Non-Gaming Win7 Build

BUDGET RANGE: not sure
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: general home use, non-gaming (maybe some very light photo/video work along with e-mail, internet, Office, etc.)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Just need a CPU/Mobo/GPU recommendation for now
MONITOR RESOLUTION: Whatever a 22" Widescreen needs
After running Vista 64-bit and now 7 RC 64-bit on a single-core Athlon 64 with 2GB of RAM for the last three years, I've been miserable and recently ordered parts for my i7 build. My wife also has a dual-core 3GB laptop that seems to run Vista 32 fine, so I figure she's set for Windows 7. However, my Dad recently asked what he'd need to do to make two home computers Windows 7-ready, and which laptop he should buy to run Windows 7.

I know he'll have to upgrade, as all of his computers are single-core and have 1GB or less of RAM. But where is the sweet spot for Windows 7 necessities?

Should I just prepare him for Win7 64-bit, or will he be fine with 32?
Based on the above question, what is the CPU/Mobo/RAM combination that would offer the most value? I'd love to pitch to him a sub-$200 option or so, unless that's too tall an order
Assuming he bites, I'll also probably need to get him inexpensive new video cards, unless the recommended mobos have onboard video.
Based on the above recommendations, I'll also be recommending to him a sub-$600 laptop that will run 7 fine.

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More about gaming win7 build

  1. Integrated HD 4200 would suffice for your needs hehe
  2. $200 motherboard/gpu and processor

    Should handle anything you throw at it fine, and maybe even a bit of light gaming.
  3. Perfect, thanks! I think I'll recommend an AM3 mobo with onboard graphics (like that Gigabyte), an Phenom II X3 CPU, and 4GB of RAM for the two desktop upgrades. (Would he want to run 32- or 64-bit on a build of this power?)

    Also, is something like this a decent recommendation for a Win7 32-bit capable laptop: Or is there a better CPU choice at around that price these days?
  4. drokkon said:
    Perfect, thanks! I think I'll recommend an AM3 mobo with onboard graphics (like that Gigabyte), an Phenom II X3 CPU, and 4GB of RAM for the two desktop upgrades. (Would he want to run 32- or 64-bit on a build of this power?)

    I don't know why anyone would go with a 32-bit OS on a current desktop build. A 32-bit OS completely eliminates any possibility of adding more RAM later. 64-bit Vista and Windows 7 both have excellent driver support and most 32-bit applications work just fine. The only applications that definitely won't work are ancient 16-bit ones.
  5. That is a nice bit of looking there hunter315
  6. Ya +1 on 64bit OS ^^
  7. Thanks, im likely the 785g board for budget builds, its like a 770 board with a strong IGP, i am curious how the 4200 fares against a 4670 for low end gaming though, i would think it could do low-medium at 1280x1024.

    Also shortstuff is right there is no reason not to get 64 bit OS's these days, compatibility is quite good and there is no price premium anymore.
  8. +1 for hunters suggestions .

    but dont forget to watch for combos. Lots more 785g boards are on their way and some will be cheaper and more than adequate for this usage

    Also available

    if Dad likes small cases [ or just saving $10 ]
  9. No contest - it is more likely on par with HD3300 for games while being more efficient for video and that would mean 1024 x 768 low/mid for games and the HD4670 runs rings around any IGP solution now (for games) and prolly for a while more hehe
  10. Thanks, all.

    I'll be putting 64-bit on my i7, but judging from the nightmare of having 64-bit on an Athlon64 3700+ with 2GB of RAM for the past three years, I want to make sure a build can "handle" 64-bit.

    So could a Phenom II X3 CPU with 4GB of RAM run 64-bit fine? Could that laptop I linked to? (I ask about the laptop because that's the one my wife has, and I want to know which version of 7 I should load on it when my preorders arrive in Oct.)

    Finally - should Vista and 7 64-bit editions have run fine on my Athlon64 3700+ with 2GB of RAM? If so, I must be a moron, because it sure didn't...
  11. Yep a P2X3 will run 64bit more than fine :P I had done Win 7 RC 32 bit on a 939 rig with an Opty 170 and it ran fine but a singlecore A64 should also be good to go
  12. The RAM usage on a 64-bit OS is slightly higher than 32-bit. I don't see any reason to run it on that old system, but any modern dual-core CPU with 4GB of RAM will easily run 64-bit Vista/Windows 7.
  13. Great! Then we'll do these upgrades, and throw 64-bit on all the computers, including the lappys.

    Thanks!!!! So appreciated.

    ...and it sounds like I'm not crazy and 64-bit WOULD chug on my Athlon64 with 2GB....and it did, so that makes me a moron for buying the 64-bit version instead of the 32-bit version of Vista a few years ago...
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