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 Post subject: $500 budget build for parents -- can you do anything better?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:15 pm 
8086
8086
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:27 pm
Posts: 28
Hello again fellow builders. I have a challenge of building the best possible low end system for my parents with a strict budget of $500. Basically, I convinced then to save $200 monthly towards this build and then build 2.5 months from now. Their current machine is a 2004 WinXP box that I'm getting *extremely* tired of having to deal with. Just for fun, here's what they currently have now:
  • AMD Athlon XP 1600+
  • Nvidia GeForce FX 5200
  • 80GB IDE HDD
  • 512MB of non-standard RAM that fails POST 1/3 times.

Here's the new list:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1p69M

I'll be getting that cpu from Microcenter for $160.
I'll probably just buy the Noctua NH-L9i cooler myself as an X-MAS present to save them $47. They probably won't be convinced that spending this much money on a cpu cooler is worth it anyway but I'm thinking it's really needed for that case since the 4570 runs hot even at idle. I chose the Cooler Master Elite 120 basically for its portable HTPC size and relative cheapness.
I also have a spare 500GB sata II HDD and a blu-ray/dvd burner drive to throw in as well.
They already have peripherals, an "ok" 19" VGA tn monitor, soon will be getting a 42" LED tv, sound system with a receiver, and an extra copy (provided by me) of Win7 pro.

That brings the total to roughly $504. I could have saved more money by going with a more budgety B85 or H87 board, but knowing my parents won't probably upgrade for another 10 years, I figured it's probably best to get as much functionality now as possible. Using only 1 DIMM slot too, I'm hoping single channel RAM now will have to suffice. This gives them the ability to use it as a wireless HTPC with digital audio, the ability to stream perfect HD content, even play games using the integrated HD4600 graphics if they dared.

Now I ask, can you do better or even shave off $50 the price if it's not needed? :)


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 Post subject: Re: $500 budget build for parents -- can you do anything bet
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:57 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5067
If they're not doing anything demanding, start going lower with stuff. 4GB of RAM is fine, the step down from the processor will do. Etc. etc.


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 Post subject: Re: $500 budget build for parents -- can you do anything bet
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:25 pm 
Coppermine
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:40 pm
Posts: 688
Quote:
Now I ask, can you do better or even shave off $50 the price if it's not needed? :)


AMD A10 6800k $150
ASRock FM2 motherboard $60
Kingston 2x2GB DDR3 1600 $47
Subtotal $257
Cost of Replaced parts - $346*
Difference $89

*includes $40 discount at MC, though you might be able to get a comparable deal with a similar AMD APU

Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: $500 budget build for parents -- can you do anything bet
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:11 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5067
Well, assuming all your parents are going to do is surf the internet, write emails, do the occasional photo editing/managing, then I present you with this:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1p9vI

Processor: Intel Celeron G1610 ($43). Now before you go "why the hell are you suggesting a crappy Celeron!?" Because the Celeron G1610 actually performs. It can even go toe to toe against the Pentium Dual Core at times. Don't believe me? http://www.extrahardware.com/article/in ... sive-cpus/ and http://cpuboss.com/cpu/Intel-Celeron-G1610.
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS R2.0 ($50). For basic stuff, B75 is really all you need.
Memory: Corsair 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 ($33). Yup, if I recall, single channel vs. dual channel didn't really affect performance much. But I'm only going this based on what Falcon Northwest did a while back.
SSD: Crucial M4 64GB ($65). In hindsight, this was more to cut costs. 64GB is enough for the OS plus a plethora of applications. You could spend another $20 for a 128GB drive of your choice. But you can also just nix the SSD altogether.
Case: Antec VSK-3000 ($30). Cheap, made by Antec. Wouldn't have it any other way.
PSU: SeaSonic 300W 80 PLUS Bronze ($40). Reputable brand and it was only a few more than the cheapest I filtered from.

Total including shipping: $269.50. $200 or so if you take out the SSD.

As for wireless: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/netgear-wi ... 311b100nas or http://pcpartpicker.com/part/netgear-wi ... 3100100ens


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 Post subject: Re: $500 budget build for parents -- can you do anything bet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:57 am 
8086
8086
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Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2006 3:27 pm
Posts: 28
Interesting build LatiosXT. I'm willing to take your side and say that "more spent" probably isn't going to be utilized -- even though prices down here give you massive returns in performance if you're willing to spend $25 more here and $25 more there. Maybe I was just building for myself if I had this budget.

I'm just a little concerned on whether that Celeron is capable of doing at least 720p Netflix and other HD streaming without choppiness as that would be part of the usage. I think I may spend marginally more for a better-reviewed case and also pick up a couple desktop speakers too. I didn't see your RAM choice in the mobo's compatibility list so I shot for some G.SKILL -- can't beat a lifetime warranty! :) Also, still going with my original PSU choice. Probably will just use the spare 500GB as the main OS drive -- honestly I don't think they're going to notice that gain like they would going from IDE (chug chug chug) to sata II anyway.

Here's an updated $250 list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1pvD0
That seems like a good price point.


Last edited by Block_Dude on Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: $500 budget build for parents -- can you do anything bet
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:52 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5067
If you're worried about the Celeron not performing, let me put things in perspective. Some of the most recent mobile processors, like those dual-core ARM Cortex A9 SoCs or whatever, had the same computing power as a Pentium 4 @ 3.2GHz if you took Drhystone tests at face value. And those can handle 1080p video from any source no problem


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