First Build for Friend, Advice??

First build ever for a friend of mine. Not an expert on computers but know a decent amount. Can you comment on the components and offer guidance? He will be using this for his home, not playing games, uploads many pictures and videos from his cameras, works alot with Microsoft Office, uses the internet for everything.

-Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 2.52 GHz
-Gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3L mobo
-Seagate 250GB 7200 SATA Hard Drive
-ZOTAC GeForce 128MB Video Card
-Lite-On DVD Burner SATA
-XION ATX Mid-Tower

Not trying to OC and I would rather not have to do BIOS updates. System is currently under $500 and would like to keep it that way.

15 answers Last reply
More about first build friend advice
  1. I would say that the graphics card is underpowered.

    I'd ditch the 2 GB of 1066 (unneccessary speed) and choose 4 GB (2x2GB) off of this list:

    There are some good values there.

    The rest looks good.
  2. Operating system? 64 bit is needed for 4gigs.

    I would get mushkins DDR2 800 kit for 84 with a 25 dollar rebate. Or g skills DDR2 1000 for the same with no rebate if he wants to overclock.
  3. The P35 chipset has compatibility issues with RAM that is natively faster than DDR2-800.
    Get this: mushkin 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $37.50 after MIR:
    If your friend works with pictures and videos, he may appreciate a larger hard drive. This 640GB Western Digital is $85:
    Again, working with video, he may appreciate newer tech in his video card. Check out a 3450, such as this Sapphire for $18 after MIR:
  4. +1 for the WD 640 GB and for DDR2-800.

    This video card supports two monitors with DVI connectors, and it can also be used to watch HD videos:

    SAPPHIRE 100237L Radeon HD 3650, $55+$8

    TBH at these prices jtt's 3450 is a smarter buy, but maybe your friend prefers DVI. Some people do say it makes the image better.
  5. Dell Outlet


    Sunday Sales Circulars
  6. You'll need a PSU. Right now, it would be tough to beat an Antec Earthwatts 380 for $30:
  7. If hes not going to play any games, just go to your local electronics stores. It will be a lot cheaper to buy their system than to build your own lower end system.

    And for for around 500-600 dollars you can probably get a deal with a monitor and basic printer.
  8. Don't overlook refurbished desktops that come with a *edit* noticed in most cases it's 30 now....30 day manufacturers warranty. Usually have decent integrated video or a weak GPU along with card readers and other extras.
  9. ew ugly case pick antec p182
  10. alvine said:
    ew ugly case pick antec p182

    LOL, luxury case on a $500 budget. Please say you were kidding :)

    I think popaholic and dirtmountain are right. On that sort of budget, Vista alone consumes 25% or so of the money if you do a custom build. Something from Future Shop or WalMart or whatever is closer would be better.
  11. Sad but true. Start with a cheap pre-built and maybe toss in a $20 video card to replace the Intel Graphics Media Deccelerator. You won't need to touch the PSU for that.
  12. hart140 > I can spot a subtle flaw in your choice of equipment... Uhmmm HINT are you planning run it on air??
    :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy: :crazy:

    Yes I think you have forgotten something...

  13. Wisecracker said:
    Dell Outlet


    Sunday Sales Circulars

    #1 - NEVER BUILD A COMPUTER FOR A FRIEND OR RELATIVE. (Feel Free to Help.....Not Do.....)
    #2 - Tell Your FRIEND To Come Here and Get Advice. That way when Something Breaks or arrives DOA
    (And Something Will Go Wrong Eventually), It's not your fault.
    #3 - What about an OS? Mouse? Keyboard? Monitor? Speakers? Memory Card Reader?
    #4 - Dude........Get a Dell or Other Retail System. They are perfect for Non Gamers.

    System Price : $459.00
    Operating System
    Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium
    3 GB DDR2 NON-ECC SDRAM 667MHz (4 DIMMs)
    Hard Disk Drive
    320 GB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
    V.92/56K PCI DataFax Modem
    Certified Refurbished
    Certified Refurbished
    Inspiron Desktop 530 Mini-tower: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E4600 (2MB L2 Cache,2.4GHz,800 FSB)
    Media Bay
    16X DVD +/- RW w/dbl layer write capability
    Software Upgrade
    Microsoft Works 9.0
    Hardware Upgrade
    Dell 19 in 1 Media Card Reader
    USB Keyboard
    Dell Optical USB 2-button Mouse
  14. Or Better Yet...............

    Dell Vostro 200 Mini Desktop with Core 2 Duo E7200 CPU, 2GB, 250GB & 22-inch Widescreen LCD Monitor $499
  15. Hows abouty:
    CASE - P182
    100.00 USD (50.00 USD rebate)
    PSU - Antec Earthwatts 430W
    30.00 USD (30.00 USD rebate)
    CPU - AMD Opteron 1210
    54.00 USD [...] 6827106263
    DVD Burner (same) - Lite On
    25.00 USD
    MB - Gigabyte uATX 780G
    85.00 USD
    HD - Samsung Spinpoint F1 750Gb
    110.00 USD
    RAM - Kingston Hyper X 2x 1Gb
    48.00 USD

    Total: $452.00 USD (OK after rebates - but at least it has a powersupply!!)

    More HD space (750Gb), integrated graphics (but with sideport RAM and HD/x264 playback/CPU off-load capability), better case (P182), powersupply (this item is quite important don't you know!!), AMD MB (only uATX but has IEEE1394a, eSATA port, HDMI, etc. built-in), AMD CPU (1.8Ghz dual-core Opteron, 2Mb L2 cache, will overclock to ~3.0Ghz).

    Just a thought

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