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Dependable Home Office Build ~$400

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October 27, 2012 2:00:44 PM

Its been awhile since I kept up on computer technology. Im looking to build a reliable home office PC for my mother-in-law. $400 is just for the tower. It wont be used for gaming.


Approximate Purchase Date: This Week

Budget Range: Approx $400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Storage (Docs and Pics/videos) , Office work (word/excel/email) Internet surfing, possibly vhs to dvd conversion

Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel but will consider AMD, have had good luck out of Gigabyte and GSkill

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Unsure

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 ]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236100]

Operating System : Win 7 needs to be included in price

Additional Comments: Dont need anything special for a case just Mid Size with good ventalation. Access for usb and SD card on front. Possibly will be used for VHS to DVD conversion but not required in the $400 budget.
a c 77 B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2012 2:28:20 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.99 @ Mac Mall)
Motherboard: ECS B75H2-M3(1.0) Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($50.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital RE2 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ CompUSA)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $395.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

You can buy a front panel card reader for not much eg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a c 77 B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2012 2:45:29 PM

Missed the fact it's used. Wondered why it was such a good deal.

I picked the mobo because USB3.0 is nice, and it's cheap. You could swap it to an H61 board, but you'd need a different (no USB3.0) case.
Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
October 27, 2012 2:46:30 PM

That build looks OK except for the motherboard. I wouldn't call ECS dependable really. I'm sure they're OK but a Gigabyte board would probably be better. Intel make some good boards too, not exactly feature rich but they tend to be rock solid in terms of reliability.

I'd probably stick with Intel for the low power consumption and decent integrated graphics (compared to AM3/AM3+).

EDIT: You don't need to worry about performance at all in this build, any modern CPU with 4GB of RAM and a 7200RPM hard drive will be fine. Just spend the extra on getting good reliable brands in my opinion. I put a similar build together for my mum and I used a dual core celeron with 4GB RAM and a small SSD (she doesn't need storage. That build has been more than fine for her.

The Fractal Design Core 1000 would be a good case for this. Nice cheap little tower that fits all standard PC parts. It's surprisingly small.
October 27, 2012 5:47:33 PM

if you can raise the budget to 650$ then i can get you a decent rig that can play almost every game on med/high with no lagg

CPU Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor $119.99

CPU Cooler SilenX EFZ-120HA5 86.0 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler $32.99

Motherboard ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $89.99

Memory G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $39.99

Storage Hitachi 320GB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $58.84

Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card $199.99

Case Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case $54.99

Power Supply Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply $55.99

Optical Drive Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $19.99



Total: $669.71

here are the parts with prices and total price have fun! :D 
October 28, 2012 1:38:28 AM

I dont believe I will have to worry about my 55 year old mother-in-law playing any game but solitaire. If I remove the OS from the $400 bugdet will there be a big jump in preformance. If so please provide build for $400 not including OS.
October 28, 2012 2:58:18 AM

Not including OS and GPU? Lmao, you could fit an i5 snugly into your budget there.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEUs
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEUs/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEUs/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($37.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $373.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

On the other hand, you could just get an i3 and just save a bunch of money and use it to, I dunno, buy a dog.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEUd
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEUd/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEUd/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($37.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $343.94
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Or if you want a better dog (If you want to save money, since there's no gaming and stuffs)

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEWM
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEWM/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lEWM/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ECS B75H2-M3(1.0) Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($50.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill FBM-02 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($28.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $305.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I didn't include an optical drive in these lists, mainly because optical drives are pretty cheap. There's not much point in getting a new one, as there isn't much of a difference. You could find an old one on eBay for maybe 5 bucks, or new for $15.

Cheap optical drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2012 10:25:08 AM
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Honestly I think anything more than a Pentium G620 with 4GB RAM is overkill for this.

If you don't need an OS, I'd just put a SSD in there.

Intel Pentium G620
2x2GB G.Skill VS 1333Mhz 1.5v
ASRock H61M-DGS
Crucial M4 64GB
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
SeaSonic SS-300ET 300W
Fractal Design Core 1000
Lite On DVD Burner

Total - $379.92

I think the extra is better spent on reliability and storage capacity (and the SSD) than CPU/RAM/Graphics performance.
a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2012 10:55:14 AM

CustomPc said:
if you can raise the budget to 650$ then i can get you a decent rig that can play almost every game on med/high with no lagg


Swing and a miss.

Would go with jmsellars build. The SSD will make the biggest difference in using the machine.
Just install Windows and Microsoft Office there and your set.
October 28, 2012 1:55:49 PM

You can go MUCH lower than that if you're going with a Pentium build..

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lGU6
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lGU6/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lGU6/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Pentium G630 2.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ECS H61H2-M12 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital RE2 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 90GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Rosewill FBM-02 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($28.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($35.83 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $300.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

More SSD, tier 2 PSU, case shouldn't matter for performance, lower end MOBO cus you aren't OC'ing and if you don't have external hard drives, there's not point in going for USB 3.0
a b B Homebuilt system
October 28, 2012 2:14:19 PM

I think priority number one is reliability though. That's where the Seasonic PSU, Crucial M4 SSD and ASRock motherboard should shine. I've heard of plenty of issues with ECS motherboards.

EDIT: The case is personal preference really. I think they're quite important for people that don't appreciate/understand performance as it makes it feel a bit more special. Fair enough if you would prefer to save a bit of cash on it though.
October 29, 2012 11:09:28 PM

Best answer selected by Budro86.
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