Mid All Around PC for Mama

I will be building this PC for my wife who is in photos and videos. No games. Could you point out where my mistakes could be and , if you coul,d why you would make change.

There is no need for a keyboard, mouse, cables or monitor. We have all of that. Monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster T240HD (24 inch).

Case: APEX Vortex 3620 SGCC / ABS ATX Mid Tower Gaming Computer Case
Model #:Vortex 3620

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-550VX 550W ATX12V V2.2 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible
with Core i7 Power ... Model #:CMPSU-550VX

CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX

MB: ASRock 870 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 870 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Model #:870 EXTREME3

Mem: Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model
CT2KIT25664BA1339 Model #:CT2KIT25664BA1339

Video: PowerColor AX5670 1GBD5-HV2 Radeon HD 5670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Model #:AX5670 1GBD5-HV2

HD (2): Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:WD6401AALS

DVD Burner (2): LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
Model #:iHAS124-04

O/S: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Model #:FQC-00765

Raw total at NewEgg without checking elsewhere yet: $791.89 I can live with that price.

What do you think?

18 answers Last reply
More about mama
  1. I do say thats a pretty good all around system for what you plan to use it for.

    My only suggestions is to look into G-Skill memory, 4GB of DDR-1333 by them is like $70. However they are a really good, and highly-recommended.

    Also I say that you look into some Samsung Spinpoint F3s, there are 500GB and 1TB models, they are top of the line. However WD will suffice.

    Other then that, make sure you get some SATA cables for those HDD and DVD drives, because they dont come with any (being OEM and/or bare drives).
  2. Two suggestions:

    1) The 550W is overkill for that system. You can get this case and PSU for $90:


    It's a very nice case, and the power supply is more than enough power for that kind of system.

    2) Changing the OS from Professional down to Home Premium. Unless you need the system to connect to a domain server, Home Premium is fine for home use, and you'll save $30.
  3. Some thoughts:
    1) No need for a discrete video card, or quad cores.
    2) Consider a i3-540 and a H57 mini-ITX motherboard.
    3) Put it in a small cute case like the lian li PC-Q11R:
    4) Budget $100 or so for a SSD for the os and apps. Use a 1.5tb drive for storage.
    5) I agree that Windows-7 home should be fine unless you have a specific need for some feature.
  4. I'll comment like Geo
    1) I think the propus is actually a good choice, I also video and photo edit. However... Is your wife photo editing and video editing or is she just interested in just storing photos and videos? The propus would be ideal, but only if your editing really..

    2) You don't need a discrete card, but if you do, you could just use a cheaper one. I mean your wife isn't gaming afterall.

    3) If your wife isn't video and photo editing (just storing pics) I suggest the i3 540 as well. The embedded graphics are pretty decent. If you don't like intel, then go with this mobo, keep the CPU delete the discrete and this mobo is perfect. ATI 4250 is great for just a browsing kind of computer, works on 1080P screens as well. Plus you don't need SATA 6 as it's not going mainstream anytime soon, just USB 3 is going main. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157200

    4) Memory wise you could just go with the Mushkin Blackline, same price lower cas and heatspreaders on it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226101&cm_re=Mushkin_blackline-_-20-226-101-_-Product

    5) The samsung F3 would be a better choice plus its cheaper, and it's a faster drive by a bit.
  5. Thanks for the replies.

    The PSU might be a bit much. What would be a good 80+ certified replacement?

    The reason I choose that case is the size and convenience.. I was looking for a smaller case with a good front I/O panel. This one seems to fit the bill. The 300 is bigger and the i/O panel does not seem to offer the same possibilities.

    True to saving $30.00 on Home Premium, but we do run older programs and we like the Windows XP Mode and being able to create an image monthly on my gaming machine running under Win 7 Pro.

  6. Mama actually edits.

    The mother board suggestion, although not a well rated board, could make sense.

    Memory choice is worth looking into.

  7. Your PSU is fine, but it isn't overkill. He's over exaggerating. A 400w Corsair would do IMO
  8. pinibo said:
    Mama actually edits.

    The mother board suggestion, although not a well rated board, could make sense.

    Memory choice is worth looking into.


    Hmm best elaborate app/software for edit - if u need to just pump up that Propus to a full blown 925 Deneb? Mosst of these apps are CPU/RAM bound as well...
  9. ^ Yup, I suggest getting a Deneb arch proc.
  10. Look at the Antec NSK 4482 with an included PSU:

    Photoshop can use lots of extra ram for performance, perhaps 8gb would be worth it. Ram is relatively cheap these days.

    Also, consider a GTX430,@ $65. I understand that photoshop can use Nvidia cuda to improve performance.

    XP mode may not do what you want. I tried it early on with civilization 2 and found the performance unacceptable. It might be better to plan on a dual boot.
  11. ^ Ehh.... Not really. Photoshop uses 75% of 4gbs at most... that's with all my apps I run plus photoshop CS5 combined. Soo... I think 4gbs is good enough. I do some pretty intense editing for photography soo =P Umm what program is she using for video editing? Cuda doesn't help photoshop performance geo. Cuda helps Adobe Premiere, not photoshop. Adobe Premiere uses the Mercury engine to edit so the Cudas help the Merc. Engine. So unless she's using this program there is no point for discrete.
  12. ERrrr maybe I'm wrong I don't know, I'm pretty sure Photoshop doesn't use Mercury, but I might be wrong so correct me if I am.
  13. Thank you for the assistance.

    I believe she uses PSP and other programs.

    However, I want the PC as an all around machine. It will also be used by the grand-kids during their visits (games...)

    I am close to finalizing my list. Just a couple of hiccups.

    I am looking at 2 motherboards:

    - ASRock 770 EXTREME3 AM3 AMD 770 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
    - ASRock 880GXH/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

    I lean towards the second one.

    For PSU:

    - Antec EarthWatts EA-500D Green 500W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

    I also have changed the memory for the Mushkin.

    Only other change is with the DVD-Burners:

    - (2) LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support

    It will come to approximately $750.00 before coupons, rebates and, of course, shipping.

    Is it all making sense?
  14. Hmmm I think you should go with the 880GXH, the reason being she doesn't need a Dedicated card (5670) and HD 4250 can run any monitor even 1080P LCD/LED TVs. Soo... Go with that, take out the 5670 or any card you have in mind, test that out before getting a dedicated. I'm sure that'll save you some cash and your budget will be like 680$ before everything. Soo... Yeahh just imo. Umm the Earthwatts series is decent but umm.. Might I suggest these psus?

    Corsair CX-430w 45$ before MIR,35$ after MIR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139017

    Corsair CX-500w 60$ before MIR,50$ after MIR: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139018

    Both are great psus don't worry about the reviews... Half of them are because "DOA" that's nothing really though I mean you can just send it back for an RMA. If you don't like the 430's reviews go with the CX500 plus the rebate makes it super cheap. Corsair has excellent customer suppport and a great company soo it'll be a great by none the less. The reason I also suggest these, your wife isn't going to be using crazy power sucking components and these PSUs are good quality.
  15. After 400CX the successor 'builder' series aren't 80 plus certified and have weaker amps on the 12V - even staunch Corsair fans have expressed disappointed with these so Earthwatts was a good call ^^
  16. Well... The 500CX shouldn't be to bad is it?
  17. Last questions if I may.

    I've decided to go with the on-board video card, therefore, will not need an external video card:


    - What size PSU do I need? 380W, 430W or 520W?




    - Antec EarthWatts or Seasonic?

    Thanks for the advice and suggestions.

  18. Umm.. a 430w should be good enough, but at the cost I think you should look at the Cooler Master Silent pro series. Mainly because the 600w is kind overkill, but it is modular and that'll help your cable management alot, plus it's actually a really great and quiet PSU (I have the 700w vers.) But I think that since the 430w and 520w are same price, get the 520w Seasonic, but the Antec Earthwatts is just as good.

    Silent Pro 600w: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171036&cm_re=silent_pro-_-17-171-036-_-Product

    Anyway, just a suggestion since the price is so close. But umm yeah, the Seasonic 520w is good enough. But if I remember correctly the Antec is the same price as the Silent Pro at 70$ sooo I suggest just going with the Seasonic 520w.
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