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Windows 7: Yet another budget Skylake build question(s)

16 Dec 2015   #1
YaSo

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Yet another budget Skylake build question(s)

I was planning on updating my old Core I5-750 gaming / HTPC with around $7-800 USD of parts, with a Z-170 mobo and an I5-6600k as the base.

Now I have to scale back my budget to around $400 to maybe $500 max, with upgrades in the future. I can recycle an old Antec 300 case, an R9-270 2gb, a Crucial M500 480gb SSD, 1 or 2 LG DVD-rw drives and a few 3.5" and USB 3 hard drives with media. I am also carrying over a new-ish 40" 1080p LCD and a 19" 1440x900 monitor as a second screen.

I have Amazon Prime and a MicroCenter 10 miles from my house. I've bought from NewEgg over the years but would prefer AMZ and MC since shipping / pickup times and returns would be easiest.

So far, I only have this set of parts:
https://pcpartpicker.com/user/YaSo/saved/#view=nHF2FT
Core I3-6100, Gigabyte Z-170 HD3 ATX, Crucial 8gb DDR4-2666 stick, EVGA 500w 80+ PSU

I had planned on getting an I5-6600K and water-cooling it later, and adding another 8gb DDR4 stick, GPU and M2 SSD later as the system aged.

Q1: Is getting an I3 now and upgrading it with a current motherboard practical? I got hosed with the I5-750 / 1156 socket as far as upgrades and thought 1151 should be forward compatible.

Q2: Is upgrading the CPU on a motherboard (removing cpu, adding a water cooler) going to be difficult without breaking things? I did it on an old AMD system years ago but that was, years ago and AMD.

Q3: Any solid, budget Low-Key tower case recommendations: I prefer 'classy' looks to 'Awe-some!'. No LEDs and glowing side windows for the bedroom. Room for a CPU radiator and front USB 3 front ports a plus. (I can use my USB to sata cable if I ever need the DVD drives.) I'm thinking 'Define R5' on a budget.

Q4: Is a stock cooler enough for an I3 non-K CPU? I won't be overclocking it, and expect the case to have enough airflow. I also worry about bending my brand new Skylake with an aftermarket fan.

Q5: Is it possible to carryover my Win 7 OEM along with the SSD and GPU to the new parts? I had planned on getting the system running on 7, then going to 10 once it's stable.

Q6: Can I really get away with just a CPU, mobo, PSU, Ram and probably a case and Windows? What did I miss?

Thanks, and sorry for the long initial post.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Dec 2015   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Q1 - who knows what the future sockets will be

Q2 - that's pretty easy. You just have to find room for the cooler bits

Q3 - no idea

Q4 - a stock cooler should be OK

Q5 - No, OEM is tied to the mobo where it was first installed

Q6 - you need some fans, USB ports, etc.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2015   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I assume you have NO existing power supply you might use?

Microcenter is generally the best place to get CPUs, but they may not have stock at your nearby location. They often offer another 20 off if you buy a motherboard at the same time.

There's no point for a budget build to have a Z 170 motherboard if you are not buying a K series processor and don't intend to overclock. Look at H170 or B150 instead.

Look at micro ATX motherboards rather than full ATX to save maybe 10 to 40 bucks. Most people don't need full ATX.

If at all possible, I'd try to get the low-end i5 6400 at around $190 because it's a quad core. Even if that meant using my existing Antec 300 case. You can always change cases later on if you get more money.

A decent new case would be at least 50 and I'd rather spend that 50 to get a quad core CPU. Swapping to a new case later on is rarely a big deal as long as you've confirmed it's wide enough to accommodate your cooler. The Fractal Define R5 is a good case, but it's typically 100 or more. You just have to decide on your priorities based on budget.

If you insist on a new case, look at Corsair, Fractal Design, or NZXT. They have a few decent models under say 60.

The stock Intel cooler is fine for a non-overclocked setup.

Socket 1151 is the nearest thing you can find to "forward compatible", but I wouldn't expect an 1151 motherboard to accept the newest CPUs from Intel in, say, 2019 or maybe even 2018. That's just the way it is.

For a basic upgrade, all you typically need is motherboard, CPU, RAM, and Windows if your existing Windows is not a "retail" version.

Water cooling usually isn't the best bang for the buck on a lower end build unless you have heavy overclocking in mind or just like tinkering. You can get a pretty good air cooler for 30 or 40 if you eventually decide the stock Intel cooler isn't enough---but if you aren't overclocking, you should be fine with it.
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17 Dec 2015   #4
YaSo

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Thanks whs & ignatzatsonic for the replies. I kinda freaked a little and had a few brain farts after my budget dropped. You helped clarify of a few things, and remind me of others.

After only having one gen of the 1156 socket for my I5-750 I wanted thoughts on 1151's longevity. Hopefully it will stick around longer.

I forgot that the activation was tied to the mobo. Thx for clarifying.

Now that I realized I have an (old) Antec 80plus 500w PSU instead of the cheapo 400w I thought I had, I figure I'll stick with the case / PSU I have. They're old but still do the job. 3x 120mm fans on the Antec 300 should cool a stock Skylake like it does with my stock I5.

I never had a preference for ATX vs mATX, figuring they were similar in price if they had the same features since they had to shrink components to fit on a smaller board. I'll go for whatever has the features I want at the price I need, since case size isn't much of an issue.

MicroCenter has one Skylake chip in local stock now, a $199 3.2ghz I5-6500. NewEgg only has a $130 3.7ghz I3-6100, $190 2.7ghz I5-6400, $205 3.2ghz I5-6500, $230 3.3ghz I5-6600 non-K. Amazon is back-ordered on Skylake. I know that store stock could change tomorrow for better or worse.

I feel weird getting a new $200 quad 2.7ghz cpu to replace my old quad 2.7ghz CPU. Stupid, I know, but I don't do much video / audio / photo editing (rarely if at all) and aside from gaming the hardest non-gaming thing I've done is x265 1080p 5.1ch video playback. I mostly want my PC to show me cool things on the LCD TV and make cool sounds through the speakers. I don't think a slower quad will make that much difference vs a faster dual for my use. Right?


The only thing I am unsure of is to go with a Z170 or H110 motherboard. When I got my H55 board, it had a bunch of features. newer H110s seem to be much 'cheaper' compared to current Z170 boards.

An H110 board with a good 8gb DDR4-2133 stick is around $100. A Z170 is about $50 - 80 more, but gives me faster memory (2666 or 2800), ability to OC if and when I get a new chip in a year, seemingly better audio (for the HTPC speaker aspects) and seemingly better build quality as far as some H110 reviews seem to be. I'm leaning Z170 just to have a solid board that I will be tinkering with over the next year or two (or more)

Thanks for the feedback so far!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2015   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I'm not personally familiar with H110 or even B150 boards. I normally get an overclockable board (Z170 in your case) or an upper level non-overclockable board (H170 in your case), depending on whether or not I have a K processor (overclockable).

You need to carefully check the features on any board you want at the manufacturer's web site. I would assume that a mid to upper price level board in any chipset category (B150, H110, H170, etc) would have acceptable build quality if from a major brand like Asrock, Gigabyte, or Asus-----but you have to watch out for features. I just don't know what you give up with an H110 or B150.

If audio quality is important, I might consider going with the newest Realtek chip, which I think is "Realtek 1150", but I certainly cannot say it would make an audible difference. I have no complaints with my 4 year old board which has an earlier Realtek chip.

The dual core versus quad core thing is testy. If your usage pattern is limited to just a few things, maybe you'd be fine with dual core. I wouldn't think video or audio playback would need a quad core.

I'd probably pound the net to find out gaming comparisons--particularly for a very strong dual versus a mid-level quad. I don't game, so can't help.

Which particular games you play would also be very important.

Look here for a benchmark that will give you an idea of raw CPU horsepower:

PassMark Intel vs AMD CPU Benchmarks - High End

Here's a few numbers from it:

i5-6400 quad core 2.7; 6472; single thread: 1801
i3-6100 dual core 3.7; 5538; single thread: 2081
i3-6320 dual core 3.9; 5773; single thread: 2202; I think this is the strongest dual core in Intel's socket 1151 lineup. Maybe hard to find at Microcenter.

If you are DEFINITELY going to upgrade the CPU to an overclockable K within a year or so, you pretty much have to go with Z170, but I'd think micro ATX would be fine.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2015   #6
chefduane

Win 7 Home Prem x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post

Q5 - No, OEM is tied to the mobo where it was first installed.
Umm, maybe I am missing something here but I upgraded my mobo from an M4aLT-E to an M5A97R2 with an FX6350 Vishera and retained OEM Win 7 with no problems. I just swapped over my Samsung 128k SSD and everything ran fine with a few tweaks. I then upgraded to an EVO 250 via Samsung Magician. Then I got rid my old GPU and installed a R9 270x 2gb. Also upgraded to 16g RAM. Also did a Coolermaster Viper cpu cooler and swapped in a Corsair CX750 PSU. Basically all I retained was my old school case. Minor glitches here and there but everything was stable after a few days.

Maybe I am not understanding the issue?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2015   #7
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by chefduane View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post

Q5 - No, OEM is tied to the mobo where it was first installed.
Umm, maybe I am missing something here but I upgraded my mobo from an M4aLT-E to an M5A97R2 with an FX6350 Vishera and retained OEM Win 7 with no problems. I just swapped over my Samsung 128k SSD and everything ran fine with a few tweaks. I then upgraded to an EVO 250 via Samsung Magician. Then I got rid my old GPU and installed a R9 270x 2gb. Also upgraded to 16g RAM. Also did a Coolermaster Viper cpu cooler and swapped in a Corsair CX750 PSU. Basically all I retained was my old school case. Minor glitches here and there but everything was stable after a few days.

Maybe I am not understanding the issue?
It happens like you did it but the licensing terms are pretty specific about that,

Quote:
Q. Can a PC with an OEM Windows operating system have its motherboard upgraded and keep the same license? What if it was replaced because it was defective?

A. Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer—except the motherboard—and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer's replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer's warranty.

The reason for this licensing rule primarily relates to the Microsoft Software License Terms and the support of the software covered by those terms. The Microsoft Software License Terms are a set of usage rights granted to the end user by the PC manufacturer, and relate only to rights for that software as installed on that particular PC. The system builder is required to support the software on the original PC. Understanding that end users, over time, upgrade their PCs with different components, Microsoft needed to have one base component "left standing" that would still define the original PC. Since the motherboard contains the CPU and is the "heart and soul" of the PC, when the motherboard is replaced (for reasons other than defect) a new PC is essentially created. The original system builder did not manufacture this new PC, and therefore cannot be expected to support it.
https://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/lic..._faq.aspx#faq3
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2015   #8
chefduane

Win 7 Home Prem x64 SP1
 
 

So as long as I am the only person working/supporting my machine, I should be ok. If there we any issues with my new hardware and my current W7 license that might involve a warranty issue, I would be SOL as my W7 license is not tied to my current hardware. Well this is good to know. Additionally, I sold my old mobo with the old cpu installed to a friend of mine, so technically, he owns the Win7 license installed on my new machine? Hope he doesn't make an issue of it!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2015   #9
derekimo

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

There are folks who get a reprieve from Microsoft if it comes up non-genuine, I was just pointing out the reason he said that mostly.

The technical terms of the license can't be ignored but they are not set in stone, usually a call is what gets them to fix it, if it does come up as non-genuine. They don't have to though.

Yeah, I guess technically your friend would own that license if you sold him that board.

What type of OEM are you talking about anyway? A system builder or like a Dell or HP type OEM?

They are probably a bit less lenient with the Dell or HP type than they are with a system builder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Dec 2015   #10
chefduane

Win 7 Home Prem x64 SP1
 
 

The original system build was a custom build I commissioned a few years ago. Not a Dell, HP, or ASUS type, but a PC shop that I told "build me this machine." The Win7 license came with that build. Only later (and with the help of this forum) did I get enough savvy to do the upgrades I mentioned. I hope no one here gives me up!
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 Yet another budget Skylake build question(s)




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