Home Office - AMD Budget - $500-$600

Hi Everyone - new member, but frequent visitor. Looking to build an efficient home office PC. 1st build in more than 7 years (dumpster diving). Currently have 2 home PC laptops approximately 2-3 years old. Any input is greatly appreciated!

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:within 2 weeks BUDGET RANGE: $550- $650 Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (e.g.: general home office (ms excel) VPN (frequent switching between multiple IE's), skype, light video editing, music library

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Windows 7, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (e.g.:,,, -- to show us selection & pricing) COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: (e.g.: Grand Fenwick)

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type (e.g.: AMD CPU & ASUS Mobo)


MONITOR RESOLUTION: Would like to edit/play video from Flip Ultra HD

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Super fast OS startup/shutdown (is SSD worth it?) I could also reduce HDD to 320gb - 500gb to shave costs. Still need to budget for a 20-21 inch LCD monitor


Include a list of any parts you have already selected with descriptively labeled links for parts.

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223C - OEM ($19.99)

Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive ($74.99)

AMD Athlon II X4 630 Propus 2.8GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail ($99.99)

Intel X25-V SSDSA2MP040G2R5 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - Retail ($124.99)

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail +++
Antec TWO HUNDRED S Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail ($79.99 combo)

ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail +++
Patriot G Series ‘Sector 5’ Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model PGV34G1333ELK - Retail ($177.98 combo)

Total: $577.92
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. I would ditch the SSD. It's not worth the cost. It's true that startup would be faster, but I've got a similar HDD to the one below, and my boot time (from cold start to desktop) is easily 30 seconds, without any special tricks/configurations. With a SSD that *might* be down to 20 seconds. You'd see better performance from a better CPU over the SSD. Also, only getting a 40 GB will not leave much room for programs.

    Here's what I would build:

    CPU: X4 955 $160
    Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-MA785GMT-UD2H $85
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 7 $115
    HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $55
    Case/PSU: Antec 200 and Earthwatts Green 380W $80
    Optical: Cheap SATA DVD burner $24
    HSF (if OC): Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus $35

    Total: $554.

    Something else I might suggest is looking into an i3/H55. You can get a good board/CPU combo for $200. It would a little lower performance than this build, but would have better video output.
  2. there's a few things i'd recommend:
    ditch that western digital and pick up a samsung f3 spinpoint drive, which is faster and more reliable.

    ditch that ssd drive. there's really no reason to pay for something like that for a boot drive on an office machine, it won't make enough of a difference. if you need more storage, get the 1TB version of the samsung f3.

    this will give you a bunch of extra money in your budget for a bigger display, more storage, or a faster cpu.
  3. Thanks for the quick replies - the SSD idea doesn't seem to make sense from a price/performance ratio. A friend of mine was planning to put one in an HP quadcore refurb for system startup - but haven't heard his results yet. Does seem pricey though

    I like the specs of the GIGABYTE GA-MA785GM. Any thoughts on the integrated video? I don't have any immediate gaming intentions (maybe down the road), but would it be sufficient enough for streaming video / media clips?
  4. Also, been looking into the i3/h55 suggestion MadAdmiral suggested. A gentle step-up in video output would serve me well. Has anyone had success/expereince overclocking an i3?
  5. here's a link to a review of an overclocked i3.
  6. The i3 is about the easiest CPU to overclock. You can overclock it to almost extreme amounts without much trouble.

    Onboard video is decent, but may struggle a little with full HD support (the i3 is the exception). I would probably be more comfortable saying the i3 would be able to stream any content without trouble, but the onboard graphics might have a few hiccups for HD content. I can't say that for sure though, as it's been a while since I've used onboard graphics...
  7. Thanks again for the link and suggestions. Any thoughts on the following bundle?

    Intel Core i3/H55 Integrated Graphics SuperCombo ($406.96)
  8. Best answer
    Frankly, I'm not a fan. You get an overly expensive case, a low quality PSU, and lower performing RAM. I would personally go with the original build, but make this change:

    CPU/Mobo: i3-530 and Gigabyte GA-H55M-S2H $200

    Total: $509.

    Considering that the "super combo" would cost $521 with the HDD, optical and HSF, and gives you lower quality parts, this would be a better option.
  9. Best answer selected by dpodola.
  10. Thanks again - the price/performance cant be beat for my purpose of the original build, plus the i3/GigaH55 mobo. Will keep you posted after i get everything and build...
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