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Dad's Budget PC

Last response: in Systems
July 1, 2009 7:37:34 PM

My father's old Win98 machine is finally due for an upgrade (according to my mother), and I've been asked to put together a budget build. I've perused the stores a bit, but I'm not a true expert, so I'm asking for advice.

BUDGET RANGE: $300 variable

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Web surfing/email, Flight Simulators (Dad's retired Air Force!)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (will use XP or Windows 7, whichever is best for the parts I get. I also have a mid-size case that I can use (not sure of brand/model, but it's fairly new)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:, also use tigerdirect and microcenter (got a microcenter store local, too)

PARTS PREFERENCES: None, but betting on an AMD processor to get more bang for my buck


MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768 - 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: reliability is the key - Dad keeps these things well past the date we'd all prefer to upgrade.

More about : dad budget

July 1, 2009 7:41:18 PM

Daddy needs a bigger budget. ^^;
July 1, 2009 7:55:25 PM

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz - $70


CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 - $45

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3320613AS 320GB - $45

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner - $25

PC Power & Cooling Silencer PPCS420X 420W ATX12V 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - $50

Adds up to $300. Overclock that cpu for your flight sims. Onboard graphics here, dont expect anything exceptional. If you can spend more, spend it on a better motherboard, maybe a g43 or g45 board.
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July 1, 2009 8:11:33 PM

$20 Cheap mATX Rosewill Case (get 2 120mm fans later, as the one it comes with is loud)
$50 Corsair 400W (has a $20 MIR)
$75 Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-US2H (Has a $10 MIR)(onboard GFX destroys anything intel has)
$65 AM2 X2 7750 Kuma (can easily OC with stock HSF)
$44 Patriot DDR2 800 2x2GB
$45 Seagate 320GB
$26 Lite-On 24x DVDR/RW

Total, no OS: $325 + S&H (not counting MIR, or Combo/Specials)
July 1, 2009 8:11:45 PM

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail $69.99

GIGABYTE GA-EG41M-US2H LGA 775 Intel G41 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail $74.99 - $10.00 MIR

G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B - Retail $54.99

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM $54.99

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail $49.99 - $20.00 MIR

LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW SATA CD/DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM $25.99

Total - $330.94 - $30.00 MIR's

Edit: LOL, kevin1212 and I came up with our builds separately and they're nearly identical!
July 1, 2009 8:19:08 PM

ASRock A780GMH/128M $71.99

AMD Athlon 64 X2 7750 Kuma (NOT the BE version) $59.99

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $42.99

FSP Group FSP400-60GLN(80) 400W $49.99 (or you could go with the P&C kevin suggests as that's good too)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3320613AS 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB $44.99

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner - $24.99

And that gives you a total of $292.94. Kevins build isn't bad, except for that part about the onboard video being crap which isn't good for flight sims :D . Of course, the onboard Radeon 3200 in that ASRock isn't gonna set any records either, but it's still faster than the Intel GMA X4500 on the Intel solution.

If he's gonna play any demanding flight sims you really will need a dedicated GPU (like at least a Radeon 4670).
July 1, 2009 11:15:29 PM

Well, the trade off between my build and magamanx00's build is gpu vs cpu. Yes, the integrated Radeon 3200 is better than the X4500, but i would say that the e5200 is better than AMD's kuma, its better on power, and very overclockable. The cheapest AMD cpu i would buy is their new Athlon X2 250, but that is going for about $87.

That is the reason i chose the e5200 build, considering also that although the radeon is better, its still not a big enough jump to play most games. OP, you really need to bump up that budget just a bit.
July 2, 2009 1:47:23 PM

Wow, much more response than I was expecting. Yes, I can probably bump the budget a bit to toss in a graphics card, to take the edge off - but I doubt that he'll need it; his flight sims aren't what anyone would call "cutting edge" (keeping in mind that he's currently running them on a very old Win98 machine).

I'll do some compares on what you've all given me over the weekend, and probably order by Monday. Thanks for all your help!