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Putting together my computer

Last response: in Systems
July 27, 2012 5:05:22 AM

I've posted on another forum, but members said "it can't be done for $400", and "those items are way outdated", and left my questions unanswered. Hopefully this community will be more friendly and advicefull.

Some info..
System Usage: surfing the internet, writing in word document (Word 2010), web development, streaming online videos (Hulu+, Amazon video on demand, YouTube, iTunes store, sometimes DVDs).
Budget: $0... nothing set in stone; preferably I would like to spend $300, but thats hard. Keep in mind items I already have ownership of.
Will be shopping through, but I do welcome suggestions
Parts bin - things I already own: power supply, monitor, computer case, wifi card, and some HDDs

I'm not a gamer, unless the new Sim City turns out very good (not counting on it), so I don't think I need a powerhouse. I dropped cable tv, so I do almost all of my video entertainment online, and my bandwidth is fast enough - never has a problem loading content (comcast cable internet - no buffering issues). Onboard/GPU graphics should be good enough; not sure how much difference a video card would make since online content quality isn't that great. Energy efficiency would be a plus, but I don't care to make any sacrifices just for a few cents off on my power bill :kaola: .

Current Parts Owned
Computer Case: Lian Li PC-Q08A; I landed it for $60 + free shipping and picked it purely for aesthetic, quality, and its compactness; please don't hate me.
ATX Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III; quiet power supply unlike the one I replaced.. its a keeper
Wifi card: ENCORE ENEWI-2XN45 (2.0 PCI Express)
Monitor: Hanns G HZ201HPB (1600 x 900); its 2 years old and I'm wondering, do the new LED monitors offer anything new in details?
Hard Drives:
* 640GB WD Caviar Blue (WD6400AAKS) 7200rpm
* 1.5TB WD Caviar Green (WD15EARS) ?? rpm
* 200GB Toshiba (HDD2A30) 4200rpm

Does the cache matter for hard drives?
How would you set up your storage? I'm undecided about getting a SSD. I plane on having the OS/program files on a single partition and my media files (documents, music, picture, etc..) on a separate partition. Then again, would there be any noticeable benefit on having them on separate hard drives?
Which HDD listed would you choose? Just ignore the Toshiba hard drive, its only used as an external backup hard drive.

AMD or Intel?. . . I really don't know, but in the end I've decided to go the AMD pathway.

Processor: A4-3400 Llano; silly question, would their be a significant difference on my power bill if I where to go with one of the higher wattage processors?

Motherboard: Keep in mind my computer case supports only Mini-ITX. ASRock A75M-ITX; I know I'm limiting myself with the computer case I choose. Its the only FM1 socket Mini-ITX AMD motherboard available at between ASRock and ASUS. I get the feeling that ASRock and ASUS are the two top motherboards (as in reliability)?

Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB); Its a 1600 - I'm reading that going a higher speed will not be noticeable in my application?

OS: Windows 7 64-bit OEM; I tried Ubuntu for 4 days straight and decided to head back to Windows. I've also tried Linux Mint... at least I tried. I don't like Windows either, but it is what it is.

Currently, my order (including shipping, and some other features) runs about $353 at

More about : putting computer

July 27, 2012 8:23:48 AM

I have a feeling I'm on my own... gamers don't care about joes like me :(  :p 

I made a list based on Intel

The only changes are the processor and motherboard. More Mini ITX motherboards to choose from compared to AMD.

Close to the same price - $358.29

dudewitbow said:
as aheads up, you can save just a tiny bit when you combo certain parts

Thanks for the heads up!

I did look for combo deals after adding items to my shopping car, but I failed to see the "view all ##" link.
Related resources
July 27, 2012 8:32:16 AM

so you need a cpu, motherboard, heat sink, dvd drive?, and ram

are you willing to go intel? you can go i5 for your range, or i3 and save some cash if you use integrated graphics. honestly i have an i5-2500k and i have never maxed the cpu doing intense gaming so itll be more than enough power
July 27, 2012 8:32:47 AM

what is the wattage on your power supply?
July 27, 2012 8:39:56 AM

Yes, shopping list: CPU, motherboard, dvd drive, ram, OS (unless I like Linux Mint - then I can hold out)...

Intel or AMD - I honestly don't know what difference I could see. I notice Intel seems to have more motherboards to choose from (Mini ITX form factor).

Power supply is 400 watts.
July 27, 2012 8:45:33 AM

thats all under $400 [i think] and itll be powerful enough to not need an upgrade for a long time
July 27, 2012 9:32:29 AM

Is there a reason you chose that motherboard? I think I like it better than my choice, forgot about my case having front USB 3.0

Anonymous said:
see if you can use a friends windows disk, software typically isnt worth paying for

Can I ask, what do you mean? I don't have much of a choice, since I'm having better usability with Windows instead of Ubuntu.

And I dont' have any friends
July 27, 2012 9:39:47 AM

i chose that board because usb 3.0, pcie 3.0, port selection, display port selection, asrocks reputation for giving an excellent board per price.

well all software can he had for free if you know were to look, im not condoning piracy, but thats how i got mine, i have windows 7 ultimate x64 for the time it took to download it, so i basically payed about $0.10 for a dvd to burn it to
July 28, 2012 4:43:52 AM

How about compatibility? Would the ram you listed support the B75 chipset?
July 29, 2012 2:35:22 AM