We are not fanboys and I have gained a lot of confidence in, and respect of, 2o2o's views from this thread.
Opinions are like armpits - everyone has them - so you would have to take that into account when reading what I have written on this thread. 2o2o however has made good suggestions and you would not be wise to ignore them.
Ah Intel fanboys, you gotta love em :p. The realities of processors are, like you say, Intel wins the single core processing performance but not by the huge amount's that are often shown in the media, AMD however still have the best performance for the price (the gap is much bigger than you think on price, eg the FX-3850 is Â£10 cheaper than the Intel i5-3570k, but the motherboards for the AMD chips are Â£50-60 cheaper than the Intels and tend to have more USB3 and SATA 3 ports). People were dissappointed by current generation AMD's when they were released as they were not performing as well as people expected, but they still performed as well as the processors from Intel priced similarly the FX-3850 is priced the same as the Intel i5-3570k and it overclocks better and performs better with the annoying patch you need to get to make Windows work with the processor correctly. The thing Intel fanboys need to realize is that without AMD the prices of processors would be 2-3x higher they forced Intel to stay competitive, I have owned a few AMD processors over the years my first was an AMD K6-2 333mhz at that time you had to pay double the price to get a competitive Intel chip.
Brilliant stuff guys. Thank you. I've done some more research and you're right. AMD delivers an astonishing performance for the money. Sorry for digging into it so deep but as you pointed out, I am spending my hard earned money and I want to be covered on all fronts :) I appreciate your insight and if you guys ever find yourself around manchester, PM me. The beers are on me. Thanks again.
2o2o I missed out entirely on the 386 generation of processors simply because my Harris 25MHz 286 processor was faster than the 33MHz 386 (remember the OS at that time was 16-bit). It is also interesting to note how AMD came about and grew in the PC market.
Intel at that time was still very heavily involved with IBM and it was, and still is, IBM's policy to demand a second independent source for all components they buy. My nickname derives from the NEC (Nippon Electronics Corporation) processor V20 which was the second source for the Intel 8088 processor which IBM used in their original PC. AMD was the second source for the Intel 386 generation of processors.
For my present computer I got a really good deal on a Core i7 965x processor and then a 990x. As I stated above, for my new NAS I made a conscious decision with regard to buying an AMD processor.
My first experience with computers where I actually understood what was inside the computer was a Intel DX2 66mhz processor in a Packard Bell PC, had a few machines before that but they were old 8 bit chips like the Zilog Z80 in an Einstein computer, still remember trying to learn enough to upgrade the RAM to 32mb and to add a card I cant remember the card but it was basically a graphics booster of some description, didn't work either way. The reason I got into computers is basically because I enjoyed setting up sound options and setting up network setting for the games more than the games most of the time. I remember my first game where this was all just set by a default windows driver I was so disappointed :p. So basically I went straight into 486 and only learnt about older processors since then.
I went with the 486 DX50. The RAM ran at the same clock speed as the CPU (50MHz) and I also didn't really trust the new clock multiplied CPU, I wanted others to be the gamma testers for that :D
Like you, I was more of a chips than a salsa person myself. The NEC V20 processor was the first upgrade I did for myself, with a new motherboard and a special BIOS it was clocked at the blinding speed of 8MHz
Hi there fellas. Just wanted to say that I took a day off today to put this machine together. After thinking a lot I decided to go with Nec's spec + SSD hard drive as 2o2o suggested. Let me tell you - THIS THING FLIES. Seriously, I can't believe how fast this build is. I installed Photoshop and Illustrator on it to see how it performs compared to my own 2007 build and to be honest, I thought to myself that I need to build myself another machine very soon. The colours and overall graphics quality were not spectacular but the Adobe programs worked so much quicker than on my computer. My machine was outperformed big time. The only area that I was ahead was the graphics card really. Thank you so much once again guys. Hope you don't mind if I turn to you for some more advice with regards to my new machine. Again, beers are on me if you are ever around. Cheers!
Thank you buddhamaster,
it is responses like yours that made me love doing tech-support and kept me motivated to give it everything I had.
The secret of the system you bought is that you gave 2o2o and me a price limit and we set about getting something for you that did not contain any foul compromises. A computer will only work happily as a whole and not just as a collection of parts. The system components 2o2o and I suggested were compiled with only one thought, and that was to take full advantage of good components, for the price you could afford - there is no slack, no great (expensive) components twiddling their thumbs whilst the rest of the crappy (cheap) system is wheezing and trying to catch its breath, in the system 2o2o and I suggested to you.
It is a balancing act and it is only experience which allows one to navigate the tightrope to successfully achieve a result for a given price limit. You noticed that 2o2o and I had different suggestions on certain parts, but I have to admit that he was right. There again it was I who put a package together, so he had an easier job with regard to only having to optimise it :) And this is right so because it was you who won. I am just happy that you got a result and if you do have an urgent question you can always reach me on Skype under the name Nec_V20, because I cannot promise to always be logged into this forum.
Although I have no connection to DABS whatsoever - apart from being a customer - I do feel a certain "Chinese obligation" to you.
I have to admit that I have given it a lot of thought and to be honest I decided to take a gamble and trust your opinion that integrated CPU's are a lot better these days. It worked...better than i expected. I needed a backup card just in case so I bought one and I tested it anyway to see how it performs. Can you guess what I got? Yeah, GF gt 630. The performance was OK but two things made me feel at ease with my decision - GOD IT'S NOISY and even though the performance was ok, for the most part it was worse or on par with the a10 integrated GPU. It's a really ballanced setup you recommended. So far, I can't say anything bad about this system. We'll see how it holds up but so far it really looks like it's going to hold its ground for a good couple of years. Thanks to both of you for the effort to help me.
Btw. I don't really use skype. i guess it's impossible now to use msn since it has merged. I'll try to convince myself that skype actually works this time and I'll download it later on. No mic for me (long story) so it's going to be chat only for now I'm affraid.
the reason why I suggested Skype is because I always have it running and if you did run into a problem then that would be the easiest and quickest way to get a reply from me. I don't need a microphone, I type pretty fast.
Hello again guys. Since you know your cookies, I decided to reach out to you once again. I am building a computer for myself this time and I came up with two (quite similar really) builds and I would like to know your opinion on them. Before I post the specs let me tell you what are my main activities. I never really liked consoles (aside from an occasional butt kicking in tekken) so one of my priorities would be to build an efficient gaming rig. I will also do a lot of gfx design and music production and probably run a virtual machine with debian and/or solaris, the latter having the least priority. So my machine would have to be an all around banger for the reasonable budget. I am fairly flexible with my budget but ideally I would want something for around Â£1000 and Â£1300 being my absolute upper limit.
Here are my two specs:
Spec 1 - AMD based
AMD FX8-8350 Black Edition Vishera 8 Core AM3+ 4.0GHz 16MB
Asus Sabertooth 990FX AM3+ AMD 990FX SB950 DDR3 ATX TUF R2.0 - I feared this might be a bit of an overkill but I read up on this board and I see it's praised for its OCing capabilities. I am not planning to do any overclocking just now but I certainly am in the near future. I thought this would make my machine that much more future proof. It is a pricy board (if we talk normal boards, not the insane Â£500 range) and if you have any other suggestions then hit me.
G.Skill 8GB (2 x 4GB) Ripjaws-X DDR3 PC3-12800 1600MHz CL9 - I think it's the most common choice among gamers etc. 8 gigs will do for now.
Asus GeForce GTX 670 915MHz 2GB PCI-Express 3.0 HDMI - This one bent my Â£300 gfx budget a little but again. This looks like a solid piece of kit for the money.
Corsair 700W Gaming Series GS700 2013 Edition 80+ Bronze, ATX, PS/2 PSU - My achilles heel. I can never pick the right one. I'd think that 600w would be more than enough but I would like to have a bit of reserve power in case I'll decide to SLI this bad boy in future.
Corsair Hydro H90 140mm High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler - I am not a big fan of kits myself but I don't have the budget for a full blown open cooling setup and this looks like it might just do the job.
LiteOn IHOS104 4x SATA Internal BD-ROM Drive Bare - I might as well live without it because everything is going digital now but I own a number of blu-ray films, concerts etc so I decided to go for a generic BD ROM.
Seagate 2TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 64MB 7200RPM Hard Drive - This is the biggest question mark of this entire build. I decided to go for a HDD you guys recommended for a previous build for one simple reason - Price. It's 2TB and it's a 7200rpm disc where 10000rpm hdd's such as seagate cheetah are around SSD price tag so I decided to lower the overall cost a bit and got with Barracuda. Of course if there is a better alternative in SSD form, I would consider it.
Corsair Carbide Series 300R Gaming Case - You guys recommended me a Carbide 200. I walked around shops and browsed some cases and to be honest they felt really plasticky and fragile where the carbide feels like a solid bunker for all the components. The only downside to this case is the cable management but that's already sorted in the previous build.
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional w/SP1 - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English
This first spec totals at Â£1,070.85 which hovers around my ideal budget. I think it's an ok build but I feel somewhat uncertain about it. There are certain doubts about it which you guys will hopefully help me sort out.
Spec 2 - This one is very similar to the first one but it favours intel over amd. Many components are the same so I'll just list the ones that are different to the 1st build.
Intel Core i7-3770 S1155 3.4GHz 8MB - I decided to go with 3rd gen instead of 2nd gen i7, mainly because the stock 3rd gen i7 is just better out of the box than a 2nd gen. I also read that 2nd gen has better OCing capabilities but that is not my priority. I need some firepower when I run my adobe suite.
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 980MHz 2GB PCI-Express 3.0 HDMI Overclock - It's almost exactly the same as ASUS rendition of this card but I wanted to save a couple of Â£.
Corsair 800W Gaming Series GS800 2013 Edition 80+ Bronze, ATX, PS/2 PSU - On second thought it appeared to me as this should be swapped around with a 700w power supply I have chosen for the first build mainly because AMD CPU is more power hungry.
CoolerMaster Silencio RC-550 Mid Tower Case No PSU - I'd like a silent PC but specs state that this case is covered in foam. Surely that will increase the temps inside it, right? I am not sure about this case.
Intel LGA2011 Liquid Cooling Thermal Solution - It got a lot of good reviews on dabs and it's cheaper than corsair cooling kit.
This specs totals at Â£1,186.45 which is slightly above my ideal budget but it's still bearable. That would be all. I'd kindly appreciate your input on this.
Both look good except the Intel water cooler is for 2011 processors so won't work with 3770. The 3770 murders the 8350 in testing the 8350 is on par with the 3570k, however your biggest issue is the 4th gen CPU's are out now they are overclocking better and are better out the box, you would need an Intel Z87 motherboard and overall at the moment the cost would be probably Â£80 more than your Intel build but the prices will drop over the next few week's the retailers are just sitting on high prices during the high demand period at the moment but this will end sooner than usual because a lot of people are realising that the new AMD processors will be far better for gaming (about 3-4 months from release) as the PS4 and Xbox one(fail) will be running an AMD architecture so games will port to AMD better. You can however go for a cheaper Air cooler for now as while not overclocking the watercooling units just aren't needed, and can get the watercooling further down the line when you choose to overclock (you can still overclock on cheaper air coolers just not to the same degree). Also GeForce 770 cards are out now are around the same price and have the same performance as the 680 graphics cards, they also self manage their overclock so they run to a defined temp rather than a defined speed making them safer to overclock. I think basically you are best coming back in a couple of weeks if you can when details are known as the AMD release is still complete speculation.
Ah darn, I mixed the sockets. Thanks for pointing that out :) About hasswell coming out - Aren't they aimed more at a laptop technology? After all, all the fuss was about energy conservation and onboard graphics. I get a strange feeling that whatever could have been invested in making the processor better, was blown on onboard graphics. APUs might be the future but I still like to have a dedicated piece of hardware for each task. I will have to read up more on haswell before I make that decision.
A point well made about the consoles and their hardware (not really up to date with consoles atm) . I might wait a bit longer but while gaming is very much on the table, I need a well balanced machine for everything I do. I guess we'll have to wait and see how they perform in a variety of tasks.
Thanks for your input. I'll wait and tweak the spec accordingly.
Haswell tech was mainly based towards the graphics side but it is based on the same architecture as Ivy Bridge except it has been refined and is on average giving a 5% performance improvement, doesn't sound like much but Haswell has been optimised for mobile market as you say but for desktops that is nothing but good it means it runs cooler and with less power which means it will overclock a lot better early reports are saying some people are getting 24x7 overclocks of 5ghz (take that with a pinch of salt, can't have accurate reading this early into release). As for the improved onboard graphics well that can improve your games too, VirtuMVP means your graphics card will deal with the hard stuff all the post-processing and simple tasks can be given to the onboard GPU it is a system that actually works really well, and it improves performance no matter what your main graphics card is.
I've got to upgrade soon so am currently doing my nightmarish mass of research for my perfect machine, I didn't do that on my last update and I ended up with a i5-3570k that just can't handle what I ask of it, and trust me to end up with a chip that won't overclock I have had it at 4.6ghz max but it's only reliable at 4ghz (thats luck of the draw now Intel don't do the testing they used too), but hey I learnt my lesson and will either get a what I guess will be called Haswell Enthusiast chip or new AMD system, either way it costs way more than I have :/
It's about time you updated your signature...
I'm still so proud of that E6600 it's a shame I had to sell it, bet it was one of the few that would hit that overclock.... but I'll make the change and forget fun times overclocking and return to my current nightmare :p..
Hmm guessing they changed something since I made it I can't make changes too it so I'm using an E6600 forever..
Hmm guessing they changed something since I made it I can't make changes too it so I'm using an E6600 forever..[/QUOTE]
I'll take a look
Never had a VIC 20 I was still crawling during it's lifetime..
That's going to seem so random after I edit my sig
Kids today eh?
I still have an E6600 that runs Media Centre 24/7 - uptime over 3 years now - I have had an Ivy 3225 board and CPU to replace for about 3 months now - I don't have the nerve to swap it out in case it's not a reliable.
Ivy is nice and reliable it just doesn't overclock reliably, I haven't turned off my system in 3 weeks, it's still going strong and has been made to work hard during that time. Must admit though I'm not blown away by the difference between E6600 and 3570k considering it is 6 years between them, I've been playing around with an old P4 single core CPU recently and with SSD it runs Win 7 before the logo loads and can pretty much do anything an average(non gaming) user does without any issue, only issue is it's been a long time since I heard coil whine from processor VRM.
Yeah - Media Centre will run on pretty much anything - I wanted the upgrade as the Ivy on board vid was better, but mainly, as it's on 24/7, power useage. At idle, the new one was 35W compared to 50 odd for the G45 E6600 with same SSD and 3Tb red. Must do the change though, just dreading missed recordings.
I got a couple of parts for my main machine from DABS and it has been up and running 24/7 for 942 days 9 hours :D
I knew I should have taken screen pics of the Netware 3.11 servers I used to build - some had incredible uptime
Never really used a server machine so never had massive uptimes, plus I crash my machine far too often to keep it up for too long. Then I have the whole switching between 4 operating systems, and also the periodic full clean out of the system and playing around with stupid cooling solutions just to try it (ah how my warranties have been voided in the past), I do usually try that on old components though especially the ones that will obviously cause massive amounts of condensation. Very happy to see the waterproof motherboards that will soon hit the market :p I know they are meant for Nitrogen cooling but still there are other things it will be useful for (although I'll never be able to afford one :p).