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Build or Buy? Dad's computer.

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May 18, 2012 2:05:00 PM

Hey My dad is currently using an olddd dell dimension something.. 1GB ram.. idk what processor it has.. windows 7.

But it's running reallyyy slow. He only uses it for youtube.. and wordpad to write out lyrics for church songs.
Although he is content with what he has now, My brother and I would like to leave him with a nice computer than he
doesn't have to wait for. Something cheap but good..

My question is should I buy a pc from walmart, best buy, dell or where ever else..
Or build one?

The specs and parts I was looking at for the tower:

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

More about : build buy dad computer

May 18, 2012 2:17:02 PM

Buy this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There is nothing it can't do, and is fairly spiffy. You won't have to spend time building it and you won't be the only line of defense in supporting it.

If you are gonna build from scratch, make sure to at least include a nice SSD boot drive, and a data drive, and set all the Windows folders to the 2nd drive. Yes, even your dad will notice a huge difference.. Mine sure did...
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May 18, 2012 2:19:10 PM

Don't forget, Windows itself might be the most expensive part of your build: If you already have a copy, it is cheaper/better to build. If you don't, go buy a pre-built system...
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May 18, 2012 2:22:48 PM

He doesn't have any Windows specific programs so he could go with Ubuntu and not have to pay. Even in a pre-built the Windows obviously constitutes a finite portion of the price.
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May 18, 2012 2:30:17 PM

RoZmX said:
Hey My dad is currently using an olddd dell dimension something.. 1GB ram.. idk what processor it has.. windows 7.

But it's running reallyyy slow. He only uses it for youtube.. and wordpad to write out lyrics for church songs.
Although he is content with what he has now, My brother and I would like to leave him with a nice computer than he
doesn't have to wait for. Something cheap but good..

My question is should I buy a pc from walmart, best buy, dell or where ever else..
Or build one?

The specs and parts I was looking at for the tower:

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


I think if it is a cheaper computer (500 or below) it is better to buy a computer as windows itself is 100 right there and computers (pre built) are getting cheaper and cheaper these days that computer building companies have been put out of buiseness .

But if the comp is a high end piece of machinery, then building is better but still not as good as a few years ago

but dont lsiten to me, i am a total newb
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May 18, 2012 2:31:21 PM

jacobdrj said:
Buy this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
There is nothing it can't do, and is fairly spiffy. You won't have to spend time building it and you won't be the only line of defense in supporting it.

If you are gonna build from scratch, make sure to at least include a nice SSD boot drive, and a data drive, and set all the Windows folders to the 2nd drive. Yes, even your dad will notice a huge difference.. Mine sure did...


this is great,
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May 18, 2012 4:10:31 PM

hmm well i have windows already.. but yeah i'm thinking of adding a 64GB m4 SSD. :')

or for a boot drive is it too much? could i do with a 30GB?
and yeah my budget is whatever me and me two bros are willing to pay, maybe around 500 is good. fathers day is coming up soon.. hopefully have it by then.

i also have 2 g.skill 4GB ram dims laying around, doubt he needs all that.. but hey. it's there.


EDIT: My brother just informed me we have a DVD burner laying around as well.

So we have:

Windows 7
8GB RAM
and a DVD Drive
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May 18, 2012 4:19:13 PM

RoZmX said:
hmm well i have windows already.. but yeah i'm thinking of adding a 64GB m4 SSD. :')

or for a boot drive is it too much? could i do with a 30GB?
and yeah my budget is whatever me and me two bros are willing to pay, maybe around 500 is good. fathers day is coming up soon.. hopefully have it by then.

i also have 2 g.skill 4GB ram dims laying around, doubt he needs all that.. but hey. it's there.


EDIT: My brother just informed me we have a DVD burner laying around as well.

So we have:

Windows 7
8GB RAM
and a DVD Drive


60 GB of SSD is plenty as you only need to install windows and the programs you want to boot pretty quickly
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May 18, 2012 4:35:09 PM

Well if his primary use for it will be wordpad.... and youtube. Couldn't we settle for a 30GB?

I have a 128GB SSD and installed 1 game and alll my programs for music production and i'm using 57GB.
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May 18, 2012 4:39:53 PM

You MIGHT be able to get away with 30 GB, but it would be a tight fit, and the cost-benefit isn't there... They don't even make a 30 GB M4... And M4 is a great choice...

Is the 8 GB ram DDR2 or DDR3?
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May 18, 2012 4:41:03 PM

RoZmX said:
Well if his primary use for it will be wordpad.... and youtube. Couldn't we settle for a 30GB?

I have a 128GB SSD and installed 1 game and alll my programs for music production and i'm using 57GB.


I guess.. unless he is into hardcore gaming :D 
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May 18, 2012 4:50:18 PM

jacobdrj said:
You MIGHT be able to get away with 30 GB, but it would be a tight fit, and the cost-benefit isn't there... They don't even make a 30 GB M4... And M4 is a great choice...

Is the 8 GB ram DDR2 or DDR3?



DDR3. 1333 or 1600hz

think i might go with the 64GB m4
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Best solution

May 18, 2012 5:21:33 PM

So u would need a case, a CPU, a Motherboard, and perhaps a PSU... and maybe JUST a SSD boot drive...

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

I think you might be better off with this build. With gamers, you can get away with a dual core chip like the i3. Power users are usualy happy with 2 cores also, so long as you have an SSD. However, when you have inexperienced users using a computer, I have found that the minimum number of physical cores should be 3. The reason why is that these people often either need lots of antivirus software running in the background, or have viruses running in the background, either of which would bring a dual core computer to its knees. 3 cores usually frees up significant performance.

This build totals around $300

If you are willing to spend $20 more, you can opt for a true quad core, and be in a much better place:

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





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May 18, 2012 5:29:21 PM

I was also considering dropping the harddrive.. as he doesn't really download much but documents.

maybe a prettier case :) 
since now he has it sitting on his desk. If we get him a bigger monitor then maybe we can move the tower down idk.

But thank you guys for your great answers!
I'm going to go with the custom build as i already have parts. :) 
I can't wait to get rid of that old noisy lagging dell dimension
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May 18, 2012 5:29:38 PM

Best answer selected by RoZmX.
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