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Inexpensive build for sister

Last response: in Systems
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October 6, 2009 5:51:23 PM

Hi, my sister is looking at getting a new computer, and yesterday she got an emachine. Thankfully I've just convinced my mother to return it and now I will be building her a computer, hopefully with your help. Thanks in advance:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Immediately, as in, I'm buying the parts tomorrow!

BUDGET RANGE: Cheaper is better, I'd say nothing higher than $700CDN, although I know that you can get systems for cheaper.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: General home use (internet, word processing), light gaming (The Sims, and maybe some FPS if my younger brother finds a way to borrow it for a bit :p )

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Peripherals (eg. Keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.ca only. I will do price matching and shopping myself, but newegg definitely has the best site for looking up parts.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada, so if any other websites are used then they must be Canadian based.

PARTS PREFERENCES: None, cheaper is better

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1084

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: She's a girl, so pretty is always better, and I want it to be futureproof so we don't have to buy a whole new system later. Also, she wants a built in wireless card. I'm clueless in this department, so any help here would be nice.
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Now for what I've put together. I've just thrown this together in a few minutes, so rip it to shreds, get me the best system for this price.

CPU: Athlon II x2 250

Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P

Case: Raidmax Aura ATX-927WU (not completely sold on this case...)

PSU: A-Top SUPER CHARGE 550W

HDD: Samsung F3 Spinpoint 500GB

RAM: G.SKILL 2GB DDR3 1333

Video Card: ASUS HD 4670

Optical drive: Sony Optiarc Black

Thanks again for your help.
October 6, 2009 6:03:10 PM

Done and done. Will 400W be enough to cover everything? I'm really bad at knowing what kind of wattage I will need.
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October 6, 2009 6:05:20 PM

Yea that is plenty of power for her system.
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October 6, 2009 6:08:25 PM

Don't forget the OS
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October 6, 2009 6:20:01 PM

I can get windows 7 for free through my school. Sorry, I should've mentioned that earlier.
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October 6, 2009 6:36:28 PM

I agree, but keep in mind he needs Canadian dollar values.
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October 6, 2009 6:51:44 PM

Actually, the Samsung F3 series is very good, in terms of both performance, and reliability. This is partly thanks to the single platter resulted from a shrinkage in data density.
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October 6, 2009 6:52:46 PM

After reading many reviews of HDDs, Samsung seems to be the best available. It seems to be faster than most other HDDs and a lot of people on these forums like to suggest this one over the WD drives.
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October 6, 2009 6:54:06 PM

Yup, the single 500GB platter in the Samsung drive makes it considerably faster than that old WD 500GB drive which uses two 250GB platters.
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October 6, 2009 6:58:48 PM

I guess it must have been something i heard about a larger size drive that was having more problems.
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October 6, 2009 7:28:59 PM

That's a lot for all the advice guys, and after all this I have changed the PSU and the memory (not to the ripjaws though). Keep the advice coming as I'd love to hear as much as possible from everyone. Also, this will be my first build. Are there any special precautions I should take when doing this? And if someone could link me to a site with good instructions on to how to do the build that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
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Best solution

October 6, 2009 8:32:42 PM

If this is your first build read this: http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1444

Main points:

1. Use the stand offs.

2. Ground yourself and take needed anti ESD precautions.

3. Double check connections. Make sure to plugg in 4 pin CPU,etc.

4. Take your time.

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@OP:
The 400CX is more than enough esp. for a 4670.

Consider this case: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Antec 300. Same price.

Or any of these:
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
(Note: Junk the PSU that comes with this case!).



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October 6, 2009 8:45:01 PM

Thanks a lot shadow. Do you think that the case I've chosen is insufficient, or do you just like these cases better?
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October 6, 2009 9:11:57 PM

^I preffer the Antec 300 and the Centurion 5 due to the clean look and high quality. Imo, there's just WAY too much blue on that Raidmax. At anyrate, case choice mostly comes down to personal prefference.

Also the placement of the side panel fan in the RAIDMAX AURA can/will interferer when mounting a tall 92/120mm fan such as a S1283. So if you plan to OC down the road and/or get an aftermarket cooler, I recommend you DO NOT get this case.
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October 6, 2009 9:20:32 PM

but since the build is for a girl, maybe something that is quiet for the cooler should be good
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October 6, 2009 9:24:17 PM

Shadow703793 said:
Also the placement of the side panel fan in the RAIDMAX AURA can/will interferer when mounting a tall 92/120mm fan such as a S1283. So if you plan to OC down the road and/or get an aftermarket cooler, I recommend you DO NOT get this case.


My family doesn't know much, if anything about computers, and I'm not living with them anymore so they won't be overclocking or doing SLI/Xfire or anything else with this machine that may cause small headaches. For this reason I don't think an aftermarket cooler will be necessary. I'll need to talk to her about it and see if she really likes the blueness of it or if she wants something different. Thanks.
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October 6, 2009 9:59:35 PM

^You can still do a moderate OC on it even if not living with them any more. As long as it's tested, there won't be any problems. Or depending on your sis's age, she may be able to learn how to OC. It's not that hard. At anyrate, keeping the option for allowing for a better cooler is a good investment.
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October 7, 2009 12:37:41 PM

Thanks a lot for all your help. I think we're going to go with Antec 300 case, but one last quick question before I pull the trigger, is the mother board I've selected up there compatible with the CPU? Under the "CPU Type" section in the specifications it says Phenom IIx4/Phenom IIx3. I'm trying to put in an Athlon IIx2, will it still work? (The socket type is still AM3)
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October 7, 2009 3:26:20 PM

So does this mean that I have to update the bios before I can put the cpu in?
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October 7, 2009 3:29:29 PM

You should be fine. I doubt any of those motherboards have been sitting on the shelves for 4 months. Any motherboard you buy today should have at least BIOS F2 already installed.
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October 7, 2009 3:33:10 PM

go lil sister kick his ass
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October 7, 2009 5:40:56 PM

Well, thanks a lot for all your help everyone, I'm going to pull the trigger tonight right after work. Look forward to dealing with you all again in the next few weeks when I put together my own machine :p .
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