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New PC for Grandma

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August 21, 2013 12:08:12 PM

My grandma's PC just crapped out. She was still in Windows 2000 so i know the Windows 8 is a bad move. She only uses it for internet use. I would like to know if this would be a good buy.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dell+-+Refurbished+-+OptiPl...

The only thing that i'm really wary about is the fact that it's refurbished. I have never bought a refurbished PC but it does have a one year warranty on parts.

What do you guys think?

More about : grandma

August 21, 2013 12:16:24 PM

That thing is still pretty old unfortunately and I would say it is a little high since you can get a new generation for just about $400

Dual cores might sound sufficient for Grandmas but you want it to last for at least a few more years.

At any rate that machine is decent for under $200 but there is a lot to gain if you can increase that to $400 and also the system will likely last longer too.
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August 21, 2013 12:19:24 PM

justhekicker said:
My grandma's PC just crapped out. She was still in Windows 2000 so i know the Windows 8 is a bad move. She only uses it for internet use. I would like to know if this would be a good buy.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dell+-+Refurbished+-+OptiPl...

The only thing that i'm really wary about is the fact that it's refurbished. I have never bought a refurbished PC but it does have a one year warranty on parts.

What do you guys think?


as long as your grandma doesn't abuse the system by downloading corrupt software,messing around with the settings etc. i'd go for it
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August 21, 2013 12:25:42 PM

If you buy it, before you get it, right there in the store get them to open it up so you can look over the capacitors on the motherboard. If you see any that are bulging or leaking, it's getting ready to die. Google "bad capacitors" for some pics of them. A few years ago, where I worked we had to regularly replace one Dell machine here, another there, as the capacitors on their cheap motherboards failed.
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August 21, 2013 12:42:31 PM

Or you can give her a brand new home made gift :p . Here's a cheap build that cost's less than your refurbished one, and you don't need to worry about any problems that come with used hardware.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A55M-HD2 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($22.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($27.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($21.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($26.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $209.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-21 15:40 EDT-0400)
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August 21, 2013 12:49:40 PM

He would need to get Windows 7 for it too, another $80 with a promo code right now I believe.
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August 21, 2013 12:51:09 PM

Agreed with RazerZ - that is a good build and its all fresh parts with fresh warranty, mmmmm

Consider the labor for building this computer a payback for giving birth to your Mama :D 
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August 21, 2013 12:56:46 PM

Hmmmm. I have only built one computer before and that was for myself. I'm not sure how comfortable building one for someone else. I would really like to get a pre-built PC but all the decent new ones come with Windows 8 and i don't even want to go down that path. I told her that She could probably get one for around $400 (just off the top of my head) but i would like to find one for under $350. I'm just stressin about playing around with her money.
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August 21, 2013 1:05:32 PM

RazerZ said:
Or you can give her a brand new home made gift :p . Here's a cheap build that cost's less than your refurbished one, and you don't need to worry about any problems that come with used hardware.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A55M-HD2 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($22.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($27.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($21.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($26.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $209.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-21 15:40 EDT-0400)


I would do something similar to this. It would be better than getting a pre built Dell. But if you want to pay a bit more money for a stronger system maybe do something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A6-3670K 2.7GHz Quad-Core Processor ($74.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock A75M-ITX Mini ITX FM1 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $379.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-21 16:04 EDT-0400)

This one is a little bit more but is based around a BitFenix Prodigy, has more RAM, and a bigger hard drive.
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August 21, 2013 1:06:51 PM

Onus said:
He would need to get Windows 7 for it too, another $80 with a promo code right now I believe.


Or get an open box edition of windows xp for around $40.
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August 21, 2013 1:10:31 PM

g-unit1111 said:
RazerZ said:
Or you can give her a brand new home made gift :p . Here's a cheap build that cost's less than your refurbished one, and you don't need to worry about any problems that come with used hardware.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($49.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A55M-HD2 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($43.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($22.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 160GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($27.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($21.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($26.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $209.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-21 15:40 EDT-0400)


I would do something similar to this. It would be better than getting a pre built Dell. But if you want to pay a bit more money for a stronger system maybe do something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A6-3670K 2.7GHz Quad-Core Processor ($74.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock A75M-ITX Mini ITX FM1 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Smart Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ Outlet PC)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($41.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $379.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-21 16:04 EDT-0400)

This one is a little bit more but is based around a BitFenix Prodigy, has more RAM, and a bigger hard drive.


It's true its better, but for basic internet use/programs I think the upgrades are unnecessary.
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August 21, 2013 1:33:00 PM

Based on a request I made some time ago, c.hegge (who is an Australian reviewer who does competent technical reviews of PSUs) took a brief look at the 300W TFX PSU in the IN WIN slim mini-ITX case. He hasn't formally reviewed it, but based on the components used believes it isn't junk. Accordingly, that case with the included PSU would shave a bit off the cost, and make for an easy little system for Grandma to move around.
I otherwise like G-unit's slightly stronger build though; the very bottom-of-the-pile APU has seemed very slow in every benchmark I've seen.
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