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Office PC for Parents

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August 10, 2011 7:55:04 PM

They currently use this computer:

All they do is complain how slow it runs. It has 2gb of ram. The specs are otherwise the same.

I would like to build them a new pc, parts totaling under $350. I will be reusing the case, power supply, and optical drive from that pc. So I am basically looking for a new motherboard,gpu (or good integrated), ram, and CPU. I may add a larger storage drive. No mouse/keyboard/monitor needed either.

The pc will be used for email, web browsing, and iTunes. It just needs to be fast for those tasks.

I was thinking about using AMD's new APUs but that would be about $240 for the mb and CPU alone with a little too much power on the graphics that would sacrifice CPU performance.

More about : office parents

August 10, 2011 8:33:28 PM

Will a 300 watt psu be enough for llano? They need something that will feel a lot faster than an AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 5000+

Web pages take too long to render and email/iTunes just hangs too much.

One of these is a good option. Which will be faster for those tasks?



Ice's Llano office Rig

Processor: AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz = $139.99
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-A75M-D2H FM1 AMD A75 = $99.99
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 = $74.99
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 6550D on CPU.
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM = $59.99
Case: Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel =$84.95
Power Supply: Antec 430w comes with case.
Cooling: Stock
DVD Burner: ASUS 24X DVD Burner = $19.99

Total Price: $479.90


THX Basic Office Machine

Processor: AMD Phenom II X2 555 3.2GHz 80W Black RevC3 Boxed - 87.99
Motherboard:ASUS M4A78LT-M LE AM3 2XDDR3 - 59.99
RAM:G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 - 37.99
Graphics Card: 780L On Board
Hard Drive: Samsung HD322GJ/U 320GB SATA 3Gb/s - 42.99
Case: Xigmatek Asgard II B/O CPC-T45UE-U01 - 29.99
Power Supply: Antec Green EA380D - 44.99
Cooling: Stock included with boxed CPU
DVD Burner: Lite-On 24x DVD Burner SATA iHAS 124-04 - 18.99

Total Price: $324.93
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August 10, 2011 8:34:29 PM

Yes it will be since they are 100watt parts.
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August 10, 2011 8:36:47 PM

Please check my edit. Obviously please ignore the parts I don't need
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August 10, 2011 8:46:21 PM

CPU: Athlon II x3 445 $75
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MOBO: MSI 760GM-P33 AM3 $50 [$45 after MIR]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: Kingston KVR1066D3K2/4GR 2x2GB DDR3 1066 $27 [low profile]
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: ATI Radeon 3000 [Integrated; should be fine lol]

CASE: Reuse

PSU: Reuse

OPTICAL: Reuse

$212 total. Complete budget build. If you want you can spend $45 to get the Phenom II x4 955 ($120). Buy a discrete GPU [5450/6450] for $35-45. Buy a motherboard with sata 6gb/s and usb 3.0 for additional $25-30 perhaps. But this is true budget build and should be enough for your parents. The Phenom ii x4 955 is highly recommended though :D 
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August 10, 2011 8:53:09 PM

Wintermint- will that all run fine on a 300 watt psu? Will the AMD integrated be ok for rendering webpages quickly? I just don't want to buy this stuff and have it not be any better. Will one of those dGPUs be ok on the 300 watt too?
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August 10, 2011 8:59:47 PM

$78 CPU: Intel Pentium G620
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$60 MB: ASRock H61M-VS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$31 Ram: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1333
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$44 PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$100 OS: Windows 7 64 Bit OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $313

Do your parents a favor and use a quality PSU. It will save them the headache later whenever that 300W bargain bin PSU decides to go on the fritz. I couldn't find any info on the Gateway case. It looks like a standard M-ATX one.
This Rosewill case is $30 if the case doesn't work out.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The new Pentiums are pretty capable chips, especially for office use. They have the HD2000 which is more than enough graphics power for them.
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August 10, 2011 9:14:46 PM

Ignoring windows, they are both the same price. Which is faster? Or is there an i3 that would be cheap and faster?
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August 10, 2011 9:29:14 PM

Try this:
  • ASRock 880GM-LE AM3 AMD 880G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX
  • AMD Athlon II X2 245 Regor 2.9GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor ADX245OCK23GM - OEM
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
  • Kingston SSDNow V100 Series SV100S2/64GZ 2.5" 64GB SATA II Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    TOTAL: $374.80

    ~$25 over your budget, but the SSD will make your parents think you spent $500+. The onboard video is capable for hulu/netflix type stuff, and nothing your parents are doing is particularly CPU heavy, so you don't need to spend money on an i3 or anything for their needs. 4gb ram and the SSD will make everything snappy and lag free, and Windows will easily boot in under 45 seconds. Solid state drives are the single best antidote for PC slowness you're ever going to find, I really do recommend them.

    Also, heed the advice about having a quality PSU. Sadly, sometimes Gateway/Dell store-bought cases won't fit standard sized PSUs, so you may want to consider a new case as well, depending. Here's a good PSU I recommend (don't go lower than this price range, it just isn't worth it...). Here are two budget cases that are reviewed well: the Xigmatek Asgard and NZXT Gamma . I've built a system in the Gamma and can recommend it.

    Good luck :) 



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    August 10, 2011 9:54:09 PM

    GIGABYTE GA-A75M-S2V FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $214
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 $50
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    Total is $264

    It will run fine on the 300 watt psu you have
    The higher memory speed works well with APU's since vga memory is also system memory . Even so you wont need more than 4 gig for the kind of apps you describe

    This spanks the intel suggestions above , spanks the AMD suggestions , uses less power , and is the latest 32 nm technology
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    August 10, 2011 10:11:43 PM

    I like outlander's setup the best honestly. I would like this stuff to last awhile. I would go a bit cheaper on the ram though.
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    August 10, 2011 10:22:02 PM

    Llano vga bandwidth is entirely based on system RAM bandwidth . The 1866 MHz RAM increases performance across the board compared to 1600MHz so since its well inside the budget its worth using IMO

    But then again your parents probably dont need the extra muscle and 1600MHz can save you $10 or so
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    August 11, 2011 12:03:23 AM

    Quote:
    This spanks the intel suggestions above , spanks the AMD suggestions
    This is a little misleading... The Llano APU will give you better graphics performance (for light and medium gaming), but for email, internet and iTunes it is way overkill.

    If your goal is a speed upgrade for Windows and applications, a SSD is indisputably the best purchase. If you're unfamiliar with SSDs, this article at Bit-Tech is a good read, but this Youtube video gives you a good idea of the speed boost (a guy loads Windows and about 27 apps simultaneously in one minute).
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    August 11, 2011 12:51:42 AM

    Illumina said:
    Quote:
    This spanks the intel suggestions above , spanks the AMD suggestions
    This is a little misleading... The Llano APU will give you better graphics performance (for light and medium gaming), but for email, internet and iTunes it is way overkill.

    If your goal is a speed upgrade for Windows and applications, a SSD is indisputably the best purchase. If you're unfamiliar with SSDs, this article at Bit-Tech is a good read, but this Youtube video gives you a good idea of the speed boost (a guy loads Windows and about 27 apps simultaneously in one minute).


    The Llano is a quad core and will out perform the dual core intels for responsiveness 99 times out a hundred .
    Some specific applications that cant multithread would be faster on the intel i3 , but thats not the general usage profile of a home pc .
    Better still is the potential for AMD’s Accelerated Parallel Processing technology which works in a similar fashion to nVidias "cuda" to use the radeon cores to greatly accelerate cpu tasks . The software compatibility is not universal but where and when it is then Llano will probably match or exceed i3 ,core for core .

    An SSD is not going to affect the running time of programs substantially . OK so you get improvements in responsiveness , but if an encoding task takes two minutes and you can shave 0.5 of a second off the time it takes to open the program in the first place then I'd say an SSD was very poor value compared to a processor that cut processing time in half .

    But even with these advantages the main reason to use Llano today is simply because its cheaper , and more power efficient
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    August 11, 2011 2:14:04 AM

    Llano is a great APU for power-efficient, small-form-factor gaming (and is also a solid quad-core CPU). However, it's still overkill for con247's (parents') needs, because his/her parents aren't doing any CPU-intensive tasks (encoding, etc.) or gaming. It's for this reason I recommended a budget AMD CPU (not a core i3) and onboard graphics to meet their needs.

    Quote:
    I'd say an SSD was very poor value compared to a processor that cut processing time in half .
    If you expect to do a fair bit of processing tasks, absolutely. For users that will do minimal processor-heavy tasks, such a processor would be a poor value, given the $350 budget.

    Quote:
    But even with these advantages the main reason to use Llano today is simply because its cheaper , and more power efficient

    In fairness, it really depends what you're comparing it to: the CPU and motherboard combo I suggested is $105, yours is $215. Also, The processor I suggested is only 6% less efficient than the Llano .

    Since the users' needs are primarily speed and responsiveness for basic tasks, a SSD is a great value because it excels in that role. A Llano APU is a good value for gamers, not casual users at this budget level).
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    August 11, 2011 6:00:22 AM

    Ok. What CPU would be a good upgrade from the athlon x2 5000+ 2.6 ghz. I want them to have a speed boost from the CPU alone. I like illumina's build, but that CPU doesn't seem much better than the one they already have. is there a CPU that is stronger that you would recommend dropping into that build? I think llano will be a bit more expensive than I want and will probably have a lot of the $$ be wasted since the graphics won't be strained. But the amd onboard graphics of those other CPUs won't slow the pc down at all for YouTube/and other non-gaming?
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    August 11, 2011 7:33:54 PM

    The graphic in a APU is better than Intel's
    Intel's Core i3 is over faster than AMD APU
    None can beat a discrete graphic card.
    If this is was for your parent you can save a lot, but since your bro wants to play games that's when the price adds up.
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