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Non-gaming build -> please comment, suggest

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March 9, 2009 8:19:05 PM

I am building a comp for someone that has no need for game/editing graphics, but rather wants a machine that will allow him to:

-Use windows
-Multiple browsers
-email, basic office tools (excel pp word)
-music and videos
-Minimizing boot time and loading is crucial (maximize price/efficiency) without going overboard (NO Overclock)


Is the following build too much for these basic operations?
Would a Q6600 be a smarter choice?
Can I go cheaper? Mobo, ddr2 instead of ddr3, cheaper gpu...?


NB: Dont worry about the PSU, I have a tx750 waiting (total overkill, i know... it just happens to be available)

HP 20X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model DVD1060I

LIAN LI PC-A05B Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000333AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

SAPPHIRE 100245L Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model PVS34G1333ELK

Intel BOXDP45SG LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core2 Duo E7500 Wolfdale 2.93GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E7500

Pardon the order of items, I copy pasted from new egg tongue.gif

Give me feedback please!
March 9, 2009 8:46:16 PM

that video card is totally overkill, get instead a 4650. better get some ddr2 800 mhz memory
March 9, 2009 8:49:49 PM

There's little point in going with DDR3 for any LGA 775 processor. In general use or gaming, you'll never see a difference between DDR3 and DDR2-800. Change your motherboard and RAM. A 4850 is also overkill for a non-gaming PC. You might want to check out the hard drive as well. There's a specific issue with some of the seagate 7200.11s, but I'm not sure if that includes this drive or not. The quad core is only really needed if he wants to really multitask a lot in this case, otherwise the dual is fine (though a quad is a better upgrade than the ddr3 or possibly even the graphics card).
Related resources
March 9, 2009 8:57:09 PM

Seagate is currently having problems with their firmware, it's best to avoid them for a while until they get it sorted out. I'd pick up one of these instead:

Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $109.99

As has been mentioned already, DDR3 is pointless on a Core 2 Duo machine. I'd swap the motherboard and RAM for these:

GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3LR LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $102.99 - $10 MIR

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $44.99

Don't forget a 64-bit OS so you can fully use all 4GB of RAM and still have the option of adding more later if needed.

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit for System Builders - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $99.99
March 9, 2009 9:32:24 PM

I'm using an E4500 with 1GB of RAM and 8300GS graphics... and its still plenty for basic use. I can use MS Word and many firefox windows open without getting slowdown. A Q6600 and 4GB of DDR3, AND an HD4850 is HUGE overkill. Also, for a basic user (one who doesn't game, and doesn't do video/graphic editing), even 160GB is generally plenty... 1TB would just be a waste.

You could save a lot of money by buying much lower end (but still PLENTY powerful hardware)

Rosewill Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $45 shipped.

AMD 9600 + Gigabyte 780G Combo http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... - $169 + $8 shipping.

4GB G.Skill DDR2-800 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $38 After Promo Code, shipped.

Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $55 shipped.

That all adds up to about $320. That is an insanely good deal for what you get. Save your buddy/client the money.

March 10, 2009 11:42:33 AM

dav-

The "music and videos" made me think torrents, in which case 160GB wouldn't be plenty at all, but that's just a guess.
March 10, 2009 12:53:07 PM

I'd do this:
CPU and mobo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Onboard video will be plenty it sounds like. He can add a GPU later if he feels like it. CPU will be relevant for longer time than a dual core.

Ram:
http://www.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingItem.aspx?ItemLi...

PSU/Case:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

HDD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$544 with shipping $25 less MIR. If he needs 1TB for video storage/music then go for this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
March 10, 2009 11:42:19 PM

atomiktoaster said:
dav-

The "music and videos" made me think torrents, in which case 160GB wouldn't be plenty at all, but that's just a guess.


You're probably right. I still think 1TB is overkill. 1TB drives tend to be slow, too... You can always buy an extra drive if you need it.

1TB means a LOT of videos.... 1000+ hours.

However, when you're downloading free illegal torrents, that can be filled up in no time.
March 11, 2009 12:38:01 AM

The WD 1TB Caviar Black is one of the fastest drives on the market.
March 11, 2009 4:46:30 AM

xthekidx said:
The WD 1TB Caviar Black is one of the fastest drives on the market.

+1

The latest 1TB drives are anything but slow. Their data density puts them right there with the very fast 640GB drives.
March 11, 2009 9:19:41 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
+1

The latest 1TB drives are anything but slow. Their data density puts them right there with the very fast 640GB drives.


I said "have a tendency to be". I never stated that none of them were fast. I have a WD Caviar Black, and they are awesome.

However, the 1TB unit costs $120... when you can find other 1TB models for $20-$30 less without too much trouble. Many of them have a tendency (i.e. these cheaper ones) to be slower then a smaller drive. The brand new drives with great data density of course are an exception to this rule.
March 11, 2009 9:27:33 PM

The WD 1TB Caviar Black is actually faster than the 640gb model. Its platter density is 333gb/platter, opposed to 320gb/platter on the 640gb model. It makes its read/write speeds like 5mb/s faster.
March 11, 2009 9:38:32 PM

xthekidx said:
The WD 1TB Caviar Black is actually faster than the 640gb model. Its platter density is 333gb/platter, opposed to 320gb/platter on the 640gb model. It makes its read/write speeds like 5mb/s faster.

didn't say it wasn't lol.
March 11, 2009 9:45:45 PM

The response was probably directed at me.

I know the 1TB drives have slightly higher data density, but I thought I was in the splitting hairs realm at that point.
March 12, 2009 12:18:25 AM

Your requirements basically can be met by any computer build within the last 5 years. I recently fixed up a friend AMD64 3000+, 2GB DDR 400 and it does all that. He can play music, surf the web, have word open and play poker stars all at the same time without breaking a sweat. My own HTPC is a Phenom 9500, with 8GB DDR2 800 and the system can do all that an more, only difference is I have dedicated video card (which you're requirements doesn't need) but, I can play TF2 windowed, listen to music, have 2 browsers open with 5-6 tabs each, torrent tracker running and msn open without any slowdown when switch between windows.

AMD Phenon 9600 (quad core) $95 (you'll have to learn about TLB for this CPU)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
AMD 64x2 7750 (dual core) $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Affordable Rosewill R604TBLK-N CASE/PSU $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS M3A78-EM 780G onboard audio, onboard video with UVD acceleration $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800 for $20 after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$25 for an optical drive
$99 for your OS
$60-$130 or less for your HD depending on size you want

Total $410 - $515. The quad core CPU is $35 more and probably won't impact his or her performane that much but will give the system a little longer life and little bit more pep.

And you won't see really much difference in boot time between whatever harddrive you go with, I mean were talking single digit seconds in difference. You'll only really see a big difference when you start moving into the 10K RPM drive and SSDs which is not worth the money to save seconds on boot up.
March 12, 2009 12:28:59 AM

Don't build a new PC with dated components. The Kuma AMD cores were just average when they were released, now they are garbage and should only be considered if you are really trying to cut costs a lot. You should be considering a Phenom II or Core 2 build.
March 12, 2009 1:33:07 AM

Your ignoring the intended use of the machine. There isn't really going to be any noticable difference in real word use from what the OP has listed. The student/office needs haven't really change in 5 years which the exception to a slight increase in power for some java/web apps. HD playback is easily handle with UVD and if it plays 1080p.

I don't see the benefit from a Phenom II or Core 2 build with the OP targets.
March 12, 2009 1:47:37 AM

OS requirements and application requirements have changed in the last 5 years. I use a P4 system from time to time when at school and good lord that thing is slow. If he wants this system to last, he needs to use at least components that are current, those AMD chips are outdated. Using a PIIx3 720 or Core 2 duo/quad will give this PC a couple more years of life before it is too old to use.
March 12, 2009 2:08:26 AM

I agree OS requirements have changed, but they are changing back with Windows 7 which is going is going to fall between XP and Vista. MS learned their leason and we can expcet them not to make a jump like that again. And then there is the question whether or not the user will see a Windows 8 by the time they are done with the system and if they would be interested in a new OS at that time.

I really don't think the system requirements for apps have really moved at all, Office 2003 vs XP virtually didn't change and all the apps I use now are the same apps I used 5 years ago and they really haven't need more outside the need to decode H264.

The Kuma is on the cheap and $35 towards a Phenon 9600 is a good buy, but PC Mark Vantage and real world use it going to show little if no difference between the C2D or PII720.
March 14, 2009 12:31:57 AM

MykC said:
I agree OS requirements have changed, but they are changing back with Windows 7 which is going is going to fall between XP and Vista. MS learned their leason and we can expcet them not to make a jump like that again. And then there is the question whether or not the user will see a Windows 8 by the time they are done with the system and if they would be interested in a new OS at that time.

I really don't think the system requirements for apps have really moved at all, Office 2003 vs XP virtually didn't change and all the apps I use now are the same apps I used 5 years ago and they really haven't need more outside the need to decode H264.

The Kuma is on the cheap and $35 towards a Phenon 9600 is a good buy, but PC Mark Vantage and real world use it going to show little if no difference between the C2D or PII720.

Yep. There's no point in dumping $200 on a high end processor when you don't need it. In a few months, that processor will already have lost 30% of its value, while a low end processor's price would have budged very little.

P4's dont HAVE to be slow (as long as you're not using Vista...). If you run defrag, adware check, registry cleans, etc, etc, a lowly P4 is PLENTY fast. Especially if you have a nice 2GB set of RAM. Really, it is very cheap nowadays to build a system that is more then enough to perform basic tasks.

Seeing that Windows 7 is coming out sometime next year (most likely), and following the MS cycle, Windows 8 won't be out until.. 2013. There's no way he'll go 4 years without an upgrade. If he really needs it, he can upgrade to a Phenom II a year or more down the road... when they cost $100 or less.
March 14, 2009 4:50:37 AM

I guess I have a problem building a new system with outdated parts...idk. I would want to use parts that are current in a new build.
!