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Final look at low end pc for my Dad. Advice?

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May 19, 2008 5:27:24 AM

Hey guys, I hate adding another one of these "What do you think?" threads, but I really am curious about what you guys think.

This pc will be used as an every day email and web surfing computer for my Dad's birthday. I'd like to keep it ~$400 (shipped). The most intensive application(s) I can see him using in the near future is MS Office suite and Acrobat Pro (he is a very patient man, and is SCANNING his magazine collections - every page - (20+ years) into large .pdf files and burning them to DVDs, but thats another story), so basically this machine needs almost zero computational power. The only games he plays are Freecell and Pokerstars - again, zero power needed.

The biggest things I have questions about in this build are the PSU and the RAM. Both seem to be quality parts from good brands (Antec and Patriot), but the extremely low price has me skeptical.

Case: COOLER MASTER Elite 340 RC-340C-KKN1-GP Black Steel MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-945GCM-S2C LGA 775 Intel 945GC Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec Basiq BP-350B 350W ATX12V Version 2.01 Power Supply 115/ 230 V UL, FCC, TUV, CB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

RAM: Patriot 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

HDD: SAMSUNG HD250HJ 250GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Keyboard/Mouse: Logitech LX310 Black 103 Normal Keys 12 Function Keys USB Cordless Standard Desktop Laser Mouse Included - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Optical: SAMSUNG Black 2MB Cache SATA 20X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Speakers: Logitech S-220 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...
(I know not great, but they just need to make noise. This is not a multimedia PC.)

Other: OKGEAR 6" molex 4pin male to two 15pin SATA Power Cable Model GC6ATAM2 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/product/product.aspx?item=N82E168...
(PSU only has one SATA cable, and the dual out on this adapter will make adding a second HDD easy)

OS: I have a copy of XP Pro lying around. I'll use that.

Monitor: Plan to use an older 17" LCD I have already. 1024x768 resolution.

Grand total (with shipping): $418.09

The plans are to place the order Tuesday sometime, so let me know what you think!

Thanks guys :) 

May 19, 2008 6:11:40 AM

I'm of the opinion that most people choose Intel because they can overclock a lot compared to AMDs. In this case, I doubt your dad is going to do any overclocking in the 1st place.

For that budget, I'd suggest going for an AMD 5200+ or above, should come about the same price as the E2160. Get a 780G motherboard since they are so cheap.

Other than that, storage space, I'd recommend 500GB since they are really really cheap nowadays. Maybe you can skimp a little on the Processor, get a lower end, a BE2350 or something and put the savings to the extra storage space.

EDIT: Ignore the model numbers for the AMDs, I got the pricing wrong. Instead, get a 4450-e perhaps, it's about $80 in newegg the last time i checked
May 19, 2008 6:56:55 AM

weychun said:
I'm of the opinion that most people choose Intel because they can overclock a lot compared to AMDs. In this case, I doubt your dad is going to do any overclocking in the 1st place.

For that budget, I'd suggest going for an AMD 5200+ or above, should come about the same price as the E2160. Get a 780G motherboard since they are so cheap.

Other than that, storage space, I'd recommend 500GB since they are really really cheap nowadays. Maybe you can skimp a little on the Processor, get a lower end, maybe a 4800+ or something and put the savings to the extra storage space.


I agree, since he isn't going to be doing anything intensive, and he isn't going to be overclocking, you can save some money by getting a dual core AMD processor. Your dad will probably not be able to tell the difference at all, it will be slightly cheaper for you, and AMD get's some much needed money....

Any really low end build, I would definitely use an AMD processor. Dual core is really all he needs, and the cheapest Core 2 Duo is about $70 I think.

I don't really know about the psu, but with the ram, that's just how it is these days. Ram has gotten so cheap recently. It's almost ridiculous. I remember not that long ago it was like about $100 per gig.... of course in the past it has been way more than that. I just remember it fitting in so nicely like that.

I used to have Patriot memory. It worked pretty good. I actually got it from Frys. And I was buying 2x512mb sticks for like $100. When I put my computer together(and it was my first one) the packaged it wrong and gave me 2X1gb sticks. Anyway, it was just really cool, and awesome since 2gbs wasn't as common.

EDIT: Oh, and the whole magazine thing is awesome... sounds like something I'd be doing, lol

EDIT: You probably want to get at least one fan for that case as well.
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May 19, 2008 8:03:26 AM

I agree the 4200+ is more than quick enough for the tasks that ur dad will be doing.
May 19, 2008 4:48:27 PM

Hey guys, thanks for the replies. The logic behind the intel platform is that it will be easy to give hand-me-downs in the future. I'm not planning on using an AMD platform any time in the future, but by using a LGA775 socket, there will be no problem slapping my E6600 in there in the future when I upgrade.

@Yadge, I have 2 120mm's and 2 80mm's in a closet at home. Sorry I forgot to mention that.
May 19, 2008 7:05:36 PM

The hand-me-down is a very inportant considereation. Its nice to have a flock of spare parts laying around to keep the old pile running forever.

I bet you could get loads better graphics on board for not much more. better CPU suport too.

I'd sugest you give him your memory and upgrade your own to 4 gigs.

your psu is out of stock

your case has high shipping, look for free shipping when searching for a cheap case on newegg
this one is cheaper after shipping and come with a PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or this one for more color
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 19, 2008 7:06:50 PM

Raidmax? cheap power supplies as cheap as they can get. Antec makes better for little bit more.
May 19, 2008 7:45:17 PM

Thanks for the suggestions guys, I'll look into it, but I'm really trying to keep parts from brands with better reputations. The shipping doesn't really bother me too bad. It is upsetting to find out the PSU is out of stock now though. It wasn't last night when I posted. I may try to find another one, because the 6/3 ETA is way too long.
May 19, 2008 8:00:24 PM

yeah but if you will get cheap PSU it might cost you more later. :)  sometimes saving 60 is not really saving is just adding an additional expense later :) .
May 20, 2008 3:48:25 AM

It's done. Just finished placing the order. Long story short, I found a Cooler Master case/psu combo from another e-tailer I liked (it also was out of stock on Newegg). So, the case and PSU got replaced by this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks for all the help in making sure I hadn't forgotten anything.
!