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Help me make this budget general-use build lean and mean!

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September 15, 2011 3:03:12 AM

Prefatory note: prospective build for a friend who has really manageable needs, but the performance junkie in me wants to give him some zippiness and headroom.

Approximate Purchase Date: Anywhere from the next few weeks to a few months.

Budget Range: ~400 for components only, if possible.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: 'net surfing/youtube and similar basic video streaming > productivity (Office-suite stuff; Excel, Word, etc.) = some additional multimedia stuff (HD video/streaming, music, whatever). Not a gamer, except for casual flash and other really low-resource stuff.

Parts Not Required: Monitor.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Would prefer to stick with a single vendor for better deals on shipping.

Country of Origin: US

Parts Preferences: Prefer Intel CPU because I have old, bad memories of AMDs overheating and I don't want to hear about it. :p 

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Best possible on a monitor from a few revs ago.

================================

So, this is what I have so far:

Processor - $124.99
Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard - $84.99
BIOSTAR H67MU3 LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[I like that this board has USB 3.0.]

RAM - $29.99
Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics Card - N/A
Onboard Intel HD Graphics 2000
[This should be sufficient for his applications, right?]

Hard Drive - $59.99
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - $58.45
Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[Any cheaper cases available that don't look like total schlock AND have more than one fan installed stock? Better yet, think a single in-case fan plus stock heatsink/fan will be sufficient cooling for this build? If so, recommendations for a cheaper case?]

Power Supply - $59.99
CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 V2 500W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[Kinda overkill for him, I think, but I'm paranoid about PSUs going kaput.]

DVD Burner - $20.99
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CURRENT TOTAL: $439.39

Any suggestions in trimming this down/making it better?

Thanks!
September 15, 2011 8:16:09 AM

A 500w PSU isn't necessary unless your running a graphics card.

Something this would be a much better option:
$35 SeaSonic 300w http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The motherboard you listed doesn't support 1600MHz RAM, therefore these might be better options for you:

Motherboard: BIOSTAR TH67B LGA 1155 $60 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: Corsair 1333MHz 1.5v $27 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
September 15, 2011 2:06:29 PM

You said you don't want to go with AMD but check this build..

High quality case from Fractal Design

Fractal Design Core 1000 Micro ATX Computer Case w/ 1 x 120mm fan
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

300W 80+ Bronze PSU from Seasonic, enough for this system

SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W ATX12V V2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD A8 APU. This is a Quad Core CPU at 2.9GHz along with a DX11 GPU inside the same chip. Check this article to see more about perfomance, power consumption and temperatures!

AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz 4MB L2 Cache Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU AD3850WNGXBOX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A serious motherboard from Asus.

ASUS F1A75-M FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A 4GB kit of Corsair Vengeance low profile memory. Memory is very important for this platform. It can really turn your intergrated GPU to an even better card!

CORSAIR Vengeance 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML4GX3M2A1600C9B
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The all time classic HDD

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And a Samsung DVD-RW. For me they are the best

SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model SH-222AL/BSBE LightScribe Support - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SUM 432$
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September 16, 2011 1:12:05 AM

michxymi said:
You said you don't want to go with AMD but check this build..


Wow, this is pretty awesome, michxymi! Definitely will consider going this route.
September 16, 2011 7:44:05 AM

When your on a tighter budget, AMD will generally get you more for your money.

The 500w in the build is insanely overkill if your not running a graphics card though. You could get away with anything around 250-300w.


The TDP from the CPU is only 100w.

Buying a 500w however isn't a bad idea, it means in the future if your friend got into some more graphically demanding games, he could add any mid range GPU into the build with plenty of PSU wattage to power it.
!