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To build or not to build?

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Anonymous
January 5, 2010 2:57:56 PM

My father is in need of a new office computer and I would like to try my hand at building one for him. He currently has an 6 year old Dell Dimension P4 computer with 256MB of ram that I am pretty sure is not worth upgrading. The computer will be used for office and web surfing and will also need all peripherals.

I would like to stay with a Intel processor maybe a 6600Q or a fast Dual Core
An modest AMD gpu, something like a 4670 or 4850.
At least 4 gigs of RAM.
Descent 18"-20" monitor, keyboard and mouse

He is using Windows XP 32, does he need a new OS, maybe Windows 64, will the Dell OS disc work?

Should he just order another Dell? What is the cheapest this computer can be built for?

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January 5, 2010 3:03:59 PM

Contact Dell, see if he can simply just throw in some more RAM.
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January 5, 2010 3:07:25 PM

If he's just doing office work, you don't need a discrete GPU. I would want to get a 64-bit OS, which if he doesn't have already, will be another $100. The Dell OS disc will NOT work. That's only a recovery disk, not an install disk. The only way it would work is if you used the same motherboard and/or other parts.

The cheapest you can build the tower for is probably $400-500, with AMD CPUs, which in the budget range are much better than Intel's offerings.

Figure $175 for the monitor, $50 for keyboard/mouse, so the total you can build for is probably $725 with the OS. It will be cheaper to go to Dell or HP for a low end office computer, especially since there isn't anything special needed in the specs.

Generally, once you hit $600 for the tower alone, it becomes worth it to build your own. It's also worth it if you need some specific out of it (i.e. gaming), or if you you want to have the absolute freedom of choosing every part.

Since an office computer is basically just a balanced PC, pre-builts are designed exactly for that.
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Anonymous
January 5, 2010 3:12:49 PM

MadAdmiral said:
If he's just doing office work, you don't need a discrete GPU. I would want to get a 64-bit OS, which if he doesn't have already, will be another $100. The Dell OS disc will NOT work. That's only a recovery disk, not an install disk. The only way it would work is if you used the same motherboard and/or other parts.

The cheapest you can build the tower for is probably $400-500, with AMD CPUs, which in the budget range are much better than Intel's offerings.

Figure $175 for the monitor, $50 for keyboard/mouse, so the total you can build for is probably $725 with the OS. It will be cheaper to go to Dell or HP for a low end office computer, especially since there isn't anything special needed in the specs.

Generally, once you hit $600 for the tower alone, it becomes worth it to build your own. It's also worth it if you need some specific out of it (i.e. gaming), or if you you want to have the absolute freedom of choosing every part.

Since an office computer is basically just a balanced PC, pre-builts are designed exactly for that.


That is the answer I was looking for, thank you.

So the only reason to talk my dad into letting me build his new computer is I would like very much to build one? :lol: 
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January 5, 2010 3:27:03 PM

Basically. Keep in mind you'd be his tech support, which is a good reason to never build a family member's computer. They'll bug you about every single piece of tech they have...
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Anonymous
January 5, 2010 4:02:54 PM

That is already a problem! You make some very good points, still like the idea of using someone else's money to try my hand at building a computer. I think I will jump over to the Dell site and build and price what he wants there and compare pricing.
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