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New Builds for Office

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September 27, 2012 6:28:59 PM

So my office has tasked me with upgrading our machines. They are all P4s and incredibly slow now (surprisingly, a P4 can't handle simple office applications and web browsing/streaming now ???) . Even on my extremely well-maintained work PC which I upgraded to 1.5 GB of RAM is extremely slow and can barely watch a YouTube video. It's a pain in the ass just to change my fantasy football lineups (although that may also be related to being in 6 leagues).

Anyway, it's so hard to stay in the market, and even only a few months of not paying attention has caused me to feel like I have no idea what to get.

I need to build about 3-7 PCs that can handle office applications, web browsing, and the occasional streaming video and distractions from work. What's the cheapest and most efficient way to do this?

I was thinking right now the processor to get for these basic uses would be an i3, some basic cheap motherboard, a regular mid-size chassis, an 80GB hard drive (or less if 80GBs are too expensive), a cd-rw and floppy (we still use them for some archaic tasks here), 4 GB of whatever RAM's on sale at newegg (2x2GB I believe the best for this but correct me if I'm wrong), and Windows 7.

I'm hoping that buying the parts and building these is still the cheapest, because I love to build, rather than just buying a cheap pre-built machine that is so cheap because they order so many parts in bulk... I’m hoping I can stay under $400 and still build a fast PC since it won’t need a lot of power and graphics for gaming. All help is appreciated, thank you!

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: I really hope I can do this for under 400 per machine

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Microsoft Office (Word, Outlook, Excel), surfing the web, marking

Are you buying a monitor: No, unless there are some amazing deals out there I'm unaware of (feel free to inform me!)



Parts to Upgrade: New Build

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Location: Burbank, CA

Parts Preferences: We currently use Intel, and while I'm sure AMD would work fine, I would like to know if there is any advantage to staying and/or disadvantage to switching

Overclocking: No (maybe I will on mine though, haha)

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Probably won't be upgrading monitors, some are 1024 on CRT others are 1280 on LCD.

Additional Comments:

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Work computers are old and slow, even at Pentium 4

More about : builds office

September 27, 2012 6:33:44 PM

$400 might be a bit tricky but here goes:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 1GB Video Card ($47.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $466.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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September 27, 2012 6:52:08 PM

g-unit1111 said:
$400 might be a bit tricky but here goes:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6570 1GB Video Card ($47.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 380W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $466.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)



Well done, but he could probably just leave out the graphics card, right?

Also, I'd recommend the Corsair CX430 PSU instead, which can be had on sale for $25-30 sometimes.
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September 27, 2012 8:54:44 PM

naf said:
Well done, but he could probably just leave out the graphics card, right?

Also, I'd recommend the Corsair CX430 PSU instead, which can be had on sale for $25-30 sometimes.


Yeah but if you want to run more than one monitor (which a lot of business users do) I'd rather have the option open then try to run two monitors off the CPU and put a huge strain on it.
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September 27, 2012 11:09:20 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Yeah but if you want to run more than one monitor (which a lot of business users do) I'd rather have the option open then try to run two monitors off the CPU and put a huge strain on it.


Actually, no one will be using dual monitors, so I'll definitely drop a graphics card. But would it be worth it to have something in terms of graphics for stuff with Flash? If so, would it be better to get an integrated graphics card, or a really cheap discrete one?
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September 28, 2012 12:06:43 AM

deaf to light said:
Actually, no one will be using dual monitors, so I'll definitely drop a graphics card. But would it be worth it to have something in terms of graphics for stuff with Flash? If so, would it be better to get an integrated graphics card, or a really cheap discrete one?


There's nothing cheaper than the GPU I linked to without sacrificing a lot. But as far as Flash goes pretty much even the lowest end CPUs you can think of will run Flash anything, even my Android phone runs Flash stuff just fine. :lol: 
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September 28, 2012 4:55:30 PM

g-unit1111 said:
There's nothing cheaper than the GPU I linked to without sacrificing a lot. But as far as Flash goes pretty much even the lowest end CPUs you can think of will run Flash anything, even my Android phone runs Flash stuff just fine. :lol: 


Well everything except these P4s we're running right now... Trying to run a facebook game is like watching paint dry
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September 28, 2012 4:57:42 PM

By the way, would it be better to just go with an equivalent AMD because they run cheaper? I noticed neither of you guys suggested that.

Thank you so much for all your help as well!
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September 28, 2012 5:54:53 PM

yes but then they draw 2-2.5 times more power to do the same task. if its a APU system, they are rather slow compared to i3s
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September 28, 2012 6:28:17 PM

deaf to light said:
Well everything except these P4s we're running right now... Trying to run a facebook game is like watching paint dry


Yeah my firm runs quite a bit of older hardware. We're still running P4s, Core 2 Duos, AMD X2s, and I think there's a couple of 1366 systems. I think the fastest system on the network runs an i7-860. I'm the only Ivy Bridge build on the network but that's mainly because I use my own system. :lol: 

Quote:
By the way, would it be better to just go with an equivalent AMD because they run cheaper? I noticed neither of you guys suggested that.


The only low end or mid range AMD CPU that's worth anything is the Phenom II 965 but even that's quite a bit old now and uses twice the power of its' Intel equivalent.
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October 2, 2012 6:29:16 PM

So here's the build I came up with:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($68.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($34.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $361.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I chose the Z75 cause you can overclock it, and even though it's $5 more, it's free shipping which makes it even cheaper than the Pro4. I am going to use the old cases, so that saved me some money. Should be able to use the old OS as well since the old computer wont be used.

I did have a question about the RAM. I saw these 3 models:
The one you picked:
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBXL - $24.99
This one:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBRL -$23.99

And the one I picked:
G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBNQ - $24.99

I couldn't see any differences in the spec comparisons though. Can anyone elaborate on this? Thanks!
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October 2, 2012 8:01:14 PM

naf said:
Well done, but he could probably just leave out the graphics card, right?

Also, I'd recommend the Corsair CX430 PSU instead, which can be had on sale for $25-30 sometimes.



Actually Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge have problems with the CX430, I found out recently. That's why I put a stronger PSU in that build.

Quote:
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($34.98 @ Newegg)


A lot of Thermaltake PSUs are junk - especially in the low end category. Tread carefully.
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October 2, 2012 8:59:07 PM

I was actually wondering about the power supply. It looked like a weaker PSU at 380W though.... just with a certification and marked as continuous. PSUs have always confused me a little. The Thermaltake was well-reviewed... but will it not be good enough for this build?
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October 2, 2012 9:27:51 PM

Also, did you recommend that Antec One case because it's front USB ports were 3.0? I was looking at cases, and saw some cheaper options that would suffice, but they didn't offer 3.0 ports in the front which may prove useful.
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October 2, 2012 11:59:17 PM

the antec one is a great case. built with quality but at a low cost

the psu id recommend is the xfx 550w. its 44.99 after MIR at us.ncix
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October 3, 2012 1:19:57 AM
October 3, 2012 1:42:19 AM



Excellent case choice but H61 won't allow much room for expansion and the i3-2120 will most likely be discontinued by the time the OP is ready to buy. It would probably be better to get the i3-3220 and a full H77 board. I never recommend going mATX on full desktop builds as it limits what you can do with your system no matter what the budget.

Also both Sandy and Ivy Bridge builds have issues with the CX430 - get the Seasonic S12 430W instead - it's $20 more but will last a lot longer.
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October 3, 2012 1:45:48 AM

the xfx 450 is the same unit as the s12ii 430
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October 3, 2012 4:50:25 PM

That SSD price is tempting, and since we only have 40GB hard drives here, 60GB would be an upgrade. However, are SSDs really a good idea for office computers? There seems to be mixed reviews out there in regards to the reliability of an SSD drive. The speed upgrade would be great, but would I be setting myself up for a headache?
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October 3, 2012 4:59:04 PM

some of them are good. the vertex plus is decent
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October 8, 2012 6:09:41 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Actually Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge have problems with the CX430, I found out recently. That's why I put a stronger PSU in that build.

Quote:
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($34.98 @ Newegg)


A lot of Thermaltake PSUs are junk - especially in the low end category. Tread carefully.


So annoyed right now. It is junk. It has two SATA power cables and they're so close together that you can't even connect the DVD-RW and the hard drive at the same time.
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October 8, 2012 6:10:02 PM

g-unit1111 said:
Actually Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge have problems with the CX430, I found out recently. That's why I put a stronger PSU in that build.

Quote:
Power Supply: Thermaltake TR2 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($34.98 @ Newegg)


A lot of Thermaltake PSUs are junk - especially in the low end category. Tread carefully.


So annoyed right now. It is junk. It has two SATA power cables and they're so close together that you can't even connect the DVD-RW and the hard drive at the same time.
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October 8, 2012 6:19:26 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M-DGS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($65.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($20.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 90GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Other: USB Floppy ($18.99) [ BYTECC USB Flooppy Total: $361.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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October 8, 2012 6:58:19 PM

ScrewySqrl said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75M-DGS Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard ($65.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Silverline 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($20.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 90GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Other: USB Floppy ($18.99) [ BYTECC USB Flooppy Total: $361.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Change the case since the one you chose wouldnt look great in an office lol
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October 8, 2012 8:14:12 PM

you could go with a Rosewill FBM-01 or R101 instead. smaller and no LED bling, but both are more expensive
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!