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$860 build for my dad

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Last response: in Systems
May 17, 2012 2:42:36 AM

I will be purchasing this build tomorrow to be built on Saturday. He wants to have the best of the best, with that being said, I am trying to appease him with something that is midrange but far beyond what he will use at the time. I also need the machine to be at least decent 5 to 7 years from now, in his eyes that is. He plans on watching and streaming HD video, he says he plays games but im guessing he considers solitaire a game, I can say that he will not be playing BF3 or the likes anytime soon. Anyway, here is what I got, any advice or info would be great.

Budget Range: $860

Watching HD movies, light gaming, surfing the web, multitasking with no lag, general use

Parts Not Required: only the core PC parts are needed

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country: US

Parts Preferences: I would prefer an Intel Processor

Overclocking: no

SLI or Crossfire: no

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: would like some horsepower, but nothing fancy

Here is what I have so far:

CASE: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CPU: Intel Core i5-3550 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

HDD: SAMSUNG EcoGreen F4 HD204UI 2TB SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

SSD(Boot Drive: SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC064D/AM 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop

GRAPHICS: ASUS EAH6670/DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express

SOUND CARD: ASUS XONAR_DG 5.1 Channels PCI Interface Xonar DG Sound Card

PSU: APEVIA ATX-CW500WP4 500W ATX Power Supply

CPU COOLER: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" 120mm

TOTAL: $858.90

I am really iffy about the discrete graphics card, I know that Intel ramped up their graphics with they IVY Bridge chip, he says he wants one but I am certain the chips graphics can handle any HD video I throw at it right? The sound card is a must, he is a home theater buff with 5.1 surround and quality is important in that department. So what do you guys think? any info or advice would be much obliged.

More about : 860 build dad

a c 120 B Homebuilt system
May 17, 2012 3:03:36 AM


I would advise spending the money on a midrange discrete graphics card. The reason being, while Intel is way ahead of AMD on the CPU market, but even Ivy Bridge HD4000 graphics gets its ass whooped by AMD's onboard Llanos.

The HD 4000 is however sufficient for dad's idea of "gaming", but based on the fact you're looking for a computer with a life-span of 5-7 years, its a worthwhile investment.

I would get a different power supply then you have chosen, like this one:

Does dad really need an SSD? Up to you, but I don't think its worth it, for the purpose of this build.

Better discrete graphics card, just a suggestion:

Cheaper CPU (The new Ivy Bridge chips are somewhat of a wash, they have no real improvement over Sandy)

Cheaper Mobo to go with the cheaper CPU
May 17, 2012 3:35:15 AM

Well if you do decide to go Sandy Bridge, like someone else suggested, you could probably save a few bucks by downgrading to 1333MHz RAM, because 1600MHz RAM will downclock to 1333MHz anyway on a Sandy Bridge, unless you go in and ramp it up yourself, but I'm assuming you don't want to since you put "no overclocking", and to a point that falls in that category.

I also would ask the question, "Does your Dad really need an SSD?". You could save a bit of money there, by leaving the SSD out, and possibly even upgrading some other components.

And with that said, does he even need a 2TB HDD? You didn't say if he downloads or streams his HD Content, but if he doesn't download it, he doesn't really need a 2TB HDD. So again, you could save a few bucks there getting a 500GB-750GB.

Also, if you aren't planning on doing any overclocking, an after-market CPU Cooler isn't necessarily required. And you should check first to make sure it'll fit in the case. Not sure exactly what the width of the Antec 300 is, but I got a Hyper Cooler 212 recently to put in my Antec 900, and it was kind of cutting it close. I even had to take out the side panel fan because it wouldn't fit with it in. I think it left about 1/4" room with the side panel on, so make sure it'll fit before spending money on it. Maybe you did already though, like I said, I'm not sure of the dimensions on an Antec 300.
a c 120 B Homebuilt system
May 17, 2012 4:33:06 AM

Good suggestion on the 1333mhz RAM, save you about 10 bucks give or take for a 8GB kit.

Also, another note on the SSD, while I can see the advantage of an SSD for a real gamer (not like dad), 64GB is pretty low capacity, figure in NTFS format for Windows7 its going to be more like 59GB, and Windows7 is gonna take up 15-20GB of it, that leaves you with a bit of juggling to do for the remaining space between your secondary HDD. For a boot drive, I wouldn't want less than 120GB personally.