Need advice, £400 PC for my dad

Hi, my dad is in need of a new computer for his job (his current pc is very outdated), and I thought I would ask here for some ideas.

Approximate Purchase Date: Next week

Budget: £400

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Word documents, presentations etc. for work. Email, browsing the internet, playing basic games (e.g. free internet flash games)

Are you buying a monitor/mouse/keyboard/OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None, although in the past I have used, and

Location: UK

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1080p, but it only has a VGA port which I'm hoping won't be an issue.

Additional Comments: Components need to be good enough that they are very unlikely to fail, as even a day or two without a computer makes his work a lot more difficult. Also I was thinking a RAID 1 setup might be appropriate to save him backing up onto an external drive all the time.

Thanks for your time.
6 answers Last reply
More about advice 400 dad
  1. You can easily get something good at that price:

    Intel Pentium G620
    4GB Crucial Ballistix Sport 1333Mhz
    Asus P8H77-M LE
    2 x 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM
    Be Quiet Pure Power L7 300W PSU
    Antec Sonata Proto
    Samsung DVD Burner

    Total - ~£340 on Ebuyer

    That should be fast, quiet and reliable. You could upgrade to an i3 in budget but I don't think it would really be worth it.
  2. here's my suggested build:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2125 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor (£100.96 @
    Motherboard: ASRock H61M/U3S3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£51.48 @ Amazon UK)
    Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£52.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Hard Drive: OCZ Agility 3 90GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£62.99 @
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 370 ATX Mid Tower Case
    Power Supply: Antec 380W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£43.56 @ Ebuyer)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) (£71.77 @ CCL Computers)
    Total: £383.75
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-20 23:27 BST+0100)
  3. That looks good too, better performance all around and actually slightly cheaper. Just without the RAID 1, nice case and a few motherboard features. Might be slightly louder as well but to be honest, both should be pretty quiet.

    EDIT: Actually I think your best bet might be to go with a mix of those 2 builds. The cheeaper motherboard and case from ScrewySqrl's build with the dual HDD's and cheaper CPU/RAM out of my build. Either PSU is fine. You are never going to notice the performance difference just using word documents and flash games. That spare cash could be put towards something he'd actually notice like a nice monitor/speakers/mouse and keyboard etc.
  4. Thanks for the suggestions, unfortunately I can't seem to find that case for sale anywhere, are there any others people would suggest?
    If I go with the combination build or something similar, what do you think of getting a SSD with the spare cash?
  5. The case isn't all that important in a build at this budget to be honest, just look for a major brand and you should be fine. The Fractal Design Core 1000 is a good one. Most of Cooler Master's low end cases are OK too. Antec make some good cases as well. Lian Li have some really nice ones as well but they're a lot more expensive, think £70+.
  6. any coolermaster Elite will work
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