Cheap office PC build with dual monitor support

Hi all,

I'm building a system for my brother-in-law to use at his office. His only requirements are that it be fast and he needs dual monitor support. No gaming at all. Of course, I want to make sure it lasts a while. I haven't built a PC in 3 years so I'd like a little advice before a make the purchase. I snooped around here for a while getting some pointers. Here's what I have so far;

Motherboard - GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128397
$89.99

CPU - AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103687
$66.00

Case - Rosewill R5601-BK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147038
$49.99

DVD Drive - Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118030
$29.99

HDD - SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152181
$54.99

PSU - Antec earthwatts EA430 430W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371006
$54.99

RAM - OCZ Obsidian 4GB (2 x 2GB)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227495
$78.99

OS - Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116758
$139.99

This puts me at $564.93 which is funny because I blindly told him 500-600 without even looking! :o He has keyboard/mouse and monitors.

Now, my questions are;

Will the on-board graphics on this mobo handle 2 LCD monitors (with an adapter), or should I invest in a card?

Do I need any cables, thermal paste or anything that might set me back when I start to build?

His office currently uses Windows XP on all other computers. Will it be a problem having 7 on the network and should I get the 64-bit version or 32? Same price but I don't really know the pros/cons for an office environment.

Thanks for your time and any suggestions!
8 answers Last reply
More about cheap office build dual monitor support
  1. That sucks he needs a new OS...Do you know any students to get it for $30?

    I would recommend a cheap graphics card to unload ram and cpu...especially for a dual setup.
    Here is a cheap card:
    Asus 4670, $37 after MIR

    Athlons are old and slow...your going to want Phenom II's. You can get a dual core..but for future proofing I would recommend a quad if you can fit it into your budget.
    AMD Phenom II 925 Deneb 2.8GHz combo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.284650

    I know thats over budget but maybe you can use an old OS? If you have to cut costs I would cut the graphics card before I changed my cpu.. can always add that later.
  2. He might cough up the extra for an X2. He'd probably even go for an X4 if I pushed hard enough, but for an office setting is it really needed? I just want to make sure it can handle the OS and a few open windows and maybe MS Office. That's why I was wondering about 32 vs. 64 bit.

    I'll look for a student for the discount, but right now I'm going to plan on buying the OEM version.
  3. If you want a X4 get the 620
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103706

    Overall, I think your original build is fine with the recommended grfx card. The 245 is a good processor (same as the new phenoms minus the L3 cache).
  4. Here's a case that keeps your current psu, but costs $85
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129065

    You won't need a phenom for office use; he could probably get away with a sempron, but an athlon x2 will allow some future-proofing. You can get the athlon x4 cjsikk suggested if you want to upgrade the cpu. I also recommend getting a discrete card such as the one cory1234 suggested.
  5. Here is our very own forum's review of the 780G chipset doing dual and even quad display set up ^^
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-780g-chipset,1785-5.html
    One could actually get a decent rig for $5xx for your kindda tasks ^^
  6. Ok, sticking with the Athlon, adding the Asus card and switching case and PSU for pepperman's suggestion. This puts the build at $639.53 shipped. Not bad...

    Thanks for that article, pepperman. Haven't had time to read it all, so I'll ask this question; Can I run 2 monitors, 1 off the mobo DVI and 1 off the card's DVI? It would save me buying an adapter. Not a big deal. Just curious.

    Thanks everyone for getting my building brain back in gear!
  7. Yes, you should be fine. As the article says (I can't take credit for it, it was posted by batuchka) the HD3200 gpu is not deactivated when a discrete card is used, allowing you to use both the discrete card and the onboard gpu simultaneously.
  8. My only concern with that is that combo comes with BP 430 not Eartwatts 80+ certified PSU which would be superior
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371023
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