Core i3/ssd vs i5/no ssd for cheap office build

A friend of mine needs a PC built in the $500 range (including new OS) who doesn't play any games and will only be using his computer for word processing and internet. He wants it to be reliable and quiet and without the need to service, upgrade, or replace it for at least 5 years. Since he needs an OS (has to be a legit copy! :non: ) that means I only have about $400 to budget the parts (possibly could squeak by at 450ish).

Here is a list of build specs:

Intel Core i3 2100
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0359809

Asus H61 board + 8GB patriot memory
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.964946

Corsair builder series CX430 v2
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

NZXT case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146075

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB SATA 6Gb/s
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136769

Asus 24X dvd combo drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204

Windows 7 home premium SP1 OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116986


Total including Windows 7 is $462. Assuming my friend wants to spend $60 more for $512 total, which would he notice more, switching from the core i3 2100 to the i5 3450? OR would he be better off spending that money on a small SSD for OS/programs? I was thinking this mushkin 60GB drive (its sata 2 but the h61 mobo doesn't support sata 3 anyway). http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820226151
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More about core cheap office build
  1. An SSD will be more noticeable. Assuming what you listed is all he needs, his usage won't be too CPU hungry.
  2. l0v3rboi said:
    An SSD will be more noticeable. Assuming what you listed is all he needs, his usage won't be too CPU hungry.


    I was leaning this way as well. He will be playing no games, only using the intel processor's igp. It will basically be MS office, facebook, internet browsing, maybe the occasional youtube video.
  3. Yeah.. dual core will be enough for that. :)
  4. Hmm if all he does is internet and word processing why not Ubuntu + Openoffice :P Maybe a small cute build?
  5. Why not do a Llano build? The integrated graphics are stronger than Intel's onboard. The CPU is a little weaker, but it doesn't sound like he really needs strong processing power (or graphics for that matter, but for the sake of longevity?)
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