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What specs for a homeoffice desktop?

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January 20, 2011 8:41:10 AM

Hello, #1
aveon
Member

Join Date: Mar 2006
Need help assembling a new desktop
My current work desktop has been hanging ALL THE TIME. I think I just rebooted my computer 12 times today. It's clearly time to change my desktop.

What specs would you recommend for processor, motherboard, HDD, etc if this is how I use my desktop?

- I have 2 monitors connected.

- I have 2 printers attached to my desktop.

- I am constantly online. I check email, facebook, and just surf all day. So I hop from one website to the next. I use google Chrome and have a minimum of 3 tabs open.

-I do minor photo editing to post photos online. Meaning, I just resize and adjust the color/contrast of photos before posting online.

- I use Word and Excel.

- I always have Quickbooks opened.
January 20, 2011 9:57:28 AM

Basically any computer with a graphics card will do all that. Much more info is required as far as your budget and priorities.

Will you do any gaming? If so, what sorts of games? Do you want to open programs as fast as possible, or would you rather save money? Do you want to be able to have many things open at once without slowdowns, or would you rather save? What are the resolutions of your monitors? How long do you want this machine to last before upgrading? What's your budget? Who's #1 and what are you a Member of? :p 
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January 20, 2011 11:15:37 AM

If you don't play any games, the integrated video of an 880G board would suffice; they can run two monitors. I've had good results with ASRock. If you do play any games, list which ones. Some on this forum will be quick to recommend $200+ graphics cards for any games, but a $70 or $120 card might be fine, especially if you don't need to play with every setting turned all the way up.
If one or both printers use parallel ports, you will likely need to add those ports on expansion cards, although some mobos still have one LPT port.
Like chnathan says, a lot more detail depends on your budget and preferences. It sounds like an Athlon II X2 265 would meet your needs. An Athlon II X3 450 would offer some visible improvement for not a lot more money. Get 4GB of RAM; it's only around $42 these days.
A single 500GB hard drive is only $50 now. If you have the budget for it, a $170-$180 80GB SSD will add incredible snap to your system; it is a wholly worthwhile upgrade if you can afford it.
Finally, the $45 380W Antec Earthwatts has been my "go-to" PSU for builds like this for 3-4 years now. It will handle even a fairly strong GPU if you choose to add one later.

Edit: Unless it is really old, your existing PC may just have software problems. A complete wipe and reformat solves many ills, and is a lot cheaper than a new system.
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Related resources
January 20, 2011 11:45:30 AM

here's a 'Business PC' that will suit your needs and more for ~$500:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- ASUS Black 24X DVDRW: $20

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Antec NSK 4482 Black / Silver Mid Tower + 380W Power Supply: $90

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 500GB: $55

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit: $100

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- ASUS M4A88T-M LE AM3 AMD 880G /w ATI Radeon HD 4250: $85

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz: $100

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2x2) DDR3 1333: $40


TOTAL: $490

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January 30, 2011 1:51:07 PM

chnathan said:
Basically any computer with a graphics card will do all that. Much more info is required as far as your budget and priorities.

Will you do any gaming? If so, what sorts of games? Do you want to open programs as fast as possible, or would you rather save money? Do you want to be able to have many things open at once without slowdowns, or would you rather save? What are the resolutions of your monitors? How long do you want this machine to last before upgrading? What's your budget? Who's #1 and what are you a Member of? :p 


Thanks for your reply! I don't do any gaming. I just really want my programs to open fast. I also keep a lot of things open, thus, the 2 monitors. I usually change my desktop every 3-4 years. My budget is $700.

I got some quotes for computer shops and now I'm wondering if I should go AMD or Intel i5 or Intel i7.
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January 30, 2011 1:54:16 PM

Onus said:
If you don't play any games, the integrated video of an 880G board would suffice; they can run two monitors. I've had good results with ASRock. If you do play any games, list which ones. Some on this forum will be quick to recommend $200+ graphics cards for any games, but a $70 or $120 card might be fine, especially if you don't need to play with every setting turned all the way up.
If one or both printers use parallel ports, you will likely need to add those ports on expansion cards, although some mobos still have one LPT port.
Like chnathan says, a lot more detail depends on your budget and preferences. It sounds like an Athlon II X2 265 would meet your needs. An Athlon II X3 450 would offer some visible improvement for not a lot more money. Get 4GB of RAM; it's only around $42 these days.
A single 500GB hard drive is only $50 now. If you have the budget for it, a $170-$180 80GB SSD will add incredible snap to your system; it is a wholly worthwhile upgrade if you can afford it.
Finally, the $45 380W Antec Earthwatts has been my "go-to" PSU for builds like this for 3-4 years now. It will handle even a fairly strong GPU if you choose to add one later.

Edit: Unless it is really old, your existing PC may just have software problems. A complete wipe and reformat solves many ills, and is a lot cheaper than a new system.


Thank you for your recommendations. I am in the Philippines so I have to check if these components are available locally.
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January 30, 2011 2:08:16 PM

If you want your programs to open fast, then you want a SSD, simple as that. With no gaming, hence no separate graphics card needed, a $700 budget will easily allow for a 80GB-128GB SSD. I'll work on something...
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January 30, 2011 2:41:54 PM

Ok, here's a build...
Your availability may be different, but items of these TYPES should work well for you.

ASRock 880GXH/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
Model #:880GXH/USB3
Item #:N82E16813157200
$79.99 $79.99
I've never had a problem with an ASRock board, although I haven't used this specific one. This one has USB 3.0, which may offer a little future-resistance. Asus is another good manufacturer; you'd want 880G or 890G.

AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX450WFGMBOX
Model #:ADX450WFGMBOX
Item #:N82E16819103886
$79.99 $79.99
Three cores has been shown in benchmarks to be visibly faster than two, considering how many background tasks the O/S is probably running; virus scanning, etc.

Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ...
Model #:996586
Item #:N82E16820146748
$37.99 $37.99
Meh. For the most part, RAM is RAM. I usually buy Mushkin, G.Skill, or A-Data. This happened to be the cheapest.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Model #:EA-380D Green
Item #:N82E16817371033
$59.99 -$20.00 Instant $39.99
Quiet, efficient, stable; there's nothing not to like about this PSU. If not available, make sure the PSU you choose has full range active PFC (no little voltage switch) and 80+ certification (this one is 80+ bronze). Antec, Seasonic, Corsair, and Enermax are among the better brands.

LG DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH24LS50 LightScribe Support - OEM
Model #:GH24LS50
Item #:N82E16827136178
$17.99 $17.99
One optical drive is much like another. I haven't had a problem with any brand I've used (including LG). This one has Lightscribe.

Corsair Force CSSD-F120GB2-BRKT 2.5" 120GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #:CSSD-F120GB2-BRKT
Item #:N82E16820233125
$284.99 -$90.00 Instant $194.99
This one was available for a great price from Newegg, which may not be relevant to you. Look for a Sandforce controller, or perhaps Intel.

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Model #:HD502HJ
Item #:N82E16822152181
$49.99 $49.99
This drive is fast, and frequently recommended. I think I only have one or two of them; I often also use Seagate (7200.12 only, not earlier).

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Model #:GFC-00599
Item #:N82E16832116754
$99.99 $99.99
If you don't have Windows 7, you'll need it to maintain the best performance from a SSD; WinXP does not support TRIM. If your computer will need to join a domain, you'll need to get the Professional version, which adds $40 to the cost.

Rosewill R218-P-BK Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Model #:R218-P-BK
Item #:N82E16811147073
$29.99 $29.99
I gave up on Coolermaster cases due to minor but consistent quality issues. None of the Rosewill cases I bought ever had any of those problems; this is one of the ones I've used.

Subtotal: $630.91

A little under budget, but doesn't include shipping, and of course your prices will be different if only because Newegg doesn't ship to the Philippines.
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January 30, 2011 2:42:58 PM

at $700 and no gaming, an SSD, ad a i5-2500K with an H67 motherboard should be doable. The 2500K comes with the amazing on-die HD3000 graphics, as fast as the low-end discrete cards (like a 5450 or GT220). and easily handles 2 monitors.

so, n US prices:

i5-2500K : $225
H67 mobo: $95
4 GB RAM: $40
90 GB SSD: $185
1TB HD: $60
DVD burner: $17
basic case: $30
300-350W PSU: $40

~$692
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January 30, 2011 3:04:02 PM

Add $100-$140 for the O/S though.
Still, if you can get any of the new Sandy Bridge CPUs into your budget, they are definitely superior performers. The 2500K is the high-end one though; an i5-2300 is only $185.
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January 30, 2011 10:12:26 PM

Onus said:
Add $100-$140 for the O/S though.
Still, if you can get any of the new Sandy Bridge CPUs into your budget, they are definitely superior performers. The 2500K is the high-end one though; an i5-2300 is only $185.



Thank you for all you input. Now I have a better idea of what to look for!!!
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!