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Ma and Pa system, no games, cheap + reliable

Hello,

My mom runs an internet business and her motherboard is starting to go on her... date changes randomly (battery probably?) and other wonky mess ups. The computer is 10 years old anyways, and since her birthday is coming up, I thought I would build her a new computer.

She runs Windows XP and will want to stay on it, though if the new system could support 7 someday that would be good. She uses Photoshop to edit her pictures, streams Netflix, and keeps a Firefox window open with 20 or so tabs at any given time... other than that, no really resource intense activities. Since her 10 year old system can do this (though slowly!) I figure I can build her something on the cheap even with "older" parts and still give her a serious increase in performance.

I assume I can skip a vid card since an onboard gpu should be good enough for her needs.

If anyone has "tried and true" recommendations for particular combos that work great please say so. More important than anything else is reliability. I need to make sure this machine gives 100% a hundred percent of the time. My budget is between $300 and $400 though I'd like to stay on the low side if possible.

I know 4 gb of ram wont fully be utilized by XP, but even 3.5 or whatever the final value is after overhead, it'll still be better than the 2 she has now.

Here's what I've come up with so far.


ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

Rosewill Blackbone Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148395

Foxconn M61PMV AM2+/AM2 NVIDIA GeForce 6100 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813186155

COOLER MASTER Elite 460 RS-460-PSAR-J3 460W ATX12V V2.31 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171046

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBNT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231207

AMD Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition Kuma 2.8GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Dual-Core
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103677

Total price $300.93.

Thanks for your input.
22 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about system games cheap reliable
  1. Holy bujezzus thanks!
  2. My usual ECR (El Cheapo Rig) config for the month of : October

    $261AR - Hmm with photoshop perhaps slap on 2 more GB on top of that X3 ^^
  3. I built the DDR2 version of this for my 75yr old father-in-law. His usage is surfing the 'net, photos & videos, email and Office. He loves it. It performs and it has a very small footprint. The case comes in black or red in case your mom has a preference.



    LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289
    $16.99 - 10% off w/ promo code EMCZYNW77 (ends 11/3) = $15.29

    LIAN LI PC-Q07 Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112227
    $59.99

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
    $69.99 - $15 off w/ promo code EMCZYNW52 = $54.99

    SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151086
    $39.99

    Kingston ValueRAM 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR1066D3K2/2GR
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134793
    $37.99

    Intel BOXDG41AN LGA 775 Intel G41 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121441
    $71.99

    Intel Celeron E3300 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80571E3300
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116264
    $51.99

    Subtotal: $332.23 before tax & shipping
  4. No reason to go DDR2 platforms for fresh builds as the sun has gone down on these ^^
  5. ^^ good thing my suggested build takes DDR3 then, eh?
  6. I like Dougie Fresh's post the most. Very slick case and much newer rather than a athlon. This has DDR3 which is most current and faster.

    I think i may use that case for my dads HTPC when i get to it.
  7. Quote:
    She uses Photoshop to edit her pictures, streams Netflix, and keeps a Firefox window open with 20 or so tabs at any given time... other than that, no really resource intense activities.


    Correction dead end LGA 775 *and* a celeron with Photoshop + multi task on the table *and* a $300 price tag @@
  8. Imho go with the 64 bit version of xp and bats system
  9. Best answer
    Hmm fresh off oven: 3.1ghz X3 + 4GB DDR3 IGP also good to go with HD DVDs/Blu Ray via onboard HDMI as option

    $288AR
  10. Wow bat... thanks man... !!!
  11. Yep u are welcomed ^^
  12. Thing is XP64 doesn't exist except in beta because it never got released. Your not gonna find WinXP on the shelves anymore , nor is support gonna last much longer for it. You might as well get Win 7 now, and don't worry about later.
  13. I own two copies of XP, 1 Vista and 1 7, and am using the 7 on my computer. She's mentioned that she would like to upgrade her OS at some point, but isn't completely keen on the idea since lots of the software she uses for her business was made before Vista, and she'd either need lots of upgrades (which would mean relearning all her programs), or a lot of "tweaks" to get everything to work in 7.

    Will she be able to run XP on this latest build of Bats? I know it wont recognize ALL the RAM but she'll still get to use 3 or 3.5 gigs of it, and maybe I can set up a dual boot with 7 so she can try it out and get "comfortable with it" before taking the plunge and migrating her whole business?
  14. Ya - just that 4GB won't be fully addressed by that 32 bit XP OS
  15. Alright, the order is placed, fingers crossed! Thanks again everybody!
  16. Yep happy shopping/building and u are welcomed ^^
  17. Quote:
    If anyone has "tried and true" recommendations for particular combos that work great please say so. More important than anything else is reliability


    So, what part of your "ECR" rig is "tried and true". How does the reliability of Biostar and Mushkin stack up against other vendors. Have you actually built it? Used it? Sold it?

    I've actually built the rig I've suggested and I know it works for the tasks the OP asks for. I've built it, used it and sold it. And .. not one RMA.

    I am not saying your suggestions are bad. They'll probably be OK. But don't push them off as "tried and true" and "reliable" and brush off really "tried and true" suggestions unless you've actually built them, used them and sold them. Your opinion don't actually match up with real product.
  18. Quote:
    So, what part of your "ECR" rig is "tried and true". How does the reliability of Biostar and Mushkin stack up against other vendors. Have you actually built it? Used it? Sold it?
    you expect us to actually have built all the systems we recommend? we recommend them because of us being absolute nerds, and know what's good, 'n' what's bad. IMHO I'd trust Bat over someone who is trying to boost his ego.

    Quote:
    I've actually built the rig I've suggested and I know it works for the tasks the OP asks for. I've built it, used it and sold it. And .. not one RMA.
    Bow down and worship you then, I guess? RMAs aren't really a thing to complain about, or use as an example, sometimes things break, get over it.

    Quote:
    I am not saying your suggestions are bad. They'll probably be OK. But don't push them off as "tried and true" and "reliable" and brush off really "tried and true" suggestions unless you've actually built them, used them and sold them. Your opinion don't actually match up with real product.
    Yes you are too. They are "tried and true" he knows what he is doing, more then you or me. His opinion is of course not going to match up, neither is personal experience, what if he goes with YOUR build and has to RMA it? who is he going to hold in higher respect? some guy who is claiming that the other is an idiot, and the other who graciouslly put together something for him, and never complained, or flamed anyone.


    Before you say "woah dude stop flaming", look who started it. I rest my case, and I am now going to die in a corner (imma sick D,= )
  19. I've never come in here and said cr@p about anybody's suggestions. I offer builds based on my personal experience with the brands I know work. Other people do the same and the OP can choose what they want. I don't have to agree unless it's something obviously wrong.

    However, when someone start's calling out MY builds in these threads saying they are dead-end, from the garbage bin or whatever I am going to respond, especially when I've actually built it, used it, sold it and know it works. If you can't claim the same you have nothing to say about it.

    If you think *I* started anything you need to go back and re-read the thread instead of skimming it and tell me why your build is better not just continually say something is dead-end and garbage bin when actual experience says it's not.
  20. Best answer selected by rourkeswift.
  21. I just wanted to thank everyone for their input in this thread! I bought the second system batuchka recommended, and everything went totally smooth; setup was a breeze, I got a successful post and into the bios on my first boot, and had XP set up 20 minutes later. I know it's only been up a few days, but so far no problems at all. Mom was thrilled with her birthday present, and wont stop talking about how damn fast Photoshop is!

    Thanks again!
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