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First Build, Office PC. Advice Needed

Last response: in Systems
December 22, 2010 7:44:09 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next few days

Budget Range: Under 700$

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Surfing the internet, MS Office, Watching Movies/ESPN3, (Not going to be used for gaming)

Parts Not Required: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1600 x 900


CPU: Intel Core i3-560 Clarkdale 3.33GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 4MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 73W Dual-Core
GPU: Integrated
Mobo: ASRock H55M/USB3 R2.0 LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3
HD: OCZ Vertex 2 OCZSSD2-2VTXE90G 2.5" 90GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
CD/DVD Drive: LITE-ON Black
Case: ???
PSU: ???
OS: Win7 64bit

Additional Comments: This is my first build. I've done a bit of research on here, but I still have a lot to learn. My parents need a new computer, so I decided to build them one as a late Christmas present. The main problem with their current setup is a lot of lag when opening applications as well as long system boot times. The main goal in building this system is near instant application startup (this is why I chose such a fast CPU and I want an SSD). I've provided links to the parts I have been looking at, but due to my little knowledge they may not be the best. Furthermore, I tried doing research regarding compatibility, but it is likely I have overlooked something. Any advice you could provide me regarding parts would be great. I definitely want a fast processor and SSD, but I welcome advice regarding those as well. Are these parts compatible? Any recommendations?
December 22, 2010 9:45:40 PM

I'd suspect the 'delay in opening/running programs' was likely their previous system being old (a P3/600? :) ), cluttered with programs and utilities, never defragged, and, lacking memory (128 MB!), moreso than because of it not having an SSD.

The 'realworld SSD' advantage? Windows boots in 22 sec instead of 25....; game levels load in 54 sec instead of 59 sec...

I'd gladly take 10 times the storage capacity for less money, IMO....
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December 22, 2010 10:38:39 PM

The computer is about 8 years old, with a slow, single core processor with a single gig of RAM. It would cost just as much to upgrade as build a new one. You might be right about the SSD advantage. However, my parents don't need that much storage. Their current hard drive is 80gb and has about 20gb empty. They have no need for 1Tb. I figured a smaller, faster HD would better suit them.

karma831, do you think they need more than a dual core? Browsing around on newegg, there are quad cores at +3GHz for around the same price (Phenom II X4). For their purposes, should I look into one of these quad cores, or stick with a dual core CPU?
December 23, 2010 7:18:45 AM

+1 for batuchka's options...

if this is a rig for your parents you should probably get a small case and a micro atx motherboard like the one from batuchka and not a mid tower with a atx size motherboard...
December 26, 2010 2:09:20 AM

Okay, I think I've finalized the components. I decided to take your advice and go for a micro atx board and tower. Can someone give my components a one-over before I press the "checkout" button?

CD/DVD Drive: Sony Optiarc Black

Case: Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case

HD: Western Digital VelociRaptor 150GB

PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1333 DDR3

CPU + Mobo: Intel Core i3-550 & ASUS P7H55-M PRO Combo

GPU: Integrated

Finally, is there anything else I may need to purchase to put this together? I'm assuming that the PSU, Mobo, and case come with the necessary cables. Is this a safe assumption, or do I need to purchase 2 SATA cables?

One final question. There are a few older programs on the old PC's hd (over the last 10 yrs the cd's have been lost). Since the mobo has a IDE socket, can I just pop in the old hd, and when the old programs are needed just boot off of the old hd?

Thanks for the help guys. It's really appreciated.