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Advice on General Office Build (2-4 year cycle)

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March 19, 2010 3:32:31 AM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before June
BUDGET RANGE: 600-1000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet, Office 2010

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Hard Drive, Disc Drive

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com, www.JR.com

OVERCLOCKING: No
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: dual monitor 1680*1050 and higher

PARTS PREFERENCES:
Processor: Intel i5/i7 or AMD (Quad core?)
Memory: 4gb for dual channel, 6gb for tri channel

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking for advice on office build, it should perform relative well for about 4 years (unless its really cheap and then 2 year cycle would be possible). The build is gearing toward Win 7, Office 2010, Acrobat. Dual Monitor support is required (Dual Dvi or Dvi+hdmi, no VGA). I haven't build one in a long time, so I am not very familiar with the latest cpu/chipset combos. So I basically need advice on the best cpu/mobo/mem/psu/gpu oh and case combo =) Thank you.
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March 19, 2010 3:57:03 AM

^ IMO you wont need an i7 for that kind of tasks...
You can go i5, but the AMD offers better value - Athlon II X4 630
Do you want it to be upgradeable or you would just build the new PC in 2-3 years time ?
March 19, 2010 4:00:26 AM

So, 2 year cycle build? since its relatively cheap

Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply - Retail

ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

SAPPHIRE 100264HDMI Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Low Profile Ready ... - Retail

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBRL - Retail

AMD Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition Heka 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor Model HDZ720WFK3DGI - OEM

-----------------------------------------
Would AMD Phenom II x4 940/955 be better for 4 year cycle?
March 19, 2010 4:00:37 AM

I spec'd out an P-II X3/2.8 .. Asus w/onbd HYBRID graphics + 1 Radeon 4350@512GB

Antec 300 w/Antec 430W PSU

March 19, 2010 4:00:49 AM

And Alvin please do link the name of the components too...It will be difficult to go through all the links you know...

And the PSU that comes with that case is not of very good quality...It is the Antec version of the CM Extreme power...
The Antec EA, TP and ECO series are the ones that are of high quality...

And I dont think he would need a graphics card as the onboard 785G chipset can handle Dual display output(1 Analog and 1 Digital output)...
March 19, 2010 4:02:17 AM

gkay09 said:
^ IMO you wont need an i7 for that kind of tasks...
You can go i5, but the AMD offers better value - Athlon II X4 630
Do you want it to be upgradeable or you would just build the new PC in 2-3 years time ?


Don't really care about upgradeable =) oH and no analog video output please
March 19, 2010 4:05:46 AM

If you want a QUAD ... Get one ... couldn't hurt ... you won't need ... even for video presentations and complex spreadsheets ... office apps just don't play that hard.

You have Htbrid graphics (on the mobo) and another card (2nd display) ... even will do great home theater and play simple animated games (cards/chess/etc.).

Should come in a good bit under $500 ... That comes off the debit column !

-- Might consider a webcam for telepresence --

= Alvin =
March 19, 2010 4:08:46 AM

I just listed what I would trust ... If others detract, there is prolly a good reason so, listen to gKay, for instance. Without the PSU, the Antec 300 case is $54 ...
... Look for a great PSU under $65 ... Now that Kay has openned the barn doors, he can give you a better pick.

= Alvin =
March 19, 2010 4:14:21 AM

gkay09 said:
And Alvin please do link the name of the components too...It will be difficult to go through all the links you know...

And I dont think he would need a graphics card as the onboard 785G chipset can handle Dual display output(1 Analog and 1 Digital output)...


the 4350 was something like $34 ... I know the mobo will do x2 but I thought it would be prudent because the onbd gfx uses shared system memory.

But ... if you think ... ... don't hold back.

= Al =
March 19, 2010 4:29:45 AM

@pinwanger though the X3 720 is a very good CPU, but the X4 630 at the same speeds with extra core is a better option...And also it saves about 30-40 bucks including the CPU cooler...

And Alvin I still wouldn't suggest the one either...Check the CASE + PSU that I have linked...It is a very good one from Antec and for $80, it is a very good deal...

Change these from Alvin's build and you are good to go...

CPU - Athlon II X4 630
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CASE + PSU -
Antec NSK 4482B Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W - It has the EA series PSU and the 380W can even handle HD 4850/ 5750...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo - A very cheap option, definitely suitable for Office use though...
BIOSTAR A785G3 AM3 AMD 785G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
So add a decent low end card to get 2 Digital O/P
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But if you are worried about quality, then stick with the ASUS option...
March 19, 2010 4:35:58 AM

Well, hell ... between the two of us, you can't go wrong. Truthfully, just about anything with 3 or more cores that runs at 2.8GHz+ will surely digest any office load.

I was trying to build in a little extra bandwidth and performance, just for good measure but, if this is a 2-yr rig and it is for a tight business model ... sure ... go for the cheapest build.

Athlon is not Phenom ... But in your case it hardly matters.

= Alvin =
March 19, 2010 4:38:48 AM

Whats the difference between,

Phenom II X4 and Athlon II X4?

and yes, quality comes 1st. as for the motherboard you guys suggested, is it the newest chipset generation? I am only asking because i want it last a good 4 years. not a struggle on the 3rd year and beyond.

Another question regarding hybrid graphics combo. How does it work, which one handles the primary load? or do they work together in cross fire mode?
March 19, 2010 4:54:50 AM

@Alvin Smith Even the Antec EA Green 380W PSU is as good as a Corsair...
And for that build, even a 300W from Seasonic would suffice but on the safer side, that 380W is better...

@pinwanger The main difference between the Athlon II and the Phenom II is the L3 cache...The Phenom has it but the Athlon doesnt...
For regular usage, it wont matter...This article would better explain...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/athlon-l3-cache,241...

And as for the mobo, they are new but not the newest...
The latest ones are the 890GX...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

But seeing that you will be buying the PC by June, then you can wait for the 880G/ 870 Chipests, that will be cheaper yet better option for an Office PC...
http://vr-zone.com/articles/amd-880g-chipset-details/62...
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Details-on-AMD-880G-Chip...
March 19, 2010 5:19:06 AM


As you can see, you are in very good hands, with Kay.

Kay isn't half as lazy as I am either and (obviously) has better ready access to the appropriate reference materials ... YOU are one very lucky customer. I'm gonna bail as I simply cannot improve on Kays cooking. Yum.

= Al =
March 19, 2010 6:07:14 AM

Ahhh I really appreciate inputs form both of you, I am going to look deep into it tomorrow... =)
!