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Old October 21, 2012, 08:49 AM
AJR AJR is offline
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Default Sub $500 build, need help.

Hi all, I'm new here. I found these questions in the sticky, so I'm trying to stick to the guidelines, but I have a lot of questions that I'll probably add to this as I go along. Thanks!

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.
This is not a gaming machine. I mostly use Word programs, itunes, web browsing, photoshop, openshot/microsoft movie maker (for very minor video editing), youtube/netflix viewing, other microsoft office type applications.

I do multitask, running a few programs at a time from the list above, and sometimes a scan too. I'd like a snappy system that loads things fast and doesn't get hung up. Something with decent graphical power for the video applications.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
~$500

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
US. Mostly from Newegg.

4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc, etc, etc, you get the picture.
No Preference. Just best performance for price.

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
Yes, I am reusing my optical drive, HDD, and OS (to be upgraded). The HDD is a Western Digital 500GB loaded with XP. I have a Win7 "update" disk that I know can upgrade my XP only if I do a clean install, but I do have another question about this that I'll post further down.

Also reusing monitor and peripherals.

6. IF YOU have searched and/or read similar threads.
Yes. In fact, I even have a preliminary build we can work from, but I wasn't sure if I should switch over to AMD to save money, or move up to an i5 for more power. Here's the current build so far:

Intel Core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge
MSI Z77A-GD55 (comes with free 8 GB memory on Newegg)
FREE GIFT: Patriot Gamer 2 Series 8GB (2 x 4GB)DDR3 1600
Antec VP-450 450W
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower
My current 500GB HDD
My Current optical drive

Currently $360.96

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
If the system is capable of it, maybe, If not, I don't mind much.


8. WHEN do you plan to build it?
ASAP. I haven't purchased any parts yet.

9. What resolution and settings do you use?
Not for gaming, but I'd like video to play in 1080p, high quality.

10. Are there any specific technologies you want?
Not sure, but I do want the best I can afford within my budget.

Okay, so my main questions are basically, should I upgrade to the i5 for what I want to use my system for, or will the i3 be fine? Or, conversely, do you think an AMD based system would be a better choice. IE: there's a better AMD processor than the i3 (for my purposes) for a cheaper price?

The second and harder question has to do with my OS and HDD. I'd like to install Win7 on a new HDD (possibly even an SSD), but the problem is that the version of XP on my current computer was preloaded, and I have no installation disk for it.

So I'm wondering, if I installed two HDD's into the new system (the old one with XP, and the new one), would the win7 upgrade disk allow me to install Win 7 onto the new HDD (even though XP is on the other HDD), or am I basically forced to use the old HDD since that's where the XP OS resides?

Sorry if that doesn't make sense...

Thanks for all the help, I truly appreciate it!
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:06 AM
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What is your old system? You may have some major issues just popping in your old HDD and hoping it works with the new hardware.
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:23 AM
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If you have a win7 upgrade disk I think it will work if you have xp on your system already, but you'd have to do a clean install. You could probably clone it over to another drive, but I don't know that you could install it on the other drive directly.

for 1080p video the integrated gpu on the i3 would be fine.
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:25 AM
AJR AJR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKYMTL View Post
What is your old system? You may have some major issues just popping in your old HDD and hoping it works with the new hardware.
Well, my old computer is a Dell Dimension E510 from like 8 years ago. But, I upgraded my hard drive about 2-3 years ago, reinstaling the OS...which I totally forgot about, which means maybe I do have an install disk somewhere for the version of XP... Hmmm...

But yeah, the HDD itself is a Western Digital 500GB (I think Green Caviar...) from a couple years ago.

What kind of problems? Thanks for the heads-up.
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:28 AM
AJR AJR is offline
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Originally Posted by dandelioneater View Post
If you have a win7 upgrade disk I think it will work if you have xp on your system already, but you'd have to do a clean install. You could probably clone it over to another drive, but I don't know that you could install it on the other drive directly.

for 1080p video the integrated gpu on the i3 would be fine.
Right on, I figured it was a long shot. So you're saying I could clone XP onto the new HDD first, then use the upgrade disk as normal?
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:32 AM
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yeah I think that would be the best way to do it. Clone xp over to the new drive and then when you go to use the win7 disk do a clean install so that you starting nice and fresh.

Do you have a cloning program? I use ghost for cloning. It works well for xp.
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Old October 21, 2012, 09:40 AM
AJR AJR is offline
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Originally Posted by dandelioneater View Post
yeah I think that would be the best way to do it. Clone xp over to the new drive and then when you go to use the win7 disk do a clean install so that you starting nice and fresh.

Do you have a cloning program? I use ghost for cloning. It works well for xp.
No, I've actually never cloned a drive before. Is ghost free, or something I have to purchase?

So in order to clone, I guess the easiest way is to install the new HDD into my current system, clone, *then* start the new build, correct? And what do you think the best way is to handle the old HDD?

In my previous upgrades, I used to just leave the old HDD "as is" with the OS installed and everything, and just add it to the system as a second HDD. But I'm thinking it's probably better to copy what I want off of it and then completely reformat it...right?

Thanks for all the help so far. How that build look that I have? Any changes, suggestions, additions?

If I stick with my current build, I can easily add a nice SSD and stay under $500. I don't want to cloud the issues at all, but if I wanted to install a dualboot (Win7 and Mint), would a 128 GB SSD be big enough? And if I did not do a dual boot, is 60 GB SSD enough for just Win 7?

Last edited by AJR; October 21, 2012 at 09:47 AM.
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Old October 21, 2012, 10:06 AM
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No, I've actually never cloned a drive before. Is ghost free, or something I have to purchase?

So in order to clone, I guess the easiest way is to install the new HDD into my current system, clone, *then* start the new build, correct? And what do you think the best way is to handle the old HDD?

In my previous upgrades, I used to just leave the old HDD "as is" with the OS installed and everything, and just add it to the system as a second HDD. But I'm thinking it's probably better to copy what I want off of it and then completely reformat it...right?

Thanks for all the help so far. How that build look that I have? Any changes, suggestions, additions?

If I stick with my current build, I can easily add a nice SSD and stay under $500. I don't want to cloud the issues at all, but if I wanted to install a dualboot (Win7 and Mint), would a 128 GB SSD be big enough? And if I did not do a dual boot, is 60 GB SSD enough for just Win 7?
I received a copy of ghost from a friend, I don't think he paid for it. I just remembered something, you may not need to do any cloning. If your win7 disk is specifically an "upgrade version of windows 7" then I think you just do a clean install on the new hard drive once it is in the new pc. When you go to do the product key, it may not work, but thats fine. Boot into windows 7, put the win7 upgrade dvd in again and start the upgrade to win7 process. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/40...on-clean-drive

Since you aren't doing games, 60 GB might be good enough if you install movies and files on your Hard drive.
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Old October 21, 2012, 11:05 AM
AJR AJR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandelioneater View Post
I received a copy of ghost from a friend, I don't think he paid for it. I just remembered something, you may not need to do any cloning. If your win7 disk is specifically an "upgrade version of windows 7" then I think you just do a clean install on the new hard drive once it is in the new pc. When you go to do the product key, it may not work, but thats fine. Boot into windows 7, put the win7 upgrade dvd in again and start the upgrade to win7 process. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/40...on-clean-drive

Since you aren't doing games, 60 GB might be good enough if you install movies and files on your Hard drive.
AWESOME! That's perfect, thanks so much.

Yeah, I have an upgrade disk. On the disk it reads: "Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32-bit X86 Upgrade: Pre-existing OS license required (product key required)"

It being 32-bit is partly why I want to dual boot with Mint.

I work at a college and they have this awesome deal there that professors can get software very cheap. The upgrade disk was $7, and I got Windows Office Suite for the same price.

That actually leads me to a related question. My office suite disk was only allowed for 2 installations, which I used on my desktop and laptop. When I build this new computer, does that Mean I won't be able to re-install the office suite with that disk (since it has to be done as a clean install)?
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Old October 21, 2012, 03:28 PM
AJR AJR is offline
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Thanks!

So, I'm pretty close on pulling the trigger on the build as listed with the addition of a 128GB ssd. Any opinions?
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