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$750 Mainstream PC for Little Sister

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August 14, 2011 5:57:17 PM

So if you've seen my other thread, you'll know I've never built a pc before but I believe I can do it. My dad agreed to help pay for mine, if I will build a new one for my 14 year old sister also. She's looking for something that will perform general tasks well, and play her mainstream pc games. Some of her games are older, so she wants a system that will dual boot XP and Windows 7, because some require xp and won't run in compatibility mode. She's got a great monitor that's 23"with max resolution of 1920 x 1080 @60 Hz. She needs a wireless keyboard and mouse that I haven't picked out yet. I'm fine with newegg or amazon for parts.

This is what I've picked out:

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Motherboard: ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 $119.99 (plus $20 mail-in rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Modular $64.99 (plus $15 mail-in rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

Hard Drive: HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD Burner: Lite-On 24x $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other Misc: Rosewill Memory Card Reader $14.99 and Antec Drive Bay Adapter $11.99

Total: $650.89 before mail in rebates

I didn't know whether or not to wait for bulldozer on her system or go intel since she doesn't need really high-end performance. My dad wants it to have 8gb of ram, don't really care so much about the brand, just reliability. Video card and case I'm open to suggestions on. Really any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

More about : 750 mainstream sister

August 14, 2011 8:06:32 PM

What programs she has that won't work with Windows 7?
August 14, 2011 8:38:34 PM

That's a very good question, and I asked my dad that also. He said she has some old children's games that were designed for xp, and they have tried them on his windows 7 desktop, and tried them in compatibility mode, but they won't run. So mainly, I'm taking his word for it. Do you think we will run into problems trying to make it dual boot?
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August 14, 2011 9:29:39 PM

Mind naming some of the games that didn't work?
For dual boot, it's a pain in the long run.
Any particular brand of keyboard and mouse she likes, design, color?
August 14, 2011 9:54:15 PM

lp231 said:
Mind naming some of the games that didn't work?
For dual boot, it's a pain in the long run.
Any particular brand of keyboard and mouse she likes, design, color?



No clue on the games, and I can't get ahold of him at the moment or I would tell you. I know she used to play some Nancy Drew games, it may be some of those. I don't know what newer games she plays, but I do know none of them are state of the art graphics so as long as she has a solid mainstream card she should be good. As for the keyboard and mouse, as long as it's wireless she should be fine with the looks/brand.
August 14, 2011 11:09:12 PM

Nancy Drew should run under Windows 7 with no problems. When the game is setup to compatibility it also needs to set "run as Administrator". And XP is that should have died long ago. Just go with Windows 7.

Intel Core i5 2400 @3.1GHz $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asus P8H67-V $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Adata 8GB DDR3 1333 $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
HIS HD6850 1GB $159.99 (Free Dirt 3+Shogun game coupon, while supplies last)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cooler Master Elite 310 $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
LG DVD writer $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair V2 500w $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 keyboard and mouse w/BlueTrack $37.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$727.91

August 14, 2011 11:14:25 PM

you could also try win 7 Professional which can virtualize XP
August 14, 2011 11:58:59 PM

lp231 said:
Mind naming some of the games that didn't work?
For dual boot, it's a pain in the long run.
Any particular brand of keyboard and mouse she likes, design, color?



Not sure of your problems running dual boot but I am running XP and Win 7 64 bit with no problems
August 15, 2011 12:00:34 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll definitely try those once I get it built before I go through the hassle of dual booting xp! If anybody wants to give me an opinion on the build I have picked out for me in the other thread I would appreciate it too!
August 15, 2011 2:42:53 AM

flyboy86 said:
Not sure of your problems running dual boot but I am running XP and Win 7 64 bit with no problems


When you run XP what are the chances of running Win7 and vice versa? The chance of that is zip since the user will always
go use the OS that is the most important to them.
For his sister who play games and let's say they only work on XP, you think she will actually use Win7?

I used to dual boot all the time, until I found using the older OS is unlikely as newer OS supports old software and if it doesn't work
compatibility mode is the answer. One other thing is when XP fails it takes Win7. Now instead of getting XP to work, he will also have to bring back Windows 7 into the loader.

@OP
provide link to your other thread.
August 15, 2011 2:58:52 AM

lp231 said:
When you run XP what are the chances of running Win7 and vice versa? The chance of that is zip since the user will always
go use the OS that is the most important to them.
For his sister who play games and let's say they only work on XP, you think she will actually use Win7?

I used to dual boot all the time, until I found using the older OS is unlikely as newer OS supports old software and if it doesn't work
compatibility mode is the answer. One other thing is when XP fails it takes Win7. Now instead of getting XP to work, he will also have to bring back Windows 7 into the loader.

@OP
provide link to your other thread.


Here is my other thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/318281-31-need-advice...

Any advice on it would be appreciated, if it looks good I plan to order the components tonight. Thanks!
August 15, 2011 3:16:38 AM

I have OLD games that wont work on 7 or windows xp virtualized. they are 16 bit games so I would suggest that you do dual boot. I like lp231but I would change the ram http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... 60 and she/you gets a free flash drive. ram with a heat spreader are easier to install static wise. EDIT You must make sure the XP is 32 bit
August 15, 2011 2:48:13 PM

what level of gaming is she doing? if its just low-mid graphics settings gaming i would reccommend an A8-3850 build in a small mini-ITX or micro ATX form factor (i love having a small Quiet PC and then my main ATX PC separate). Or even a pentium G850 build (has similar performance to a phenom 955: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=404)
August 15, 2011 3:36:36 PM

You can run dosbox for old 16bit games.
August 15, 2011 3:57:21 PM

You and I can but can his younger sister. besides xp is easier and possibly better.
August 16, 2011 3:07:27 AM

I followed some of the recommendations here and went with the i5 processor, and the Samsung hard drive. Ordered the parts today. After talking to my dad, he said he wouldn't be surprised if her games were 16 bit, as some of them were older than I had originally thought. Probably going to dual boot windows xp 32 bit for her, if that will let her run them. I appreciate all of the advice, and suggestions.
!