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Old Components with a New CPU/Board?

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Joined
Feb 18, 2014
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9
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD4H
CPU
i7-4770k
Graphics
HD6400
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Hi,


My Mac Mini is nearing the end of its useful life and I need some suggestions about how to go about this. The forum has already answered most of my questions, but:


Like most here, I think, I am interested in putting together a system that gives me many more useful years than my current budget would allow if I were to go buy a new system outright. It's important that I can improve the system as my budget allows: adding memory, adding dedicated graphics, going from HDD to SSD once they're cheap enough - these are things I've done with every computer I've ever owned and I hope I can do that with a Hack.


I've never compiled a system from scratch, but I'm very accustomed to swapping/upgrading components (HDD, RAM, PCI/expansions) in my PCs and Macs. As a result, I have a veritable graveyard of HDDs, PCI cards (I found an unused Firewire card today!:clap:), and RAM sticks. I even have two old cases with the PSUs that I could put back into service. To get started with my first Hack and save money, I'd like to have at it ASAP with this stuff and upgrade things like the HDD->SSD later if I can get it working.


I know I can't ever upgrade the Motherboard or the CPU, so I don't want to skimp on them. I'm thinking of this pair:
Intel Core i7-4770K
z87x-ud3h



Like I said, I'm looking for longevity and scalability here.


Can I pop these in an old Dell or HP box with a wiped WD 80G 7200RPM drive, 2 sticks of 1GB DDR3 and after I get it working upgrade the HDD, RAM, Case, PSU, and eventually add a dedicated GPU? Maybe put them in a new box someday with a quieter PSU? Or am I asking for a lot of headaches by using older components in my first build?


Thanks for your feedback and the great resource you provide here.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
9
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD4H
CPU
i7-4770k
Graphics
HD6400
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Ok, I got the message. SILENCE IS GOLDEN.

I put together the following build:

i7-4770k
GA-z87x-UD4H
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8x2 @ 1600
Antec HCG 850M
NZXT 210 Elite

None of my old components had connectors for current pieces. If anyone needs a 300 watt PSU or HDD with ATA/IDE connectors let me know.

I'm a late adopter, so I like old, cheap things.

Now, can anyone suggest an optical mouse (USB) that will last me the twelve years that this Microsoft one has?
 

trs96

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Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
22,249
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Ok, I got the message. SILENCE IS GOLDEN.

I put together the following build:

i7-4770k
GA-z87x-UD4H
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8x2 @ 1600
Antec HCG 850M
NZXT 210 Elite

None of my old components had connectors for current pieces. If anyone needs a 300 watt PSU or HDD with ATA/IDE connectors let me know.

I'm a late adopter, so I like old, cheap things.

Now, can anyone suggest an optical mouse (USB) that will last me the twelve years that this Microsoft one has?
It's all a matter of out with the old, in with the new. For a new build I always like to get
the most current up to date hardware. The cases I buy are always high quality so those will
last through a number of builds. As far as the older parts it's best to recycle them if you can,
there are usually heavy metals and other materials you don't want in a landfill. Take them to
your nearest Best Buy or other electronics store that offers electronic waste recycling.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
324
Motherboard
Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
Radeon 6870 1GB
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
As long as older components are quality and the right type, should be no problem.

I've upgraded my sig system several times in 5 years, but I still have my original hard drives and PSU.

Case, PCI cards, USB perifs, and RAM should carry forward as well. One problem I've seen here recently is people experiencing issues with older DDR3 RAM in newer motherboards. In some cases, lockups and freezes can happen. Best bet is use RAM that's on the list of tested/approved RAM for the motherboard.

If the FireWire card you found is PCI it will probably work if your chosen board has a PCI slot(s). And of course if its OSX compatible.

Keep in mind you can use older ATA hard drives either in external USB enclosures or internally with ATA to SATA converter. I wouldn't use a converted drive for other than backup storage though, not a performance/boot drive. (I'm a big enthusiast of keeping cloned copies of boot drives to keep a Hackintosh nearly fail-proof).

You say "you can't change the mobo and CPU" but keep in mind those things (especially CPU) are actually just as upgradeable as anything else. You can easily choose a low cost CPU (as long as graphics are compatible) and later upgrade it. (Sell or build another system around the old CPU) But also nothing wrong with maxing the CPU from the start.

My next system upgrade for example will be exactly mobo/CPU. Everything else in my system will carry over fine. (RAM is new enough it will also).

I've had a Microsoft wireless 5000 mouse I've been using almost 5 years now that will probably last 5 more.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
9
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD4H
CPU
i7-4770k
Graphics
HD6400
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
As long as older components are quality and the right type, should be no problem.

Right, my old system used RDRAM.:lol:

You say "you can't change the mobo and CPU" but keep in mind those things (especially CPU) are actually just as upgradeable as anything else. You can easily choose a low cost CPU (as long as graphics are compatible) and later upgrade it. (Sell or build another system around the old CPU) But also nothing wrong with maxing the CPU from the start.

My next system upgrade for example will be exactly mobo/CPU. Everything else in my system will carry over fine. (RAM is new enough it will also).

I kind of figured that out reading these boards and doing my build. I just always assumed that the MoBo and processor are locked in (I know they're soldered on some boards), and that the thermal grease had something to do with that.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
324
Motherboard
Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
Radeon 6870 1GB
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Right, my old system used RDRAM.:lol:



I kind of figured that out reading these boards and doing my build. I just always assumed that the MoBo and processor are locked in (I know they're soldered on some boards), and that the thermal grease had something to do with that.
With just a little effort cleaning thermal paste off a CPU (isopropyl alcohol and lint free cloth works best) a CPU swap is fairly easy. Basically just the slight hassle of removing the heatsink is the only problem. And if a replacement CPU is boxed, it comes with its own heatsink and thermal paste pre-applied. The term thermal paste is slightly misleading- it bonds the CPU to heatsink in a temporary way for heat transfer during use, but only slight effort will remove it for a swap. And of course a CPU only lays by gravity in the motherboard socket held in place only by tension from the socket lever. Lift the lever and its free.

Even an entire mobo-swap is fairly easy. I've litterally done them inside of five minutes from shutdown, to teardown to reboot with the new board.
 
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