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Building computer for grandparents - $700

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May 17, 2011 5:27:20 AM

So I was asked to put together a computer for my grandparents. They were going to get a Dell from Walmart for around $700 but then one of their friends mentioned building a computer instead. So they contacted me.

I haven't had too much time, but I went to Newegg and quickly pieced this together. I need to shave a little bit off however. I also need to add a PSU, but I am not real sure what to get. And.. I feel like I am missing something from this build. Mouse and keyboards are covered, but after putting this together so quickly, I feel certain I am leaving something out. Any help?

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Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129069
HD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136795
Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236079
Graphics: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102874
CD Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106276
Memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231277
MoBo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131623
CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115221
OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116983

More about : building computer grandparents 700

May 17, 2011 5:36:14 AM

Use? some components seem exessive...5570?
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May 17, 2011 5:43:08 AM

Just average internet viewing, social sites (Facebook), etc.

I wasn't sure about the graphics. I have never looked into the lower end cards. Honestly, just not sure how much it took for their kind of activity. Lol
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May 17, 2011 5:50:03 AM

Integrated would be fine, already on the CPU. I would actually prob put together something like a athlonIIX2 on an 880G board, or if you want to stick with intel, wait till monday for the new pentium's.
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May 17, 2011 6:06:06 AM

Integrated would be fine for stuff like Youtube and family videos?

I've gotten so used to looking at i5's and i7's I figured i3 would be plenty downgrade for this lol I look into CPU's a bit more.
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May 17, 2011 6:20:29 AM

oh wow. Thank you very much. I'll do some work on this build and update it tomorrow.

Last question for tonight.. What size PSU would I be looking at? (How do you even tell? I don't know why, but I never seem to understand where the numbers come from that determines what would be enough.)
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May 17, 2011 6:24:11 AM

Decent manufacturers don't make anything under 350W or so. That will be more than enough. Personally,I would say seasonic, but antec earthwatts is supposed to be a decent system too, or xfx, corsair...
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May 17, 2011 9:10:58 AM

looks good, why don't you go with the new i3?
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May 17, 2011 9:55:52 AM

Why 1156 and not 1155?
Intel Core i3-2100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $125.00
Asus P8H67-M PRO/CSM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $125.00
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $60.00
Corsair CX430 V2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $50.00
That's only about $350 and then add on your HDD or another and a case. See what you think.
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May 17, 2011 10:36:43 AM

I would just let them buy a Dell, Dell PC's are good PCs and have excellent customer service meaning they'll never have to worry about it having any issues, (something that can't be said for a custom built PC). But an even bigger reason is that because Dell buys in mass quantities they can usually offer better components for less than if you were to piece them together yourself. You also get a lot of software that most PC builders could care less about, but your grandparents would most likely appreciate.

I would only build a PC for my grandparents if I was simply upgrading an older PC to give to them, (which is usually what I do). However, if they were interested in a new PC I would absolutely recommend Dell.

I love building PC's, but I also know when you get to the $700 price range and below building one yourself usually becomes more costly than buying a pre-built one. The only real benefit is being able to upgrade it in the future, but if your grandparents are like mine this will probably suffice for many, many years just fine.
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May 17, 2011 10:53:12 AM

^ False. Referring to the whole post. With special emphasis on the Dell offers better components nonsense. What software comes with a Dell that ANYONE wants? $700 is not a low budget, under $250... maybe.
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May 17, 2011 11:09:21 AM

you can build a computer for under $250? wow lol
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May 17, 2011 11:42:30 AM

jbl91 said:
^ False. Referring to the whole post. With special emphasis on the Dell offers better components nonsense. What software comes with a Dell that ANYONE wants? $700 is not a low budget, under $250... maybe.

So if $700 is not low budget where would that put my build at that ran me $2300? :lol: 

Under $250? Are you talking about netbooks? Have you ever actually built a PC? My motherboard alone cost $250 lol

By the way, with your little build above the core i3 is crap. It shouldn't be hard at all to find a better processor from Dell if you look. Seems like your new at this...
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May 17, 2011 11:54:37 AM

jbl91 said:
Why 1156 and not 1155?
Intel Core i3-2100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $125.00
Asus P8H67-M PRO/CSM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $125.00
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $60.00
Corsair CX430 V2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $50.00
That's only about $350 and then add on your HDD or another and a case. See what you think.


Here we go:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dddwyc1&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&model_id=inspiron-580
i5 processor, 6gb ram, 1tb hard drive, it also comes with anti-virus, DVD drive, MS office starter, and this is all within budget.

Way better than that i3 POS!

Now who failed here? :lol: 
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May 17, 2011 3:14:56 PM

He also needs a monitor within the budget!
Not every one has any use for a 2300$ pc. so for his purposes 700$ isn't low.
Building a pc is always the cheaper and smarter way.

check this out.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
add a dvd writer and we have a build well under 320$
I am not recommending this build but just trying to show what can be done.

on topic
@ op
If ur not fixed on intel u can have a very decent build which can be later upgraded if need arises.

CPU @80$/100$
I will recommend two. Compare and choose which ever u think is better for u.
Athlon II X3 450
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Phenom II X4 925
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo @ 70$
MSI 880GM-E35 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM @40$
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU @40$
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical drive @20$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD @ 65$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case @ 40$
Go with any case of ur choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor @ 140$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(This monitor comes with built-in speakers. Get separate speakers if need be)

KB & mouse @ 30$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OS @ 100$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Totals to 645 with the phenom / 625 with the Athlon.
The on board graphics of the 880G chipset (HD 4250) is better than the Intel HD2000 series.
But if need be u can always get a cheap discrete card at 60$.

Hope that helps. Good Luck.
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May 17, 2011 4:10:27 PM

gametstr said:
He also needs a monitor within the budget!
Not every one has any use for a 2300$ pc. so for his purposes 700$ isn't low.
Building a pc is always the cheaper and smarter way.

check this out.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...
add a dvd writer and we have a build well under 320$
I am not recommending this build but just trying to show what can be done.

on topic
@ op
If ur not fixed on intel u can have a very decent build which can be later upgraded if need arises.

CPU @80$/100$
I will recommend two. Compare and choose which ever u think is better for u.
Athlon II X3 450
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Phenom II X4 925
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo @ 70$
MSI 880GM-E35 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM @40$
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU @40$
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical drive @20$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD @ 65$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case @ 40$
Go with any case of ur choice.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Monitor @ 140$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
(This monitor comes with built-in speakers. Get separate speakers if need be)

KB & mouse @ 30$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OS @ 100$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Totals to 645 with the phenom / 625 with the Athlon.
The on board graphics of the 880G chipset (HD 4250) is better than the Intel HD2000 series.
But if need be u can always get a cheap discrete card at 60$.

Hope that helps. Good Luck.



That looks pretty good. I changed the monitor but still only coming out to $670. Now I am just getting them to send the specs of the Dell they were looking at to see which path they need to go. Hopefully building :D 
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May 17, 2011 4:15:42 PM

670$ for the build u posted originally?
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May 17, 2011 4:19:36 PM

For the one you posted. All I did was change monitor, ram, and case.
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May 17, 2011 4:24:01 PM

Ohh ok cool. Would like to know what u did.
Post them up. :) 
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May 17, 2011 4:43:05 PM

I just want to bring another opinion into this thread as there seems to be a bit of misdirection on several cases.

First, the I3 2100 would be perfect for this build especially with the 1080p compatible GPU. I have done several I3 builds for around $500, and especially for granparents, they would be more than enough for this build. Add on a monitor and an OS and you would be under your budget. This would allow you to get 4GB ram, 500GB HD (1TB if needed) and a nicely rated PSU.

Secondly, buying a Dell would be the wrong choice here in my mind. Obviously you would be paying more than if you custom built it yourself. That build jbl posting is very nice. I don't know where you get your information that the i3 is a POS but I would urge you to look at some benchmarks. Obviously the i5 is superior, but would be overkill for this build.

As well to the mention of decent suppliers not making PSU's under 350 watts is incorrect. Take a look at Seasonic, they make some nice lower wattage units that are quite competitive in price.

And if your going with the I3 you have the most updated technology right now. If possible you might as well purchase what is current. Which is certainly more than I can say than the X4 925 from Mid 2009.

Anyway, I urge you to look at other options before you finalize your build. I would make a build for you including my suggestions but I am in transit and don't have the capability.
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May 17, 2011 5:03:33 PM

Well I do agree that the i3 is a better option CPU wise. The GPU is better in the AMD based build. And even the X3 is definitely enough CPU power for what ever they are going to throw at it for the next 4 years at least.
Realistically we cannot make a decent i3 based build that includes monitor, OS and other peripherals (KB & mouse, speakers) under 700$
With the build I posted he even has room for going with a decent discrete GPU that would make it better than the i3 based build.

@op
Gskills are more recommended here in these forums although I personally like crucial better. Its not a big deal tho. I think u have a decent kit from adata.
I would have recommended a better monitor than the one I did but I tried to keep the budget as low as I could. I like the one u posted. Go for it.
Although not required I 'd put in a front fan for air intake to help cooling into that case especially since we r using the stock cooler for CPU
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May 17, 2011 9:26:55 PM

aaron88_7 said:
So if $700 is not low budget where would that put my build at that ran me $2300? :lol: 

Under $250? Are you talking about netbooks? Have you ever actually built a PC? My motherboard alone cost $250 lol

By the way, with your little build above the core i3 is crap. It shouldn't be hard at all to find a better processor from Dell if you look. Seems like your new at this...


Congrats on your large purchase... Netbooks are laptops... Anyways, Newegg has $30 motherboards. The Dell with the 1156 processor with triple channel RAM and all will not outperform the i3.

aaron88_7 said:
Here we go:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dddwyc1&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&model_id=inspiron-580
i5 processor, 6gb ram, 1tb hard drive, it also comes with anti-virus, DVD drive, MS office starter, and this is all within budget.

Way better than that i3 POS!

Now who failed here? :lol: 


No need for anyone to fail, and the i3 is not a POS. Antiviruses, and MS Office Starter should be uninstalled ASAP.
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May 18, 2011 6:03:59 AM

dont worry, that should run Farmville on max settings just fine!
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!