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Core i3 Home/Home office build

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January 23, 2010 11:01:33 PM

Hi all,

My family has been using a Pentium 4 Dell :fou:  for about 5 years too long, and we've been putting the upgrade off for a long time. I decided on the Core i3 for it's low power consumption and for the integrated graphics, so i could keep the cost down a bit. From the research I've done, I think the integrated gpu will do just fine for my families need's. Gaming on this computer (if at all) would be very light. (That's what MY computer is for :D  ) Anyhow, the most important feature I need to get out of this computer is that it need's to be able to run multiple program's at once without a hiccup. Everyone in my house seems to have a tendency to have like 10 windows running at once, and I'm not talking about notepad either. I mean, 2 Microsoft Words, iTunes, Youtube, 3 webpages...etc. (Can you imagine the rage a computer with only 512mb of ram would cause while doing this?!?) Mostly CPU and RAM heavy stuff. I've done a lot of research over the past few months, and I think I've put together a pretty good Home/Home Office build. My biggest question though, is whether I should get the i3 530 or 540, is the difference between them enough to get the 540? Or should I save $20 and downgrade to the 530? Any constructive criticism and advice would be greatly appreciated!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a week

BUDGET RANGE: around $500-$600

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet Browsing, Office 2007, Music, Very Light Gaming, DVDs, AutoCAD(For the rare occasion of working from home)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com - United States

OVERCLOCKING: Possibly some light overclocking in the future

GRAPHICS: I'd like to use the core i3's on-chip graphics for now, but I'd like to have the option to upgrade in the future though

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080 or less

OS: Windows 7 Home 64-bit

*The Build*

Case and PSU:
IN WIN Z583T.CQ350TBL Black / Silver Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Processor:
Intel Core i3-540 Clarkdale 3.06GHz LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Model BX80616I3540 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Mobo:
GIGABYTE GA-H55M-S2H LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

RAM:
CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C8 - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD-RW:
LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks in advance!!!
January 26, 2010 2:49:44 AM

103 views and no comments? I'm ordering the parts in the next few days so if anything is wrong please let me know...
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Best solution

January 26, 2010 12:32:15 PM

For $5 more, this RAM would be slightly better: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 CAS Latency 7

HDD: A cheaper (per GB) and faster drive would be the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB (or 1 TB). The next best choice is then the Seagate 7200.12 in the same sizes.

Optical: There are cheaper SATA DVD burners out there. It won't matter to performance.

Mobo: It's alright, but it worries me that it only has 2 memory slots...

PSU: That PSU concerns me, as I know nothing about IN WIN, and that can't be good. I'd highly recommend finding a small FSP, Seasonic, Antec or Corsair unit and a cheap case.

BTW, typically no responses either mean that the build is good or that you don't need anything special for your uses. Both of which are mostly true in this case.
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January 26, 2010 12:40:25 PM

I would go with the i3-530 and spend the $20 saved toward a quality PSU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

A quality PSU is the key to a stable system and definitely not the place to save a buck. Do you have room to use a full-size ATX case? Your case + PSU is about $75 shipped. I would go with this combo for an extra $25.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... $99.98 (Antec 300 + Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified PSU combo)
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January 26, 2010 12:43:23 PM

Would a 380W PSU be enough for the OP to add a GPU to later? They do want some room to put a real graphics card in sometime.
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January 26, 2010 12:47:16 PM

mavanhel said:
Would a 380W PSU be enough for the OP to add a GPU to later? They do want some room to put a real graphics card in sometime.

He had a POS 350W PSU originally. :)  The EA-380 is a strong little PSU. It would power up to a 5770. The quality PSU's are always under-rated while cheap PSU's are generally over-rated. The Antec 380W PSU actually puts out more power than a lot of cheap 500W PSU's.
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January 26, 2010 1:41:28 PM

Best answer selected by ramcrazy360.
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January 26, 2010 6:25:51 PM

MadAdmiral said:
For $5 more, this RAM would be slightly better: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 CAS Latency 7

HDD: A cheaper (per GB) and faster drive would be the Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB (or 1 TB). The next best choice is then the Seagate 7200.12 in the same sizes.

Optical: There are cheaper SATA DVD burners out there. It won't matter to performance.

Mobo: It's alright, but it worries me that it only has 2 memory slots...

PSU: That PSU concerns me, as I know nothing about IN WIN, and that can't be good. I'd highly recommend finding a small FSP, Seasonic, Antec or Corsair unit and a cheap case.

BTW, typically no responses either mean that the build is good or that you don't need anything special for your uses. Both of which are mostly true in this case.


Ok, great, thanks for the advice.

I'm going to switch to all the parts you recommended. And also this power supply...

CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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