Last night I was over helping my mother switch desk and accendently broke her computer (it is around 10 years old and needs to be replaced). Have been trying for last few years to get her to let me buy her a new one and now am finally able to. Though money is tight so have to be very cheap. Wont even mind buying one already built from a retailer just Best Buy and Walmarts computers low end computers suck.
Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Today
Budget Range: $400 total
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Facebook, internet surfing, listening to radio. Does no gaming and rarely watches videos on youtube etc.
Are you buying a monitor: Yes (old one is 15 years old and hehe I droped it on purpose but dont tell her that)
Parts to Upgrade: Need everything
Do you need to buy OS: Yes Prefer 7
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon with fast shipping.
Location: Springfield, MO
Parts Preferences: Always bought Intel but this build I dont care.
Overclocking: no never.
SLI or Crossfire: No never.
Your Monitor Resolution: Shes old so something she can see
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: She has a really old computer and it broke while moving it. Looked at Best Buy since I didnt plan on spending much money on the build but for the price they are below quality.
Ok let's start here 99.99 for the operating system. As far as monitor goes you can budget all day with amazon and newegg with those and maybe even land a 20 inch refurbished so let's throw 99.99 at that. As far as components Motherboard, CPU, Memory, Power supply, case, Hard drive and optical drive. Your looking at even on budget parts 300.00 bucks. If you could up the 400.00 to 500.00 you maybe able to pull it off building if yourself. Or you can always go this route and spring the other 80.00 for a monitor totaling your at 400.00$$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Specs are ok and it's great for what you need it for.
Burritobob did a good job putting a complete build together including the monitor and OS for near the budget. The only suggestion I would have is to squeeze a little more out of the budget if possible and get 4GB of RAM. Here's a couple decent sets from Newegg:
How much storage space does she need/want? If it's literally just an internet browsing machine with minimal program usage (like Word/Quicken), perhaps a very small SSD would be better than a mechanical. Assuming it's 32GB, with Windows 7 installed, you're probably talking about 10GB or so of space, do you think that would be enough? Here's the SSD: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SKB5HA/?tag=pcpapi-20 Would it be possible to salvage the HDD from her old one? Is it SATA or IDE?
The advantages of an SSD for someone who uses a computer in such a way are great, since it makes the boot-up times very speedy, and the computer as a whole just feels a lot more responsive. I recently put an SSD in one of my parent's computers, and they said the difference was almost night and day.
Given the use for this computer, the budget, and to reduce the fuss factor, you might consider buying a used Dell Optiplex with a dual core CPU, having a reasonable clock speed and including a monitor- all ready to go, and reliable. This kind of purchase can even beat your budget- and remember there's no fussing with ordering, assembly, configuration, problem solving >
> which is a current listing for a minitower Dell Otiplex 780 > Dual core E8400 @ 3.16GHz, 4GB RAM, 160GB HD, Windows 7, the excellent SK-8135 multi-media keyboard, and a 17" LCD, all for a "Buy It Now" of $245. That has a 1333 FSB so it can actually use a large variety of good quad core CPU's up to 3.2GHz, but I think the current dual core at that speed is enough for the intended use. You could add a reasonable graphics card for $60-70, and though it doesn't seem necessary, a larger HD, wifi card, add or better CD/DVD-R, or whatever.
You could also buy something like this as CPU only a for say, $120 (I recently saw a similar Optiplex 760 sell for $95). Here's a 3GHZ 760 w/o OS >
> that sold for only $56. The slim desktop case ones are even cheaper. Because of the cost of adding the OS and RAM, though, it's generally still better to spend more- say $120, and have a system closer to the final specification, so you might only add a graphics card ($60), a dedicated PCI soundcard and speakers ($60), and a budget 23-24" monitor ($140) and still be well under your $400 budget- and it's ready to BookFace, email, YouTubbies, Netflats, and surfitize the DotComs right away.
Of course, if you'd rather build, the other posters have good ideas and all of those systems would outperform this kind of thing in computing power, but the advantage of used where high performance is not necessary is that it puts the costs where it's important- in the output components > a dedicated video card instead of integrated***, much better sound, and larger monitor.
*** [ My mother has an 8 month old triple core AMD and the change from integrated video to a $30 GT 240 (1GB, Newegg refurbished) and becuase the integrated video scored an embarrassing 23 on 3D (a GTX 660 can score 5500), the GT 240 alone changed the Passmark system rating from 362 to 1394!]
I've had as a 3rd computer, an Optiplex 740 with a 3.0GHz AMD Althon X2 64, 6GB RAM, Quadro FX580, 750MB HD Windows Ultimate 64, and it ran AudoCad, Revit, Solidworks, Maya, Inventor, Adobe CS4, just fine and completely reliable. That was a $90 computer, with the CPU change from 2.3 to 3.0 costing $40, the OS was $65- yes a full retail and legal version, and the FX 580 card was spare from the Dell Precision that replaced it. I replaced it with a Dell Precision T5400 so as to have more processing power and more cores (8) for rendering.