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Building small office computer, need help please

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January 28, 2013 1:49:24 PM

Hello everyone!
I just recently realized the bennifits of building my own computer vs. going to the store and buying a pre built model for a high price. I have a list of parts for my first gaming/graphic design build but before I can do that, my mom has asked that I build her a replacement for her office computer. She has a problem of the computers always slowing down when all she does is check emails online and on outlook and use basic programs like Microsoft word, excel and the others in that series and she uses simply accounting. I dont know what parts she would need or even what size of case as im new to this. I was wondering if you could give me an outline of what parts i should be looking at. It shouldnt be an expensive build and if you could also give me some simple steps to prevent it from slowing down on her or even a reason as to why the computers she has slow down(basic lenovos and hp's).
Thank you guys and your help is much appreciated!

Bottom line: Basic computer suitable for word processing and relatively inexpensive.
January 28, 2013 2:37:18 PM

That is a great build, but is there a way to make it under $300?
Thanks for the help.
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January 28, 2013 3:21:27 PM

Ok, this is the cheapest I could come up with... Considering the cheapest operating system alone costs $100, that doesn't leave much to work with...

Case:Antec Mid-tower Case

Power Supply:Antec 350W PSU

Motherboard:MSI FM1 Motherboard

APU:AMD Llano APU

Memory:G.SKILL 2x2GB DDR3-1600 Memory

Hard Drive:Seagate 500GB Hard Drive

Optical Drive:LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner

Operating System:Microsoft Windows 8 64-Bit Operating System

Total Price=$349.92
I'm afraid this is simply the cheapest I can recommend... Just out of curiosity, what are the specs of the PC this would replace, or when was it purchased?
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January 28, 2013 5:36:52 PM

I only need the parts to build, operating system, peripherals and monitor I have. Sorry for being a hassle. Does this info change the part options?
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January 28, 2013 5:54:45 PM

If possible, I would really recommend an SSD. I know, expensive technology etc. But assuming that she doesn't store many large videos, pictures, and much music, then she won't need much space, making a small capacity SSD possible to use.

The reason for this recommendation is simply that the advantage in speed is very noticeable for the average user. The increased system responsibility, or "snappiness", will be appreciated by your mother for sure.

A reliable SSD such as this one will only cost 15 USD more than the 500 GB Seagate HDD:

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

A way to save some money would be to go with a dual-core Sandy Bridge CPU combined with a very cheap LGA-1155 board. The A4 will only be beneficial if your mother watches a lot of movies.
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January 28, 2013 6:32:54 PM

I took your suggestions into account, here is what I came up with on Newegg:

Case: Rosewill FBM-01 Dual Fans MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Motherboard: MSI H61M-P31 (G3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Power Supply: COOLER MASTER Elite 460 RS-460-PSAR-I3 460W ATX12V V2.31 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Memory: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNT
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU: Intel Celeron G550 Sandy Bridge 2.6GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Hard drive choice #1: Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3500641AS-RK 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

#2: SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD120BW 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CD/DVD drive: LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I dont think im missing anything, the price comes to:
#1: $271.30
#2: $311.30
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January 28, 2013 6:37:48 PM

dns7950 said:
Just out of curiosity, what are the specs of the PC this would replace, or when was it purchased?


I am unsure of the specs but it was bought no more than a year ago.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2013 6:44:47 PM
a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2013 6:46:59 PM

if it that new your mom can do two things. go to cusical memory asnd run the memory advisior and just upgrade the ram of her year old system.
http://www.crucial.com/
talk to her cpu and see if she can write the pc off (depressiasion) and replace it with a new one.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2013 6:49:33 PM

I think the common culprits that slow down a standard home PC are:

- Having too many processes open.

Generally speaking, a less experienced user might end up downloading a lot of stuff they don't need and the 'quick install' options on most software means it opens every time you log on. Get more than 5 or so programs like that and you will start seeing major slowdowns on a cheaper PC

- Improperly maintained hard drive

If your boot drive is more than about 90-95% full, you can start to see a lot of slowdowns. Also, if a HDD isn't defragged relatively reguarly, it can get a bit sluggish. While we are on the topic of hard drives, make sure to get a 7200RPM model, it will be faster than the 5400RPM models.

- Not enough RAM

Nowdays, you're looking at 2GB bare minimum for RAM. If you want something quick though, I'd get 4GB+. Windows will start using the paging file a lot more if you don't have enough RAM and it starts to feel very slow when that happens, especially with a standard HDD.

- A generally outdated system

If she is still rocking something like an old P4, it might feel slow nowdays. Netbooks generally feel a bit slow and a P4 isn't much better.
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Best solution

January 28, 2013 6:59:37 PM

Hamid,

I like your build #2 ... except the power supply. I would go with Corsair, pc power and cooling, and maybe Antec.

Since this is a budget driven build here's some tips:

1. Put all the parts into 'pcpartpicker.com'. It will give you the best price and where it can be purchased for that price
2. If you are in he US, Microcenter prices (mobo & CPU combinations) cannot be beat - the only catch is you have to go to the store to purchase
3. I strongly recommend an SSD. Your mom will be surprised by the quickness.
4. Here's a thought: Could you re use the CPU out of your mom's current build? If you put that in a new mobo w/ SSD I think it would be a very good computer ... but I don't know what she has ....
5. HP's and Lenovo's (and Dell's) get slower over time. My last dell got to the 5 minute mark just to turn on (3 kids using w/ games ...). I don't know why. I tried a clean install of windows (XP) and it seemed to help a little (3 min) ... but I just could not take it anymore. Led to my first build with an SSD. 27 sec's off to on with password entry. Not a second slower in 7 months of use. I LOVE MY SSD !!!! and it's a 'slow' one - intel 330.

Good Luck !!
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January 28, 2013 7:28:30 PM

odiervr said:
Hamid,

I like your build #2 ... except the power supply. I would go with Corsair, pc power and cooling, and maybe Antec.

Since this is a budget driven build here's some tips:

1. Put all the parts into 'pcpartpicker.com'. It will give you the best price and where it can be purchased for that price
2. If you are in he US, Microcenter prices (mobo & CPU combinations) cannot be beat - the only catch is you have to go to the store to purchase
3. I strongly recommend an SSD. Your mom will be surprised by the quickness.
4. Here's a thought: Could you re use the CPU out of your mom's current build? If you put that in a new mobo w/ SSD I think it would be a very good computer ... but I don't know what she has ....
5. HP's and Lenovo's (and Dell's) get slower over time. My last dell got to the 5 minute mark just to turn on (3 kids using w/ games ...). I don't know why. I tried a clean install of windows (XP) and it seemed to help a little (3 min) ... but I just could not take it anymore. Led to my first build with an SSD. 27 sec's off to on with password entry. Not a second slower in 7 months of use. I LOVE MY SSD !!!! and it's a 'slow' one - intel 330.

Good Luck !!


Thanks!
I live in Canada but I make frequent trips to america as it is only 1:30hr away.
When im done my exams(thursday) I will check what my mom has in her computer and take the build from there. The budget soley relies on beating the price of the computers she has as I also want to prove that I can build an amazing PC that wont die for cheaper than one that slows right down in a few months.

As I am new to the buying, building and all that comes with making my own pc's I will be posting quite a bit on here. Especially for buying the parts as my build will be around 3,000 or more depending on monitors. (Heavy graphic editing, gaming, very large photography files, future proof)
Your help is most appreciated!
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January 28, 2013 7:29:10 PM

smorizio said:
if it that new your mom can do two things. go to cusical memory asnd run the memory advisior and just upgrade the ram of her year old system.
http://www.crucial.com/
talk to her cpu and see if she can write the pc off (depressiasion) and replace it with a new one.

Will do, I will be at her office on thursday. Thanks for the info!
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January 28, 2013 7:30:09 PM

jmsellars1 said:
I think the common culprits that slow down a standard home PC are:

- Having too many processes open.

Generally speaking, a less experienced user might end up downloading a lot of stuff they don't need and the 'quick install' options on most software means it opens every time you log on. Get more than 5 or so programs like that and you will start seeing major slowdowns on a cheaper PC

- Improperly maintained hard drive

If your boot drive is more than about 90-95% full, you can start to see a lot of slowdowns. Also, if a HDD isn't defragged relatively reguarly, it can get a bit sluggish. While we are on the topic of hard drives, make sure to get a 7200RPM model, it will be faster than the 5400RPM models.

- Not enough RAM

Nowdays, you're looking at 2GB bare minimum for RAM. If you want something quick though, I'd get 4GB+. Windows will start using the paging file a lot more if you don't have enough RAM and it starts to feel very slow when that happens, especially with a standard HDD.

- A generally outdated system

If she is still rocking something like an old P4, it might feel slow nowdays. Netbooks generally feel a bit slow and a P4 isn't much better.

Il check her computer out and let her know this great advice! Thanks man!
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 28, 2013 7:35:07 PM

have a hirem boot cd when you go. scan her system for a virus. then run malware bytes. run ccleaner and a good defrag.
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January 28, 2013 7:48:13 PM

When the time comes for the build, i highly recommend youtube "newegg computer build parts 2 & 3".

My first build was in Jun 12, my second Dec 12. I followed the videos step by step and both went smoothly.

Good Luck !!
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January 28, 2013 7:54:09 PM

odiervr said:
When the time comes for the build, i highly recommend youtube "newegg computer build parts 2 & 3".

My first build was in Jun 12, my second Dec 12. I followed the videos step by step and both went smoothly.

Good Luck !!

Watched 1, 2 and 3. Also, my friend who has build dozens of computers will check it when im done. He offered to build it but I said I want to build it on my own. :D 
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January 29, 2013 1:22:17 AM

Best answer selected by HamidL000.
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