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New Build For Mom (i3?)

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May 29, 2010 5:57:14 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: The next few days. BUDGET RANGE: <$800

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: internet, office, light games (e.g. card games, puzzles), photo editing, light video editing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (maybe), speakers

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg, amazon, tiger direct COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: US

PARTS PREFERENCES: none

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: currently 1280x1024, possibly upgrading to 1680x1050 or 1920x1200

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking to take advantage of holiday sales, and trying to get something built for mom quickly after her computer died, so hopefully will be buying in the next two days. She told me less than $1000, but I'm setting aside about $200 for a possible monitor upgrade and a few hardware and software bits and pieces. The last computer she bought close to a decade ago (hence the death). I suspect this computer will need to last a while, as well, though now I will be more vigilant about it and upgrade sooner and cheaper.

She mostly does the usual email/internet, microsoft office, printshop, a little photoshop, itunes. She plays card games, word games, puzzles, mostly, though there is a slight possibility that she or someone else might play something requiring more graphics. She's also started getting into editing some videos to send out to family. She also occasionally watches movies on it.

She's keeping the keyboard, mouse, and speakers. She currently has some 15" Dell monitor. I am about 70% certain she will want to get something bigger and newer, because she complains about how little room there is on the screen when she's doing email and stuff.

I was thinking of this:

Case: NZXT Apollo Black SECC Steel Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case (That's what she picked. :D )
CPU: Intel Core i3 530 Processor BX80616I3530 - 2.93GHz, LGA 1156, 4MB L3 Cache, Dual-Core, Retail Processor w/ Fan
Mobo: Gigabyte Micro ATX Motherboard GA-H55M-S2H
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBRM
HDD: Seagate ST31000528AS Barracuda 7200.12 Hard Drive - 1TB, 7200 rpm, 32MB, SATA-3G, OEM (definitely overkill, but it's currently on sale for the same price as 500GB drives, so why not?)
Optical Drive: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 24X DVD Writer LightScribe Support
PSU: OCZ ModXStream Pro OCZ500MXSP 500W ATX12V V2.2 / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply compatible with core i7
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

I've read some good things about the i3's integrated graphics. So, given the types of things she does, I'm currently leaning towards not getting a video card and seeing how the 13's graphics are. But, as a gamer, not having a graphics card sorta blows my mind a little bit. If I got one, I was looking at something like this: SAPPHIRE 100295HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

I've only built with a full ATX mobos. Do micro-ATX boards present any difficulties? If I'm going with the i3 integrated graphics, I need a H55 motherboard, and there really aren't many options for ATX motherboards. If I do go with a graphics card, should I switch to a P55 mobo like this? GIGABYTE GA-P55-USB3 LGA 1156 Intel P55 USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Also, how is the i3's stock fan? Do I need something like this? ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler

Are there any glaring problems with this setup? This will be my second build. Do I have the collective blessing of the TH community?

More about : build mom

May 29, 2010 6:36:13 PM

Solid build...

If you go with a GPU, I would make the switch to an Athlon II X3 440 and AM3 motherboard. This will save you some additional funds and help cover the cost of the GPU.

If you don't plan on overclocking your Mom's PC, just stick with the stock cooler. It will perform acceptable at stock speeds. If overclocking, go ahead and get the HSF you've listed.
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