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Sub $300 office PC

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November 3, 2009 3:11:24 AM

Hi everyone;

I'm trying to convince my boss to upgrade our god-awful machines at work, and in order to do that I've got to make the price as attractive as possible. I specced out a machine earlier today that clocked in at $288, but I'm seeing how much value I can squeeze out of that.

These computers will be used mostly for office work in a car dealership where people will be running multiple Office 2007-level programs at the same time.

We will not need to purchase monitors, keyboards, speakers or operating systems. I would prefer to build with Intel parts, but I'm not prejudice against AMD... Just haven't used them before.

Here is what I currently have:

Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BIOSTAR G31E-M7 LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SONY Black 18X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1681S-0B - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other thoughts: I would prefer to use a full sized ATX motherboard. Didn't realize the one I have here is an mATX. Computer silence is a big deal too; the ones we have now sound like a crop duster taking off. $280 is the sweet spot, and NewEgg.com is where we'd like to buy our parts.

Also, One of the selling points needs to be that these computers can be upgraded to Windows 7 at some point in the future and be incrementally upgraded so as to prevent having to buy brand new machines in a few years.

Thanks!

More about : 300 office

November 3, 2009 3:22:50 AM

...(realizes I forgot to add a hard drive)
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Best solution

November 3, 2009 4:13:26 AM

If you want to be able to upgrade, I would recommend staying away from socket 775, as it is currently on the outs. AM2+/AM3 however, fits both your budget, and your requirement for upgradability. Why exactly do you want a full atx? The micros perform just as well for cheaper.

mobo (much better onboard graphics and overall quality than mobo selected in OP)- $65
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cpu (comparable performance to one selected in OP)- $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

cpu (single core version of previously mentioned cpu, just in case you need to save a little; remember, you can always upgrade later, and this will be fine for office 07)- $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD (160 GB, I'm guessing you'll never fill this)- $40
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case (the one you selected is fine, but this one is a tad cheaper in case you need to cut down the costs a little)- $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The rest of your parts look good, and coupled with these, you should have a fine fleet of work machines.
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November 3, 2009 4:16:44 AM

btw, the dual core version of the build I presented costs ~$300, where the single core costs ~$280.
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November 3, 2009 4:25:54 AM

Excellent, this helps quite a bit! Thank you :) 

mATX is fine, but it seems like I'll have an easier time maneuvering and working with an ATX. I'm sure there's no difference, just me being picky.

Is that motherboard and the dual core processor you suggested compatible? We'll definitely need a dual core for a few workstations I think as the parts department can run some pretty hefty software.
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November 3, 2009 4:46:54 AM

Socket 775 is not on its way out, it still out performs most of AMDs offerings to date. Its a lower cost platform, when they quit making it, it will be on its way out.

The 45nm e3200 Celeron would be a perfect CPU for what you need. Id go with 4g ram right off the bat though.
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November 3, 2009 5:42:22 AM

If you notice the CPU support list i posted the options that the AMD platform have are much greater and much more economical. A single core for $40, a duo core for $60, a tri core for $79 and a quad core for $100. The integrated graphics on the 780G is also far better then the IGP on the G31 which will extend it's overall lifespan.
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November 3, 2009 1:51:45 PM

daship said:
Socket 775 is not on its way out, it still out performs most of AMDs offerings to date..



Does it really now......
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November 3, 2009 5:37:29 PM

daship said:
Socket 775 is not on its way out, it still out performs most of AMDs offerings to date. Its a lower cost platform, when they quit making it, it will be on its way out.

The 45nm e3200 Celeron would be a perfect CPU for what you need. Id go with 4g ram right off the bat though.


Not for the price they aren't better; a sempron 140 ($40) easily outperforms a celeron 430 ($40), and the platform itself is better, as they will continue to release new AM3 chips, whereas the socket 775 chips are still in production (barely), no new chips will be produced. Plus the AMD platforms offer better graphics, which will be a plus when migrating to Windows 7.
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November 3, 2009 10:58:16 PM

Thanks for your excellent replies, everyone! Here's what I came up with:

COOLER MASTER Elite RC-330-KKR1 Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

BIOSTAR A785GE AM2+/AM3 AMD 785G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX240OCGQBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model VS2GBKIT533D2 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SONY Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DDU1681S-0B - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any thoughts? If anybody can find ways to reduce the cost without sacrificing much, I'll be your best friend :p  Total cost weighs in at $283.95
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November 3, 2009 11:03:50 PM

That setup looks solid for basic office use. I prefer Samsung to WD but thats just me and it might be more expensive which is the main case here. Corsair is a great choice. The Athlon II is meant to be very good price/performance. I'm a tad apprehensive about the built in PSU but getting an aftermarket one will push it over 300 dollars so thats ultimately up to you.
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November 4, 2009 12:45:59 AM

Excellent find, pepperman! Thank you :) 

I'm also apprehensive about a built in PSU. With pepperman's RAM suggestion that brings me down to a total of $273.95... Without the case/PSU I'm at $223.96.

Can anyone find a better case and PSU without going over $285? I'm off to look...
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November 5, 2009 12:18:33 AM

Thanks for all your help guys! Got my proposal approved and purchased some machines just now :) 
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November 5, 2009 12:27:10 AM

Good luck with the builds, if you need any more help, just ask; that's what we're here for.
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!