Help with build for parent's pc please!

my parents computer is dying slowly.. their gigabyte motherboard model has issues where the sata ports go out after a couple months of use. i recently had to switch their harddrive to the last good port this month, so i suspect by february at the latest it will die as well... so, at a feeble attempt to pay them back for everything they have done for me in my life i want to put a new computer together for them for christmas. here is my form:


Approximate Purchase Date: in the next week or so

Budget Range: 400-500 (before any mail-in rebates.. instant rebates of no concern)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: surfing the internet, flash/java games, office work, photo organizing and printing, serious full screen 3D games or HD movie watching not necessary

Parts Not Required: do not need monitor, keyboard/mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg if possible, but not necessary

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: none

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: i forget exactly, but i believe their monitor is native 1920x1200

Additional Comments: prefer to do solid state hard disk drive, and hard drive size does not have to be huge around 50-60 gig or so is plenty of space


thanks for taking the time to help out !
11 answers Last reply
More about help build parent please
  1. I built a variation** of this for my wife - amazingly fast and cool. As shown, its $340 without the OS. There is room to add an SSD, but I'd be careful since small SSD boot drive will require your parents to pay attention to what they install, and where:

    Intel Core i3-530 $100

    ECS H55H-I LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Mini ITX $60 after $10 MIR

    Crucial 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR3 1333 $36:

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB $55


    COOLER MASTER Elite 100 RC-100-KKP3-GP Black Steel / Plastic MITX/MATX Slim Case Computer Case Flex ATX 150W, Active PFC Power Supply $60

    The case is VERY small. It can be attached to the back of a monitor whose stand does not use the VESA attachment on the rear of the panel, creating an "All-in-one". Or it can be put underneath the monitor without being noticed because it is only 2.7" high. or it can be stood on its side alongside the monitor. It runs cool and very quiet.

    ** The variation I used: an SSD, 4GB memory, a USB tuner, and the Gigabyte minITX motherboard.
  2. they will be good with an ssd becuz everything will be setup on it before i give it to them and they will not add anything without asking me... despite being old and ignorant of computers mostly they have finally gotten to the level in the last couple years of realizing not to click on anything that says "you need x-software for x-reason click here and install free!" or other variants of scamming garbage cancer that is on the internet.

    they will definitel be leaving the cpu on for days at a time becuz they are like that, are you sure the the case is good to not overheat if left on for extended periods of time or anything though? i dont have much knowledge about compact desktops, i just remember the emachine disasters that used to happen and it kept me away from compact pcs cuz i dont want to duplicate that fiasco.

    thanks much for your thoughts =D
  3. I will suggest this $306 build again:

    here we go. $306.93

    LG 22x DVD burner: $17.99

    Rosewill case w. 120mm fan: $29.99

    Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 1 TB Hard drive: $49.99

    AS Rock 880 G Motherboard: $59.99

    Mushkin Essentials 4 GB RAM: $49.99 w/ $10 MIR

    Athlon II X2 250: $58.99

    Seasonic 300W PSU, 80+ Bronze: $39.99
    Never skimp on the PSU.

    This is the basic computer

    since you want an SSD, I'll suggest Mushkin Callisto, who have a 40GB for $99.99

    if needed you can add:

    Windows 7 Home Premium OEM edition: $84.99

    21" 1920x1080 monitor $119.99:

    and pick up cheap keyboard/mouse/speakers locally.
  4. My wife hardly ever shuts the thing off. She uses it to watch multiple live bird cams (we all have our thing lol) from around the world, while chatting in a chat room, while uploading audio books to her iPod, while watching TV. I'd recommend 4GB for that application though :)

    One guarantee I can make - heat is not an issue.

    My concern when I built this was the psu. I'm a stickler for a good psu to avoid issues, and its not like there are good reviews of these flex psus. But we've been running it flat out for only 6 months, so that's the best info I can offer.

    The PC (with the Gigabyte mobo) goes to sleep well, and wakes up well unlike several PCs I've built. So its ideal for peeps like my wife who don't think about turning the PC off before they go to sleep.
  5. i like ScrewySqrl's the best.
    I always recommend at least 4 gb of RAM on modern PCs. Even the most low budget.
    Your parents will thank you for the extra little speed and no slowdown.
  6. thanks for the replies people! i figured id be waiting all week to get a response lol

    i really like screwysqrls suggestion with the extra ram and such, but also i like the idea of going compact becuz they are not nerds so will not drool over having a huge black metallic case with green leds lighting the room up and taking up space.. but of course they would rather have something that will not melt down or fail for some reason so i will do some researching into the compact stuff tomorrow when i get some time to check for any pros/cons and weigh that into my final decision. i plan on getting this figured out by the weekend so the parts all have time to arrive and i have time to assemble it and install software.

    they have a nice big monitor already that i grabbed on a deal awhile back, and matching wireless key/mouse (matching is important for old people, haha, personally i dont care for my own stuff), and software is unnecessary becuz i have the net for that XD
  7. Nothing stopping you from putting 2x2GB in the compact build lol.

    Mushkin 2x2GB $40 after MIR

    If I had seen that, I would never have recommended spending $36 for 2GB lol.
  8. oh btw,

    never use the PSU that comes w/ the case...
    is a good way to find out how much power you need, so you also don't go over and waste electricity. Make sure the power supply is 80+ certified (at least)
    this will save money over the long run
  9. also no reason you can't put my build in his case. The Athlon II X2 and 880 are cheaper than the i3-530 and H55, and the choice of case/power are the only differences
  10. Yup! Both ways work - Screwy would have to vouch for the heat though :)
  11. $270AR 3.1 ghz X3 + 4GB DDR3 + 80+ Bronze 380watter?

    60GB Sandforce based SSD $115
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