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$1k budget long lasting PC

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February 10, 2011 12:42:12 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: $1000US After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Excel, Internet, Email

Parts Not Required: Monitor, OS, Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: Mid tower, Intel Core i5 or i7

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1440x900 (I think...)

Additional Comments: Need a reliable solid PC for my mother. She usually has about 10-20 Excel spreadsheets open at any given time, another dozen emails, and a few internet pages. OS will be Windows 7. Needs to be quiet, not 100%, but not like a wind tunnel. Last one I built her is running out of steam. Lasted about 10 years so need to get another 10 out of this one.

I like the Antec Nine Hundred case but not sure how quiet it is.

More about : budget long lasting

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February 10, 2011 1:33:26 PM
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February 10, 2011 1:36:47 PM

riggz said:
She usually has about 10-20 Excel spreadsheets open at any given time, another dozen emails, and a few internet pages.
She could really use a dual monitor setup, I betcha.
You could also match that 1440x900 LCD with a 2nd similar size. But for what she does that bigger 1920x1080 should be a real productivity enhancer.
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February 12, 2011 1:58:03 PM

Ok. Did you go with a micro for cost factor? I've never dealt with micro setups, just figured mid towers were better for air flow.

I like where you're going with the dual monitors. Would I need dual cards?

Oh and I don't need a hdd for storage. I've got a full tower built with 1TB of RAID storage that she uses. Her old PC has a newer DVD burner as well. So theres another $70 back in the pot.

What about a cpu cooler? Is the one included with the cpu any good?
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February 12, 2011 2:09:45 PM

You won't need an extra video card. Either setup is good for two monitors.

The stock intel CPU cooler is fine when there is no or limited overclocking.

I went with the Micro antec for space-saving (dual monitors?) and quiet operation.
Fully adequate air flow for a non-gaming setup. And it's not black. But that might not be best for the office setup.. give her the option of black or white.
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February 12, 2011 2:11:08 PM

How are you handling the data backup on her office machine?
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February 12, 2011 2:12:09 PM

The case will be sitting on the floor beside her desk.
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February 12, 2011 2:13:14 PM

All files she uses are stored on the server drive so if her PC crashes, nothing is lost.
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February 12, 2011 2:13:14 PM

In that case a full ATX-mid tower is probably better... but measure if you can and make sure.
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February 12, 2011 2:14:09 PM

She has a mid tower now so I know it will fit. :) 
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February 12, 2011 2:25:33 PM

should i get a atx mobo as well? that way if I ever needed more pci slots..
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February 12, 2011 2:28:50 PM

And here is a review of an earlier Antec NSK4480 Case

The current model has front Audio jacks. And it's been cleaned up a bit, style wise. More internal disk storage.

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February 12, 2011 2:38:27 PM

well i figure one is used for the GPU and probably one more for some other periphrial she has (can't remember).

So how is dual monitors used with one GPU? If I were to get her 2 new monitors and use HDMI? Should I get 2 GPU or would that put me into the overkill category?
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February 12, 2011 2:44:48 PM

You know better than I if she'll need any add-in cards. It's really very rare these days.
The Core i5-650 would not need a video card so Im guessing your going with i5-760.

The 19" uses VGA? or maybe DVI? The new one will use HDMI.
That Radeon HD 5450 has them all covered.

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February 12, 2011 2:49:11 PM

You can use a couple different modes of dual monitor.
Span - is where you have a virtual single monitor for example, 2x 1600x900 monitors would give you a 3200x900 virtual screen.
For monitors of two different sizes you'd have then run independently and have a hotkey to switch between them. Usually a Alt+key combo.
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February 12, 2011 2:56:08 PM

Well, I was thinking of getting 2 new monitors and doing away with the old one. That way she could have dual 23"s. So I would need to use two GPUs or run one with HDMI and the other with DVI?
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February 12, 2011 3:08:37 PM

For two identical monitors you'd run one over DVI or HDMI and the other over VGA.
When you use DVI - HDMI is not available, and vice-versa. Just 1 digital connection allowed.
So you'd use the analog VGA connector to the other monitor.

The ASUS VH236H 23" LCD I linked above can use VGA, DVI or HDMI.
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February 12, 2011 3:12:06 PM

ah ok. so no difference in quality when using VGA and HDMI?
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February 12, 2011 3:17:41 PM

There will be noticeable difference in quality or performance. It all ends up digital at the monitors output.

The accessory pack of the monitor includes both VGA and DVI cables.



Have you setup an backup battery power supply (UPS) for her? It can also help with the power cord management.
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February 12, 2011 3:25:59 PM

I assume you meant "no noticeable difference" in your previous post? :) 

I have a UPS on the server, but not for her desktop. Might look into a smaller strip style just to give her enough time to save files and power it down.
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February 12, 2011 3:30:56 PM

Correct.

All you'd need for the system and 1 monitor would be something like APC's BE550G 550 VA 330 Watts UPS. Put the other monitor on the surge only outlet.
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February 21, 2011 11:02:45 PM

So I went with the following:

Antec 900 - $99.99
Corsair CMPSU-650TX - $89.99
Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 - $139.99
Intel Core i5 760 2.8Ghz - $209.99
ASUS EAH5450 Silent 1GD3 - $46.99
GSKILL F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL 4Gbx2 - $84.99
OCZ 60GB SSD OCZSSD2-2VTXE60G - $119.99

$791.93 + s&H comes out to right at $800. Add in Win7 and MS Office 2010 from ultimatesteal.com and the price is just right!

Thanks for your help!
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February 21, 2011 11:03:07 PM

Best answer selected by riggz.
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