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Trying to Build My Mother a Better Computer

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December 26, 2011 11:28:31 PM

I would like to build my mother a new computer. I am looking for a fairly basic rig, but I would also like something reliable that will need minor maintenance. This will be my first computer build, so any help is greatly appreciated.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: January 2012

BUDGET RANGE: Around $400-500

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Basic programs and web surfing. No Gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, operating system.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I prefer Amazon. I use Amazon.com when I can, because they have better deals, but I am living in Canada, so parts from Amazon.com that don’t ship to Canada (check product details) are a no go. Same goes for NewEgg.com.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada

OVERCLOCKING: No

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I plan to recycle several pieces from my mother’s previous PC. I will indicate which pieces, though I am not entirely sure if they are compatible or if they should be replaced for better performance, at a reasonable price. If they should be scraped, I’m O.K. with that.

Case:

- None. The previous one was garbage. Any cheap suggestions?

CPU:

- Intel Core i3-2100 Processor 3.1GHz 3 MB Cache Socket LGA1155
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JEVGMO/ref=ox_sc_a...


CPU Cooler:

- None - the previous one is kind of stuck to the processor. They aren’t expensive, should I just buy a new one?

HDD: (Recycled)

- Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800JB 80GB 7200 RPM and

- MPG3409AT, FUJITSU 40GB IDE 3.5" 5400RPM Hard drive (linked for 120GB Memory)

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
http://www.amazon.com/MPG3409AT-FUJITSU-40GB-5400RPM-dr...

PSU: (Recycled)
- CoolMax Model V-500 (I assume it is 475W, as it says “Max 275W/380W” and below that, “475.5W”)

GPU: (Recycled)

- NVIDIA GEFORCE 6600 GT 128MB PCI-EXPRESS VIDEO CARD
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/NEW-NVIDIA-GEFORCE-6600-GT-128MB...

RAM:

- Corsair XMS3 4 GB 1333MHz PC3-10666 240-pin DDR3 Memory Kit or
- Corsair XMS3 8 GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 MHz PC3-10666 240-Pin DDR3 Memory Kit
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZDJ42O/ref=ox_sc_a...
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N8GVUY/ref=ox_sc_a...

Mobo:

- Gigabyte Motherboard Intel H61 Express Chipset Micro ATX DDR3 800 Intel - LGA 1155 Motherboards
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B005PX3UYA/ref=ox_sc_ac...

Modem?:

- I have what I assume is a modem (ether link hook-up ports are connected) with a chip saying "PCtel"

Thanks again, I appreciate the advice.

More about : build mother computer

December 26, 2011 11:29:40 PM

Go with 4 GB RAM. The rest seems good to me.
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December 26, 2011 11:45:54 PM

Quote:
- None. The previous one was garbage. Any cheap suggestions?


For the money - these can't be beat:

- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
- None - the previous one is kind of stuck to the processor. They aren’t expensive, should I just buy a new one?


Your CPU will come with a cheap cooler - but it is just that - a cheap cooler. If you want to get a good one, the Hyper 212 is a solid, fairly inexpensive choice.

Quote:

- Gigabyte Motherboard Intel H61 Express Chipset Micro ATX DDR3 800 Intel - LGA 1155 Motherboards
http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0 [...] YIK6Y9EEQB


Should be a pretty solid choice.

Quote:
- CoolMax Model V-500 (I assume it is 475W, as it says “Max 275W/380W” and below that, “475.5W”)


I'd suggest chucking that PSU - especially if it's not certified and rated 80+ Bronze or better. You could get a relatively inexpensive PSU - the Corsair CX430 (same one I have) can be had for about $49.

Quote:


- MPG3409AT, FUJITSU 40GB IDE 3.5" 5400RPM Hard drive (linked for 120GB Memory)


Not sure if H61 is capable of supporting IDE or not - you could always get an external IDE to USB2.0 adapter if it doesn't.
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December 26, 2011 11:51:32 PM

Why would she need more than a stock cooler for no gaming??

Also, get a new video card because the 6600gt is based on a 6-year old design and is extremely power hungry. Go with a 6770 or even 6850.

The I3 - 2100 is a very good CPU and it wil run applications smoothly.

Maybe try and get a new motherboard? They tend to get worse with age ;D
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December 27, 2011 12:01:18 AM

Quote:
Why would she need more than a stock cooler for no gaming??


Good point but I generally tend to recommend better coolers since having a cooler CPU will prolong its' lifespan.

Quote:
Also, get a new video card because the 6600gt is based on a 6-year old design and is extremely power hungry. Go with a 6770 or even 6850.


I agree with this but I think both of those might be overkill if you just want a basic build. Maybe go with one of these:
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You don't need a 6770 or 6850 if you're not going to be doing any serious gaming or hooking your PC up to a large external monitor.

Quote:
better http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119195


I will disagree with this choice - it looks like a tight fit for a full size PSU, limited drive bay expansion, and not a lot of ventilation.

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December 27, 2011 12:10:07 AM

No gaming, so no need for the 6770 or 6850. Stay with the onboard. No need for the 6600GT even. Reusing the hdds shouldn't be a problem if she was happy with the performance, but as mentioned the IDE drive might be a problem. Hdd prices have gone up horrible recently so now is not the time. Use the 80GB for sure, and if space is a problem grab a new drive when prices come down.

The stock cooler is fine. 8GBs is stupid cheap, but if she has a 32bit copy of windows just get the 4GB. I'd replace the PSU. They don't last forever, and the one you have isn't good to begin with. The a fore mentioned 430W unit would be fine, as is the Antec 380W green. Be careful if you decide to buy some other 380-450W unit if the company isn't Antec or Corsair. While the PC you are building won't need lots of power, "CoolXtreme" doesn't make good quality PSUs.
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December 27, 2011 12:18:09 AM

Thanks 4745454b. I was thinking onboard. It's all very helpful. Here is (hopefully) the final build.

Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 Mid Tower ATX Case (RC-912-KKN1)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZM7YTA/ref=ox_sc_a...

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 Processor 3.1GHz 3 MB Cache Socket LGA1155

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JEVGMO/ref=ox_sc_a...

DVDR: (Recycled) LG DVD Burner

GPU: Onboard (Gigabyte)

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue WD800JB 80GB 7200 RPM

(I will get more if she need it, and when the prices go down)

MOBO:Gigabyte Motherboard Intel H61 Express Chipset Micro ATX DDR3 800 Intel - LGA 1155

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B005PX3UYA/ref=ox_sc_ac...

PSU:Corsair Builder Series CX V2 500-Watt 80 Plus

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2T2U6/ref=ox_sc_a...

RAM:Corsair XMS3 8 GB (2 x 4GB) 1333 MHz PC3-10666 240-Pin DDR3 (because another 4GB is very cheap)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003N8GVUY/ref=ox_sc_a...

My only question is: do I need to buy an internal modem if the other one is scrapped? Can I make it wireless? What are some decent brands?
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December 27, 2011 1:27:31 AM

Best answer selected by mdonova3.
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December 27, 2011 1:48:16 AM

Is there a reason your buying the 500W? The 430W should do fine.

Can you even buy an internal modem these days? (joke mostly....) Most people have moved onto high speed internet so no need for a modem. The board you listed I'm sure comes with a NIC to plug into her router or modem. You can make it wireless if you want. Just go buy a PCI/PCIe/USB wireless "card".
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December 27, 2011 1:51:03 AM

4745454b said:
Is there a reason your buying the 500W? The 430W should do fine.

Can you even buy an internal modem these days? (joke mostly....) Most people have moved onto high speed internet so no need for a modem. The board you listed I'm sure comes with a NIC to plug into her router or modem. You can make it wireless if you want. Just go buy a PCI/PCIe/USB wireless "card".


It was on sale for less. But I can switch, since she won't be upgrading with a Graphics Card
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December 27, 2011 1:56:26 AM

If its cheaper don't worry. Was trying to save you some $$$.
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December 27, 2011 3:01:54 AM

Definately don't buy a 6850... Seriously get the lowest end DX11 card with the 1GB onboard ram on it... That is ALL if you browse the web. 4-8GB ram for future proofing, and a cheap ass Min quad CPU. Perhaps AMD?
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December 27, 2011 4:53:27 AM

Whats on the web thats DX11? Onboard DX10 should be more then enough.
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December 27, 2011 7:14:36 AM

Why buy something that old when it's the same price as something new?
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December 27, 2011 7:23:47 AM

You're missing the point, why buy anything at all? From what we know, there isn't any reason to buy a GPU at all.
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January 22, 2012 9:55:23 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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