Cheapish Office Computer

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week
BUDGET RANGE: $350
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Work related stuff, Quickbooks, Excel, Surfing Internet
PARTS NOT REQUIRED:Case, PSU, DVD Drive, Mouse, Keyboard, Monitor, OS
PREFERRED WEBSITE FOR PARTS: Amazon.com (Newegg is too expensive to ship to Hawaii)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: None
OVERCLOCKING No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: A friend gave me $350 to make him a new work computer I'd like to make it as reliable and quiet as possible, while giving it as much power as I can for $350. It should be able to survive being left on for two straight weeks without overheating.

I already have an Antec Sonata III with a 500w PSU to work with. Also I've got some parts picked out, but I'd like some reassurance before I go spending someone else's money.

Processor:
AMD Athlon II X3 440 3.0GHz
Motherboard:
Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-UD2H
RAM:
Kingston ValueRAM 2 GB 1333MHz DDR3 DIMM Desktop Memory KVR1333D3N9/2G X2
HDD:
Western Digital 500 GB SATA OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD5000AADS (Caviar Green)

Is this stuff good enough? Is there anything I should switch out and make cheaper or anything that REALLY needs to be upgraded? Also I was thinking about getting a cheaper motherboard without integrated graphics and getting a cheap GPU like a HD 4550 or a GeForce 8600

Thanks for any advice.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. You don't want a slow green HD for the system drive. This fast drive is the same price.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=seagate+7200.12+500gb&x=0&y=0

    I don't see any reason to use anything other than the integrated GPU on the 785G. A separate GPU will not help at all with office type work.
  2. +1, or get a samsung f3. also might be worth looking into either getting a cheaper athlon x2, like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Amd-Athlon-II-X2-250/dp/B002BIQC6K/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1269903449&sr=8-2

    and getting better ram, like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Super-Talent-DDR3-1600-Channel-WP160UX4G9/dp/B002SXN09A/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1269903645&sr=1-10

    to be honest, an office build with 2 gigs of ram is a fail. one other path u might wanna look into is getting a callisto based dual core, unlocking into a quad core, and getting a quad core for 90 bucks...but that takes a lil expertise...
  3. I've heard those Seagate HDDs can be unreliable though, and I'm trying to get the most stable parts possible. How about a Western Digital 500 GB Caviar Black SATA 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache instead? It's a little more expensive, but if it's more reliable it'd be worth it.

    Also I was going to order 2 of that 2GB Kingston ValueRAM for a total of 4GB, but that Super Talent on is cheaper, so I guess I'll go with that one.
  4. The Seagate drive is faster due to higher data density. The Seagate drive uses a single 500GB platter while the WD drive uses two 250GB platters. If the warranty is more important than speed then the WD drive will be fine.
  5. Well, i'm just gonna give you newegg links, you should look for equalents @ amazon.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103726
    AMD Athlon II X3 425 Rana 2.7GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Processor - Retail
    $70.00
    ^Will give enough CPU power for office work, and triple channel is great for multitasking. Dont get a better CPU as you will only use it for office work, and also dont go lower, as this is the cheapest am3 cpu (am3 = upgradable, am2 isnt)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130254
    MSI 760GM-E51 AM3 AMD 760G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    $69.99
    ^Has 4 ddr3 lanes/pci-ex16 slots for future expansion. It's a great board for little cash.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227346
    OCZ Gold Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3G10664GK - Retail
    $89.99
    ^4Gb RAM, thats what you need for multitasking :-)

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148516
    Recertified: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 HDD-ST3500630AS-R 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (Perpendicular Recording) -Bare Drive
    $49.99
    ^500gb is more then enough for normal people that don't download movies, and 50$ for 500Gb is superb cheap! Seagate is a very good hdd brand tho.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811233062
    GIGABYTE gz-ph2a3 Black SGCC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
    $24.99
    ^Just a good, custom and cheap case. Thats all we need, right?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151192
    SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner - OEM
    $19.99
    ^Well, a dvd drive that can read/burn dvd/cd's.

    Thats a total of $325. Not bad uh? :D
    You only have to add an OS.

    PS:
    You might want to add a small graphics card, as this pc is only suitable for office works.
    For some casual games, this card is the best in its prize range:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161303
    HIS H465FS512H Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
    $32.99

    Will make a total of $358
  6. Thanks for all the help guys, I really appreciate it.
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