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$300-400 non-gaming build

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May 17, 2011 3:09:34 PM

New desktop for my friend's parents, to replace an old desktop they've had for ~7-8 years.
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Approximate Purchase Date: within a week

Budget Range: $300-400 (USD) after rebates

System Usage (in no particular order): web/email, Office, listening to music, ripping CD's, viewing/copying photos

Parts Not Required: OS, software, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website for Parts/ Country of Origin: Newegg. U.S.

Parts Preferences: MicroATX. Integrated video.

Overclocking: No

Additional Comments: Prefer at least 500GB HDD. Longevity of PC is preferred, vs. having to upgrade soon or frequently. Low power consumption/ quiet are pluses.


Thoughts? Thanks!

More about : 300 400 gaming build

May 19, 2011 3:47:52 PM

Anyone?
How do these specs look? Mainly trying to get your thoughts on PSU and Processor. Thanks.

PSU: SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - OEM

Proc: AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz 3 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor

Mobo: BIOSTAR A880GU3 AM3 AMD 880G HDMI USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard (combo w/ Proc)

RAM: G.Skill, Mushkin, A-Data, Patriot, or Wintec 4GB (2x2GB kit) [will choose one w/ good ratings for the price]

HDD: WD or Seasonic 500GB, 7200 RPM

Optical: Asus, Sony, or LG DVD-RW [will choose one w/ good ratings for the price]

Case: Cooler Master microATX tower (RC-341C-KKN1-GP)

Total = ~$345
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May 19, 2011 4:10:48 PM

1. On processor i3 Sandy Bridge is a good choice.

See article on i3 ($125 cpu)

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-int...

2. Here is a i3 build. I like your PSU better but its about $15 more. Antec is good though

For around $365.

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6819115078

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/Prod [...] 6820231394

MSI H61M-E33 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813130588

HEC 6T Series 6T10BB Black 0.7mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811121071

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6827151233

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136073

Antec Basiq BP350 350W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371003

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May 19, 2011 6:26:01 PM

Thanks for your reply, lifeking. Interesting. I noticed that recommendation/article mentions that processor's advantage in gaming. But, this is going to be a non-gaming PC, so would you still recommend paying $45 more to buy the i3?
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Best solution

May 19, 2011 7:42:38 PM

PepcapsL - I think you are right. The article (recommendation) is focused on gaming. Here is a quote from another article and it includes the AMD processors you are considering so it may shed some light on the subject.

"The worst thing we can say about it (i3) is that its dual-core Hyper-Threaded architecture might not perform ideally in parallel tasks, but that doesn’t seem to slow it down when it comes to gaming."

Link to article.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...

Here are my thoughts.

1. For most user the processor won't make a difference so that points to going with the cheaper option (AMD).

2. With Sandy Bridge you do have the option of upgrading to i5 or i7 later.

3. Regarding power use I think the i3 has a bit of an edge but probably insignificant in terms of cost.

Also, regarding power supply see the link below. Good power supply and free shipping. I think a bit lower cost than your original option.

Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 19, 2011 7:55:55 PM

Lifeking, your links don't work. Pretty good build, though there are a few issues with it.

This Samsung F3 500GB hard drive is a bit faster for $10 more.
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SATA-Hard-Drive-HD502HJ/d...

The PSU Lifeking recommended has only 1 SATA power connector, so you would have to choose Optical or HDD...Try this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... <-- Antec EarthWatts 380D $40

This combo includes an i3-2100 and MSI MSI H67MA-E35 board. It has a few more features, yet is only $3 more than an i3-2100 and MSI H61MA-E33 board purchased separately. It also has a $10 MIR, but that expires at the end of today.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

So, pencapsL, the combination of the above components replacing their couterparts in Lifeking's build allow you to get the most out of a $400 budget. As for your question about an i3-2100 vs. an Athlon II 455, the i3 beats the 455 in all but one test, where it loses by 1.2%. It is definitely worth $45 more. Click the link below for proof.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=202
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May 19, 2011 7:59:14 PM

Also, don't forget shipping. At your budget level it makes a difference. My suggested build takes into account shipping (mostly free shipping items).

For example your motherboard ($6.98), case ($9.99) and PSU ($5.99) all have shipping charges which add up quickly.
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May 19, 2011 8:05:15 PM

nd_hunter - Good feedback.

1. Samsung is a better HD. He said he preferred WD and it is a bit cheaper. Your recommendation is better though.

2. I did change the PSU recommendation in a subsequent post. I agree the Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D is the best choice.

3. Good recommendaiton on the combo. Do you have good experience with MSI?

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May 20, 2011 3:48:07 AM

1. I didn't catch that. I wouldn't use a "Blue" as a boot drive though. WD Blacks are okay if he has to have WD.

2. I noticed that you changed the PSU. You must've been writing your post while I was writing mine. :) 

3. I've only built one rig with an MSI motherboard...P67A-C43 I believe. It was pretty straightforward, although it took a bit to find the manual fan control in the EFI. It's my dad's rig and it works great.
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June 1, 2011 2:07:28 PM

Best answer selected by pencapsL.
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