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I'm about to build a new little machine and have decided to go for a 64-bit Windows 7 set up. I have selected the box, and an Intel core i7 processor, 3x2GB DDR3 RAM.

Do I need a specific 64-bit graphics card for it, or can I pretty much get any graphics card? I don't play games on computers so I don't need any fanciness.

What about hard drives - would any drive work?

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5 Answers 5

Any graphics card will work, just make sure you have the correct drivers. All the latest generation Nvidia and ATI cards have both x86\32-bit and x64\64-bit drivers.

With hard drives, any standard IDE or SATA* hard drive should work fine as long as you have a spare socket.

* If you have a new SATA drive and your motherboard is old, you may have to set a jumper on your hard drive to make it work.

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In addition to Wil's answer, you need to make sure you purchase a video card with the correct interface (PCI-Express?) for your motherboard. Once you know which to purchase, verify that the vendor provides drivers for your operating system. –  Scott Feb 19 '10 at 15:15
    
yep, i got the correct interface, my only issue was the 64 bit thing. thanks both of you! –  jesper Feb 19 '10 at 15:17
    
Missed the part about hard drive, updating answer. –  William Hilsum Feb 19 '10 at 16:54

You need to make sure that there is a 64 bit driver available - but that's pretty much the case for all current cards. You don't need a 64 bit specific card.

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Yes any HDD will work, as long as you have the right connectors.

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great then i can use some from my old machine. thank you! –  jesper Feb 19 '10 at 15:17

Graphics: Any recent ATI or nVidia card will have 64-bit drivers.

As you are not gaming you might be better buying one of the many motherboards that come with built-in graphics. The board I put in my home server last year has on-board graphics (an nVidia chipset IIRC, though there are similar motherboards with ATI graphics chips in case you have a preference) with both VGA and DVI outputs and could happily drive two monitors at 1920x1080 for non-gaming work (including HD video) if I wanted it to. You'll be able to upgrade the graphics later if you start to want better 3D performance (boards like that still generally have a 16x PCI-E slot that you can put a fancy card in, and the new card will take over from the on-board one).

Hard drives: any drive 3.5" SATA HDD should work. 3.5" PATA too assuming the motherboard has a PATA port, but there is little point considering that. 2.5" SATA (i.e. some SSDs) would be fine too but you will probably need an adaptor to mount it in a 3.5" bay.

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even if you don't play games, you're going to want enough 3D rendering power to drive Windows 7 aero. I would recommend the cheapest ATI card you can find that supports eyefinity. While you're not going to be gaming on it, it does have the added benefit of being able to drive 3 monitors should you ever want to.

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