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Best option for a quick, budget-minded, general purpose machine

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July 8, 2014 12:26:26 PM

I have a friend who is looking to build a PC and came to me for advice. I made an intel system and an AMD system on PCpartpicker and They just seem a little expensive when I look at the barebones systems on tigerdirect. I have built my own gaming rig and tinkered endlessly with my old Gateway 5408. She wants a pc that will not lag and will be able to keep 20+ internet tabs running quickly without slowing down. This is basically a home-office machine.No gaming will be done and if there is I'd say integrated graphics can handle what she's into. She intends to sell it in a couple years to my knowledge, so having a decent secondhand desirability for the components used would be a plus, but not a deciding factor.

Here is my intel build - $475
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nKjjNG

AMD - $440
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3Kv84D

If we can get under $400, that would be great. Processor type isn't important as long as it performs well for the tasks she needs. Shes been working with an old C2D laptop, so I'm sure almost anything would be faster. I put SSD's in the builds, but I'm sure a 7200RPM baracuda would be just fine for her as long as everything loads quickly and doesn't bog down.

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: ASAP

Budget Range: $500 - no mail in rebates. only instant please.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:Home-office, surfing the internet

Are you buying a monitor: NO

Parts to Upgrade: All - From scratch build.

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have experience buying through newegg and amazon, but not many other sites. All reputable sites are welcome.

Location: Upstate, SC, USA

Parts Preferences: reliable brands only

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: hooking up to a hd tv

Additional Comments: prefer mATX with a small case. the size of a prefab pc or smaller would be ideal. She needs a wireless keyboard, so I added a logitech combo to those pcpartpicker builds. If you have a good quality, cheaper alternative, please suggest. Also, I don't know anything about the new pentiums and celerons. If they might be fine in place of an i3 or i5, I'm not opposed to it. She wouldn't know the difference. Motherboard needs to have VGA and HDMI output since I don't know which her TV has, but it surely has HDMI.

TIA to you all!
July 8, 2014 12:31:14 PM

Even though iGPU is enough, I suggest a low end dGPU for proper seamless experience
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July 8, 2014 12:38:55 PM

I suggest getting this but without the dGPU
If you did rebates, you would cut price by about $40 (hitting $460)

see how she likes the iGPU first
the K is pretty cheap so might as well get it

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD A8-6600K 3.9GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI A55M-E33 Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($45.32 @ Mwave)
Memory: Kingston Fury Black Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: HIS Radeon R7 250 1GB Video Card ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Urban S1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.26 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($17.95 @ Amazon)
Total: $500.47
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
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July 8, 2014 12:58:26 PM

I think intel integrated graphics are great for an office pc, i have been using them with no problem for 3 years. For the tasks she will be doing , she will notice a huge difference with an ssd. But a pc connected to a tv... media will be downloaded for sure that is why i added the 1 Tb disk and kept the ssd to 120Gb. I choose the mini itx size because you mentioned keeping the size as small as possible. I chose the Bitfenix Prodigy mini Itx case cause i think its gorgeous but you can save the extra money i added to your budget with the cooler master 130.

[PCPartPicker part list](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/P7jcGX) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/P7jcGX/by_merchant/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80646i34150) | $119.99 @ Newegg
**Motherboard** | [MSI H81I Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-motherboard-h81i) | $64.99 @ Amazon
**Memory** | [Kingston Fury Black Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/kingston-memory-hx316c10fb...) | $72.99 @ Amazon
**Storage** | [Plextor M6S 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/plextor-internal-hard-driv...) | $77.40 @ Newegg
**Storage** | [Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/western-digital-internal-h...) | $49.99 @ Newegg
**Case** | [BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/bitfenix-case-bfcpro300kkx...) | $69.99 @ NCIX US
**Power Supply** | [Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-power-supply-cx430) | $39.99 @ Amazon
**Optical Drive** | [Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/samsung-optical-drive-sh22...) | $14.99 @ Newegg
**Keyboard** | [Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/logitech-keyboard-92000453...) | $17.95 @ Amazon
| | **Total**
| Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available | $528.28

PS. The choices you already had were really good. I would only change the PSU to cx430. After 3 posts i dont know whether things cleared up or we just confused you.
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July 8, 2014 1:01:40 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($112.50 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H81M-H Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($71.88 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NSB0 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ NCIX US)
Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($17.95 @ Amazon)
Total: $392.28
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

Base total, no mail in's

Don't think the ssd is necessary

The build includes 8gb ram but I think 4gb should be enough
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July 8, 2014 1:30:39 PM

yea, I personally use a samsung 840 in my rig and love it. thats why I put it in hers.

Do you guys feel that a cpu frequency over 3GHz is necessary for her requirements? I assume with her requirement of being fast (for loading web pages) she would also like it to be relatively quiet.

I too thought that 4GB of RAM would suffice, but 8 isnt a lot more $. If it came down to eliminating a few things from the build I made her (for budget purposes), I would swap the ssd for 1tb baracuda and 8gb ram for a 4GB dual channel pack.

I also like the bitfenix case, but shes pretty minimalist and doesn't really care about computers either way, so I figure as long as it looks good and gets the job done well, she'll be happy. Thats why I went with the small TT case in my builds. Is there anything wrong with the PSU or other components I chose for the builds as far as reliability/warranty service?

Again, she didn't specify, but I assume she wants it small and quiet as well as fast at loading webpages. She does call center work from home and needs to be able to open many tabs per call to research multiple things at once, quickly.

Thanks a lot for your input so far!
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July 8, 2014 3:21:41 PM

The TR2 is not a good quality PSU really, the CX430 is much better
https://community.newegg.com/eggxpert/computer_hardware...

having more ghz does help load webpages but I chose it more fo multitasking abilities
it should not be noticably louder at all (e.g. 2ghz cpu would work at 50% load while the 3ghz one would only be at 33% load)

the 840 is good but he MX100 offers near identical speeds but is cheaper

I suggest sticking with the SSD over a HDD if she wants speed since SSD are the main way to get snapiness
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July 8, 2014 5:51:59 PM

Thank you stickmansam. The reason I was asking about the CPU clock wasn't really due to load as it was to temperature/fan speed. When I have my phenom iix4 965 clocked to 4.0 and web browse the temps get high enough to make the CPU fan audible but if I reduce to 2.4, it is still a capable gamer and obviously web browser and I never hear the fans speed up. So I was thinking something around 3 would be a good medium.

I appreciate the recommendation on the PSU!
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July 8, 2014 6:00:40 PM

the load reflects it a bit but with power savings on, the cores will dynamically clock
(so a single core could clock up to 3.x ghz while the rest stay at idle)

right now 2 of my cores are at 1.3ghz, 1 at 1ghz and 1 at 800mhz

you can also tweak the processor speed using windows power options and force it to say 75% of max speed
and when you need extra performance in games or future use, you can let it run to 100%
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July 9, 2014 1:51:54 AM

CPU Fan said:
Thank you stickmansam. The reason I was asking about the CPU clock wasn't really due to load as it was to temperature/fan speed. When I have my phenom iix4 965 clocked to 4.0 and web browse the temps get high enough to make the CPU fan audible but if I reduce to 2.4, it is still a capable gamer and obviously web browser and I never hear the fans speed up. So I was thinking something around 3 would be a good medium.

I appreciate the recommendation on the PSU!


An i3 would be fine for her. It uses much less power than the AMD chips and hence less heat generated especially in small cramped up cases. The ssd is again optional especially for her needs but nice to have, I would still go with a 1tb hdd in case she runs out of space
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July 9, 2014 7:12:54 AM

stickmansam said:
the load reflects it a bit but with power savings on, the cores will dynamically clock
(so a single core could clock up to 3.x ghz while the rest stay at idle)

right now 2 of my cores are at 1.3ghz, 1 at 1ghz and 1 at 800mhz

you can also tweak the processor speed using windows power options and force it to say 75% of max speed
and when you need extra performance in games or future use, you can let it run to 100%


that's exactly how I control the clock on my gaming rig. I have it overclocked by the multiplier to 4.0GHz and have the balanced power plan reduced to 75% max or somewhere thereabouts to drop the clock to 2.4Ghz for remedial tasks, Flash-games etc. If I feel like its getting slow or laggy, I'll change to the high performance setting to get my full overclock. Stock clock on this processor is 3.4, and is prolly fine, but i digress...

I'm going to get that Crucial MX100 ssd for her since she says she wants that over a HDD. I'm going with G.Skill ripjaws RAM also since the CAS latency is 9 instead of the 10 of the kingston black at just a couple more dollars. The G.Skill is lower voltage also... RAM prices have really gone up over the last 3 years! I bought my ripjaws 2x4 for under $50 when I built my rig... :( 

Oh and she has decided to buy an old 19" 1440x900 monitor from me instead of using her tv. good idea IMO...and it should help those integrated graphics not bog down.
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July 9, 2014 8:57:10 AM

Here is the final build based on your suggestions. What do you think about it? Some reviewers said their PSU 24-pin connector wouldn't bottom out into the mobo header and lock into place. Kinda strange. What do you guys think?

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tfXPQ7
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Best solution

July 9, 2014 10:16:41 AM

I personally would choose an AMD chip as I like the mix of CPU/GPU better and it is slightly cheaper (will add AMD build by itself)
Changed to even cheaper ram
everything else looks good

the bottoming out might be due to the locking latch not being proper?
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-4130 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H81M-HDS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($52.99 @ Micro Center)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Micro Center)
Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Thermaltake Urban S1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.26 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($17.95 @ Amazon)
Total: $440.15
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD A8-6600K 3.9GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus A78M-A Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($59.78 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99 @ Micro Center)
Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Thermaltake Urban S1 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($39.26 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($17.95 @ Amazon)
Total: $426.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
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July 9, 2014 11:10:17 AM

Thank you stickmansam.
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