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New Build Advice - Cheap internet/video playback

Last response: in Systems
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September 23, 2012 2:40:47 AM

Hey everyone,

First off, let me just say that I've built three computers (1 for myself, 2 for my friends) based off the recommendations I've heard on here. So far everyone is satisfied, so thanks a lot everyone for the input over the years.

I gave my original homebuilt computer to my mother, but after about 11 years its finally bit the dust. I think it was just the video card that went out (I did put aftermarket cooling on it, but I suppose the dust build-up had ruined the cooling system) but the computer is so old that none of the parts on the market are compatible with all the other components.

So, I'm going to build one from scratch.

This computer is for my elderly mother, who rarely does anything more interesting on the computer than watching a video.

What I need then, is something that is reliable (I don't want dollar store components) will last a while and can provide enough processing power to do really simple tasks (no gaming, no high end graphics - internet, email/word processing and video playback).

With that in mind, this is what I'll be salvaging from the old desktop:

Lian-Li aluminum case
Monitor
Mouse
Keyboard
Speakers
Optical Drives

What I need:
RAM
CPU
Mobo
PSU
HDD (Small, I have some from the old desktop, I just hope they are compatible. In any event, I want a small new one - even 60GB would do)
Cheap Vid Card

Anything else that I'm forgetting guys?

Budget: As Cheap as possible, with the exception of buying quality parts so that they don't fail my mother.

Where: Canada

Time: ASAP



Thanks again ahead of time everyone. I haven't been following the hardware market for a while now, so I hope you guys can all fill me in with some good advice so my mom can get back on the internet and bug me with emails again :) 

Thanks guys!



September 23, 2012 2:51:07 AM

CPU: Intel i3 3220. $130
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Mobo: MSI H77MA-G43. $86
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
M-ATX board because I dont know how big your case is.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz Cl9 1.5v. $41
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Could even get 4GB without a problem.

PSU: XFX Core 550W, 80+Bronze non modular. $74 ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Likely a bit overkill, but means easy upgradability.

HDD: WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200RPM. $60
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

GPU: Sapphire HD HD7750. $100 ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Total: $481
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September 23, 2012 3:03:35 AM

Also, I'm not sure how good that build is budget-wise. Newegg.ca has a pre-built HP desktop for $380. I thought if I'm saving the case and optical drive, I could build that for cheaper?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1688...

Also, I have Windows XP from the previous desktop as well, which saves money on OS.
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September 23, 2012 3:05:55 AM

manofchalk said:
CPU: Intel i3 3220. $130
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Mobo: MSI H77MA-G43. $86
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
M-ATX board because I dont know how big your case is.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz Cl9 1.5v. $41
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Could even get 4GB without a problem.

PSU: XFX Core 550W, 80+Bronze non modular. $74 ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Likely a bit overkill, but means easy upgradability.

HDD: WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200RPM. $60
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

GPU: Sapphire HD HD7750. $100 ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Total: $481


You could save even more money by not getting the GPU and just using the integrated graphics on the CPU.
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September 23, 2012 3:12:38 AM

QuickSilver402 said:
Also, I'm not sure how good that build is budget-wise. Newegg.ca has a pre-built HP desktop for $380. I thought if I'm saving the case and optical drive, I could build that for cheaper?

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1688...

Also, I have Windows XP from the previous desktop as well, which saves money on OS.


My build has a couple of advantages over that pre-built.

Double the RAM, better processor (all you are given on that is AMD dual core, so it would be an old Athlon I think), USB3 support, a quality PSU (pre-builts always have generic no-name units) and a graphics card.

I think the extra $100 will be well spent.
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September 23, 2012 3:16:24 AM

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ifY7

*MINIMUM BUDGET OPTION*

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($72.99 @ Mac Mall)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($17.88 @ Adorama)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 1GB Video Card ($47.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($38.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $302.82

You can subtract $50 if you are going to use integrated graphics on the CPU.
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September 23, 2012 3:21:09 AM

How are integrated graphics boards these days? I remember they used to be pretty basic before (i.e. choppy video playback).
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September 23, 2012 3:30:06 AM

Integrated graphics are still nowhere near even low end GPU's (except for the AMD APU's, they are the exception), but it has gotten better.
The HD4000 on some Ivy Bridge Intel's was a big step forward. Modern integrated should be good for watching movies and flash games, but anything more than that and it will start to stutter.
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September 23, 2012 3:40:08 AM

They aren't too bad now. If you are just watching video or emailing they work fine. A lot of laptops use the integrated GPU even some more expensive ones. Although the graphics on the Pentinum are not as great the i3-3220 has Intel HD 2500 not to great but it would work. The i3-3225 comes with Intel HD 4000 witch is a bit better than the HD 2500, HD 4000 is able to play some games on lowest setting such as Guild Wars 2 and Borderlands 2 at 30+ FPS.
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September 24, 2012 2:10:15 AM

manofchalk said:
CPU: Intel i3 3220. $130
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Mobo: MSI H77MA-G43. $86
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
M-ATX board because I dont know how big your case is.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2x4GB) 1600Mhz Cl9 1.5v. $41
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
Could even get 4GB without a problem.

PSU: XFX Core 550W, 80+Bronze non modular. $74 ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Likely a bit overkill, but means easy upgradability.

HDD: WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200RPM. $60
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...

GPU: Sapphire HD HD7750. $100 ($10 rebate)
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

Total: $481



Can I drop the GPU and use the Integrated graphics on that CPU? Worst comes to worst, I could always pick it up later if my mother found she needed some more power.
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September 24, 2012 2:15:31 AM

QuickSilver402 said:
Can I drop the GPU and use the Integrated graphics on that CPU? Worst comes to worst, I could always pick it up later if my mother found she needed some more power.

Yes you could, but you might want to think about getting the i3-3225 for Intel HD 4000.
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September 24, 2012 3:09:36 AM

Haha, sorry. I wrote that not realizing you had already said precisely the same thing.

My bad :) 

I've had a very long day.
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September 24, 2012 3:13:55 AM

Regarding the mobo, I can tell you for certain that I do not need crossfire enabled mobos. Is your recommendation good topmark?
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September 24, 2012 3:18:22 AM

QuickSilver402 said:
Regarding the mobo, I can tell you for certain that I do not need crossfire enabled mobos. Is your recommendation good topmark?

I don't have experience with that motherboard personally but the reviews look good and it seems to be one of the best budget options. Just hope you don't get a DOA one as a few of the reviews reported DOA motherboards. You can read some reviews here http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 24, 2012 3:23:32 AM

I know everyone here is trying to push for a video card, but in my experience, you don't really need one.
My 4 year old laptop with an Intel GM965 can play compressed HD videos (720p or 1080p) without issues. But special emphasis on 'compressed'.
The latest HD4000 is supposed to be much more powerful.
But I realized that HD/flash video playback pushes my CPU more than anything.

So, HD playback is not really dependent on the GPU, unless you use hardware accelerated video which is still not really fully implemented. Most of the decoding and filtering is still done by the CPU. So get a faster CPU (i5 or i7 if in budget) than a GPU.
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September 24, 2012 7:19:09 AM

QuickSilver402 said:
How about something like a mini-desktop:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1688...

Mind you, my mother has been using an 11 year old computer just fine (I personally thought it was overkill).

Any thoughts?


Its an atom, I'd prefer the i3 atleast. If you're planning to use windows, that is.
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September 27, 2012 8:07:51 PM

Ok, I went through the system.

I like the idea of the i3, since I use a higher end i5 myself and found it to be a great product. I think Intel did a good job with these sockets.

The mobo looks like overkill, but as long as it doesnt break within the next 5 years, I'm willing to pay the premium just in case.

I like corsair ram. At $40 for the 8GB, I don't see a reason to halve that and not get the 8GB. (Man has RAM gotten cheap)

I also like the idea of the higher-than-necessary PSU, just in case. So I'll get that too.

In short, I'm getting everything on that list except for the graphics card as I think the i3 integrated graphics, based on my research, will suffice for this computer's uses.

The nice thing is too, with this setup, I could always turn it into a really cheap storage/server computer for myself if my mother ever decides she needs another one.

Any final thoughts before I hit the buy button?
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!