Tight Budget Workstation PC.

Hello,

For Mother's Day coming up in May, I was thinking about building my Mom a new PC that she can use at home primarily for work and researching. Right now, she is working with a really old machine, and even though she is convinced it is fine. The computer's basic specs are:

- Intel Pentium III @ 850 MHz

- 512 MB SDRAM

- 32 MB of Integrated Graphics

- 40 GB IDE Hard Drive

- Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition 32-bit

So, its really weak, honestly, and I'd like to make her life a bit easier with a faster computer to work with. However, I only have a budget of about $500-600. So, after a couple hours of intense research, I thought I came up with a reasonable system. Can any of you give me there opinions about the build? I am sure cuts can be made, but I haven't really ever built a budget system, so your help is appreciated. Thanks.


CPU:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma 2.7GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core black edition Processor

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103300

$78.00


Motherboard:

BIOSTAR TFORCE TA780G M2+ AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138105

$75.00


RAM:


Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104098

$65.00


Hard Drive:

Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136320

$65.00


Graphics Card:

SAPPHIRE 100253L Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102805

$50.00 (after rebate)


Power Supply:

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139008

$40.00 (after rebate)


Computer Case:

Thermaltake LANBOX Lite VF6000BNS Black SECC Gaming Cube Computer Case

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133045

$75.00


CPU Cooler:

Thermlatake TMG IA 1 CPU Cooler - Socket 775, 754, 939, AM2, AM2+, Copper and Aluminum

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4197087&SRCCODE=SHOPPINGDF&cm_mmc_o=2mHCjCmtB55bETCjCVqHCjCdwwp

$50.00


Operating System:

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116488

$100.00
8 answers Last reply
More about tight budget workstation
  1. That's good and all, but to be honest that's over kill for what she needs.
  2. Thanks, whitefang. I'll look over it. =)
  3. You dont need an aftermarket CPU cooler, the stock one will be just fine.

    If she is only doing research and probably email/internet/etc. Then you can just use the onboard graphics that come with that motherboard.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112130

    This case ^ is a bit more conservative in case she wouldnt like the lan box.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231144

    2 GB of ram is plenty for what she is doing.
  4. Hey, thanks Transmaniacon.

    I looked at my board I saw that it had a 780G Chipset with Radeon HD 3200, so I am guessing that would be enough. Besides, I believe that you can run pretty high end applications with that, with no problem.

    As for the case, i think I will stay with the LANBOX, because I would like to have a fairly small case, with a particular style to match other equipment, and because I like Thermaltake. No offense to your choice, of course.

    Right, so if I downgrade the RAM to maybe 2 GB which I am not completly sure about yet, should I also downgrade to Vista 32-bit which is slightly cheaper?

    Additionally, by saving some money from removing and adjusting some of my selections, should I look into purchasing a a higher end CPU, say a Phenom 9850?

    Thanks!
  5. Yes the HD3200 will be plenty to watch movies, run applications, etc.

    I believe the 32 bit and 64 bit versions are the same price, so that just comes down to future ram upgrades.

    A faster processor is always nice =)

    The money saved from the GPU and CPU cooler, and RAM pay for the better CPU and you will still shave off some from this initial build.

    This would be a good one, the quad-core gives her plenty of room to multitask and improve productivity. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103249

    Also, you can keep the 64 bit version and go with this ram, its cheaper and works well, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231122
  6. Ok thanks. I am searching Newegg at the moment.

    The 9850 is supposed to be one of the best processors from AMD and a good value.

    I am just wondering: In your opinion, or anyone else... Would it be a better idea to go with one of AMDs best dual core processors- the AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Black Edition (which is now $70), and get an Artic Cooling AC-Freezer XTREME heatsink ($40) and overclock it to about 3.5 GHz+? Or should I purchase a AMD Phenom 9850 and use the stock heatsink (non-OC)?

    Thanks again for the responses. Greatly appreciated.

    P.S. Thanks for the RAM suggestion. I am going to try to find some G.skill RAM for DDR2 1066. They all seem to be good values.

    Another P.S.
    Okay. I thought I would use 1066 RAM before but seeing that I am using a rather cheap motherboard, I am not sure how comfortable I am with boosting up my RAM a couple volts. If I am going to be overclocking the CPU as well, well I do not know what would happen. I might use 800. I do not know, still looking over it.
  7. I would go with the Phenom. Considering your mom is still using a PIII it sounds like she won't replace the computer for quite some time. The quad would give longer lasting performance if she ends up getting apps that take advantage of a quad.
  8. Thanks, Calinkula. I have to see where my price would be at. Still researching like mad. =)
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