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General Needs Computer - No Gaming

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October 4, 2010 9:15:16 AM

Building a computer for a friend.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP Tomorrow if possible

Budget Range: No budget... I'd like to get it 1000 range or less if I could for him.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Major multi-tasking but no gaming, word processing, excel, playing stocks, poker, watching movies, internet browsing

Parts Not Required: Don't need monitor or peripherals

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.ca

Country of Origin: Canada

Parts Preferences: trying to go for Intel over AMD

Overclocking: None

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Hmm, I believe he'd like to hook it up to his HDTV for watching movies I believe it's around 40 inch, bit below or above. His monitor I am not entirely sure about.

Additional Comments: He would like to have it be small (physically), very fast from startup to application loading, able to handle a lot of multi-tasking and he doesn't want to deal with upgrades or anything so a long lasting build. I would like to use a Shuttle in the build. He's not worried about large amounts of storage space.

I have a quick build I came up with but it's pricey for what it brings.

Case, Power Supply, Motherboard:

Shuttle - 300W PSU, LGA 1156 - 239.99

Processor:

Intel I5 760 Lynnfield 2.8 GHz Quad Core - 214.99

Memory:

Patriot 4 GB DDR3 1333 - 86.99

Hard Drive:

G.Skill Phoenix Pro 120 GB SSD - 259.99

CD/DVD Drive:

Lite-On - 21.99

Operating System:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit - 105.99

Grand Total - $1074.26

Now, do I have a balanced build for his needs? Should I be adding a video card for watching movies? Am I confused about the shuttle, is it not just a case, mobo and psu combo? Is the PSU in the Shuttle powerful enough for this? Thanks in advance for any answers.

October 4, 2010 9:57:45 AM

The SSD for your budget is overkill to be truthful. You're better off doing an i7-950 build for heavy multitasking as it allows hyperthreading, which the i5 does not.
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October 4, 2010 11:41:06 AM

Why are you going quads? I realize you said you want speed and no upgrading, but for what he wants to do this is way overkill. Stay with 4GBs of ram, move to AMD for the better IGP for video, get an F3 500GB drive for storage and your set. If you really feel a quad is a good idea then get the 620/630. Otherwise a cheap dual or lower end x3 is fine. Office apps and watching movies and you want to get an x58 or i5 760?
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October 4, 2010 12:00:45 PM

He specified a preference for Intel over AMD. Also the 5450 supports HD audio/bit streaming so thats far superior to AMD IGP.

Ordinarily I would have gone with an i5 build, but an i7 fits in his budget comfortably. All I did was swap out the SSD, which isn't feasible at all below 1000, and made it future proof for his needs for 4+ years.

Also his listed i5 build is 74 over his budget and has no Graphics output. Seems logical to me
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October 4, 2010 2:08:19 PM

Modern IGPs have a 4200 onboard? I'm pretty sure they support bit streaming as well.

I'd actually probably get the 5450 but still try to go cheap. Having an eyefinity setup (which an onboard won't support) would be great for office productivity. Great that is until he tries to write something in word while playing poker....
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October 4, 2010 4:04:37 PM

nope they sure dont
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October 4, 2010 4:27:38 PM

The fact they don't support bitstreaming probably isn't the end of the world. Its still enough "GPU" to handle youtube and Hulu. Getting a cheap 780(?) board with an Athlon x2 or Phenom x2 with 4GBs of ram and a 5450 should hopefully allow him to get 3 monitors. For office productivity and other such apps this would be best. Multi monitor is the best.
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October 4, 2010 4:39:32 PM

Quote:
I believe he'd like to hook it up to his HDTV for watching movies


Is enough reason to get something that supports bit streaming. Originally I was going to suggest an i3-530 on an H55 platform as that also supports bitstreaming, but he mentioned that the customer was heavy into multitasking, I'd rather have 4 physical cores for that, with a total of 8 threads.

More importantly, since he doesn't game per-se the only limitation this system will have down the line is possibly storage depending on the use.

I'd say barring any component failure, the i7 build would last 5-7 years with only moderate storage upgrades as the owner sees fit.
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October 4, 2010 11:15:19 PM

Thank you thank you. I'll see what he thinks
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October 5, 2010 6:16:06 AM

Either option is ok I guess. Bit streaming would be good only if he has a receiver hooked up to it that can make use of it. Other wise its just wasted money. My idea of a cheaper dual core with 3 monitors I still feel is valid. More so with Eyefinity putting a movie across all three screens. I guess it comes down to wanting to treat the ears or the eyes. Frankly my ears are so bad that just plain 5.1 is fine with me. I'd rather have the extra desktop space.
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October 5, 2010 6:37:45 AM

I believe his intent is to watch movies on a 40" HDTV, as described in the OP
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October 5, 2010 6:50:02 AM

The OP doesn't say what speakers his using.

Again, I now like the idea of the 5450, but for Eyefinity setup. Not Bit streaming support.
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