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CPU and Build for Basic Home PC?

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August 28, 2013 9:20:02 AM

Hi All -
I'm starting to look at components for my next build. I'll probably buy and start assembling things in late October / early November.

While I tinker quite a bit, this will only be my second full build from the ground up. (Never gonna buy another PC from the store again!)

Right now I'm primarily looking for a recommendation on which CPU I should consider, but would invite other thoughts or comments as well. Here are the key parameters:

o This is for my parents - they are retired and need only a basic setup

o I don't need this to be the cheapest build possible, but Dad will be a bit sensitive to price
- Unlike a build I would do for myself, where I would wind up with gold-plating, just because it's fun

o No gaming. Well, games would be like cribbage or solitaire (not like Batman Arkham)
- Point here is that I'm not planning to put a graphics card on it, so it will need integrated graphics.

o Basic applications would be Word, Excel, browsing the web, email, Skype for the grandkid in the UK, YouTube video clips, news websites, online shopping, DVDs, and maybe a little bit of social media (Facebook, Linkedin etc.)

o They don't have any mobile devices - iPhone, iPad, other smart phone, etc. that would need significant disk space for syncing or storing content

o Since we're not looking to run the most current games or massively processor intensive applications, ever, I'd like to see this box be viable for 5+ years.

o Probably not overclocking, as we live in different cities and I need this machine to be rock stable. Can't be on-call to make tweaks here and there.

o Dad is currently frustrated by how slow the existing PC has become. Particularly boot time and app load time.

Dad has mentioned a few times that the current machine he has is slow. Well, it's probably a 6+ year old Windows XP single-core processor with only 2-4 GB RAM that he bought "off the shelf." He's not looking for sub-second response time, and I think any improvement would be great.

I want to start talking w/ Dad about the parts, optimizations, and cost tradeoffs now so that I can shop the sales and build this before Christmas.

Here's what I'm thinking for the configuration
o Intel CPU
o Core i5-4570
- It's got most current integrated graphics, four cores, good clock speed, most current technology
- I realize that we could do a much cheaper CPU for their basic needs, but I'm trying to design for the next 5+ years.
o MOBO - I don't need to go floor-cheap on this, but I don't need too many bells or whistles either. I'm probably going w/ a basic board from a well-known vendor. I'd consider ASRock, ASUS, EVGA, Gigabyte, Intel, or MSI. Any thoughts on these, or other brands I should consider?
o SSD - Probably not, unless Dad *really* wants to spend the $$$s for performance.
o RAM - Probably 2 x 4GB
o Optical - DVD burner, probably not BluRay

For the OS, I'm thinking Windows 7 (64 bit), which will be good until Jan 2020. . They're currently running XP, and they're used to the interface. I think Windows 8 would be too much of a jump for them, especially since I'm in a different city and I can't be there to help them on any regular basis.

Would welcome any thoughts on my approach.

Thanks,
GorfTheFrog
==============
Updated - 3 Sep 2013

Hi All -
Thanks for the responses. I'm decided to pair the CPU above (i5-4570) with one of these motherboards as my baseline. I'm selecting either the Z87 or H87 chipset (vs. B85) to keep options open for SSD caching in the future. Individual component and bundle pricing may influence my final selection slightly.

Any thoughts on these specific MOBOs as candidates?


MSI Z87-G41 PC Mate Socket LGA 1150 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/product/414820/Z87-G41_PC_Ma...

Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 LGA 1150 ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/product/417840/GA-Z87-HD3_LG...

ASUS H87M-Plus/CSM Socket LGA 1150 mATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.microcenter.com/product/414767/H87M-Plus-CSM...


Thanks!

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a b à CPUs
August 28, 2013 10:50:10 AM

Looks good for the purpose! As for motherboard brands, I've had great experiences with Asus and Gigabyte. If I were you, i would look up their competing boards in a certain price range and just pick the cheapest. A ~$70 board should suit you just fine.

Windows 7 will keep them in their comfort zone and still be relavent for a while, good call on that.

Withy a clean OS and new apps, that machine will fly compared to the old one. They will love it.
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a c 210 à CPUs
August 28, 2013 12:06:41 PM

This is what I would do, and it would likely keep him happy for some time to come...and it won't break the bank which would keep your dad pretty happy:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1xikB
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1xikB/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1xikB/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 ATX FM2 Motherboard ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($59.50 @ Newegg)
Storage: Corsair Force Series GT 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N53 802.11a/b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($34.91 @ NCIX US)
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($26.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Rosewill Fortress 450W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $792.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-28 15:03 EDT-0400)

This will do well enough with CPU + iGPU performance, he could even play a little BF3 if he gets a wild hair! (would have to be on low/medium settings) :)  Solitaire should be no issue!
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a b à CPUs
August 28, 2013 12:08:54 PM

8350rocks said:
This is what I would do, and it would likely keep him happy for some time to come...and it won't break the bank which would keep your dad pretty happy:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1xikB
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1xikB/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1xikB/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD A10-6800K 4.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4 ATX FM2 Motherboard ($99.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($59.50 @ Newegg)
Storage: Corsair Force Series GT 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N53 802.11a/b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($34.91 @ NCIX US)
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($26.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Rosewill Fortress 450W 80 PLUS Platinum Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $792.32
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-28 15:03 EDT-0400)

This will do well enough with CPU + iGPU performance, he could even play a little BF3 if he gets a wild hair! :)  Solitaire should be no issue!


I was going to suggest A8-5500, but if you don't care about a little extra money, this guys it's right!!!
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a b à CPUs
August 28, 2013 12:26:28 PM

For retired parents, that will definitely be MORE than enough for web browsers and solitaire! Minesweeper will thank you for the G.Skill Ripjaws X Series!

I guess it depends. If you plan on using it as well and do a little gaming on the side, then that AMD build loks pretty solid!
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