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Building a new pc for home non-gamer

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August 5, 2008 12:56:37 PM

I use to build PC's a lot when I was younger but due life I have gotten away from keeping up on all the changes. So I am hoping to get some ideas for a friends new pc they want to build; they do not play video games but have the following USB items attached to the pc (camera,scanner,printer,ipod ) so it will have to have USBs. They also multitask like its breathing we are talking 8 ie running, mail, office and plus a taskbar full to the gills and the dreaded weatherbug (trust me I hate it and they know it).

So say price is around 1000. - 1500. of course less is always good and they already have dvd drive, monitor, HDD and OS.

Thanks

More about : building home gamer

August 5, 2008 1:18:56 PM

LOL @ the WeatherBug comment... totally can relate to that.

So here are some things to get you started...

CPU: Probably Intel Q6600 since they're going to load this system down

Memory: 4 GB (nothing expensive/fancy)

Video Card: Something w/ 256 MB around $60-$90 should do you fine

OS: Vista Home Premium X64 is working great for me, but verify driver support prior to making the jump to the 64 bit version. Failing that, Vista Home Premium 32 bit should be fine.

Case: Get something that doesn't make a lot of noise

PSU: High efficiency = GOOD. Less heat and less wasted electricity.

I know I avoided getting too specific, but I think those are good pointers to get you started in your quest.
August 5, 2008 1:26:01 PM

I disagree with the above poster (no offense). I think Q6600 would be overkill. A decent dual core should last a long time for them. AMD has some good dual cores. I recommend the 4850e. Stick with 2GB of DDR2 800, it's super cheap right now. I also don't think they need a video card. Integrated video should be good enough. If they feel they need one, they can always get one in the future.
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August 5, 2008 1:39:13 PM

agree with jeb1517

dont waste money in video card and quad core. he´s not going to use them, but be sure to get a mobo with upgradable capabilities susch as pci-e. in a few years he can ad a vid card to keep the system up to date.
August 5, 2008 1:39:59 PM

Rodney FTW!

Seriously, he's giving what I'd consider to be good advice. The quad processor to keep up with all the background tasking, and 4GB of ram so it doesn't page file to often. OS is personal preference.

Here's a list for you to look at, and for others to beat up on. I stole it from a recent purchase order - pardon my cut/paste formatting

COOLER MASTER RC-690 $139.99 KKA1-GP Black SECC ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case Real Power Pro 550W Power Supply

Q6600 Quad Core Processor $199.99

ASUS P5K-E LGA 775 Intel $139.99 P35 ATX Intel Motherboard

BIOSTAR V8502GT51 $49.99 GeForce 8500 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) $84.99 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D 4GBPQ

Seagate Barracuda $89.99 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD $37.99 Burner with LightScribe Black SATA Model LH 20A1L-06

Arctic Silver 5 Thermal $5.99 Compound
ZALMAN CNPS9500 AT 2 $49.99 Ball CPU Cooling Fan/Heatsink

Subtotal: $797.92
Shipping: $38.34
Taxes: $0.00
Grand Total: $836.26
August 5, 2008 1:44:30 PM

The OP mentioned these people are going to abuse the crap out of this thing with senseless programs. Typically I'd agree a Q6600 is overkill for an average home user, but in this instance I think it's justified and given the OP's budget range, I'd say it is price-appropriate too. I see absolutely no reason anyone should be considering a 2 GB system given the ridiculous price of memory now... the upgrade from 2 GB to 4 GB is what? $30 or $40? And with Vista, the more the merrier. I've used Vista Home Premium on a laptop with a GMA 950 and I remember being absolutely underwhelmed. Maybe it wasn't the underpowered GPU, but that really left a bad impression on me... I just think a normal video card will round out a system... nothing fancy. Just something to comfortably push the GUI around.

I guess it boils down to whether the OP is aiming for below or above $1000.

If you're not dying to do it yourself, here's a Dell...

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/servic...

Quad core, 19 inch LCD, etc... and it rings up at $749. Not too shabby. A few upgrades (at the time of purchase) here and there would turn that into a capable rig.
August 5, 2008 1:46:09 PM

I agree more with rodney_ws than jeb1517. Q6600 are cheap now, Ram is also cheap so defnatly 4GB (2x2GB) for multitasking and m/b which takes at least 8GB for future upgrade if necessary. Vista x64 is good, drivers available for almost all fairly recent hardware, might be an issue for older devices. As for video card integrated probably will be fine or something like HD3450 or 3650.
August 5, 2008 2:03:29 PM

Fine go with 4GB of memory. But the video card and Q6600 are not going to help. I can open all those same applications and my 4850e doesn't break a sweat and its less than half the price. People did intensive multi-tasking before quad cores came out....Even my 1.6GHz Athlon 64 can do a decent job at multi-tasking. Also, video cards are for 3D. 3 D. I don't see how any of the applications they're going to run are going to use 3D. Maybe watch videos on youtube? Video card is completely unnecessary. Just because they have a budget of $1000 doesn't mean they should spend that much. That Dell is a good choice especially since you get a 19" WS monitor.
August 5, 2008 2:03:31 PM

Yea, The time you will save with Q6600 is definitly worth it and it is a solid product, price went down it is a steal :)  I don't like dell... Go HP! if you don't fell like building it yourself
August 5, 2008 2:17:10 PM

i'm going to agree with rodney. if the users of this pc are going to be running tons and tons of useless apps, a quad core would help, and a Q6600 isn't even that expensive anymore. also i would recommend a dedicated video card, even if it's just a 9500GT. it would still perform far better than integrated, and it gives the advantage of all of the system ram being usable.
August 5, 2008 2:32:58 PM

if multitasking is the issue, then how about those cheap tri or quad cores from amd? those things are really, really cheap...they probably won't need a highly clocked computer if they are not going to be doing 3D modeling or gaming...and I agree with jeb about not needing a video card...the dell system proposed (the $749 version) doesn't use a video card either...I would agree however that you would need 4 gigs of ram, ESPECIALLY if they going to be using vista...

...and ya, that dell system is a good deal due to the included monitor...went to HP's website and checked out their desktops, but none of them include a monitor in the base price...
August 5, 2008 2:34:05 PM

http://jeb1517.googlepages.com/home

Click on the image to enlarge it. That is what my desktop currently looks like at work. I have 8 Internet explorers, MS Word, MS Excel, GE Data Suite, AutoCAD Viewer, MS Outlook and few background apps running. Look at my memory usage. Look at my CPU usage. The CPU in this comp is a SINGLE CORE Intel Celeron running at 3.06GHz. This computer also has integrated graphics. Intel Q965 chipset.

Applications such as IE, MS Office, and all the other ones they will be running have not changed much in the years past as far as how much resources they need to run. People ran all the same programs just fine back in the day with single core and not much has changed.
August 5, 2008 2:39:33 PM

jeb1517 said:
I disagree with the above poster (no offense). I think Q6600 would be overkill. A decent dual core should last a long time for them. AMD has some good dual cores. I recommend the 4850e. Stick with 2GB of DDR2 800, it's super cheap right now. I also don't think they need a video card. Integrated video should be good enough. If they feel they need one, they can always get one in the future.


ACK at the be dualcores..yuck...they charge more for slower ....
August 5, 2008 2:43:02 PM

if their case is on the floor get the usb and buttons on top, worth it, if on the desk get front usb, also maybe a cheap 10 dollar card reader because you can find em with 2 extra usb ports
August 5, 2008 2:44:37 PM

The screen shot doesn't look so good. CPU is at 4% and memory usage is at 409MB. The point I was trying to make is that it doesn't matter how many applications you have open, it doesn't effect the processor that much. The processor becomes important when you're actually USING the applications. As fun of a term as "multi-tasking" is, it's kinda useless if you ask me. Humans can't really multi-task on the computer. You can either be browsing a web page or writing an email. You can't do both at the SAME TIME. The processor will only be working with a few programs max at the same time. Hence, making the quad core useless. They can't write an email, edit a paper, create a data base, download music, and check the weather AT THE SAME TIME....
August 5, 2008 2:48:56 PM

I understand no one mentioned encoding videos or anything like that... I just think the cost of a quad core vs. the cost of a dual core isn't really that big of a deal considering the rather sizable budget.
August 5, 2008 2:53:36 PM

RODNEY, take a look at the new t series biostar boards, I think for what you get and the lack of bugs on em...totally worth it :) 
August 5, 2008 2:58:10 PM

If it were me I would go with a quad core, either AMD or Intel. If they will use the aeroglass GUI go with a separate video card. 4GB is a cheap. I think it would be better to overbuild this PC and have it last longer for them.
August 5, 2008 3:00:31 PM

rodney_ws said:
I understand no one mentioned encoding videos or anything like that... I just think the cost of a quad core vs. the cost of a dual core isn't really that big of a deal considering the rather sizable budget.


So you're recommending the quad core because of prices? The 4850e is $77 and the Q6600 is $185. Add that to the price of a video card and they would be saving a couple hundred bucks with my setup. Some input from the OP would be helpful. It seems like we're arguing for nothing.

I also don't understand the comment about paying more for slower. Please use logic and reason when making an argument and I'm all ears.
August 5, 2008 3:09:47 PM

I read it as BE as black edition, regardless the e seies are slower clocked for the same price all to save 20 watts...all you need to do is check newegg...some of the lower ones have a 15 percent clock diff at the same price. Personal pref for me is screw the e and go for the better gaming performance, just my leanings for me, nothing to do with op.
August 5, 2008 3:22:31 PM

http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingCart.aspx?Sub...

530 something dollars. There is shipping to contend with, but there is also some MIRs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <<< forgot ram above.

$ 618-ish.... more MIR on the ram... Cool!!!

The case is simple, but Cooler-master ususally has good labaling inside and that helps. Also the video card is a low noise and low power type of item. I chose Asus, because of the good warranty.
August 5, 2008 3:34:43 PM

hairycat101 said:
http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingCart.aspx?Sub...

530 something dollars. There is shipping to contend with, but there is also some MIRs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <<< forgot ram above.

$ 618-ish.... more MIR on the ram... Cool!!!

The case is simple, but Cooler-master ususally has good labaling inside and that helps. Also the video card is a low noise and low power type of item. I chose Asus, because of the good warranty.


cant see your shopping cart...idk if its because I have my own shopping cart with stuff...
August 5, 2008 3:50:45 PM

Sample build:

CPU + RAM combo: $213 (this combo is also available for the Tricore processor which is $50 cheaper)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103251 + http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231122

PSU: $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016 <<550w if they decide to drop in a video card (I think it might be overkill but its just a really good deal)

Mobo: $80 (w/o $10 mail-in-rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138105

Case: $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811233039

USB HUB: $20 (included it because the OP mentioned they needed a lot of usb ports...)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182146

OP said they had HDD and DVD drive, but here are the ones I included:

HDD: $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148288

DVD Burner:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106263

Total Build cost: $506 without shipping
Total with shipping (to my location): $543



August 5, 2008 3:52:49 PM

royalcrown said:
I read it as BE as black edition, regardless the e seies are slower clocked for the same price all to save 20 watts...all you need to do is check newegg...some of the lower ones have a 15 percent clock diff at the same price. Personal pref for me is screw the e and go for the better gaming performance, just my leanings for me, nothing to do with op.


I agree. The e series is neither here nor there. I just used it as an example since I can speak from personal experience. The Athlon X2 2.4GHz is only $58 so that's an even better deal.
August 5, 2008 3:55:56 PM

Ashlan, the OP doesn't need the DVD drive or the HDD.

OP, don't skimp out on the case. I've done that before and severely regretted it. Decent cases are worth the money. They have better airflow and many of them make installation much easier which can be very convenient if you end up having to troubleshoot.
August 5, 2008 4:39:40 PM

ahslan said:
cant see your shopping cart...idk if its because I have my own shopping cart with stuff...


Sorry... here goes.. peice by peice.
Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
video card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MoBo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Ram:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



Basically this Quad core amd, Asus Mobo, low power/no noise vid card, high efficiency quiet PSU, decent case and 4gb of ram that doesn't require high voltage.

$ 618-ish....
August 5, 2008 4:42:33 PM

Don't Build your own.
Get a Dell and toss in 3-years of At Home Next Day Service.
If you build it, you need to service it.
If Dell Builds it, not your problem.

They are not doing anything extreme a Dell could not do.
August 5, 2008 4:47:00 PM

zenmaster said:
Don't Build your own.
Get a Dell and toss in 3-years of At Home Next Day Service.
If you build it, you need to service it.
If Dell Builds it, not your problem.

They are not doing anything extreme a Dell could not do.


Ha ha ha... After all my effort to peice one up from scratch, this might be the best advice yet... considering their needs. Also, if you are building for someone else, you become thier service department. If they buy a dell, then some guy in India becomes thier service department. :bounce: 
August 5, 2008 5:12:37 PM

jeb1517 said:
The screen shot doesn't look so good. CPU is at 4% and memory usage is at 409MB. The point I was trying to make is that it doesn't matter how many applications you have open, it doesn't effect the processor that much. The processor becomes important when you're actually USING the applications. As fun of a term as "multi-tasking" is, it's kinda useless if you ask me. Humans can't really multi-task on the computer. You can either be browsing a web page or writing an email. You can't do both at the SAME TIME. The processor will only be working with a few programs max at the same time. Hence, making the quad core useless. They can't write an email, edit a paper, create a data base, download music, and check the weather AT THE SAME TIME....


Wrong. If you don't believe me, open 5 instances of Crysis and minimize them all. They're not doing anything, so you should have all your CPU power avaliable :D 

Essentially, they want to run a lot of programs while connecting to multiple USB devices. I'd go with the Q6600 and the 4GB. I also would never recommend a computer without some form of onboard graphics, so I'd recommend a 8600GT (under $50 these days...). A single 250GB HD should be plenty for them.

The above would cost (worst case):

Q6600: $200
4GB DDR2: $100
Case/Motherboard: $200
8600 GT: $75
~250GB HD: $100? (no idea what HD's cost these days...)
-------------------------------------
$675

The system would also have the oomph to do some light gaming, should they later decide to.
August 5, 2008 5:24:27 PM

A DELL might be the best option.

If you build, I think an AMD tri or quad core system with 4gb of ram and a 780G motherboard, perhaps one with an HDMI port, would be a good fit, plus they'll be able to do 1080p video with the onboard graphics.
August 5, 2008 5:48:13 PM

gamerk316 said:
Wrong. If you don't believe me, open 5 instances of Crysis and minimize them all. They're not doing anything, so you should have all your CPU power avaliable :D 


Thanks for staying within the scope of the thread.
August 5, 2008 6:14:46 PM

jeb1517 said:
Thanks for staying within the scope of the thread.

He did. Read the rest of that post that you quoted from. It's a list of parts for a pc that suits the OP's request. I think you were the first one trying to break from the scope of the thread... I think Oriely would call you a pinhead and gamerk a patriot. :kaola: 
August 5, 2008 6:23:54 PM

you can always throw in a bluray player with that kinda money.. and a nice screen to top, and i totally agree with rodney
August 5, 2008 6:46:44 PM
August 5, 2008 6:49:22 PM

Dude!!! Get the Dell!
!