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post #1 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been using my primary desktop as my WMC for the past 3 years with 3 Xbox's as extenders. Up to this point it has worked great, but it has recently started blue screening on me all the time, like 5 times a day. So it's time to upgrade the 6 year old desktop. I'm thinking of getting rid of my primary desktop and replacing it with a laptop and a dedicated htpc. My thoughts are using an HTPC with a small SSD and connecting This [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UUPWP6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2WSTUX2A6RQ1A] to my Asus router to store and stream all my media from. I have all gigabit switches and router and think this should work with no problem. I think..
My problem is I can't seem to decide what I need for my actual HTPC. I will be doing NO gaming on it or browsing. I only want to run Windows Media Center, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. and stream to my extenders. I have it narrowed down to 3 choices and wondered if anyone had input on any of them.
1) the cheapest way to go ($237): refurbished Gateway SX2110G-UW308 (DT.GDYAA.001) AMD Dual-Core Processor E1-1200(1.40GHz) 4GB DDR3 500GB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 7310 Windows 8
I would replace the 500gb hdd with a 64 or 128gb ssd and I should be able to fit my old tv tuner in this unit.
2) the flashiest way to go ($663): refurbished DELL Alienware X51 AWX5061990501SA Intel Core i3 3220(3.30GHz) 6GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 / 1GB Windows 8 64-bit
Again, I would replace the 1tb hdd with a 64 or 128gb ssd but in this instance I would have to buy another HDHomerun.
3) the techiest way to go ($510): Intel NUC with Dual HDMI, Gigabit LAN, Core i3-3217U DC3217IYE, Lite On Plextor M5M 2.5-Inch 128GB mSATA Solid State Drive (M5M 128GB), Komputerbay 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 SODIMM (204 pin) 1333Mhz PC3 10600 8 GB (9-9-9-25)
This price doesn't include O/S, I'm assuming the version of windows 7 I have will work with it. It should. I will need another HDHomerun with this build too.

please help... confused.gif

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post #2 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 03:20 PM
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Another option is a PC from the Dell Outlet website.
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post #3 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarrington View Post

I've been using my primary desktop as my WMC for the past 3 years with 3 Xbox's as extenders. Up to this point it has worked great, but it has recently started blue screening on me all the time, like 5 times a day. So it's time to upgrade the 6 year old desktop. I'm thinking of getting rid of my primary desktop and replacing it with a laptop and a dedicated htpc. My thoughts are using an HTPC with a small SSD and connecting This [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UUPWP6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2WSTUX2A6RQ1A] to my Asus router to store and stream all my media from. I have all gigabit switches and router and think this should work with no problem. I think..
My problem is I can't seem to decide what I need for my actual HTPC. I will be doing NO gaming on it or browsing. I only want to run Windows Media Center, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. and stream to my extenders. I have it narrowed down to 3 choices and wondered if anyone had input on any of them.
1) the cheapest way to go ($237): refurbished Gateway SX2110G-UW308 (DT.GDYAA.001) AMD Dual-Core Processor E1-1200(1.40GHz) 4GB DDR3 500GB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 7310 Windows 8
I would replace the 500gb hdd with a 64 or 128gb ssd and I should be able to fit my old tv tuner in this unit.
2) the flashiest way to go ($663): refurbished DELL Alienware X51 AWX5061990501SA Intel Core i3 3220(3.30GHz) 6GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 / 1GB Windows 8 64-bit
Again, I would replace the 1tb hdd with a 64 or 128gb ssd but in this instance I would have to buy another HDHomerun.
3) the techiest way to go ($510): Intel NUC with Dual HDMI, Gigabit LAN, Core i3-3217U DC3217IYE, Lite On Plextor M5M 2.5-Inch 128GB mSATA Solid State Drive (M5M 128GB), Komputerbay 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 SODIMM (204 pin) 1333Mhz PC3 10600 8 GB (9-9-9-25)
This price doesn't include O/S, I'm assuming the version of windows 7 I have will work with it. It should.  I will need another HDHomerun with this build too.



please help... confused.gif


OP I like your Avatar very much biggrin.gif


I will try to help you out. (You need it wink.gif )

First,
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarrington View Post

1) the cheapest way to go ($237): refurbished Gateway SX2110G-UW308 (DT.GDYAA.001) AMD Dual-Core Processor E1-1200(1.40GHz) 4GB DDR3 500GB HDD Capacity AMD Radeon HD 7310 Windows 8
I would replace the 500gb hdd with a 64 or 128gb ssd and I should be able to fit my old tv tuner in this unit.

Don't waste your time. A 1.4ghz AMD is worthless IMO. It's time for you to get something new.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarrington View Post

2) the flashiest way to go ($663): refurbished DELL Alienware X51 AWX5061990501SA Intel Core i3 3220(3.30GHz) 6GB DDR3 1TB HDD Capacity NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 / 1GB Windows 8 64-bit
Again, I would replace the 1tb hdd with a 64 or 128gb ssd but in this instance I would have to buy another HDHomerun.

I could build you a hell of a lot better HTPC for $663. 6GB seems stupid on an i3. Either run 8 or 4 in dual channel. That's my first thought. Sounds like they had some crap ram they needed to dump. I would go 2x2GB for budget and 2x4GB for performance- I would never mix em up and go 6GB. That video card is dated, and not expensive. And you would still replace the HDD with SSD??

I forbid you to do this. Or purchase it.
Quote:
3) the techiest way to go ($510): Intel NUC with Dual HDMI, Gigabit LAN, Core i3-3217U DC3217IYE, Lite On Plextor M5M 2.5-Inch 128GB mSATA Solid State Drive (M5M 128GB), Komputerbay 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 SODIMM (204 pin) 1333Mhz PC3 10600 8 GB (9-9-9-25)
This price doesn't include O/S, I'm assuming the version of windows 7 I have will work with it. It should. I will need another HDHomerun with this build too.

This option is the best option of the ones you listed. At least you get a decent little cute machine.

But I would still think you would be better off building your own HTPC for less $$$

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post #4 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 03:38 PM
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Hmm...

If only there was a company with affordable custom HTPC options...

cool.gif
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post #5 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 03:44 PM
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How about:

Ivy Bridge CPU like G2020 ($60)
Asrock Mobo ($70)
Silverstone MILO 3 ($59)
PSU ($29)
DDR3 RAM ($40)
SSD 64Gb for Vertex4 for $70 or Sammy 840 128GB for $99

If you wanted a video card grab a $69 7750 GPU which is better IMO.

I could build you a better HTPC than your looking at for under $250 if I really started deal hunting.

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post #6 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Hmm...

If only there was a company with affordable custom HTPC options...

cool.gif


Not a bad option for him if doesn't want to build himself. At least he will get something proper, including a NUC if that is his thing.

BTW- Did you see this ???

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148690&cm_sp=&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=6146819&SID=afop7jhm53el


$6.99 LOL.



Too bad it's worthless ATA100. Still- that's cheap.

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post #7 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Not a bad option for him if doesn't want to build himself. At least he will get something proper, including a NUC if that is his thing.

BTW- Did you see this ???

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148690&cm_sp=&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=6146819&SID=afop7jhm53el


$6.99 LOL.


IDE
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post #8 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 03:52 PM
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Yeah. I know. I said that above ^

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post #9 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 04:37 PM
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OP,

How about this:



ASRock B75M R2.0 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $62.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157356
+
Intel Pentium Dual-Core Processor G2020 2.9GHz 5.0GT/s 3MB LGA 1155 CPU, Retail $57.99
http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=G2020BOX
+
APEX DM-387 Black Steel Micro ATX Media Center / Slim HTPC Computer Case w/ ATX12V Flex 275W Power Supply $41.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154087
+
SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD120KW 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $109
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147185
+
Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 997029 $36.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226285


You could save about $30 more with a 60GB SSD instead of the premium Samsung 840 128GB.

Something like this for $79:

Mushkin Enhanced Chronos MKNSSDCR60GB 2.5" 60GB SATA III Asynchronous MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226247


This would be at least as good as all the stuff your looking at.

Lots of fine tuning options if you prefer mini ITX or a different case look etc....


Also,

You can always upgrade to something like this:
XFX FX775AZNJ4 Radeon HD 7750 1GB DDR5 CI-Express 3.0 x16 Video Card $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150663

Depending on the case and PSU you use^


I think build it yourself is the way to go.

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #10 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, and if it seems like I don't know what I'm doing... it's because I don't. I've been running a Media Center PC for 3 years now on my AMD Athlon 64 X2 Hewlett Packard machine with 3 gigs of ram which I bought 6 years ago. It's dying and I'm trying to do it right this time, but I don't want to spend a ton of money. I would like to have an HTPC for under $500. I have a 2 terabyte internal and a 1 terabyte external drive as well as an old 500gb internal. I wanted to use those for storage so I don't care if the pc itself has shite for hard drive space. I just want something that works good on the cheap. I would also like something that is a lot more energy efficient than what I'm currently using. I know this thing is killing my electric bill.

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post #11 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I have never built a pc before and it's a little daunting. It's the software side especially that scares me. I have replaced hard drives before and that's easy, but to install the drivers and everything is very new to me. I will look at all the things you put on that list

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post #12 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarrington View Post

Thanks for the replies, and if it seems like I don't know what I'm doing... it's because I don't. I've been running a Media Center PC for 3 years now on my AMD Athlon 64 X2 Hewlett Packard machine with 3 gigs of ram which I bought 6 years ago. It's dying and I'm trying to do it right this time, but I don't want to spend a ton of money. I would like to have an HTPC for under $500. I have a 2 terabyte internal and a 1 terabyte external drive as well as an old 500gb internal. I wanted to use those for storage so I don't care if the pc itself has shite for hard drive space. I just want something that works good on the cheap. I would also like something that is a lot more energy efficient than what I'm currently using. I know this thing is killing my electric bill.

That build I put above is perfect and about $300. Under $300 with 60GB SSD, just over $300 with premium Samsung 128GB SSD. You can use your existing hard drives for storage, they would work well with that build. You mentioned you already have windows 7 too- so it's nearly a no brainier for you.

Assassin has a really good set up guide available that would walk you through putting it together, installing windows, and setting up the HTPC software. I think that's a smart move for you given your starting position. You'd learn a lot really easy and really fast, and that would make you really happy biggrin.gif

Saving $200+ on hardware costs and getting just as good a machine I think you can splurge the $25. The hard part is setting it up. No one seems to get that part right without hours of tinkering, testing, and a little bit of luck. I took me about 10 HTPC builds before I truly felt like I understood it well. His guides would walk you right through it.

There is really nothing to be scared about. If you've replaced a hard drive you can do this.

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post #13 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 05:08 PM
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If you care about the noise and wattage like you mentioned in PM- Your better off making an SSD only HTPC biggrin.gif

use your drives in a NAS or server connected to your network. That would keep your build cool and quiet. You had a link to a NAS - do you own that or your just considering it ?

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post #14 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 05:25 PM
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post #15 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Don't own it was thinking of buying it to use as my storage. It would be plugged into the router on the other side of the room on my desk

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post #16 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 05:47 PM
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You could re-purpose your existing machine as a server for next to nothing in cost wink.gif A clean install of windows of $39 WHS would likely be in order- or you can run it off a USB stick with Unraid.

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post #17 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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My existing machine is no good. I just did a fresh install and am still getting constant blue screens.

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post #18 of 40 Old 07-13-2013, 07:53 PM
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post #19 of 40 Old 07-15-2013, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
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OK, I've decided to take the plunge. I've listened to things people have said and read so much stuff my head hurts but I think I'm going to attempt to build my own HTPC and this is what I'm going to use.

Case
$45 In-Win 200-Watt Mini-ITX Case, Black BP655.200BL http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005ITOAL8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Motherboard & RAM
$130 MSI Z77IA-E53 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130673
$0 Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory Model BLS8G3D1609ES2LX0 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148661 (included with MOBO right now)
CPU
$137 Intel Core i3-3225 Dual-Core Processor 3.3 GHz 3 MB Cache LGA 1155 - BX80637i33225 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0093H8H8I/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Hard drive
$64 SanDisk 64 GB Solid State Drive with Low Power Consumption SDSSDP-064G-G25 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007ZWLRSU/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A5NGTWX0QUPDH
$7 Silverstone Tek 3.5-inch to 2 x 2.5-Inch Bay Converter (SDP08B) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008O510FW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Optical Blu-Ray drive
$60 Pioneer Electronics USA 15x SATA Internal BD/DVD/CD Burner with 4 MB Buffer BDR-208DBK http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A4ZXE40/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
Network storage bay for my existing 3.5 terabytes of hard drives
$90 Mediasonic HF2-SU2S2 ProBox 4 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure for 3.5" SATA Hard Drives http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002UUPWP6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2WSTUX2A6RQ1A

Total $443 for the PC
Grand total $533
Little pricier than I initially wanted, but I got carried away. Should be a very worthy machine. Any thoughts?

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post #20 of 40 Old 07-18-2013, 08:28 PM
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I like 128GB SSD these days for value and for the extra size and speed. Not a deal breaker but just a thought. You spent up on the i3 I see, so a few extra for a Samsung 840 128GB $89 now one newegg might be worth it.

I am a bit of an SSD snob and hypersensitive so feel free to discard my thoughts tongue.gif

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post #21 of 40 Old 07-29-2013, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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If looks like the i3 has thermal paste on it, do I need to put anymore on?

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post #22 of 40 Old 07-29-2013, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarrington View Post

If looks like the i3 has thermal paste on it, do I need to put anymore on?

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No, you do not.
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post #23 of 40 Old 07-29-2013, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No, you do not.
Thanks. I'm a total noob. This will be my first attempt to build a pc. Trying to read up as much as I can before I begin.

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post #24 of 40 Old 07-29-2013, 05:49 PM
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Been there, done that.

I screwed up the CPU fan install, and ended up back at Micro Center to get something to remove all the old paste as well as a tube of new paste.

If (when?) that happens to you, don't worry.
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post #25 of 40 Old 07-29-2013, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisHarrington View Post

Thanks. I'm a total noob. This will be my first attempt to build a pc. Trying to read up as much as I can before I begin.

No problem. Take a look at the FAQ tab at my blog as there are some classic questions and answers there that may help as well.
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post #26 of 40 Old 07-30-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by adam1991 View Post

Been there, done that.

I screwed up the CPU fan install, and ended up back at Micro Center to get something to remove all the old paste as well as a tube of new paste.

If (when?) that happens to you, don't worry.

me too.

That is how I discovered the thermal paste remover and surface purifier. I use that to remove the stock thermal paste if I am using aftermarket thermal paste. I keep a tube laying around.

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"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #27 of 40 Old 07-30-2013, 05:59 PM
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Something I discovered that is an amazing thermal paste remover and cleaner is alcohol based hand sanitizer (the gel kind). A little goes a long way and for most people its free!

Edit: As with any alcohol based cleaner make sure it all evaporates after cleaning before applying any heat (i.e. a CPU).
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post #28 of 40 Old 07-30-2013, 06:13 PM
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I used this on my last build

http://www.coollaboratory.com/en/products/liquid-ultra/

It's not exactly a paste. More along the lines of similar consistency of mercury, but not as toxic. Works extremely well with my delidded 3770K.
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post #29 of 40 Old 07-30-2013, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I have one stick of RAM (8gb), is it OK to just use one or do I need to install 2? And if so, does the second one also have to be 8gb?

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post #30 of 40 Old 07-30-2013, 06:39 PM
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I have this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100010&Tpk=thermal%20paste%20remover

It's really quite excellent. I have a couple of them.

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