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;
This puts me at $564.93 which is funny because I blindly told him 500-600 without even looking! 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.