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An under $1000 multi-tasking oriented workstation

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September 18, 2011 2:09:53 PM

A warm Hello to all the members & moderators! Thank you so much for this opportunity. :hello: 

I need to assemble my first desktop PC and having spent the past few days reading the various posts in the Forums, I still feel lost because I've found a lot of information on the forums with regards to the best rigs for Gaming, Office or Professional use under a varied price range, understanding processors, motherboards and other components that form an integral part of any machine and how to fairly understand their technicalities and I'm still struggling to see where my needs fit in.. Hence I thought posting my needs on the Forum instead would be a good place to start asking for help. If anyone feels that the same needs has already been addressed with in another Thread, please help me by pasting a link in reply..

My budget: Below $750-$1000

What am I going to use my first desktop for:


Multitasking-Being a freelance researcher & translator, I've use the internet a lot and have at least 15 odd tabs open at any given point in time, work on multiple word & excel sheets(Windows) and since I'm currently freelancing from home, I like to have my favorite music playing in the backgrounds.. Sometime watch a movie or play a game(Flight Simulator/ Prince of Persia) while I take care of work.. Also, I love downloading multilingual movies & soaps online and I'm constantly working with downloads and conversions of video & audio taking place simultaneously. I understand that choosing an processor with HT would do me good... would Intel i7-2600K be an overkill.. As I understand from the forums i5 processors do not support hyperthreading unless it's M(Mobile) usually used in laptops? Also, I would like my desktop to be online & working 24x7... without having to restart it in months-Is that possible to achieve with the kind of budget I have?

Once I have narrowed in on a processor, then the next logical step I've learned from the forums is choosing the right motherboard- IAsus P67 Pro or Gigabyte has a whole thread dedicated to the pros & Cons.. well.. as I'm currently not going to overclock my processor but would like to keep that option open in the near future and the games I play are not "hardcore" games either.. so which MoBo & Video card would you suggest?

I've also learned that the cooler Master HAF X is a very good chasis for my CPU.. would that be a overkill for me considering the above?

If anyone can help me figure this out, I think the rest of the information I can get from the forum threads...

I would like to thank one & all who have contributed to this wonderful forum... The posts here are extremely educating and helpful and although sometimes the information is just too much for a beginner like me, it's still a learning experience and helps me"broaden" my horizons with regards to technical know how! Thank you all so much for this opportunity and for contributing!

With tons of Luv & light,

nox :) 
September 18, 2011 3:13:17 PM

Hi there, welcome to the forum.

first, can you please fill out this form? You answered most of the information, but this sorta condenses it and answers important questions like country, monitor res and parts needed. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...

And with that, we move to the build!

CPU: Sounds like you have fairly pedestrian needs. A 2600k would be WAYYYY overkill, those are used in rendering machines, not multitasking machines. Look at an i5-2400 on the extreme high end, and an AMD Athlon X3 on the lower end.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: The HAF X is a nice case, but quite overkill. In fact, it would cost more than your processor! Look at the Antec 300, it's a sweet, reliable, basic case. The HAF 912 is also an excellent option.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: Something basic, from a good brand. Since you arent OCing, a simple H67 or H61 board with USB3 and Sata3 would work quite well. If AMD, probably 880G or something similar.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive? You might consider an SSD and a large storage drive. Look into SSD's and see if you like the idea.

Ram? A cheap set of 8GB ram. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a video card? Something small & light, but supports multiple monitors. The ATI 5670 gets the pick here, I think.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU? A cheap, reliable one. Probably an Antec Earthwatts 380.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And there you have it! Let me know if you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts!
Cheers ;) 
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September 18, 2011 3:34:02 PM

AMD's bulldozer is releasing tomorrow and will serve you better for a slightly more cost than an i5.

Processor : Processor : AMD Bulldozer FX-8150: 8 core, 3.6GHz (4.2GHz Turbo) - $266.28

Motherboard : ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM : G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 - $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Graphics : HIS H667F1GD Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 - $80
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard Disk : SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive : Asus 24X DVD R/W - $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply : CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 V2 600W - $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case : Rosewill THOR V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case - $130
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total : $790 after rebates

Do you need monitor, OS and keyboard/mouse too?
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September 19, 2011 2:19:29 PM

Dear striker410 & 008Rohit,

Thank you so much for your prompt replies and for the warm welcome! Please find the information striker410 requested as below.. My apologies to have not followed the format in the beginning..

Approximate Purchase Date: Before October, 2011


Budget Range: $750-$1000(US) After Rebates


System Usage from Most to Least Important: Multitasking & Downloading 24X7, as explained in detail in my previous post.


Parts Not Required: Will require all parts as this is the first desktop I'm planning to assemble...

Preferred Website(s) for Parts
: Plan to buy the products locally from the company's authorized dealers after researching products online. So any websites you would recommend would be helpful to me as far as familiarizing myself with the product and its current price.


Country of Origin
: Doesn't matter...


Parts Preferences: by brand or type : Whatever is best to achieve my aims.. Apart from my budget, nothing else is a constraint...


Overclocking: Maybe-Although I'm not a hardcore gamer, I do like playing Simulator games off & on.. I've noticed that multitasking-i.e. researching on the web while downloading(100+ movies/audio/ebooks @ any given time)+playing a movie/audio in the background and trying to play a Simulator game on the PC all at once used to make my computer(Intel Dual Core with 4GB RAM & a 512MB Video Card..an HP Pavilion Desktop PC-2007 model-which has been long discontinued (hence particulars not available online anymore!)made it extremely slow, and if I dared to play a game while the downloads or conversion of videos were on, the desktop would freeze...especially when I did not restart it... Also, restarting was painful since it took more than a few minutes to load... and then too it would become extremely slow.. and then I had to format the whole PC for it to work fine for a few days.. and again it would become extremely slow.. So if overclocking would serve this issue, then I would rather keep this option open!


SLI or Crossfire: I don't understand this but from a few articles I read on the forum, I think cross fire... but I would be extremely grateful if you could help me understand the concept and show me what would fit my needs best...


Monitor Resolution:
I'm planning to buy a 23 inch plus monitor with 1920x1200-Look forward to enjoying Full HD movies and streaming online videos on my Desktop with my 2Mbps unlimited net connection :)  I can stretch my budget by a few $100 to accommodate this...


Additional Comments: I would like a quiet PC-Something that operates 24X7 without much noise-a workstation that doesn't need to be restarted often...and can work 24X7... I work from home but my room is NOT air-conditioned...although well ventilated, but most of the times we need to close the windows as the weather fluctuates a lot... It gets hot (up to 50 degrees Centigrade) during the days during summer(Feb-July)... and cold (p to 5 degrees Centigrade) during winters(Oct-Jan) and heavy rains during the rainy season(July-Sept)... So, I would need to ensure that the CPU remains cool at all times, especially when the machine is on download & conversion mode without supervision... which happens at least 3 days a week...sometimes for almost a month or sometimes a couple of months when I travel on work...

I would also like to have a TV tuner facility in the Desktop which can help me record my favorite NatGeo and Discovery HD programs when I'm away...can I fit that in my budget??

@striker410: After reading your recommendations, I've the following doubts and I would be extremely grateful if you could help me with the answers...

CPU: What's the difference between rendering machines and not multitasking machines? Does downloading, converting multiple videos & audio (.avi to mp4 etc) downloading and Simulator gaming not come under the scope of "rendering" machines? Also, does i5-2400 or AMD Athlon X3 have the OCing feature? Do you think
OCing will be helpful for me?


Case: Would Antec 300 or The HAF 912 help me with my ventilation challenges, as enumerated above?


Mobo: Any changes you would recommend if you think OCing would be useful for me? Also, would they be able to accommodate a digital TV Tuner??


Video card: Wold the ATI 5670 g be able to support my Simulator games if played while downloading & researching simultaneously??

@008Rohit: Thank you so much for your recommendations...Any changes you would like to recommend in light of the information I've just shared??

Thank you for taking the time out for helping me out with my new Build..

With tons of Luv & light,

nox :) 
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September 19, 2011 3:22:43 PM

I'd recommend no changes. You'll be able to game at medium settings at 1920x1080.

So, with the $210 you'll have to get a monitor, mouse and keyboard.

This is a HD monitor for $150 : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You have $60 left for keyboard and mouse which I think is enough to get quality keyboard and mouse.

Crossfire means using two video cards of the same model at the same time in a PC. Your motherboard needs to support it and needs to have 2 PCIe slots for that. Thats not really recommended as you'll not do heavy gaming. Not recommended for beginners.

You'll never have to overclock that 8 Core AMD beast! That'll make your PC blazing fast. :p 
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September 19, 2011 4:00:21 PM

Thanks for the info! Sorry I had to make you go and fill out all that, but there were a few particulars I was looking for.

But first things first, I firmly disagree with Rohit. You do NOT need an 8-core CPU, not at all. Those CPU's are designed to be put in machines that are doing FAR more, such as running servers or rendering extremely complex projects. there is absolutely NO need for an 8-core in your machine.

Here's my reasoning.
Web surfing, downloading, word processing and other menial tasks only use 1 or 2 cores. They are extremely low power tasks, and do not require much effort to process. Now, what if you are downloading in massive quantities? Then it will use more power on that core. Not necessarily more cores.

Now, for gaming and converting videos.
Games like flight simulator use 4 cores most effectively. As far as i know, more cores give barely any boost in performance. For converting videos, unless you are converting many videos at the same time, you aren't going to take advantage of that 8-core.

Basically, it's not worth getting an 8-core CPU, because nothing can use all of those 8 cores!

More cores does not equal better.

Now, the difference between "rendering" and "multitasking".
Rendering refers to using a complex computer program to render dimensions and data into images onscreen. Programs like Maya and Autodesk do this. They are extreme power hogs. Multi tasking is simply moving data from one place to the other. You'd see a bigger performance increase by buying an SSD, really.

You're going to see a major increase of speed, no matter what you do. Here's what I'm talking about: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/56?vs=363 (pay attention to higher/lower is better) The i5-2400 is screaming fast compared to the CPU you have now! Really, anything is gonna seem crazy fast!

Hope that sheds some light on my opinion.

Now, overclocking!

Short answer: You don't need it! Overclocking is for high performance users, (usually gamers) trying to squeeze every ounce of speed they can get from their processors. With what your doing, I can confidently say you do not need to overclock. The processor will feel fast as a bullet, with or without overclocking.

Case: The HAF 912 and Antec 300 are quite well ventilated, and will serve your needs admirably.

Video card: Yes, the 5670 will be more than enough. The only thing that will tax the video card is games, the rest is using the CPU.

Mobo: No changes, the one I selected is more than capable. It can accept all manner of accessories.


That's about it! Hope it helps :) 
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September 19, 2011 5:32:07 PM

well,

The bulldozer build is a lot more future proof than the i5 2400. It fits in the OP's budget and in the future more and more apps will be designed to take advantages of more than 4 cores, then it'll outperform the i5. It just fits in the budget, thats why I included it. The OP can also get a six core bulldozer with the other parts being same for $160.
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September 19, 2011 5:51:18 PM

This is true...... He may want to hold off until BD gets benchied, then. Excellent idea.
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September 20, 2011 3:49:31 PM

striker410 said:
This is true...... He may want to hold off until BD gets benchied, then. Excellent idea.



Dear striker410 & 008Rohit,

Thank you for both your replies & effort at brainstorming my requirement & reasoning to help me get the perfect build...

So, you both would agree for me to opt for the AMD Bulldozer but would like me to wait till the same has been benchmarked and its performance compared to other processors has been rightly documented... this seems like a very good idea. Making my purchase future proof, at least for a few years seems prudent.

@008Rohit: In your earlier post, you mentioned that using HIS H667F1GD Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5, I would be able to game at medium settings at 1920x1080. If I wanted to play at Full settings, are there alternatives I could use (even if I have to stretch my budget by a few hundred dollars..) and also to make it a little more future-proof??

@ striker410 & 008Rohit:While researching on the AMD Bulldozer and comparing it to the Intel i5-2500 processor via the forums, I also stumbled upon information with regards to advantages of hyper-threading vs using a dual-core module(as in the case of AMD BD). Can you please help me understand the difference in the performance boost, while distinguishing between the two.

With tons of gratitude, luv & light,

nox :hello: 

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September 20, 2011 3:55:07 PM

Quote:
AMD's bulldozer is releasing tomorrow and will serve you better for a slightly more cost than an i5.






you got any proof or something.no offence but i am curious to know
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September 20, 2011 4:39:44 PM

BD is launching sometime around October 20th at least for my state. I too am considering waiting till then or going with the core i5 2500k. But the thing with me is, I don't have a desktop at all so I don't know if I want to wait.
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September 21, 2011 2:30:03 AM

noxcuzzs said:


@ striker410 & 008Rohit:While researching on the AMD Bulldozer and comparing it to the Intel i5-2500 processor via the forums, I also stumbled upon information with regards to advantages of hyper-threading vs using a dual-core module(as in the case of AMD BD). Can you please help me understand the difference in the performance boost, while distinguishing between the two.

With tons of gratitude, luv & light,

nox :hello: 


Ahh, I see. I'll do a quick summary of each technology.

HyperThreading: 4 real cores, and 4 "fake" cores.
Bulldozer "Strong Thread": 4 Modules with 2 mini cores in each.

Basically, Hyperthreading is the act of making a single core perform 2 separate tasks at once. It tricks the OS into thinking it's got twice as many cores.
However, it's not like having 8 real cores. Since each core is doing the work of 2, they tend to be a bit slower than a true 8 core. Still an amazing technology.

Strong Thread is 2 mini cores wrapped up into a Module. This means there's 8 REAL cores, but they probably aren't as fast as 8 full size cores (just my speculation), but are still much faster than HyperThreading.

Either way, these are meant to be used for much more powerful computers, like hardcore gaming desktops or professional machines. "Multitasking" Is not going to need 8 cores. It probably won't need 4!
However, I do advise getting a quad. Why? That's the standard nowadays, and it should last you a good while before getting slow. Either Sandybridge or Bulldozer is fine.

Hope that helps!
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September 21, 2011 2:33:29 AM

008Rohit said:

Seems that AMD has delayed the BD launch. I read on a few websites that it was going to launch yesterday, but it didn't.

Maybe they'll get it out just in time to be stuck in a phone. At this rate, we're gonna be into 32 core, 6GHz, 25w processors before bulldozer releases. Cmon AMD!
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September 21, 2011 2:56:04 AM

Lol.
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September 28, 2011 3:43:26 PM

Hey striker410 & 008Rohit! :hello: 

My apologies for the delayed reply!

@striker410: thank you so much for helping me understand & distinguish between Hyper-threading & Full-sized cores and for making it so simple and easy for a newbie like me to understand!

@008Rohit & striker410:

While I'm still waiting for the AMD BD to be launched & bench-marked, I'm extremely grateful to both of you and overwhelmed with gratitude for all your help in assisting me narrow down on my options and helping me understand which configuration to opt for & why.

As you both brain-stormed and chipped in your time, effort & knowledge to assist me, it only seems fair to me to not only acknowledge all your efforts with tons of gratitude but also, keeping with the SOP of this wonderfully helpful site, ensure that both of you get equal credit for the same.

But I'm in a dilemma :(  as the forum does not provide me an option to select multiple answers as "the best"-Perhaps the moderators can make an exception in this case as the "Best" answer was, in fact, a joint-effort of brainstorming of both of you.

In light of the same, and since I'm new to this forum, any ideas to work around this hurdle would be much appreciated! :wahoo: 

With tons of love & light,

nox :hello: 


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September 28, 2011 5:12:17 PM

No problem! Happy to help.
Give Best answer to Rohit, I don't really care about best answers. I started contributing to this forum because when I was a nooby, someone helped me out!

If you have any questions in the future, hit me up with a PM. I'll be happy to help.

Good luck!
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October 6, 2011 11:11:56 AM

Dear striker410 & 008Rohit!

I've been faced with a few challenging decisions these past few days and need your advice. :( 

Up till now, I was using my 15 " IBM Thinkpad R50(Intel Centrino M) laptop for work & travel but it conked off day-before(not powering on). It's been 6 years since my laptop has been out of warranty-Having shown it to the engineer's @ IBM Customer Support, they said the MB had to be replaced and gave me an estimate of USD 150-200. I also showed it to a local computer hardware so-called expert and he suggested going in for a refurbished MB, which would cost approx USD 100. I'm aware that there would be more affordable refurbished MB's available online but ordering them and paying the shipping & custom duty would negate the price difference, if any.

Long story short, I'm now faced with need to buy another laptop for work while traveling, which I can use the same way I wanted to use my desktop while I'm on the road, which is usually 15 days in a month. I would also like to have a desktop @ home which I can use for my downloads, video conversion and games while I'm @ home. The challenge is that I need to manage both in under $750-$1000/- which was my original budget for a desktop, including the lcd screen(preferably 21 inches that can play HD videos), keyboard and mouse(wired would do just fine).

So, I'm now left with searching for almost the bare minimum that would help me achieve my goals. I was checking on your initial advice of AMD Athlon X3 with an 880G MB..Here are the questions, the answers to which I need your help with.. Is there a way I could fit in a Quad core processor for my desktop and still have enough to opt for a good laptop which can help me with my needs-playing HD videos in full resolution, 24X7 downloads, internet surfing & multitasking with Office docs, playing games like Flight Sim-also preferably in full resolution but if it's out of my budget that medium resolution would do and a good battery life(6-8 hours)??(Just a quick review of my needs to avoid you going through my previous post/s all over again!)

I know that searching for the "bare minimum" while asking about a Quad core processor sounds contradictory but just want to know if I could get the best of both the worlds(laptop & desktop) in the given budget? :pfff: 

Also, what in your opinion should be my approach to this-Narrow down on the laptop first and then go in with the remaining money for the desktop or should it be the other way around-Or just keep a max of USD 500/- for each and narrow down on each accordingly?? :sarcastic: 


Also, my Thinkpad still has a valid Win XP 32 bits OS-Can I use this on my new laptop and/or desktop?? Should I instead opt for a 64 bit OS(Win7)?? Would there be conflict for drivers when getting a desktop/laptop configured for linux and then installing WinXP?? :sweat: 

I would be extremely grateful for any advice in this regard.. Also, do you think I should start another thread for the laptop requirement or is it something that you & other forum members can help me with on this thread itself??

With tons of love & light,

nox :o 






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October 6, 2011 11:26:41 AM

Hello, my friend. I am sorry for your sudden sad turn of events but do not worry you can still have your cake and eat it too.

An APU would be the best choice for you.


A8-3850 - It is a CPU which a GPU inside which will easily handle your needs. $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

FM1 motherboard - Asrock, a good brand. $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive - Seagate 500gb $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power supply - Corsair 430w, great brand $45 before rebates. $35 dollars after rebate.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Optical Drive - LG or Sony, whatever is cheapest and 24x $20

Ram - G. skill ripjaws $47
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case - HAF 912 $60
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It all comes down to $427 if you choose the a8 but $407 if you choose the a6. :) 

Oh darn, I forgot you needed an OS too. :( 

Windows 7 OEM 64 bit.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It actually comes down to $527. :( 

Another thing you may cut costs is with the casing

The Elite 430 which is also made by CM. It is $40.
Although, the Haf 912 is cooler but the 430 is no slouch :) .
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

A6-3650 - It is also a good CPU though. much weaker than the above CPU but cheaper by $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I'm sorry but I do not know much about monitors as it is always up to the buyer what he wants.

For me, it is better if you get at least up to $700 dollars for the desktop since you need OS, Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor :( .


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October 6, 2011 3:42:30 PM

I agree with cutebean's build for the most part. Quad core, 5670 level graphics, overall a good deal. Will be tough to get a good laptop with the $300 left, lol. If you can stretch the budget just a little, we might make it work. Things would also be a bit easier if you had a copy of win7 laying around ;) 

For ~$550, with no OS you can get a complete system with a good screen and keyboard/mouse.
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October 6, 2011 3:49:05 PM

Use Linux and save $100.
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October 6, 2011 5:20:40 PM

@ Finneous

+1
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October 7, 2011 3:13:27 PM

Dear cutebeans, striker410, 008Rohit & FinneousPJ, :hello: 

Thanks so very much for your prompt replies & for all your time & efforts in helping me out with my request :) 

@cutebeans: Thank you so much for helping me with the configuration and for your valuable tips, espl while deciding between the A6-3650 & the A8-3850.

Also, thank you so much for taking the trouble of shortlisting the combo offers for me. Unfortunately, I won't be able to take advantage of the offer as I plan to buy all the parts from the local tech market in my city and accordingly assemble the Workstation.

Earlier, you had recommended an Asus laptop costing about $400/- 15.6 inch display with an AMD processor-I can't recollect the exact specifications(or the model no.) but I do remember that you had posted a link in your message, but sadly I couldn't locate the same on your message today-Perhaps you deleted it post revisions in cost of the desktop, considering the OS needs which made the $400 laptop look unfeasible. Well, I did check that out. Unfortunately, the model has been launched in mid-September this year in the US & is still to be launched by ASUS in my country. And purchasing it online would attract shipping & Custom duties that would ruin the laptop's cost effectiveness :ouch: 

@striker410: I was just contemplating on getting my hands on Win 7 64 bit OS when one of my friends I was brainstorming with, made me aware that his recently conked off HP laptop has a the said OS that came with the package and that I could make use of the same of my Desktop & or Laptop. Seems that I'm not the only one in the soup, as far as my laptop goes!! In your opinion, is the OS on laptops configured differently as in Desktops-I ask this to remove the doubt of all possible conflicts between hardware/software arising due to this. And will I be able to install the same on my forthcoming Desktop??

You mentioned that you happen to agree with cutebean's recommendations "for the most part" & that "For ~$550, with no OS you can get a complete system with a good screen and keyboard/mouse-I'm eager to know what changes you would want to recommend before I finalize on the configuration, which I need to do by this weekend. What, according to you, would make the configuration "complete"?

Also, my apologies to be naive but what does "5670 level graphics" imply??

Considering my needs, what do you think would be a good configuration would be, as far as a laptop is concerned. As far as my being able to stretch my budget is concerned, I would just need to ask myself the right question-Not-"I can't afford it?" BUT "How can I afford it?"-Please let me know your views and I'll try my best to find a way to cut corners to be afford the config you recommend.

Btw., I was trying to brainstorm with a couple of my friends about opting for a cheap Tablet instead of a laptop on the go, but we decided to scrap the idea as while on work, there are many times when I need to connect external drives to upload/download & work with client data and also need to scan/print documents-Due to the driver limitations on Tablets currently in the market(i.e. from the brief research we did online, I believe they are yet to support scanners, non-wifi printers and external NTFS based hard-drives), we gave up on the idea of opting for a Tablet, for it seems that a laptop would be the only device that would be able to meet my current needs on the go.

@FinneousPJ 008Rohit: Thanks for the recommendation for using Linux-Well, using Linux & saving $100 at this point in time does look pretty tempting :)  I do believe in change but changing from using Windows since childhood to Linux would require getting out of my comfort space and "re-learning", something that I don't feel like getting into right away. Frankly, this & the doubts about having complexities with drivers(especially while opting for laptops that have Linux preloaded, rather than Windows, in case I need to switch the OS to Windows in the future) is the only reason I have not yet experimented with Linux yet. Not that I've written it off completely but I feel that Windows serves my purpose, at least as of now. I can't help but feel overwhelmed with the gratitude for all your help & generosity, especially the kindness of my friend who is willing to allow me to use the OS of his conked off laptop-apparently he still has the official CD's that came along with his laptop @ the time, that also has all the original software's preloaded in them.

With tons of love, light & gratitude,

nox :) 
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October 7, 2011 3:23:51 PM

Using office programs and surfing the net is exactly the same under (Ubuntu) Linux as it is under Windows. I'd never used Linux before university but it was easy enough to learn(there are lots of Linux desktops at my uni), though I'm far from being a "power-user". On the point of Ubuntu it's easier to install drivers on that Windows :lol:  it's basically all automatic unless you're unlucky and there's no routine for your hardware (hasn't happened to me yet over about 5 different systems).
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October 7, 2011 3:26:33 PM

Oh darn! :(  That sucks!

For me, I think the a6-3650 would suit your needs. What striker meant with the 5670 graphics is that since it supports DX 11, it would give you excellent graphics compared to lower models which only have DX10.

Don't worry about the OS, since there's no difference even it comes from a laptop. It's like batteries, you can put it in a flashlight then put in a radio or something and it's the same :) .

Since you won't be able to make use of the combo deals, it would be better if you just opt for a cheap case that's about $40.

As for your laptop question, it's actually easy. Did you know there are two types of laptops which are Netbooks and Notebooks.

Notebooks are bigger and bulkier and of course cost more than the netbook.

If you only plan to do office related work (Word, Excel, PPTs) then a netbook would be fine. It normally cost around $200-$300 which would easily fit your budget :) . I recommended a notebook earlier because I thought you would want to do light gaming since it would handle the flight simulator very well. Although you can play flash games( facebook games) on a netbook.

These are the lists of netbooks which can easily print, do word files, using the internet, emailing and whatnot. :) 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...
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October 7, 2011 3:41:04 PM

If you can send us the website or parts list your local store has. It would help us tremendously in finding the right build for you :) .
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October 7, 2011 3:48:03 PM

Dear cutebeans.

Thanks for helping me understand what "5760 level graphics" signified :) 

I've been researching on Netbooks these past few days-both for dual-core 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 with Intel GMA 3150 (integrated) & AMD Dual-Core Processor E-300 (1.6GHz, 1MB L2 Cache)+AMD Radeon(TM) HD 6310M Discrete-Class Graphics.

Many brands like Dell, Sony, HP have the same thing to offer(only the exterior finish, warranty and accessories included differ) and having reads their reviews, it seems that they are not that while rendering HD videos(even 720p/1080p youtube videos) and although being dual core, the reviewers mentioned that they are sluggish while multitasking(like surfing the net and working on Office documents). These are the two needs which I need to cater to while on the go and unfortunately, netbooks currently in offer don't seem to be able to satisfy my current requirements :( 

Edit: I've already submitted your recommended configuration for availability & quotations to a few local suppliers. I've still to receive their reply-It may be delayed due to the string of holidays and festivities we've had during this week and the delay may also due to the fact that the weekend is just around the corner. I sincerely hope that all the parts you've mentioned are available but, just to play safe, I've requested them for close substitutes to the above that they do have in stock-I will post the info as soon as I hear from them. Thanks so much!! :) 

Although I'm far away from even an amateur gamer, I do love to play Prince of Persia & Flight Sim at times, espl when I'm traveling on work, just to tune-out & ensure that I don't succumb to the urge of completing the project at hand by overworking myself without breaks :) 

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October 7, 2011 4:10:23 PM

FinneousPJ said:
A quick romp through Newegg laptop section this caught my eye: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Sandy Bridge lappy for less than $500. Would probably be a snappy system though the RAM is low at 2 GB.


You have to understand that her/his desktop also needs a monitor. Also, since she's buying at a local store, it would mean that she'd be spending $600-$700 on the desktop.
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October 7, 2011 4:25:05 PM

Oh I'm sorry somehow I thought we were looking for a desktop replacement notebook.
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October 7, 2011 5:09:52 PM

noxcuzzs said:


@striker410: I was just contemplating on getting my hands on Win 7 64 bit OS when one of my friends I was brainstorming with, made me aware that his recently conked off HP laptop has a the said OS that came with the package and that I could make use of the same of my Desktop & or Laptop. Seems that I'm not the only one in the soup, as far as my laptop goes!! In your opinion, is the OS on laptops configured differently as in Desktops-I ask this to remove the doubt of all possible conflicts between hardware/software arising due to this. And will I be able to install the same on my forthcoming Desktop??

You mentioned that you happen to agree with cutebean's recommendations "for the most part" & that "For ~$550, with no OS you can get a complete system with a good screen and keyboard/mouse-I'm eager to know what changes you would want to recommend before I finalize on the configuration, which I need to do by this weekend. What, according to you, would make the configuration "complete"?

Also, my apologies to be naive but what does "5670 level graphics" imply??

Considering my needs, what do you think would be a good configuration would be, as far as a laptop is concerned. As far as my being able to stretch my budget is concerned, I would just need to ask myself the right question-Not-"I can't afford it?" BUT "How can I afford it?"-Please let me know your views and I'll try my best to find a way to cut corners to be afford the config you recommend.

Btw., I was trying to brainstorm with a couple of my friends about opting for a cheap Tablet instead of a laptop on the go, but we decided to scrap the idea as while on work, there are many times when I need to connect external drives to upload/download & work with client data and also need to scan/print documents-Due to the driver limitations on Tablets currently in the market(i.e. from the brief research we did online, I believe they are yet to support scanners, non-wifi printers and external NTFS based hard-drives), we gave up on the idea of opting for a Tablet, for it seems that a laptop would be the only device that would be able to meet my current needs on the go.

nox :) 
[/i][/b]

I'll try to explain as best I can.

First, thanks cutebeans for pointing out the DX11 support issue, but it's not what I was referring to.
The Graphics chip on the A8 is of a comparable performance level to the desktop card AMD HD 5670. However now that I check the benchmarks, it looks to be closer to 5570 levels. Here's what I mean: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4448/amd-llano-desktop-pe... As you can see, the 5570 is only slightly above the 6550D, which is the graphics chip used in the A8 CPU. Therefore, I HIGHLY suggest you don't go below the A8. The $20 difference between the A6 and A8 is worth it.

For my build, I came up with something that fits the budget almost perfectly. Granted it doesn't include mouse or keyboard, but those are minor expenses. You can use the ~$30 left over to buy them. I tweaked Cutebeans build to maximize performance (mainly by adding 1866 ram, which improves graphics performance)

Disc drive: Sony Optiarc CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model AD-7261S-0B LightScribe Support - OEM $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Case: Xigmatek ASGARD II B/S CPC-T45UD-U01 Black / Silver 0.8 mm SECC / Aluminum and Aluminum Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500413AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Screen: HANNspree By Hanns-G HF225DPB Black 21.5" 5ms Full HD WideScreen LCD Monitor w/Speakers 250 cd/m2 X-Contrast 30,000:1 (1000:1) $120 ($100 with rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: ASRock A75M-HVS FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $70
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: Antec Basiq BP350 350W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 Plug n Play Desktop Memory Model KHX1866C11D3P1K2/4G $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz 4MB L2 Cache Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU AD3850WNGXBOX $140
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That comes to $548, or $518 with rebates :) 

This should allow you to get a nicer laptop, such as the HP one listed above (which I thoroughly recommend, IF you can swing it)
And I don't believe you can use the OS off a laptop, unless it came with a disc..... If it did, then cheers! If not, there ARE ways of acquiring an OS for people on a budget.

Let me know what you think!
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October 8, 2011 2:36:17 AM

+1 on striker for stiker pretty good builds.
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October 8, 2011 2:48:19 AM

cutebeans said:
+1 on striker for stiker pretty good builds.

Haha I basically just took your already excellent build, and changed a thing or two. Full credit still goes to you, I just listed all the parts together to reduce confusion instead of just the ones I would change.
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October 8, 2011 2:50:58 AM

striker410 said:
Haha I basically just took your already excellent build, and changed a thing or two. Full credit still goes to you, I just listed all the parts together to reduce confusion instead of just the ones I would change.


Lol, don't be like that. It's a team effort! it's a shame he won't be able to get to use newegg though.
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October 10, 2011 1:14:48 PM

Dear striker410, cutebeans & FinneousPJ ! :hello: 

Thank you all for your collective, in-depth & elaborated brainstorming to help me out! I want you to know that I really truly appreciate all your inputs, time & efforts!


I've just received news from a few distributors at the local IT market where I was to purchase the recommended components..& it seems I've run into a few more hurdles-Non availability of parts... :pfff:  Here goes..

Mobo:
ASRock A75M-HVS FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS $70-Not Available :sweat: 

It seems ASRock has no distributors & service centers in my country-What's available are a limited range from Asus, Gigabyte, Intel & MSI. All the four dealers were quick to point out the Gigabyte A75-D3H 'AMD Llano' board (Reference site: http://hexus.net/tech/features/mainboard/30611-gigabyte-a75-d3h-amd-llano-board-hands-on/ ) My apologies, I could not find the same Mobo link on www.newegg.com. Btw, there's currently a combo offer in the market of this Mobo with the AMD A8-3850 & it costs approx $265.

PSU:
Antec Basiq BP350 350W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply $30-Not Available :( 

What was referred as nearest available is CORSAIR CX 500 SMPS(Reference Site:http://www.corsair.com/builder-series-cx500.html). Again, my apologies, for I could not locate the link for the same on www.newegg.com. The price for this is approx $60

RAM: Ram: Kingston HyperX 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 Plug n Play Desktop Memory Model KHX1866C11D3P1K2/4G $50-Not Available :cry: 

What was referred was GSKILL F3-12800CL9D- 8GBSR2(Reference site-http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=390). Approx cost $72

Other RAM's with almost similar pricing include that of Corsair, Transcend & Kingston.

Case-The one recommended-Xigmatek ASGARD II B/S CPC-T45UD-U01 Black / Silver 0.8 mm SECC / Aluminum and Aluminum Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $30, is not currently available. :cry: 


The disadvantage is that many retailers in the local market are just distributors of the "Fast Moving" brands that have a good presence in the country, and hence most do not maintain their own website. I was fortunate to locate one of the local dealers who also happens to stock a respectable array of cases at a reasonable price & lists the same on the following website-

http://www.primeabgb.com/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=110&Itemid=53


The one they recommended was NZXT CABINET TEMPEST EVO(Reference site: http://www.nzxt.com/new/products/crafted_series/tempest_evo) which costs $112 approx-which is ridiculously high & costs near to the processor itself!

I also did a personal survey at the local market to see if there were in fact alternatives available @ reasonable prices but those who offered choices, offered so many that I could neither make out the quality nor whether it would fit my needs or not! Unfortunately, the majority of the market is a dumping ground for Chinese manufacturers who make identical branded products with nonidentical part numbers and the distributors pass them on to their end customers.

I would be extremely grateful if you could share your inputs with regards to the above and if you could recommend alternatives after visiting the above site.

With tons of gratitude, Luv & light,

nox






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October 10, 2011 1:49:04 PM

Hello nox, maybe getting a cheap coolermaster case like the ELite CM 360 would do you wonders.

G.skill is a good brand but you only need 4gb of ram. So, you should only buy 4gb from the store.

Aren't there other alternatives? you only need less than 400 watts actually. The CX500 watts which was refered to you isn't even 80+ certified but it's still ok.

Don't worry, Gigabytes are great motherboards. Get the LLano combo :) .
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October 10, 2011 2:21:56 PM

I agree with Cutebeans. However the 360 isn't the best choice, because it's a microATX case with really funky PSU mounting. It's designed to be thin, not spacious.

Instead, check out the Elite 310: http://www.primeabgb.com/index.php?page=shop.product_de...

Also agree on the PSU. The CX500 is indeed 80+: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... unless it's not the V2, but those have been deactivated.

4GB of ram will do, but you want 1866MHz speeds. This is because of the performance gains when used with the Llano APU.

Let us know what's available.

Cheers!
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October 10, 2011 2:33:06 PM

striker410 said:
I agree with Cutebeans. However the 360 isn't the best choice, because it's a microATX case with really funky PSU mounting. It's designed to be thin, not spacious.

Instead, check out the Elite 310: http://www.primeabgb.com/index.php?page=shop.product_de...

Also agree on the PSU. The CX500 is indeed 80+: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... unless it's not the V2, but those have been deactivated.

4GB of ram will do, but you want 1866MHz speeds. This is because of the performance gains when used with the Llano APU.

Let us know what's available.

Cheers!


Oh was it a microATX case? I really didn't know. Sorry :o . Then the 310 it is! :D 
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October 10, 2011 2:38:20 PM

cutebeans said:
Oh was it a microATX case? I really didn't know. Sorry :o . Then the 310 it is! :D 

haha, no fault to you. I would have agreed 100% had i not looked at it for one of my own builds in the past, and realized how terrible the layout is. It's an HTPC case, really.
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October 10, 2011 2:42:24 PM

It's a good thing, we have vets like you in this board! :D 
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February 25, 2012 11:40:08 AM

Best answer selected by noxcuzzs.
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February 25, 2012 2:12:13 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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