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Shoestring budget build

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June 8, 2012 7:56:30 AM

I'm doing a business admin course, and someone else doing it who has never owned a computer has commissioned me to build a system for him so he has the opportunity to learn office apps and general internet etc., but has a rather tight budget.

Approximate Purchase Date: Tomorrow (wants to be able to play around with and familiarise himself with MS Office while continuing on with the course)

Budget Range: As minimal as possible. Less than AUS $400.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Office apps, internet, anything else would be what he gets a taste for once becoming familiar with computers.

Parts Not Required: Graphics card (with this budget, anything other than an onboard would be a waste)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.msy.com.au (good local shop, can't wait for things to be shipped) http://www.msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf

Country: Australia

No parts preference, overclocking, SLI/Crossfire, resolution matters little.

Needs to have the future somewhat in mind. He doesn't want this being obsolete (in terms of a simple user, not a gamer) in a few years time. To that end, I'm trying my best to allow this to have USB 3.0, and preferably front panel USB 3.0 (I think he'd run into trouble if he tried to use the back panel much when just plugging things in).

So here we go.

Case+PSU: Thermaltake V4-USB3.0 Case USB3.0 Black Edition with 450W PSU (http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=9188)

Chosen as the cheapest case with front panel USB 3.0

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V (http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=9135)

Chosen as the cheapest motherboard with mid-board USB 3.0 (there didn't seem to be any reasonable AMD boards with that feature for a comparable price, but if there are any I've missed, let me know!)

CPU: intel i3 2120 (http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=7186)

Could go for something cheaper, sure, but in the interests of future-proofing him, I'd rather not. If $$$ need to be shaved badly, might go for a G530.

RAM: Kingston 4GB Kit(2Gx2) DDR3 1333 (http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=5243#)

HDD: Seagate 3.5" Barracuda 500GB ST500DM002 SATA3 7200RPM 16MB HDD (http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=8477)

Cheapest I could find, probably not worth paying for more, and I doubt he'll use up the space quickly.

Graphics: Onboard

Optical: LG SATA Black DVD RW (http://www.msy.com.au/product.jsp?productId=5540)

Only really chosen because it was the equal cheapest and my own LG DVD has worked wonderfully for 6 years.

Overall: $385

Any suggestions? Criticisms? Cheers :) 
June 8, 2012 10:42:45 AM

i would trust a psu that came with a case. go with a antec one and a xfx 550w.
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June 8, 2012 10:55:20 AM

TheBigTroll said:
i would trust a psu that came with a case. go with a antec one and a xfx 550w.


Unless you're simply being your namesake, 550w seems like insane overkill for a build that uses onboard graphics and budget parts. And remember that whole "shoestring budget" thing? It's only the title of the thread...
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June 8, 2012 12:01:22 PM

Stick with the Integrated psu, it will be fine for his needs. That system will consume about 100w.

You could even go with a Celeron (sandy bridge) or Pentium G (sandy Bridge). B75 seems like overkill too, a good old H61 would be more than sufficient (make sure it's a usb 3.0 h61).

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-pc-do-it-you...

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June 8, 2012 12:02:56 PM

well then go with the one in the case ;) 
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June 8, 2012 3:38:04 PM

Only reason for B75 and for not getting a cheaper case is to allow front panel USB 3.0. I think it would be pointless to give him it on the back panel, he'd probably just not use it or be scared of poking around back there. Also, it was decently cheap for a B75.

CPU is indeed beyond his needs, but I'm all for overbuying on CPU, especially since he'll be using this for a long (>5 years) time most likely.
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June 8, 2012 4:08:32 PM

Going by the intended uses, why not go with an AMD A8-3850 APU (on sale right now)? You get better graphical performance, with a cpu that is more than sufficient for a lower price.
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June 8, 2012 4:11:53 PM

Llamalland said:
Only reason for B75 and for not getting a cheaper case is to allow front panel USB 3.0. I think it would be pointless to give him it on the back panel, he'd probably just not use it or be scared of poking around back there. Also, it was decently cheap for a B75.

CPU is indeed beyond his needs, but I'm all for overbuying on CPU, especially since he'll be using this for a long (>5 years) time most likely.



Not sure what B75 has to do with USB 3.0..........?
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June 8, 2012 4:28:01 PM

the B75 has front panel USB 3.0 ports, none of the H61s do...the difference is only $5 or so anyway.

for a slightly more well-rounded system, I'd consider a HD 6570 and a G830
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June 8, 2012 4:43:58 PM

Nice build for 400 dollars.
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June 8, 2012 4:44:00 PM

ANY modern pc that works will be adequate.

A pre-built pc from Lenovo, dell, gateway, HP, etc will be hard to beat on price.
Particularly when you add in the price of the os($100), and peripherals.



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June 8, 2012 4:56:53 PM

With really low budget builds, that's the wall that anybody will run into - price of OS. Pre-builds always get it for next to nothing, so low budgets from HP as previously comment stated, are extremely hard to beat.
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June 8, 2012 4:57:58 PM

Does he need a DVD drive? New line of laptops hitting the market soon don't have optical drives, since flash drives and cloud storing has becoming more mainstream.
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June 8, 2012 5:47:43 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
the B75 has front panel USB 3.0 ports, none of the H61s do...the difference is only $5 or so anyway.

for a slightly more well-rounded system, I'd consider a HD 6570 and a G830



Oh wow front panel usb 3.0, big deal, plug into the back. Be careful, most of the B75's only have a 4x pci-e slot.
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June 8, 2012 10:55:58 PM

Geez, geekapproved, have you even read the posts on this thread, even one you've ALREADY QUOTED? I've already said that he'd be scared to mess around with the back ports. I've even checked with him, saying he can shave about $40 from the build of he's ok with the back, and he's said that he'd prefer to fork out the extra.

Dassix: yes. Again, first time pc user, he'd have no idea about cloud storage and all that. He doesn't even have Internet yet, so optical is the only way to give him the OS.

Geofelt: for some reason, premade dell etc are harder to find here. I've looked, and there are cheaper options, but they are not really geared towards the future (eg USB 3.0) and they're not all that much cheaper and have some pretty crappy parts. Maybe distributers here are ripping us off.

Tonync_01: on sale WHERE? I'm in Australia, as already stated.

Screwysqrl: balanced for who? Does an office/web user really need more than the onboard? I've heard good things about onboards from both CPU makers. CPU could be lowered, but since it needs to help out the onboard and look a little to the future, I think it's worthwhile.
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June 8, 2012 10:56:09 PM

Thanks, spentshells :) 
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June 9, 2012 2:50:02 AM

Yes he would probably be terrified to use the rear usb's........if you can plug in a phone line, you can plug in a usb cable.
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June 9, 2012 4:44:37 AM

Geekapproved, It's all well and good to be all elitist and laugh at someone who isn't confident enough with computers to use the back panel, and not understand that people who are used to computers "messing up" because they don't understand that what they're doing is wrong etc. are going to be scared to do anything that looks technical, but how's about I just tell you, like I've said from the first post, that this build is designed for front panel USB 3.0, ok?

But I don't think you have anything useful to say anymore, you're just here for pride's sake, because I called you on not even reading the very post that you quoted (let alone the OP) and you want to save face.



In more important news, this build is pretty much settled. Thanks to most who posted here!
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!