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500 dollar build for parents

Last response: in Systems
March 15, 2011 4:30:08 PM

Hi guys. I just built my first computer about 2 weeks ago with a LOT of advice from this forum. I'm really happy with it and after seeing how fast my 800 dollar computer was, my gf's parents want me to put together something for them. They have like a 5 year old budget HP, so its definitely time for them to upgrade. Wanted to get your impressions on this build I've put together since my rig was mainly for gaming.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1 week

Budget Range:550 before rebates.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: surfing the internet, light photo editing (he's a painter so he views wildlife photography) , watching movies

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country of Origin : United States

Parts Preferences: Was very impressed with the value on my AMD 955 BE, so wanted to probably stick w/ them, but maybe an i3 would be better, I'm not sure.

Overclocking: I will probably lightly overclock it for them, say 200 Mhz or so.

SLI or Crossfire: They won't be gaming

Monitor Resolution: They're getting kind of old so I think too high of a monitor resolution would be lost on them. My thought was that 1600 x 900 would be plenty for them.

Couldn't get the whole screen w/ price information, but basically I've got 30 dollars worth of promotions etc.

The total is $ 497.32 . I have no doubt that you guys can do better :) 
March 15, 2011 9:19:24 PM

Do u happen to live near a Microcenter?
March 15, 2011 10:00:12 PM

no :(  Nashville, TN
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March 16, 2011 3:33:59 AM

CPU: Tiger Direct $119.99 Phenom II x4 955 BE after $20 off coupon Today Only
March 16, 2011 4:08:41 AM

If you think it will be a little more graphics heavy than the on-board graphics can handle, then the i3 Sandy Bridge series would be great to look at since they have a built in GPU. If you think the on-board is sufficient, then it might be a better idea to base the system off of an AMD Anthlon II X3 or X2 since the price is much lower.
March 16, 2011 4:36:46 AM

how about this, of the cuff, build:

Athlon II X3 450: $80
ASRock 880GM: $60
G.Skill 4 GB RAM: $40
Seagate 500 GB HDD: $40
Rosewill R102 case: $30
SeaSonic 300W 80+ Bronze: $40
DVD Burner: $18
Logitech MK120 Keyboard & Mouse: $19
Logitech LS21 2.1 Speaker set: $27
Acer 23" 1920x1080 monitor: $150
$504 for *everything*, except the OS and shiping.

Best solution

March 16, 2011 5:40:52 AM

All on Newegg:

CPU: $120 i3-2100
Mobo: $65 ASRock H61M-S
RAM: $45 4GB (2x2GB) 1600MHz CL9 DDR3
HDD: $55 Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Case: $35 Anything
PSU: $36 Antec Earthwatts 380W
DVD: $18 Anything
Monitor: $140 Any 22" or larger 1920x1080

Total: $514

It's considerably better than the build posted above and you won't need to upgrade for 4 years--even then a CPU upgrade would be adequate. The integrated graphics on this can handle anything up to light gaming. The integrated AMD graphics above might not play all HD video content in a couple years.
March 16, 2011 3:39:59 PM

Best answer selected by evanmayo.
March 16, 2011 10:58:02 PM

That chip (i3-560) is a good deal slower than the i3-2100 with much worse graphics performance. I'd have to check benchmarks to get the actual performance loss, but it is significant, especially when you consider the better one is cheaper: