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May 13, 2010 5:43:23 PM

My dad wants me to build him a really fast PC but he wants it for cheap (<$500). I believe I have come up with a great solution for him, but wanted to run it past the pros here at Tom's Hardware :) .

Use: Office, school, pictures (non-gaming rig)

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 240 2.8 GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core [$58]
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-785GMT-USB3 AM3 Micro ATX [$90]
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2x2GB) 240-pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC312800) F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL [$110]
Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower [$62]
PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D 430W [$66]
HDD: Two Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB in RAID 0 [$110]
Media: Sony Optiarc DVD/CD [$22]

Total Cost: $518

He doesn't need a GPU beyond the onboard graphics as there is little to no gaming on this PC.

Thoughts/Comments/Suggestions?

Thanks!

Best solution

May 13, 2010 5:55:41 PM

I'd consider stepping up to the X3 425 or X3 440 to get an even faster CPU.

Here's a cheap PSU/optical combo that would save some money: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W and cheap SATA DVD burner $44 after rebate.

You may want to look at additional cases for something that's a little cheaper. The Coolermaster Centurion 5 is a good cheap one.
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May 13, 2010 6:23:42 PM

I'm in agreement with MadAdmiral.

Also? Please please please do not set up RAID 0 unless your dad is technically competent and takes regular backups of his system. RAID is not worth the potential frustration and/or data loss for the casual user. You might consider getting a cheap SSD (Kingston SSDNow series or other) for a boot drive and then a separate storage drive.
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May 13, 2010 7:42:05 PM

MadAdmiral said:
I'd consider stepping up to the X3 425 or X3 440 to get an even faster CPU.

Here's a cheap PSU/optical combo that would save some money: OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W and cheap SATA DVD burner $44 after rebate.

You may want to look at additional cases for something that's a little cheaper. The Coolermaster Centurion 5 is a good cheap one.


Thanks MadAdmiral. Question: The PSU you have suggested has a top-mounted fan. Is this a problem for cases that mount the PSU on the bottom?
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May 13, 2010 7:57:00 PM

Nope. It just faces upwards in the case. Technically, all PSUs have a top mounted fan.
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May 13, 2010 7:58:56 PM

Best answer selected by Trajen.
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