Advice for Dual 1920 x 1080 but no gaming needed

First, I have a general question:

I am a heavy spreadsheet/word processing user and I want to use my dual monitors (1920 x 1080) primarily so I can have as much real estate as possible. All I'm really interested in is a system that has dual DVI outputs and a system that won't freeze when I have to move around 6 documents (PDFs, Excel, Word, Firefox, EndNote, PP) across my screen. I have no interest in games or movies.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week BUDGET RANGE: As cheap as possible

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: (documents, internet use, mostly writing)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitors, speakers


PARTS PREFERENCES: don't care- smaller tower would be nice.


MONITOR RESOLUTION: 2x 1920 x 1080 (I believe that's written 3840 x 1080?)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm probably pretty off base, so any direction is appreciated.

Will this work:

Media Center Case with AMD Sempron 3000+, Video, PCI-E, and DDR1 Support

2GB DDR (Per Pricewatch, anything reasonable will work)

40 or 80 GB SATA HD (Per Pricewatch)- I generally store very little.

DVD Drive SATA (Per Pricewatch)


Now, by my account this takes me to roughly $250. Is it possible that I can get a machine running for my purposes for this little or will my monitor demands make this impossible?

Your comments are very much appreciated.
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice dual 1920 1080 gaming needed
  1. Personally with the price of cheap ram I can't imagine not having 4gigs but really it depends on your usage of spreadsheets and the like. Lots of engineering applications for decently accurate recursions using excel or something can require easily more than 2gb of memory.

    Also your not leaving any room for upgrades assuming your not 100% satisfied with your setup so given that I would find it difficult to reccomend that case and board as it states it only can handle 2gb of memory.

    That Card seems fine for what your wanting.
    So thats $58

    or you can get an ATI 5450 which would save you a couple bucks and if you wanted to upgrade later to 3 monitors would only require the monitor and a Display port adapter which is like $80 (less than any other 3 monitor capable hardware) 54.99

    On the negative side I think you might have to do a vga and dvi setup for this one though.

    Mobo 69.99 after rebate

    Processor - AM phenom x3 69.99

    Honestly don't like the AM x3 but for what your doing its dirt cheap and will provide better multi-tasking capabilities. Perfect for cheap multi-tasking actually :D

    Case 16.99 after rebate (actually really good for that kind of money)

    Power Supply- OCZ 550w 39.99 after promo code and rebate

    Ram - 2gb 59.99

    Ram-4gb if you wanted to do that and I'd recommend it 89.99 after rebate <<<< Better Buy

    DVD Drive

    Hard Drive - 160 gb (was $2 more than a 80 gb one) 37.99

    Plus Other parts about ~$370 and ~$400 if you want the 4gb of ram.

    Probably saves you about 150 or so at least over pre-built and that card of yours says it should capably do what you need. Also when you calculated your media pc you didn't include a lot of necessities like a hard drive and a DVD drive easily adding another $70 which is a lot less pc than you'd get with this setup.

    Only major problem with this setup is about 150 dollars in rebates are mixed in so it has a higher upfront cost if you don't buy seperately than send in the rebate than buy the next product. But seriously jump on that case 17 dollars is a STEAL.

    Note: Sorry lots of it has LEDS and bright reds for colors but I picked the cheapest item that had respectable quality.
  2. Your GPU choice is good. You need a little something better than the Sempron however... that's a real weak CPU that will cause you headaches.

    To build your own system that will be reasonable quality and speed would be around $400 after shipping and before the OS, which could be Linux for free.

    Or you could buy a Dell or HP for around 450 that would have Windows but you would still have to buy a better GPU.

    So here's a list for you:

    CM Elite 341 MATX case

    Corsair 400CX PSU
    Gigabyte 760G board

    Athlon II X2 240

    2GB G,skill 800Mhz DDR2 - one stick so you can add one later easily


    WD 160GB drive .. because the price is like 1 buck more than 80GB

    Cheap DVD burner
    PNY 9600GT
    (dual DVI, good brand and cost)

    Load Ubuntu and Open Office and you are set.
  3. Best answer
    ^ The video card is fine but NO to that case with that CPU...
    It is many generations old, so if anything goes wrong, then you would either have to throw it away or have to search a lot for the parts to replace...
    Check out this config for about $350...IMO its well worth it...
    X2 245 + XFX HD 4650

    Seagate 250GB

    ASRock 770

    Patriot 2GB DDR3

    CASE + PSU - Antec with EA380

    So you get a better quality case and a high quality PSU, Current gen Dual Core, DDR3 RAM, 250GB HDD and a decent mobo...IMO its well worth $100 more...
  4. EDIT: Dinte refresh...Had this page open till I was searching the parts...
  5. Wonderful advice, thank you all for your time.

    It seems like most of you aren't advocating any higher end power supplies. Something like a 380W PS should be fine for my purposes?
  6. Edit: 380w isn't going to work!.Thinking Cpu is normally and mobo are normally like 200W + your card is about 230w under load (just looked it up so 380w) is going to give you problems get a 550w to be safe. The PUS I recommended is 550w which leaves room for whatever and it was cheaper than most the other PUS. $40 for a name brand PUS is pretty awesome.
  7. Sephiroth, I do know a few things about PSUs ;) I assure you the system I laid out is going to pull on average less than 20amps 12V... far less than the CX400 can deliver. I actually did check the numbers before posting originally.

    The 9600GT will pull about 80W MAX... and since this is not a gaming machine the actual power draw will be more like 50W... let's just say 5 amps 12V to be safe.

    MAX system draw of a Regor system: Somewhat less than the 128W pulled by the X2 555,2516-13.html

    CX400 made by Seasonic and can produce 30A on the 12V rail.

    OCZ550FTY made by Sirtec and can produce 37A on the 12V rail.

    From what I have seen the system as I laid it out should need less than 15 amps max.

    OEMs and amps:

    The Big list of ranked PSUs, with tutorials
  8. @sephiroth73003 hope you understood that the wattage alone doesnt matter for the PSU from Proximon's post...
    And also as for the Antec EA 380W, it has 2x 12V rails delivering a total of about 32A, which is more than some high wattage low quality PSUs...
    And also 80+ Bronze certification means it can deliver that much power with very high efficiency - which in-turn translates to power savings...
  9. I've spent some time going through everyone's suggestions but I have 2 concerns:

    1. Either I'm reading video cards wrong (most likely) or the ones posters have listed are "dual dvi", which is not the same thing as having dual monitors on an extended desktop.

    2. Looking towards my preference of a smaller case, the video card I intend seems gigantic- would that fit in a micro atx or even a midtower?

    It seems very difficult to find a dual display DVI that is low profile. I suppose I'm stuck with a full size case?
  10. ^ did you check the card that I posted ?
    It is a single slot card, that will fit in small cases too...And also AFAIK it supports Dual displays...

    And as for the case, check this one...
    COOLER MASTER Elite 360

    It is a comparatively small case, that fits ATX mobos and can either be placed as a Tower case or as a desktop case...And also the Cooler Master symbol can be oriented to face properly...
  11. Yes any of the cards listed will be OK. Normally I would recommend ATI but I think the NVidia cards are a bit better at 2D work.
  12. Alright, I'm especially a fan of this card:

    I haven't assembled a PC since the late 90's, so the use of these small form cases and the dimensions are disorienting.

    Would that video card, a micro atx mobo/cpu combo, PS, sata hdd, and dvd drive fit into this: ?

    Otherwise I'm assuming I'd have to go for a mid-tower gkay09 posted.
  13. ^ Yes it will fit in that case, except the mobo that I had listed - It is a ATX not microAtx...
    Change it to this mATX mobo and you are good to go...
    Biostar 785G

    But am skeptical about the quality of the PSU though...
  14. Yes that case will work fine. It's a rather common design actually.
  15. Best answer selected by hdmi2007.
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