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New budget build for Aunt-Looking for suggestions

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January 9, 2012 4:51:35 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Within next 2 wks (she's shopping around)

Budget Range: $400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Internet,email, Facebook games.

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) keyboard and Mouse, Monitor (she may decide to get one however), speakers. I might be able to salvage the HDD and dvd drive, but include it anyways and I'll sort it out.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon

Country: US

Parts Preferences: Assuming AMD for budget, but an I3 may be possible if you guys can keep it in budget

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: I'm not sure. Her last pc is a Sony Vaio, so I'm assuming she's got at least an lcd @ 1280x1024

Additional Comments: Quiet, efficient and need to consider an OS in the price as well

My aunt is using a 7 yr old Vaio that she says has been running slow and is thinking of either trying to upgrade some parts or build/buy a new tower. She's open to suggestions, so for her uses and purposes, if you recommend a Dell that's within budget and fits the bill, then she's open to it. Personally I hate going that route, but for a non-gaming machine, it might suit her needs within budget or maybe even less.
January 9, 2012 4:55:04 PM

Get her a laptop.
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January 9, 2012 5:07:11 PM

For $400, an I3-2100 would be the CPU of choice. HEre's my suggestions

Case : COOLER MASTER Elite 335 $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU : Intel I3-2100 Just $110 at newegg!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo : ASUS P8H67-M LE $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU : Antec EarthWatts EA-500D $57
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM : Wintec Value 4GB $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX : PowerColor Go! Green AX5450 $30 , better than nothin
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just under $400.


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January 9, 2012 5:58:58 PM

How does an i3 do as far as streaming hd content? Not that she does this but I think if I showed her how it might be something she would want to do...

Edit: I was thinking of one of AMDs APUs is also why I was asking. If it can negate having to get a graphics card...
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January 9, 2012 6:09:25 PM

The I3 + HD5450 = Better than the amd apus.

Splash the cash on a 5770 for streaming hd content.
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January 9, 2012 6:10:35 PM

Copy. Thanks for the info.
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January 9, 2012 6:13:51 PM

gooseta said:
For $400, an I3-2100 would be the CPU of choice. HEre's my suggestions

Case : COOLER MASTER Elite 335 $50
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU : Intel I3-2100 Just $110 at newegg!
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo : ASUS P8H67-M LE $99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU : Antec EarthWatts EA-500D $57
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM : Wintec Value 4GB $20
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GFX : PowerColor Go! Green AX5450 $30 , better than nothin
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Just under $400.



Anyway to throw in W7 but still keeping within budget? It's a stupid extra cost which is another reason I was thinking AMD. Thoughts?
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January 9, 2012 6:18:53 PM

Windows XP isn't too bad, and it's cheaper
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January 9, 2012 6:19:26 PM

Maybe a 430W EarthWatts instead of the 500?
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January 9, 2012 6:28:14 PM

Ok I'll throw something together and post back using most of the parts you suggested. Thanks.
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January 9, 2012 6:30:52 PM

gooseta said:
The I3 + HD5450 = Better than the amd apus.

Splash the cash on a 5770 for streaming hd content.


http://www.anandtech.com/show/4448/amd-llano-desktop-pe...

A8 acts like a 6550 when the proper memory is used. (DDR 1600 should do)

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/289?vs=399

And also only does noticeably worse in gaming and single threading

and is also cheaper (120 + 50) vs 140

also more low profile

probably would get a better motherboard too

could roll back to a A6 3650 or even 3500 and still get better than Intel's integrated.
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January 9, 2012 6:35:58 PM

I3 has more proccesing power... 5770 in much better than an a8
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January 9, 2012 6:41:21 PM

gooseta said:
I3 has more proccesing power... 5770 in much better than an a8


You don't need a 5770 for HD video.
As far as i3's processing power, I posted benchmarks.
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January 9, 2012 6:43:27 PM

5770 will be BETTER for HD video, plus The Llano platform is ageing and lacks upgradeability.
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January 9, 2012 6:55:20 PM

gooseta said:
5770 will be BETTER for HD video, plus The Llano platform is ageing and lacks upgradeability.


That's like telling someone an i7 is better for surfing the internet. A low end card is more than enough processing power to handle 1080p video. At the same time an i3 + 5770 would max TDP at 170+ watts, nearly double the A8s 100w.

And aging? The platform that just came out last year? Lacks upgradeability? Do you think she's going to upgrade to an i7 at some point?
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Best solution

January 9, 2012 7:22:32 PM

When dealing with builds under $500 I would highly suggest a prebuild system like a Dell or HP. It is just one of those things where they can build a better crappy computer than you can. Just take the time to take off the trash software that comes with it, and make her some restore discs before giving it to her. It will have a better warranty, it will be smaller, it will be quieter, it will be simpler for repairs (while under warranty anyways), and you won't have to fix it as often because you didn't build it for her :) 

$300 http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=d...
Includes 2GB Ram, 500GB HDD, Win7, cute little case, DVD burner, and a Pentium D (essentially a Core2Duo), and a nice little warranty

$10, 2GB of DDR3 Ram for a total of 4GB, plenty for most people

$50-75, your PCIe video card of choice for better HD video playback, just find something that pulls power from the PCIe slot and does not require any PSU connectors and it will do fine.

Total: $360-385

Really hard to beat that for such a small budget.
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January 9, 2012 7:49:57 PM

CaedenV said:
When dealing with builds under $500 I would highly suggest a prebuild system like a Dell or HP. It is just one of those things where they can build a better crappy computer than you can. Just take the time to take off the trash software that comes with it, and make her some restore discs before giving it to her. It will have a better warranty, it will be smaller, it will be quieter, it will be simpler for repairs (while under warranty anyways), and you won't have to fix it as often because you didn't build it for her :) 

$300 http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=d...
Includes 2GB Ram, 500GB HDD, Win7, cute little case, DVD burner, and a Pentium D (essentially a Core2Duo), and a nice little warranty

$10, 2GB of DDR3 Ram for a total of 4GB, plenty for most people

$50-75, your PCIe video card of choice for better HD video playback, just find something that pulls power from the PCIe slot and does not require any PSU connectors and it will do fine.

Total: $360-385

Really hard to beat that for such a small budget.



I've thought about this as well. But then I'd miss out on all the fun building it lol. It seems entirely reasonable, and I'm pretty sure she will be in the market for upgradability anytime soon, but I like to keep that as an option.
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January 11, 2012 1:39:19 PM

Best answer selected by thestrangebrew.
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