Multitasking Build -- Quick PC, no Gaming

Hey guys,

Hoping to come back here for some more great advice. I will be building my dad a computer when I go to visit over Thanksgiving. He is looking for a fast machine, but will not be playing games. He will use it mostly for office apps, internet/e-mail, various light multi-media applications.

Whenever I think about building a PC, i'm always skewed towards gaming. I'm hoping to get some advice on a good basic system. I'm not afraid to spend money on an i7/i5 (whatever it is nowadays) and a solid amount of memory coupled with windows 7 64-bit. A very basic (but decently powerful) GPU should do.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Will order parts this upcoming week.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Office apps, internet, e-mail, movies music.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Should include everything, keyboard, mouse, OS.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg always...tigerdirect if they have some deals, and occasionally Amazon if they get lucky.

PARTS PREFERENCES: huge intel fanboy. I will want this to be an intel build.

OVERCLOCKING: Possibly...I only have experience overclocking my i7.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600x1200 probably...very nice 22" monitor of some sort.


Thanks guys!
8 answers Last reply
More about multitasking build quick gaming
  1. For his purposes, the most economical thing to do is get an AM3 motherboard with onboard HD 4200 video and something like an AthlonIIx4 CPU. You can do a build like that for $500ish. To go the i5 route its going to be a few hundred more expensive since you have to buy some kind of video card in addition to just being more expensive to begin with.

    AthlonIIx4 ($100)
    AM3 Motherboard with onboard HD4200 ($90)
    4GB DDR3-1333 RAM ($80)

    Intel i5:
    i5 ($200)
    P55 Motherboard ($105)
    4GB DDR3-1333 RAM ($80)
    Graphics card ($40-$130 depending on what you want)

    Antec 300 illusion with EA430 Power supply ($110)
  2. I am still inclined to go with intel...I would feel comfortable doing a mild overclock of the i5 on stock voltages, assuming it's the same method as the i7.

    I understand that AMD might be more economical...but would you disagree that the i5 would offer more speed? Your i5 build is priced out around $600 not including monitor, mouse, keyboard. This seems quite reasonable given what he's looking to spend.
  3. Its also missing hard drive and DVD Burner, I never quite finished. Add $55 for a samsung F3 500GB and $30 for a SATA DVD burner.

    If you are going to overlclock I would recommend adding a Coolermaster Hyper 212 plus CPU cooler $30. I5s are supposed to be easy to get up to 3.6-3.8 without voltage increases.

    The i5 is faster under load. If he never loads it he will not see a difference. Thats the difference between performance benchmarking and real world usage. If he was going to do heavy video encoding or massive spreadsheet analysis then it would matter. For general internet and office use I doubt he would see any difference.

    Graphics card would be a 4670 ($40-50) at the low end to a 5750 ($130) for DX11 and reasonable gaming capability.
  4. 4670 would be plenty and I think I would go with a WD Caviar black 640 for $80 instead of the samsung. TBH I don't really know about the i7. I assume it's a similar architecture to the i7, but it's a whole new socket size?

    Does it accept both dual channel and triple channel? DDR3 only?

    Thanks for all of your help thus far.
  5. The 1156 socket CPUS (i5, i7 800 series) use dual channel DDR3 RAM.

    The 1366 socket CPUs (i7 900 series) are the only ones that use triple channel RAM

    The advantage of the 1156 is that there is no northbridge, its all integrated into the CPU so P55 motherboards are cheaper to make and have less components. The disadvantage is there are less PCIE channels so dual crossfire/SLI is x8/x8 instead of x16/x16.
  6. bump...starting to shop around now. He will want to run a 24" monitor...should this change the GPU choice at all? (Again, no gaming...but probably HD movie watching etc.)

    dnd, I really appreciate your advice, but i'm going to be stubborn and go with an i5 build. I realize he may not see a noticeable difference in every day browsing between an AM3 build and an i5 build, but I have had nothing but bad experiences with AMD and nothing but good experiences with intel.

    That being said, I am open to value-saving suggestions to this initial outline. (Budget is not really an issue at all -- I am just trying to get the most for the money for his purposes). The biggest costs are obviously the monitor and the OS.


    COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail -- $59.99 (Free Shipping)

    I have this case and absolutely love it. Normally I would got a cheaper route but since it's on sale for $60 with free shipping, I couldn't turn it down.

    ASUS P7P55 LX LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail -- $119.99

    I have had great experiences with ASUS in the past and have developed trust issues with gigabyte after some bad boards. (this may be irrational, but I am just going on experience). I know relatively little about P55 boards, but this seemed like a great value.

    Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail -- $199.99 (Free Shipping)

    Seems to be the best of 3 i5 options...should be a decent overclocker.

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ - Retail -- $95.99

    This 1600 set is only $1 more than the 1333 set...should make for easier overclocking. Not sure on this one.

    CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail -- $89.99 ($69.99 after $20 MIR)

    I love corsair and this seems to be easily enough power for this system. Could I save some money reliably with Antec?

    Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive -- $74.99

    This HDD has always exceeded my expectations. 32MB cache is very nice and the dense 320gb platters seem to make this the snappiest drive for the money.

    GIGABYTE GV-R467ZL-1GI Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail -- $74.99 ($64.99 with $10 MIR)

    Big question mark here. Good option for HD movies?

    SAMSUNG 2433BW High Glossy Black 24" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 DC 20000:1(1000:1) - Retail -- $289.99 Free Shipping

    Own this monitor and love it. Any competitive 24" suggestions?

    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM -- $104.99


    Total with shipping: $1,124.77

    Thanks for the help!
  7. bump...any comments on this build?
  8. one final bump...just looking for some confirmation of a good build or some "this build is terrible"
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product