Any reason to build a Core2Quad machine these days? Because, I'm doing it...

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Just for Kicks and Giggles, really. Although, I have a potential customer (who hasn't called me in a week, since our mutual friend gave them my number, supposedly, so I don't really know), who is really on a budget.

How do you all suggest that I trick out this rig, to make it usable, for a novice PC user?

I've got:

A supposedly-new ECS G41T-M7 v1.1, which supports Core2Quad 9xxx-series 45nm CPUs, since BIOS "All". (A good sign, this is a recent board.)
A Q8400 Core2Quad CPU (2.66Ghz, I think).
Some 2GB sticks of DDR3-1333. (Has two DDR3 DIMM slots, so I can go up to 4GB total with this RAM I have.)
A cheapo Logisys case+480W PSU (pray it doesn't fry my mobo).

120GB SSD? ($35-50), 160GB HDD ($5-10)?

Windows 7 64-bit? Windows 10? Linux Mint Cinnamon 64-bit?
 

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Well, the
Logisys case + PSU not looking like such a hot deal after all. The front-panel wires (HD Audio) were stretched to the limit, just to plug into the mobo.

Didn't power-up, installed speaker, removed RAM, NOTHING. No beeps at all. So I breadboarded, with a KG PSU. Got the CPU fan to twitch, not much else, so I cleared CMOS, no better, so I put in one stick of RAM, and finally got a POST beep and onboard display output.

My bad, I was trying to power-on the rig with the RESET button. Go figure. :( Everything works fine.
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Here's what the tally looks like:
$30 Logisys mATX case + PSU (Newegg on ebay)
$30 ECS G41T-M7 v1.1 mATX mobo (New, ebay, 775, DDR3)
$5 775 heatsink (est. value)
$15 2x2GB DDR3-1333 RAM (ebay, part of a 4x2GB kit for $30)
$14 Intel Q8400 775 CPU (ebay, quad-core, 45nm)
$6 WD "new" 160GB SATA 3.5" HDD (ebay, NoS?)
"free" Linux Mint

Exactly $100.
 
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whm1974

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Jul 24, 2016
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Here's what the tally looks like:
$30 Logisys mATX case + PSU (Newegg on ebay)
$30 ECS G41T-M7 v1.1 mATX mobo (New, ebay, 775, DDR3)
$5 775 heatsink (est. value)
$15 2x2GB DDR3-1333 RAM (ebay, part of a 4x2GB kit for $30)
$14 Intel Q8400 775 CPU (ebay, quad-core, 45nm)
$6 WD "new" 160GB SATA 3.5" HDD (ebay, NoS?)
"free" Linux Mint

Exactly $100.
While a Core 2 Quad system may be still usable in 2018, I'm not sure I would bother unless I already had the parts and trying to give rid of them. What GPU are you using for this rig?
 

lxskllr

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Nov 30, 2004
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I'd build one if I already had most of the parts. I might do it for $100 too like your machine. That's a perfectly fine computer for routine stuff, and it's about as good as the machine I'm typing on now.
 
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VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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What GPU are you using for this rig?
Just using the onboard X4500 chipset GPU for now. VGA-output. :)

I'd build one if I already had most of the parts. I might do it for $100 too like your machine.
Well, I had the HDD, and the Q8400 from a prior purchase for an upgrade that didn't happen. I kind of ordered the rest recently, and lucked out on ebay finding a pair (got another one of these builds planned, yup) of DDR3-using "New" Socket 775 boards, that were new enough not to need a BIOS flash to be able to use 45nm Core2(Quad) CPUs.

Granted, at this point, my stockpile of FM1 DDR3 parts are looking pretty good in the budget APU category, for similar prices as the Core2 stuff, but with way better iGPUs and HDMI output.
 

ao_ika_red

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Aug 11, 2016
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Swap with Q9550 and enjoy 12MB L2 cache goodness. It's almost as fast as some FX CPUs, so it's still a steal build overall.
 

VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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Swap with Q9550 and enjoy 12MB L2 cache goodness. It's almost as fast as some FX CPUs, so it's still a steal build overall.
But... then I'd have to upgrade to 2x4GB DDR3, and an SSD, if I were going for maximum performance for this platform.

I was mostly just trying to build a "balanced" Core2Quad rig around a Q8400 that I already had from a prior purchase, I wasn't going for maximum S775 gusto. The HDD and Linux were to hit a $100 price point. (*)

(*) When the mutual friend contacted me about this potential customer calling me, I told them that I had PCs starting at $100. When I said that, I was thinking, "Well, I'll just sell him one of my $300 PCs for $100, and eat the loss, because I need to sell a few of these to get them out of here."

But this build gave me the opportunity to put together a semi-respectable (ok, with Linux and a quad-core, it's plenty respectable as far as basic browser performance) rig, for exactly the price point I claimed. Without losing money. Granted, not making any money either, but whatever.
 
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EXCellR8

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Sep 1, 2010
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While I certainly wouldn't have spent any money, as cheap as parts are for most legacy sockets, there are plenty of reasons to have a spare C2D/C2Q machine lying around. I used to have one lying around just for my own benefit of having older hardware to test or troubleshoot parts with. I don't have too much of it anymore but some of my best LGA 775 boards are on my display wall with processors still in tact.

They are also handy for lower duty compiling and data storage, etc. I ran one as a game server a few years ago, before moving to a newer FM2+ platform.
 

ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
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But... then I'd have to upgrade to 2x4GB DDR3, and an SSD, if I were going for maximum performance for this platform.

I was mostly just trying to build a "balanced" Core2Quad rig around a Q8400 that I already had from a prior purchase, I wasn't going for maximum S775 gusto. The HDD and Linux were to hit a $100 price point.
You're right. I was still in trauma yesterday after my cpu was beaten hard in FB sprint project (VGTU) partly due to low cache count and slow memory and that ruined my mind.
 

cbn

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Mar 27, 2009
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Windows 7 64-bit? Windows 10? Linux Mint Cinnamon 64-bit?

Another one to look into is Zorin Core*. (Its only the second Linux distro I found that plays DVDs out of the box. The other OS, of course, is Linux Mint)

*It (unlike Linux Mint) also comes with Latest version of Wine (which is 3.0) and a bunch of tools ("browse C: drive", "Winetricks" and "Play on Linux" for using Wine). With this noted, I haven't really experimented yet with these Wine tools.

EDIT: One thing to consider when running Windows apps via Wine is Specrte v2. I'll have too look into this further as I don't yet quite understand Spectre v2 as much I want to.
 
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lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
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I should think a C2Q system should be perfectly serviceable with appropriate software. My personal choice would be one of the Puppy or FatDog based distros. Puppy is small enough to easily load completely into 4GB of RAM (heck 2GB would be plenty). Once the entire OS is loaded into RAM the system runs like it has a poor man's SSD for zero cost.