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Building a basic comp for my parents

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January 6, 2012 7:28:37 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: Next week

Budget Range: 400 tops, the cheaper the better

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Flash games (I.E. candystand.com), DVD burning, email, basic internet, microsoft office.

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, and moniter.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:Newegg.com, tigerdirect.com, amazon.com. Anywhere really.

Country: (e.g.: India) we need to know where these parts are being assembled

Parts Preferences: No prefrence

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1600 x 900
Additional Comments: Quieter, less power consumption, and cheaper the better


Well, I move out next month, and I'm taking my computer/laptop with me, so my parents have asked me to build them their own computer. This is what I've put together, I just want you guys to take a look at it, and make any suggestions you can to get the price down, or performance up, for their needs. They don't do anything more intense then flash games and burn dvds. It seems like it may be abit much for their needs but I am unsure.

Case = APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case

HDD = HITACHI HDS721050CLA362 (0F10381) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Motherboard = MSI A55M-P35 FM1 AMD A55 (Hudson D2) Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

PSU = Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

RAM = G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBRL

CPU = AMD A4-3300 Llano 2.5GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D AD3300OJGXBOX AMD A4-3300 Llano 2.5GHz Socket FM1 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6410D AD3300OJGXBOX

OS = Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
January 6, 2012 7:41:32 AM

Its a very good build.If they burn dvd's you forgot the dvd-rw.
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January 6, 2012 12:30:13 PM

I would honestly just buy them a DELL or something. They are OK for regular productivity apps and they come with monitors and all that stuff usually.

That is really what those sorts of computes are designed for and on the ultra low end of the power curve it is really hard to beat their pricing.
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January 6, 2012 12:44:03 PM

Agree with that. You go down to your local big box store, hand over the cash, and walk out the door with an assembled, tested system with installed software that you will not need to support.
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January 6, 2012 12:53:36 PM

Although Raiddinn has a point, I was surprised last year to discover that, not counting the O/S (which IS a big part of a low-budget PC's price), I was able to match Dell on price. I priced a similar Dell, and the cost of added upgrades (which are expensive on Dell) to match the better quality of parts I used made their price HIGHER than mine.

Edit: JSC makes another good point, except that 1) you're going to be providing software support anyway (you know it); 2) the higher quality components you will use will be less likely to need support; and 3) do you really want your parents to have to put up with the aggravation of dealing with a "support "technician"" in India?
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January 6, 2012 1:03:10 PM

when it comes to cheap desktops better to buy built get the $249 dell it has an i3! and its on special
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January 6, 2012 1:07:51 PM

There are kits you can get from New Egg and Tigerdirect that are under $400.

Newegg has a AMD LLano which you would not need to buy a video card

$399 plus shipping.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...



Another AMD LLano build that is cheaper and can add in Windows 7 OS if you need it.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I...

$260 plus shipping.



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January 6, 2012 1:13:43 PM

Onus said:
Although Raiddinn has a point, I was surprised last year to discover that, not counting the O/S (which IS a big part of a low-budget PC's price), I was able to match Dell on price. I priced a similar Dell, and the cost of added upgrades (which are expensive on Dell) to match the better quality of parts I used made their price HIGHER than mine.

Edit: JSC makes another good point, except that 1) you're going to be providing software support anyway (you know it); 2) the higher quality components you will use will be less likely to need support; and 3) do you really want your parents to have to put up with the aggravation of dealing with a "support "technician"" in India?



So, basically the system it would cost them $300 to build would cost you about $460 with legal OS, which means building piecemeal pushes the budget up by another 50%.

You have to choose a build with the parts you want standard, because upgrades are stupidly priced (agreed) but if you do get what you want standard you really can't beat them on the ultra low end.

Also, AFAIK, DELL has its CS in America (unlike many competitors). It may have changed in the last few years, but DELL was home when most other makers weren't. Not that their CS was super amounts more awesome when it was at home, and not better than a family member that knows what is going on, but at least it used to be better than other companies.
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January 6, 2012 7:42:36 PM

Another $160? No, they pay $30 for their bulk OS licenses, but I'd have to pay $90 for an OEM license, so there's a $60 difference.

Spookyman, I've looked over a lot of those kits. Most of them include utter junk PSUs like Logisys or Diablotek, which immediately removes them from serious consideration. Also, as Raiddinn points out, there's the additional cost of the OS.

If you can find an inexpensive prebuilt like a Dell that is suitable in its base configuration (or possibly with minimal changes; sometimes there's a deal on a bigger HDD or more RAM) then that's an acceptable choice. Dell parts may be minimalist, but they are not (or no longer) junk, or Dell would not be as successful as they are.
Regardless of what you buy or build, you WILL be the first person your parents call for support; that's just how it is. You may not have the final responsibility to fix a hardware problem, but if there IS a hardware problem, you'll be able to help them get it fixed a lot faster if you built it yourself.
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January 6, 2012 8:16:29 PM

The system builder OEM licenses are not legal for PCs that people make out of individual parts for their own personal use.

It says that in about 15 different places on the system builder license. It also clearly says that regular full version CDs are the appropriate copies of Windows for building such PCs.

Any computer someone installs a system builder OEM windows on must be sold and cannot be re-sold (so you can't sell it to a buddy for $1 and they sell it back to you for $1).

The language is very clear and specific about these things.
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January 6, 2012 8:42:00 PM

I do use them when I sell systems. I do it as a hobby, so I'm selling them for the cost of the parts and maybe a little chump change, but I'm pretty sure it's been all legal.

Edit: The Win7 Ultimate I'm running now myself was a D/L directly from Microsquishy, backed up by a DVD in the mail.
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January 6, 2012 9:34:08 PM

Best answer selected by eletroguy.
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January 6, 2012 9:40:34 PM

Thank you so much for the responses! I read what everyone said, and I agree that they could get a fair priced dell, but after dealing with their last pre-built they bought, and then using my gaming computer I built, they insist that I put theirs together myself.

@sosofm Oops lol. Thanks for pointing that out.

@Spookyman Thank you! I completely forgot about the kits. I generally just chose my parts one by one ever since I built my rig, and kind of just forgot how newegg worked haha

@jtt283 Very true, the kit I'm looking at seems all good except the PSU, but I'm going to be upgrading my comp soon, and will have an extra psu handy, so the kit will work for them with a bit of TLC from me. And yeah, ever since they got stiffed by the acer support for their first comp, they've always come to me anyways, and I know they always will :p 

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January 6, 2012 10:21:16 PM

Great; if you go for one of those kits, just add another $45 for a real PSU (old Rosewill and Chokemax PSU-shaped objects are as bad as Logisys, Apevia, and Diablotek) like an Earthwatts. Good luck!

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January 7, 2012 12:03:52 AM

My point was just that they can give a whole low end system for the same cost that regular consumers pay for just the legal OS.
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