PC building help

Miss Mandy

Moderator
First time into this section and first time looking at PC building so apologies in advance for any silly questions. I'm basically just thinking out loud here because I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

Basically I recently moved my PC and thought I'd install a graphics card with hdmi to enable me to use my TV as it's now within reach. I'd previously been using the onboard graphics. What I've found though is that the layout of the motherboard doesn't allow the gfx card to fit due to the fins on it, the power supply is too close to the slot.
I'd like to be able to do a bit of gaming as I've got game pass ultimate and as the PC is 12 years old it got me thinking that it might be time for an upgrade.
So I'm trying to figure out where to start. I don't want to spend a huge amount of money, but I'd like something upgradable in the future. I'd obviously like something better spec than what I've got already if possible. I'm not looking for top of the range and primary use will still be office work and internet browsing.

My current PC is a Dell Optiplex 755 SFF. Its a 3.0ghz core 2 duo with its maximum 8gb ram and 2x 256gb SSD. The gfx I got that didn't fit is an Asus GT 1030.
I think (hope) the SDD and the gfx can be used in the new build so if I've got this right I need to look for a case, a motherboard, processor, ram and a power supply.

So for my use is there a preference between AMD and Intel? What suppliers or retailers are the best for reliability and price? I have never build a PC before so are there any special skills I need or potential problems I need to be aware of?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer, it's appreciated. :thumbsup:
 

CARLOS

Distinguished Member
PC building is pretty straightforward now, its worth watching a few YouTube videos to get familiar with everything.

As for parts etc a few questions, what games are you looking to play? You say you want to connect to your TV is this for gaming and if so what TV is it ? and finally what sort of budget are you thinking for the parts ?
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Both good, I usually use CCL.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
@Miss Mandy - you probably are already but be careful about static.
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Pick parts. Build your PC. Compare and share. allows you to choose the relevant parts and helps ensure you don't have any compatibility issues as well as listing the cost of each part (including Scan, OC and CCL)

If you are reusing the same SSD then it is best to reformat it and install Windows from scratch as it will ensure that you don't have any legacy "crap" from before including old drivers. Given the cost it might be just cheaper to go with a 512GB SSD.

Choice of AMD vs Intel is now a personal preference but on the whole, AMD is usually a better bang for your buck. Previously it was always Intel for a long time but now the majority of builds are tending towards AMD.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
@Bolosun @Trollslayer @ChuckMountain
Thanks for the reply guys, I'll have a look at those websites.

PC building is pretty straightforward now, its worth watching a few YouTube videos to get familiar with everything.

As for parts etc a few questions, what games are you looking to play? You say you want to connect to your TV is this for gaming and if so what TV is it ? and finally what sort of budget are you thinking for the parts ?

Thanks for the reply, I hadn't even thought of checking YouTube so I'll have a search on there.

I'm not really sure what games I'll play to be honest as there's so much on gamepass. I used to play the Age of Empires and Championship Managers years ago so stuff like that as well as some of the GTAs if possible. Eventually I'd like a machine capable of playing Flight Simulator, but I think that's further down the line when finances are better.

For now I'm hoping to get up and running for around £200-300 if possible, but that would depend on how much of my existing stuff can be used.

Connecting to the TV would be for gaming and maybe streaming. At the moment I've got a 43" JVC 1080p jobbie, but I'm hoping to upgrade that later in the year when the Black Friday deals are on.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
For that sort of money I would be looking at 2nd hand

I'm quite happy to buy second hand once I know what I'm looking for, I'm just a little concerned about buying incompatible parts and not being able to return them.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Start with the CPU as this can only fit some motherboards, ie not all Intel 1151 CPU's will fit all 1151 motherboards as they have been reworked but kept the same socket name :facepalm:.
Then pick the motherboard making sure the socket & chipset work together with the CPU. Either ATX (big with more expansion slots) or mATX (smaller, less slots). With your budget I'd guess you will be looking at mATX.
RAM then needs to match the MoBo, ie newer will likely use DDR4 RAM. 8Gb or 16Gb will be plenty to get you going. Check what the Dell uses as if DDR3 then you could re-use that in the right MoBo.
A PSU of around 500w should be plenty powerful enough, but stick to a known maker as cheap PSU's are likely to be underpowered and even unreliable - if the PSU goes it can often take out other components.
Just about any case will do the job. DVD drive etc. can be used if wanted, but not required as most software can be downloaded. Even Windows can be installed from a flash drive.

I assume the Dell has an OEM copy of Windows. If so then you need to budget for this as well as it is not transferable to a new PC. But legitimate copies can be found for a lot less than Microsoft will charge.

Mark.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
Thanks @MarkE19 that's a really useful post. Part of my problem was that I couldn't figure out what component to select first and where to go from there to ensure compatibility.

The Dell does have OEM, but I've got an unused retail license for Windows 7 which I'm hoping will allow me to upgrade to W10 for not too much money. If not I should be able to get W10 discount through Uni.
 

CARLOS

Distinguished Member
If you wanted to go with new products then something like this would be decent if you could stretch the budget a little System Builder

I asked about what games as the Gt1030 is a very basic card which is more for basic video playback than gaming and would struggle with most games but the sort of games you mentioned should be fine especially as its going through a 1080 TV
 

Bolosun

Member
As already written, start with the CPU and Motherboard. Once you have those, use the manual for the motherboard to know what memory to buy. Then it is case and power supply. Peripherals and video cards etc are pretty standard from there. Bear in mind what PSU you will need to drive the peripherals, especially the video card.
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
I found this one good when I built my first PC last year -
There 2 other videos in the series, one on picking the all hardware and the other is how to get it all setup once you've built it.

I found them useful.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
The Dell does have OEM, but I've got an unused retail license for Windows 7 which I'm hoping will allow me to upgrade to W10 for not too much money.
If free counts as not too much money then you are good to go with that :thumbsup:

Ignore the Windows 7 as far as installing goes. Just download and create a Windows 10 USB drive. Install Win10 directly and then enter the Win7 license key and you are done as Microsoft still offer the free upgrade but don't advertise the fact.

Mark.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
Thanks again for the help guys, I appreciate it.
I've spent some time over the last couple of days reading up and watching some videos so I think I have more of an idea now.
I'm going to go for AMD Ryzen for the processor so I just need to work out the rest from there.
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
So this is my current basket on ebuyer. Does this bundle seem ok to get started?

Screenshot_20200912_204626_com.android.chrome.jpg

The main thing I'm not sure about is the case. Ideally I'd like to be able to transfer my optical drive over, but the selection of nice looking cases that support them is poor. I don't really want to drop another £40 or whatever on an external disc drive though.
 

CARLOS

Distinguished Member
So this is my current basket on ebuyer. Does this bundle seem ok to get started?

View attachment 1364784

The main thing I'm not sure about is the case. Ideally I'd like to be able to transfer my optical drive over, but the selection of nice looking cases that support them is poor. I don't really want to drop another £40 or whatever on an external disc drive though.

You could do what I did and buy one of these Amazon product to connect your internal disc drive when you need to also useful to connect any internal hard drives if you need to.

And yes the bundle looks good :thumbsup:
 

Bolosun

Member
Fan for the processor?
Why are you buying a Micro ATX motherboard? Does it fit in that case?
What video card are you using?
The PSU looks a little low powered. Make sure it can run everything, especially the video card?
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
Fan for the processor?
Why are you buying a Micro ATX motherboard? Does it fit in that case?
What video card are you using?
The PSU looks a little low powered. Make sure it can run everything, especially the video card?

Thanks for the post.
The processor comes with a fan included in the box.

The vast majority of Ryzen compatible motherboards appear to be Micro ATX, choosing an ATX board pushes the build over my budget from what I could see. Yes, it does fit in that case, but I'm not sure if that's the case I want now that I've thought on it some more.
I chose it for the optical drive slot, but there are better looking cases available if I leave out the drive.

For now I'm using the card I mentioned in the first post, the GT1030. I know it's not a high end card, but it should do for my immediate needs and can hopefully be upgraded when funds allow.
One of the main reasons for going down the self build route is to give myself more options long term for upgrading. I've got a small form factor Dell at the moment that is 12 years old and can't be upgraded due to age and size/shape of the case.

According to PC part picker the computer will require around 200w so hopefully 450w is fine. The next one up is 550w and only £5 more so would that be a safer choice? I went for Corsair as they're a brand I've heard of, a friend said to be careful with unknowns as the fans can be loud and they can be unreliable.
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
I am running an i7-6700k, 16GB of RAM, two SSDs, a GT1050 and a 2.5" HDD on 450W no problems.
The power consumption from PC Part Picker sounds reasonable.
If you were overclocking that might push it towards 300W.
On my new build I used 450W partly because this is a silent build with and i5-8900, 2 SSDs, 1 standalone HDD and a RAID1 pair of HDDs plus the 1050 and the 450W power supply has the connectivity I need.
I would be surprised if that used 300W worst case
I am going for a minimum eight year life (continuous operation) and no detectable noise.

If anyone is looking for long life quiet PSUs, coolers and cases I recommend BeQuiiet.
 

Bolosun

Member
My system is overclocked and I running a RTX2060 Super, plus I have 4 HD's, 2 SSD's, 2 BlueRay REW's, plus a couple of other cards, so I am running a 750W PSU. This gives me plenty of room for my system. You also have to be careful with the spec's given for the PSU's. The output can be misleading depending on how they get to the wattage they advertise. Have a look here on spec'ing a PSU
 
Last edited:

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Another reason to go for a good manufacturer (Be Quiet in this case).
The PSU I am using has a MTF of 100,000 hours - about nine years.
 

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: Streaming Theatrical Releases And The Future Of Cinema
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Magico announces Titan 15 subwoofer
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Ajax Systems adds UK Socket to expand smart home options
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Best TVs of 2021 - Editor's Choice Awards
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Melco update improves N10, N100 and N1 EX digital libraries
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Loewe launches We.See TVs under new 'We. by Loewe' sub-brand
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom