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Skype/Casual Use for <$300

Last response: in Systems
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February 14, 2012 11:19:44 PM

Hey guys/gals,

Looking to build a newer computer for my father so he can skype with his grandchildren.


Approximate Purchase Date: As soon as I find the parts

Budget Range: Preferably $300 or less

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Skype is my main concern

Parts Not Required: He already has a Monitor, Speakers, Mouse and Keyboard

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I usually go to Newegg for my systems

Any help would be appreciated, thank you in advance


Also, my old system in no longer in use and can be salvaged if it is worth it. It contains:

1 x GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard
1 x EVGA 512-P3-N801-AR GeForce 8800 GT 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
1 x Intel Pentium E2160 Allendale 1.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80557E2160
1 x CORSAIR DOMINATOR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-8500C5D
1 x SONY 16X DVD±R DVD Burner With 5X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE Model DRU120C

More about : skype casual 300

February 14, 2012 11:39:39 PM

If he already has windows:

Samsung 22X DVD burner: $17
APEX SK-393-C Case: $20
Refurbished WD HDWD1600AABB 160GB HDD: $50
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5450 GFX card: $50-$10 mail in rebate
Rosewill RV350-2 350W PSU: $30
PNY Optima 4GB DDR3 RAM: $20
BIOSTAR H61MGC 1155 socket MB: $50
Intel Pentium G620T Sandy Bridge 1155 CPU: $80

Total: $301 - $15 rebates = $286
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February 14, 2012 11:40:54 PM

Also, you could probably salvage your old build just give it some more RAM and a E5700 Pentium Clarkdale CPU, that would be like $80 together.
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February 15, 2012 12:01:02 AM

Thank you for the reply termhn, would they be pretty equal or would the newer build be a lot better than my old system?
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February 15, 2012 12:47:23 AM

Hmm, would be pretty equal except for graphics. The new one would have a pretty good jump over the old. The graphics card I chose is only like $50 bucks so you could probably afford to pick one of those up too. In that case you'd basically be having the same system just with a little different parts :) 
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Best solution

February 15, 2012 1:11:01 AM

actually I don't think you need much video card power for skype. your old build as is would probably be more than sufficient. just put it in a case with a power supply and call it a day.

If it were me and I wasn't being lazy, I'd put those old parts on craigslist/ebay/the forums and hope I could get maybe 100 or so for it all, and then just build something smaller with integrated graphics. perhaps an Intel G530/H61 combo (about $100), $20 for 4GB of RAM, possibly an SSD if there's not much need for storage, and a case and power supply. DVDRWs are easy to find under $20. Just so I could get a more efficient and cooler running rig and stay well below the $300 budget.
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February 15, 2012 1:25:30 AM

^ +1
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February 15, 2012 10:33:58 AM

I agree that you could pretty much just give him your old build and it would be fine for Skype. It would be nice to do what Bliq said though, if you can sell the old parts you can build something twice as powerful and consumes 20% of the overall power within budget. If you wanted to take that even further you could even run an AMD E-350/E-450 based build, I'm running an E-450 right now and it's completely fine for Skype.
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February 15, 2012 11:09:52 AM

Is this along the lines of what Bliq was suggesting? If there any improvements I would appreciate it, this build was done with a mix of reviews/price.

Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL40GB-DX 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Intel Celeron G530 Sandy Bridge 2.4GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G530
ECS H61H2-M2(1.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
LOGISYS Computer PS350MA 350W Micro ATX Power Supply
Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Also I dont mind going over $300 if it is worth it for what he uses the computer for, I do like the idea of using integrated graphics and making an efficient system.

Thanks again for all the suggestions and help
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February 15, 2012 11:59:40 AM

RyanR said:
Is this along the lines of what Bliq was suggesting? If there any improvements I would appreciate it, this build was done with a mix of reviews/price.

Mushkin Enhanced Callisto Deluxe MKNSSDCL40GB-DX 2.5" 40GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Intel Celeron G530 Sandy Bridge 2.4GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G530
ECS H61H2-M2(1.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
LOGISYS Computer PS350MA 350W Micro ATX Power Supply
Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Also I dont mind going over $300 if it is worth it for what he uses the computer for, I do like the idea of using integrated graphics and making an efficient system.

Thanks again for all the suggestions and help



Yeah that's the idea, I think he was wanting about getting a 'T' model CPU which is 35W for the low end CPU's though. I think the SSD is a great idea as well.

Another thought, the main thing which is going to improve the whole Skype experience is a good webcam/microphone. Maybe try to move some of the budget towards that.
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February 15, 2012 4:29:46 PM

jmsellars1 said:
I agree that you could pretty much just give him your old build and it would be fine for Skype. It would be nice to do what Bliq said though, if you can sell the old parts you can build something twice as powerful and consumes 20% of the overall power within budget. If you wanted to take that even further you could even run an AMD E-350/E-450 based build, I'm running an E-450 right now and it's completely fine for Skype.



Do you by chance have an example of a budget E350 build? I see there are a few combo deal on Newegg
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February 15, 2012 11:04:52 PM

Best answer selected by RyanR.
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February 15, 2012 11:46:38 PM

RyanR said:
Do you by chance have an example of a budget E350 build? I see there are a few combo deal on Newegg



Sorry dude I've had a busy day and haven't had chance to reply, do you still want an example of a budget E-350 build?
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February 15, 2012 11:57:15 PM

Yes please, to compare with the shopping list I have for the G620T Build
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February 16, 2012 2:07:28 PM

Something like this would be good:

MSI E350IS-E45 AMD E-350 APU - $79.99
Kingston Value 4GB (2 x 2GB) 1066Mhz C7 - $24.99
Crucial M4 64GB - $94.99
LIAN LI PC-Q07 - $69.99
SeaSonic SS-300ET Bronze 300W - $39.99
LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner - $15.99

Total - $325.94

Same price really but you're getting a weaker CPU in exchange for a beautiful case, Seasonic reliability and a better SSD. The power consumption at load will be around 25W instead of ~50W too. That original 775 based build would be around 150-200W. This would probably be slightly quieter too since you will have a better PSU, higher quality case and lower TDP.

EDIT: Just remembered you will also have better graphics in this build.

Or if you want something truly small, you could change the case, PSU and optical drive to these:

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...
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February 16, 2012 4:08:29 PM

Tough call, the other one has $25 in mail in rebates but I was thinking I should put bigger than a 40gig in the other one so the difference would only be around $15. The E350 would be the more expensive but that case does look pretty awesome.
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February 16, 2012 4:27:38 PM

Thank you again for all your help, going to let the post go so it doesnt get any larger
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February 16, 2012 4:58:53 PM

Be sure to let us know what you go for though :) 
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February 17, 2012 12:03:04 AM

sorry I didn't get back in and reply. I didn't mention the E-350 builds because I didn't want to get too confusing. truth be told, I have a E-350 build myself with a 60GB Agility 3 and 4GB of RAM and the main thing for me was that it was responsive, which this build is, mainly due to the SSD. I used it for streaming hulu, netflix, etc
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February 17, 2012 12:42:38 AM

I am very tempted to just buy the shell shocker special and put a smaller SSD in it for booting
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February 17, 2012 4:00:27 PM
!