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Please advise re: DIY kits at Newegg or tiger direct

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  • Do It Yourself
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March 31, 2012 3:44:28 PM

Hello, and thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

I am wanting to put together a system for my mom, and I've never put together a system nor actually built one, but I am pretty handy and like DIY projects. That being said I would like to purchase a DIY kit from newegg or tiger direct, I am willing to spend 300-500 and already have a oem 64 bit windows 7 so the system needs to be compatible.

She uses her computer to get on the net, play Facebook games, light office work, and digital photo thru picasa, and a scanned document every once and a while.
Personally, I like the idea of having the OS on a ssd, and a big HD for data storage so the option of having a ssd would be a consideration, but affordability is the main consideration.
I want it to peppy enough for her as well as when I come to visit that I dont get annoyed by lack of performance but by no means does it have (and realize at this point their are limitations on performance) to be blazingly fast, stability is an important factor as well.
So, would this system be a step in the right direction? http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I... can a ssd be put on this system?

Or can someone recommend a DIY kit from newegg or tiger that better fits my needs?

Thanks again for your help.
Oh btw for perspective she is using a 2005 dell pentium 4 entry level computer with xp, so upgrade is relative to this.

More about : advise diy kits newegg tiger direct

March 31, 2012 5:06:09 PM

northcountryinmt said:
Hello, and thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.

I am wanting to put together a system for my mom, and I've never put together a system nor actually built one, but I am pretty handy and like DIY projects. That being said I would like to purchase a DIY kit from newegg or tiger direct, I am willing to spend 300-500 and already have a oem 64 bit windows 7 so the system needs to be compatible.

She uses her computer to get on the net, play Facebook games, light office work, and digital photo thru picasa, and a scanned document every once and a while.
Personally, I like the idea of having the OS on a ssd, and a big HD for data storage so the option of having a ssd would be a consideration, but affordability is the main consideration.
I want it to peppy enough for her as well as when I come to visit that I dont get annoyed by lack of performance but by no means does it have (and realize at this point their are limitations on performance) to be blazingly fast, stability is an important factor as well.
So, would this system be a step in the right direction? http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?I... can a ssd be put on this system?

Or can someone recommend a DIY kit from newegg or tiger that better fits my needs?

Thanks again for your help.
Oh btw for perspective she is using a 2005 dell pentium 4 entry level computer with xp, so upgrade is relative to this.


Personally, I think you are better off buying the parts separately than through a DIY kit. The PSU that comes with the case will probably croak within a month, and the motherboard seems iffy at best (three eggs doesn't cut it for me). For an extra $110, you could go with something like this:

Part list permalink / Part price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($99.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61M-S2H Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: Crucial 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($22.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.95 @ B&H)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($34.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 500W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS70 OEM DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $418.87
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated 2012-03-31 13:04 EDT-0400)

If you really want to keep cost down, then at least get a separate psu, preferabbly a good 80+ 500w PSU. I chose a sata iii hard drive in case you may upgrade to a sata iii motherboard in the future.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 6:29:03 PM

I would get her a low end Llano system instead, something like the A6-3500 or the A8-3650. They have the best graphics chips available that come integrated on a processor. If you wanted to go this route you would need a cheap FM1 motherboard, some Crucial or Kingston 2x 2GB 1600 RAM, and a XFX 450w or Antec/Corsair 430w PSU, and some kind of case.

Either way, she should just get along with processor graphics and leave off the video card it sounds like to me. If you want Intel and are willing to accept 2x worse graphics, then an i3-2100 would be fine.

If you go the route I mentioned above, you leave out the graphics card, which is one of the items that causes the absolute most problems in new builds.

You can get a SSD or not, but I would just say don't do it since it will just make things more complicated for her and she probably won't get too much out of the expense. Not like she can't wait 2-3 more seconds for her programs to load or anything.

- Edit - I kinda glossed over it, but I would avoid a do it yourself kit from a website. These aren't there to make your life easier. They are there to allow the retailer to be able to sell things they can't sell individually. They can't sell the parts individually for various reasons, but the biggest one is that the items just don't cut it in price/performance.
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March 31, 2012 9:46:10 PM


"- Edit - I kinda glossed over it, but I would avoid a do it yourself kit from a website. These aren't there to make your life easier. They are there to allow the retailer to be able to sell things they can't sell individually. They can't sell the parts individually for various reasons, but the biggest one is that the items just don't cut it in price/performance."

^ok, that's a bummer...so..what are people's thoughts about the Pcpartpickers siteS prebuilds?
http://pcpartpicker.com/guided/
I don't have the confidence to "ala carte" a build myself....and need to have this ready by this Easter weekend.
Also, I'm looking at the "entry" level build on the pcpicker site, if I were to leave off the video card since the processor has integrated graphics (Intel HD Graphics 2000), would I be losing much? Or is it worth the money?
The entry level is this build http://pcpartpicker.com/guided/logical-increments-entry...
Thanks again!
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 10:27:29 PM

I doubt that PC Part Picker would build this thing for you if you picked the things out.

As far as I know, the site just exists so you know if things fit together correctly or not. Like it knows if you pick a 1155 processor to give you a 1155 motherboard, for instance.

I don't know that it is valuable for any more than that.

That being said, if I had to pick components off that list, I would pick:
850
Z68
Kingston
Nothing, if possible (video card) or 6770 if you have to pick
Spinpoint f3
Antec one hundred
Seasonic 520w

But, more than that I would just suggest that you get the confidence to do this stuff. Try looking up some videos on youtube about putting a computer together from parts. It isn't rocket science, but I do understand it can be intimidating if you have never done it before.

As long as you know how to put the square peg in the square hole and the round peg in the round hole, you shouldn't have much problems putting a computer together.

Most parts are keyed, which means they can't be put in backwards or in the wrong hole. For those that you can put the wrong thing in the hole, usually it is pretty easy to see what you are doing wrong.

The white ones go in the motherboard, the black ones in the other devices. If its different than that, you know you didn't connect things correctly, for instance.

I think if you watch a couple videos that go through this step by step you will get the confidence that you lack.

Once you have that confidence, you can pick parts because they are good rather than because somebody else decided to build them into a case and then you don't have to take subpar parts X, Y, and Z, because that is what you have to do to get things you want A, B, and C.

Not that it will be cheaper to do it yourself, it may or may not be, but you have a lot more quality control by doing it yourself.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 10:45:17 PM

Unless your mom is a hardcore gamer, skip the video card and 500w+ power supply. I definitely agree a Llano APU build is the way to go. Saves a lot of money and power. Something like this:

AMD A6-3650 Llano 2.6GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would also say a 1TB Caviar Black is way overkill for a hard drive. Something like this ought to be more than enough for the typical mother's computer:

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

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March 31, 2012 10:51:53 PM

Raiddinn said:

As far as I know, the site just exists so you know if things fit together correctly or not. Like it knows if you pick a 1155 processor to give you a 1155 motherboard, for instance.

I don't know that it is valuable for any more than that.

PC Part Picker is a price aggregator. You choose components, and it helps you with compatibility like you said, and shows you what sites or stores has the lowest price for that specific model.
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
March 31, 2012 11:09:30 PM

Raiddinn said:
I would get her a low end Llano system instead, something like the A6-3500 or the A8-3650. They have the best graphics chips available that come integrated on a processor. If you wanted to go this route you would need a cheap FM1 motherboard, some Crucial or Kingston 2x 2GB 1600 RAM, and a XFX 450w or Antec/Corsair 430w PSU, and some kind of case.

Either way, she should just get along with processor graphics and leave off the video card it sounds like to me. If you want Intel and are willing to accept 2x worse graphics, then an i3-2100 would be fine.


False! According to benchmarks - the AMD is performing so poorly on all levels that even Intel's built-in HD3000 GPU far outperforms the Llano's built-in Radeon 6650: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-4100-core-i3-210...

I'd stick with the i3-2120 even if you're running on integrated graphics.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 12:48:31 AM

Actually, I am pretty sure that link doesn't compare the i3-2120 with HD2000 graphics against the A8-3870k with integrated graphics.

That would be a reasonable test, but near as I can tell it wasn't done.

Note, the regular RAM is the VRAM, so if the person is going to be using an A8 processor they should not be running with 1333 RAM. They should be at more like 1866 or 2000 RAM.

Unlike with a dedicated graphics card where the VRAM is on the video card where the regular RAM is pretty much never the bottleneck, integrated graphics do benefit a lot from faster RAM speeds.

So yeah, any link where the 2120 was put up against the 3870k would have to account for that. It would also have to account for the 3870k being unlocked and afaik the 2120 isn't.

In anything that uses more than 2 cores, the 3870k beats the 2120 in processing speed (the other way around if something only uses 2 cores).

Lets not forget to mention the A8 is DX 11 and the 2120 is only DX 10.

If you go to this article

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/printpage/A8-3850-vs-Cor...

and scroll all the way down to call of duty 2, it does straight chip vs chip graphics performance and the A8 is 1/3 ahead in FPS (from sub 30 fps to about 40).

Starcraft 2, the A8 killed the 2120 again 72 FPS for the A8 and 43 FPS for the 2120. Almost double that time.

Far Cry 2, the A8 again wins, similar to Call of Duty 2 in FPS.

Lost Planet.. A8 wins 25 fps vs 17.

3dMark11 graphics... A8 at least has a score, the 2120 can't run it.

Those are all unOCd figures.

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April 1, 2012 1:23:59 AM

g-unit1111 said:
False! According to benchmarks - the AMD is performing so poorly on all levels that even Intel's built-in HD3000 GPU far outperforms the Llano's built-in Radeon 6650: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-4100-core-i3-210...

I'd stick with the i3-2120 even if you're running on integrated graphics.


That isn't even a A6 or A8 processor. They were comparing the CPU's with discrete graphics cards. The whole point of the A6 or A8's is that a discrete card isn't needed. Really if the person is going to play 5 year old games and watch 1080p video there is no need for a discrete graphics card. Heck most people could get away with intel's HD 2000 graphics if they aren't playing any real games (ie not browser based)
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a c 93 B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 2:00:07 AM

AxemanACL said:
That isn't even a A6 or A8 processor. They were comparing the CPU's with discrete graphics cards. The whole point of the A6 or A8's is that a discrete card isn't needed. Really if the person is going to play 5 year old games and watch 1080p video there is no need for a discrete graphics card. Heck most people could get away with intel's HD 2000 graphics if they aren't playing any real games (ie not browser based)


Yeah it's true that with the A6 it's not needed but you could certainly get away with the A6 if you're not using your computer that much. I recommend it on low-profile HTPCs where you don't need that kind of power anyways.
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April 1, 2012 9:14:26 AM

Thanks for the info...I think im going to go with this example build... http://pcpartpicker.com/guided/logical-increments-entry http://pcpartpicker.com/guided/logical-increments-entry...

And I am going to drop the discreet graphics card...or maybe not...but probably..

Going to upgrade the CPU to the 2.9ghz Pentium 850 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Going to upgrade the mobo to ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

^What specs for a mobo do I need to look for when choosing a mobo in re: to ssd support?

Going with this ram
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Desktop%20Memory)-_-Kingston%20HyperX-_-20104203&AID=10440897&PID=3938566&SID=

And hard drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Any recommendations on DVD burners?
And one of the two cases.
I know someone mentioned that they would skip the ssd since it kinda unneeded in that it would primarily cut boot time and shut down time but I'm interested in it as well and this would be a good excuse to try the technology out.

Thanks for the help, are there any really good tutorials out that should be paying particular attention to?
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 3:11:16 PM

If the Antec 450w you chose is a Seasonic OEM PSU (I don't know if it is or not) then it is good enough.

I only recommend XFX and Seasonic PSUs (usually) because they are the only two brands you can buy completely on wattage.

Every other brand/model you have to go through a pain in the A@@ research process to see if you can trust what the label says. Not so with any PSU with either of those brands, you know they are good so you can skip the research and do something more fun instead.

I am done trying to research if whatever brand and model is Seasonic OEM, so I just get the ones I am sure about without having to research now.

That being said, the prices of XFX PSUs doubled recently for some reason so they aren't the super great deals they used to be at this moment. It would only be for that reason that I would suggest anyone even consider doing the research to see if an Antec of whatever model is a good one.

DVD Drives - The Asus 24x in my signature is the best performing model and usually only a dollar or two more than the average.

Motherboard - SATA 6 GBPS is what you need for SSDs.

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a b B Homebuilt system
April 1, 2012 6:42:10 PM

Raiddinn said:
If the Antec 450w you chose is a Seasonic OEM PSU (I don't know if it is or not) then it is good enough.

I only recommend XFX and Seasonic PSUs (usually) because they are the only two brands you can buy completely on wattage.

Every other brand/model you have to go through a pain in the A@@ research process to see if you can trust what the label says. Not so with any PSU with either of those brands, you know they are good so you can skip the research and do something more fun instead.

I am done trying to research if whatever brand and model is Seasonic OEM, so I just get the ones I am sure about without having to research now.


Have you seen this article? It's now possible to find that out in about 30 seconds thanks to the lists at the end (according to which, Seasonic is the OEM for XFX):
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-ma...

Not trying to call your knowledge into doubt or anything; just thought that would be helpful if you hadn't seen it. It sure saves me a hell of a lot of time when checking out specials, etc.
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