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Advice Please - Motherboard Upgrade -

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  • Brown Cow
    replied
    Just to close the loop on this thread. Many thanks again to everyone for the advice and especially to pjb for the memory sticks. Outstandingly nice of you and I owe you a few beers.

    Getting the memory from pjb meant that I could afford to get an A8-5500 APU with a GA-F2A85XM-D3H board. I also had to get a new CD/DVD drive as the old one was IDE and cranky with it. Total cost about 19,000. Fitted all that and the machine initially looked fine but then couldn't quite start Windows. Enter a long process of re-installing Windows and the thing almost but not quite being able to work properly. I finally realised that it wasn't getting quite enough power even though the processor was 65 watt and no more than the old one. Close, very close, but just not enough power for it to run properly. So off to Edion get a 500 watt PSU for 4,500. Fitted that and everything works perfectly.

    So, total cost about 23,500 and I have a new PC. Result.

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  • Brown Cow
    replied
    Originally posted by pjb View Post
    Still, if the board is identical in size, you can be assured it's a drop in replacement, free of hassles.
    Maybe I'm being a bit leery but that comes from hard experience trying to shoehorn things into things that aren't quite right. The most stupid and difficult little things can crop up. However, I it must be in Gigabyte's interest to ensure their boards fit just about any Micro case.

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  • pjb
    replied
    Originally posted by Brown Cow View Post
    Now there's a thing to watch out for. Micro ATX specifications are that the board is a minimum of 171.45 mm ~ 171.45 mm to a maximum of 244 mm ~ 244 mm. Most would seem to be 244 x 244, as is my existing board. However the GA-F2A55M-HD2 is 225mm x 17mcm so I had better get the GA-F2A85XM-D3H which is 244 mm ~ 244 mm. I suppose it could be made to fit but metalwork was never my thing.
    I imagine if the board is smaller, it won't be an issue - presumably the screw holes are located in the same place. The A85 board was designed with the latest APUs in mind whereas the A75 and A55 chip sets also powered the FM1 boards, hence the premium, I guess. Still, if the board is identical in size, you can be assured it's a drop in replacement, free of hassles.

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  • Brown Cow
    replied
    Now there's a thing to watch out for. Micro ATX specifications are that the board is a minimum of 171.45 mm ~ 171.45 mm to a maximum of 244 mm ~ 244 mm. Most would seem to be 244 x 244, as is my existing board. However the GA-F2A55M-HD2 is 225mm x 174mm so I had better get the GA-F2A85XM-D3H which is 244 mm ~ 244 mm. I suppose it could be made to fit but metalwork was never my thing.
    Last edited by Brown Cow; 2013-01-23, 11:07 PM.

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  • Brown Cow
    replied
    Originally posted by pjb View Post
    If you are interested, I have a couple of sticks of DDR3 I can mail to you. Eight gigabytes in total. It's only 1333 MHz - the APUs can use up to 1866 MHz - but if gaming isn't an issue, it doesn't matter.
    In that case I can use them .....Gaming isn't my thing. We can discuss the details via PM.

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  • pjb
    replied
    If you are interested, I have a couple of sticks of DDR3 I can mail to you. Eight gigabytes in total. It's only 1333 MHz - the APUs can use up to 1866 MHz - but if gaming isn't an issue, it doesn't matter.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brown Cow
    replied
    What a difference knowing what you are doing makes. So I can get a fairly cutting edge board, processor and memory for about 14,500! Floundering around on Amazon I could only find much older models for the same sort of money. Very helpful - Thank you everyone.

    Ventilation should be OK as I already have had to resort to case surgery and fitting extra fans as running all day in 32-34C wasn't appreciated by the current kit. Agreed with the need to clean coolers out too. That weird grey linty stuff is great at clogging up fins.

    Inside the PSU was extraordinary when I finally got round to doing it. Like a set from The Alien. Amazingly, under all that everything looked fine - I was sure some of the capacitors would be bulging but no. Even more surprising given that I've had to change out two burst 15V 1,500 uf caps near the processor.
    Last edited by Brown Cow; 2013-01-23, 07:01 PM.

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  • pjb
    replied
    The fastest 65 watt APU is the A10-5700. It's 11,272 on Amazon. The next fastest is the A8-5500 for 8,981, and the cheapest I could find is the A6-5400K for 6,421.

    Motherboards on the other hand: I'd grab either a GA-F2A85XM-D3H (Gigabyte) for \7,966 or a GA-F2A55M-HD2 for \5,044 as either support all of the three aforementioned APUS,

    Cheapo option: \11,465 + DDR3 RAM
    Expensive option: \19,238 + DDR3 RAM

    As for the cooler, stock should be fine for the 65 watt flavour, though you'll probably have to open up the case and blow the fluff out with a can of compressed air from time to time (I think my rabbit purposely sheds near the fan intake of my rig).

    The g/f has an A6 APU based around an FM1 mini-ITX board (tiny!) and I went into the BIOS and under-volted the CPU slightly so that it runs cooler. That may also be an option if you find the APU a little noisy in the summer, if you are feeling geeky.
    Last edited by pjb; 2013-01-23, 01:39 PM.

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  • ttokyo
    replied
    Originally posted by Brown Cow View Post
    I am thinking of upgrading my motherboard as the old beast is struggling a bit these days. I do not need anything very powerful - certainly no gaming requirement. I suppose any dual or quad core processor on any micro ATX board would do.

    If I buy a board here in Japan it will of course have a Japanese language BIOS. I assume it is fairly straightforward to flash an English version. Is that right? Is it normally done by booting to a USB drive?

    Any advice on where I could buy one to be delivered rather than picked up? I would be happy to try a secondhand board.
    The large manufacturers sit in Taiwan (Asus, Gigabyte), so they ship with English firmware anyway. If you want to resuse your processor or have an old one, you can buy used mobos at sofmap.com . But if you also need a new processor, you're better of with a new mobo/processor combination. Check prices at kakaku.com and get a mobo with integrated graphics.,e.g.
    intel i3 3210 Y 12,000 (comes with cooler), Gigabyte GA-H61M-HD2 Y 4,000, 2*2GB Memory Y 2,500. I usally buy at Sofmap, PC depot or Tsukumo. All ship within 1 day.
    A cheap alternative with used parts from sofmap would be something like intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Y 2,000 and P5GL-TMX/S or GA-5MMSV-RH for Y2,200 but they have only VGA Video, not HDMI like the new ones.

    Leave a comment:


  • Adol007fm
    replied
    Originally posted by pjb View Post
    If you go to Gigabyte's website, you'll find they have some AMD FM2 boards in the micro-atx form factor. Drop in an APU of your choice and you should have a nice little machine. AMD's APUs come with a cooler in the box, and if you grab one with a TDP of around 65 watts you can probably keep you PSU. I think a 300 watt PSU should be enough.
    The "in the box cooler" sometimes has trouble in the Japanese summers. Make sure you have some airflow in your case or get a bigger aftermarket cooler.

    Also, 300 watts is perfectly fine for a PSU if you dont get a high wattage video card(or if you get a motherboard with on-board video).

    For processors, there isnft very much difference in the mid range between AMD and Intel. They all perform pretty much the same.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brown Cow
    replied
    Originally posted by pjb View Post
    If you go to Gigabyte's website, you'll find they have some AMD FM2 boards in the micro-atx form factor. Drop in an APU of your choice and you should have a nice little machine. AMD's APUs come with a cooler in the box, and if you grab one with a TDP of around 65 watts you can probably keep you PSU. I think a 300 watt PSU should be enough.
    Yep, I agree with you about 300 watts for a 65 watt processor. It's ample. Thanks, I'll have a look at those boards. What processor model/range would you recommend? I know, I'm hopeless but I don't take a lot of interest in these things.

    Leave a comment:


  • pjb
    replied
    If you go to Gigabyte's website, you'll find they have some AMD FM2 boards in the micro-atx form factor. Drop in an APU of your choice and you should have a nice little machine. AMD's APUs come with a cooler in the box, and if you grab one with a TDP of around 65 watts you can probably keep you PSU. I think a 300 watt PSU should be enough.
    Last edited by pjb; 2013-01-22, 10:43 PM.

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  • Brown Cow
    replied
    Originally posted by ericson View Post
    All bios setups automatically ship in English. If you want another language you have to change it in the bios. There may be an exeption to local retailers doing this themselves. If you get a new motherboard you will probably have to buy a new processor and ram as well.

    Get a sandy bridge setup if you are really strapped on cash. You can put together a Sandy bridge with I5 proc (MB, proc, 8gigs ram, 2TB HD and case) for less than 40000 probably now. I would get something that has not yet reached end of life, but watch out for the socket of the MB and PROC.

    Search the forum for places online. There are a few posts. Amazon also carries some things.
    That's useful - thanks. So it should come in English. Amazon has some boards for about 5,000. A Phenom II X2 processor seems to be about 7,000 and 4GB of memory another 3,000. Expensive compared to the UK but perhaps OK. I don't need a HDD as I have those. I might need a new power supply though. Oh, and a cooler of course.

    Leave a comment:


  • ericson
    replied
    All bios setups automatically ship in English. If you want another language you have to change it in the bios. There may be an exeption to local retailers doing this themselves. If you get a new motherboard you will probably have to buy a new processor and ram as well.

    Get a sandy bridge setup if you are really strapped on cash. You can put together a Sandy bridge with I5 proc (MB, proc, 8gigs ram, 2TB HD and case) for less than 40000 probably now. I would get something that has not yet reached end of life, but watch out for the socket of the MB and PROC.

    Search the forum for places online. There are a few posts. Amazon also carries some things.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brown Cow
    started a topic Advice Please - Motherboard Upgrade -

    Advice Please - Motherboard Upgrade -

    I am thinking of upgrading my motherboard as the old beast is struggling a bit these days. I do not need anything very powerful - certainly no gaming requirement. I suppose any dual or quad core processor on any micro ATX board would do.

    If I buy a board here in Japan it will of course have a Japanese language BIOS. I assume it is fairly straightforward to flash an English version. Is that right? Is it normally done by booting to a USB drive?

    Any advice on where I could buy one to be delivered rather than picked up? I would be happy to try a secondhand board.
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