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Budget Pc - looking for recommendations

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May 20, 2012 5:56:50 PM

Greetings!

I have not built a pc in a couple of years - so much so that the 3 bookmarks I have for threads here are no longer updated. On the flip side, it means that my build has lasted quite nicely. When family members asked my Father what he would like for Father's Day (he is very laid back and most often says he needs nothing) he said he would be interested in a new computer. After getting over the surprise, they all looked at me and said, "time to build one." :ouch:  My last pc purchase was actually a Sager Laptop, so I am out of touch with components and will be grateful for advice.
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Approximate Purchase Date: in the next month

Budget Range: a budget pc (not a piece of junk like they provide my classroom at school) one priced for quality, longevity, and meet the needs (it's likely to stay on his desk for quite awhile)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Microsoft Office, Some graphics (photo editing and drafting), internet surfing, tv shows set from pc via hdmi cable to his huge tv, light gaming, email, and skyping

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel preferred

Overclocking: LOL! no

SLI or Crossfire: again, no :wahoo: 

Monitor Resolution: I honestly don't know, but if necessary the family will get him a better monitor if his current does not work out

Additional Comments:
- He likes to tinker and problem solve; he likes to understand what is going on and where - so he has not upgraded from XP; my mother has a laptop with Windows7 on it and he ponders letting go . . . . .
- I'd personally prefer that a dedicated graphics card is put in it
- I have noticed after spending several hours (literally) looking through other threads that often there are short replies of . . . "replace X with x" - if someone suggests a build and you think the build in general is good, but would do the "x for x" - I would really appreciate knowing why :p 
Thank you for your time!

More about : budget recommendations

May 20, 2012 6:17:59 PM

Not sure what the budget is but I made this based on wanting quality and longevity.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8ylr
I decided i5 because it should be a very long time till a quad core needs to be replaced.
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H has 6 USB 3.0 and 2 USB 2.0s for rear panels.
I put in 8GB of ram for future proof. Should be great for light gaming and photo editing.
1TB SATA HDD to put in lots of photos,documents, and games. This HDD has been known to be quite reliable.
Crucial M4 128GB is made for boot OS. Booting times should be very quick. You could downgrade to 60GB. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=...
Radeon 6770 should be fine for light gaming. Runs great on Blizzard games.
Rosewill Challenger is Tom's Hardware Recommended Product 2010. Comes with three fans.
Antec 430/500W PSU should be enough to power everything efficiently with bronze 80 plus certification.
Lite-on DVD drive is well... just a DVD drive.
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May 22, 2012 12:48:07 AM

Thank you for your response 7Ghost

Would you have a recommendation for a HDD about half that size? Both parents use external HDDs to move pictures endlessly between themselves and other relatives. I myself don't even fill mine at 500gigs, so I believe it safe that they won't either.

Also, Crucial M4 128GB - I watched the video, this is pretty much luxury, yes? My dad is the kind who starts the pc, heads to the kitchen for a glass of ice tea and fresh plate of cookies, then settles into his chair to play a couple rounds of solitaire :D 

The power supply is currently out of stock at newegg

Thanks again.
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May 22, 2012 3:10:11 AM

gitika1 said:
Thank you for your response 7Ghost

Would you have a recommendation for a HDD about half that size? Both parents use external HDDs to move pictures endlessly between themselves and other relatives. I myself don't even fill mine at 500gigs, so I believe it safe that they won't either.

Also, Crucial M4 128GB - I watched the video, this is pretty much luxury, yes? My dad is the kind who starts the pc, heads to the kitchen for a glass of ice tea and fresh plate of cookies, then settles into his chair to play a couple rounds of solitaire :D 

The power supply is currently out of stock at newegg

Thanks again.


Yes it's fine to get a HDD half the size. If you don't need the size for pictures, then there's no need for 1TB.

Yes the Crucial M4 is luxury item. It is not needed.

Pretty much any 80 plus bronze PSU with two 6 pins will be fine for this build. Here's another one. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 7, 2012 3:40:14 PM

Father's Day is almost here and newegg is sending out more relevant fliers.
Based on what 7Ghost suggested, I have this sitting in my wishlist to order:

99.99 Windows 7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

49.99 Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

79.99 Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

124.99 XFX Radeon HD 6770 HD-677X-ZNFC Video Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

46.99 G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

4.49 Link Depot DVI-AVGA-ADPT DVI To VGA Adapter
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E168...

200.98 Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
LITE-ON DVD Burner
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

214.98 GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H ATX Intel Motherboard
Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

--------
822.40
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the lastest flier - http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail/June-0-2012/Summer...
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A couple of questions:
The motherboard suggested has only a few reviews; the latest making comments about the onboard sound. I myself know what it is like if the onboard sound comes with less than adequate or quirky sound software. I am familiar with Realtek but have a vague recollection of a bad via exp long ago. While my father has replaced parts and such, he has never built and clean installed a pc. Any issues will be handle over skype.
Would anyone have another recommended mb for this build?

Hard Drive - 7Ghost had recommended a larger one, but we only need one half that size.
Is my selection a decent one?
The latest Newegg sale flier has a
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive for nearly $30 less.
Bare Drive = no cables? I need to add the appropriate one to the order? :p 
The blue light on the case - can it be turned off? I suspect he will not appreciate this :p 

Is there anything you would change? If so, why?

Thanks again for all of your time and help - I really appreciate it :) 
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June 7, 2012 4:13:19 PM

Your build seems way overtuned for the intended purpose. At least to me.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($117.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Adorama)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Cooler Master 460W ATX12V Power Supply ($42.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.99 @ B&H)
Total: $534.47
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-07 12:10 EDT-0400)

For video card I would go with the new GeForce GT 640. For what your father is likely to do, it will provide more than enough power.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - $109.99

Total Price: $644.46
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June 7, 2012 6:26:32 PM

No need for a Z77 if he's not 1. using an IVB CPU and 2. not overclocking.

An H67 board will be fine for him.
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June 7, 2012 7:20:47 PM

azeem40 said:
No need for a Z77 if he's not 1. using an IVB CPU and 2. not overclocking.

An H67 board will be fine for him.



I agree. But this was my thought process:

1. I couldn't find a decent H77 that cost much less than Z77. Maybe they are behind on being released or I didn't look hard enough.
2. I thought a using a ?77 would allow them to upgrade the processor if it was ever needed.

I am, however, thinking the GT 640 was a bad suggestion. I did a little more digging and there are better options in that price range or little less. So, consider that idea withdrawn.
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June 8, 2012 2:19:32 PM

Pigs will fly before he will overclock :p 

I did some research and learning about H67, H77, and Z77 - and he definitely does not need a Z77
When I look at the H67 and H77 mb on newegg, there are so few reviews and then they hit both ends of the spectrum - love and hate.
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June 8, 2012 2:26:48 PM

gitika1 said:
Pigs will fly before he will overclock :p 

I did some research and learning about H67, H77, and Z77 - and he definitely does not need a Z77
When I look at the H67 and H77 mb on newegg, there are so few reviews and then they hit both ends of the spectrum - love and hate.


I agree. Which is why I ended up including the Z77 in the suggested build. It gives scalability in the future and a solid solution now.
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June 8, 2012 6:15:25 PM

Some good advice here, but I think I would do it a bit differently.

This is basically an office build with some slight multimedia upgrades. It's close to jgardner88's build actually, but will be different as I use newegg exclusively.

I looked over the flier and saw nothing much there that was compelling, except perhaps the WG Caviar Blue 500GB.

I do think you should reconsider the SSD. For this type of usage, nothing will make the PC faster. It will be shockingly fast - he won't have time to get out of his chair before it boots up. It WILL make an impression and nothing will prove how worthwhile the new computer is like an SSD. After he opens that office doc for the first time, he'll never want to go back to HDDs.


  • LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24NS90 - OEM
  • Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Don't forget the code
  • MSI R6670-MD1GD5 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
    Strong and quiet. GDDR5, not 3.
  • AMD Gift - Dirt3 Game Coupon - OEM
  • Mushkin Enhanced Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model 996770
    This is a lot of RAM, but it's cheap. Running faster RAM technically voids the CPU warranty... 1333Mhz CL9 1.5V is just fine for this system.
  • ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Onboard internal USB 3.0 header. All the needed features and none of the extras.
  • Intel Core i3-2130 Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32130
    A hyperthreaded dual core is best here. You still get the 4 threads but you get faster single thread performance than the i5 2400.
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
  • Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    Boot and program drive. He can store music or whatever on the mechanical drive.
  • Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-450 450W Continuous @ 50°C, 80 PLUS GOLD Certified, Single +12V Rail, ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V ...
    One of the finest PSUs made. A great price in combo with the case.
  • Rosewill RANGER Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case,two-toned interior coating,come with Three Fans,Support up to 7 Fans, ...
    This case has front USB 3.0 ports, something absent in the Challenger you selected. You could also go with a nicer case I will link after.
    TOTAL: $792.90
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    June 9, 2012 8:03:50 PM

    2 Questions:
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    Reading more on HD

    Blue vs Black for his purposes - should I stick with the original black suggestion, or is the blue acceptable? Don't want to give him problems in the future.
    ----------------------------------------

    The:
    ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    shows 2 Sata cables in the box content pictures - so I do not need to order another for the bare drive? or I do?

    Thanks!
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    June 9, 2012 9:15:26 PM

    You don't need extra SATA cables.

    The Caviar Black will give you slightly faster speeds. If you decide to have an SSD though, the data drive speed is not so important... you might even look for a slower drive. Once an SSD is in place, cool operation and longevity are most important for the data drive.
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    !