I am not a gamer, just a browser. This is a basic question, but important to me. I need to know if you need to select a CPU w/onboard graphics (ie: AMD A series) when using a MOBO that also has on-board Radeon graphics (Asus F1-A75-M) I like the MOBO because of my limited budget, the features for the future, and multiple video ports that would allow for duel monitors. I can also use an AMD Athelon II X4 631 w/o graphics if that is best. Either way, I can do this for under $200 - within my budget. I kind of want to stick with an FM1 slot setup but can certainly be disuaded by someone who knows better. If there is a combo MOBO/CPU/dedicated graphics card that comes close, please let me know. Primarily though, I need to know if The CPU and MOBO both need to have onboard graphics or will they "fight each other" to provide the function? Second question, MOBO has two video ports a DVI and a VGA, am I right in assuming w/ WIN7 HP that I can put a VGA adapter on the DIV and run two VGA monitors?

My present Dell Dimmension 2400 w/ Celeron 2.4ghz is maxed at 1g ram and I have to wait for letters to appear on the screen.
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  1. Best answer
    If a motherboard has onboard graphics, it will be because it only supports cpu's that do not have integrated graphics.
    Today, most lower end cpu chips will include onboard graphics that are suitable for your use and more. Perhaps the equivalent of a $50 discrete graphics card.

    Being more familiar with the Intel offerings, I suggest the following:
    Intel G530 cpu $50
    A H61 based motherboard such as this $67 ASROCK:

    The motherboard, and most H61 motherboards have three graphics outputs, DVI, VGA, and HDMI. You can use any two of the three at the same time.

    You might want to read this Anandtech article on budget builds:

    Pay particular attention to the use of a Intel 330 SSD. A SSD is the most important performance omponent of such a build.
  2. Currently, when it comes to integrated graphics, the AMD APU's are the best bang for the buck. Some suggestions:

    1) If you're going with an APU setup, avoid the X4 for that socket. That CPU defeats the purpose of the FM1 socket because it lacks the integrated GPU. The best CPU that will keep you under the $200 mark for that motherboard is the A4-3400:

    It's a dual-core with a 65W thermal. A dual-core is more than enough for a web system. If you want something a little better, the A6-3650 quad core is only $25 more. I personally would go with the quad for I do a lot of multitasking, and the extra cores help.

    2) Yes, you can use a DVI to VGA adapter to run two VGA monitors. Then again, if one of the monitors does have a DVI port, then just run straight DVI.

    3) Since this is a very basic system, you might save some money by buying an OEM system unless you already have a legal copy of Windows 7. If not, you're looking at $100 for a copy, which puts you already at $300, plus whatever hardware you need. For $400, you can get a comparable system off the shelf complete with Windows. Either router you go, I would suggest making sure it has 4GB of RAM. Windows 7 runs fine on 2gB for web browsing, but 4GB is the ideal amount.
  3. Best answer selected by harufam.
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