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 Post subject: Basic $400 budget; no gaming; no rendering
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:09 pm 
8086
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Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:08 pm
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I've been mostly out of touch since I built my own i7 computer 4 years ago, and my dad wants me to help him build one for his own use to replace his laptop. So, I could use the help of some people who are up to date with the current tech.

Here is the best I could find so far: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Erzr

It is needed only for very basic things, like web browsing, music listening, and watching high-res (1080p) video. No gaming or video rendering or anything heavy like that. We would like it to run at a comfortable, modern speed. A small to medium size case would be best. We do not need an ODD for everyday use; we have an external one for installing the operating system via USB port.

We would like to spend about $300-$400 for everything.

In my opinion, the most money should be spent on the CPU, and optional SSD, with everything else being of minimal monetary consequence. Intel or AMD are fine. Please feel free to make your own informed recommendations. If you can point to specific merchant deals, that would be very welcome, and appreciated.

Questions: Are these prices still good? Can better be done?

Is this a good SSD? I've done a little research and at this price point, there is mixed reception. I was looking at a Kingston drive for around the same price, and it had bad firmware recently. This A-Data drive has had reports of decreased performance over time, and sometimes running slowly out of the box.

Is this a good processor? More money is available to be budgeted towards it or the SSD.

Thanks for your help fellas.

-Cap


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 Post subject: Re: Basic $400 budget; no gaming; no rendering
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:53 am 
Thunderbird
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Looks like a good job to me.

Remember unless the SSD comes with it or you are planing on duct taping it down you will need a 2.5 to 3.5 conversion bracket.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic $400 budget; no gaming; no rendering
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:39 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5265
I decided to go and do another build.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Celeron G1820 2.7GHz Dual-Core Processor ($46.86 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock H81M-HDS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($40.17 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.67 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($19.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $335.67
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-25 14:29 EST-0500)

Some of my opinions on the matter...
A Celeron? Are you nuts?
No, actually. Celeron processors aren't exactly the pieces of crap as they were years ago after the second one that was released in the family. In fact if we take http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... Hz&id=2129 and http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... -6400K+APU seriously, the G1820 is a really good processor for the money. Also since it's Haswell based, it should sip power.

Is an SSD really necessary?
While I think having an SSD would be nice, I think you can still get away with decent performance all around with just a hard drive. If you're looking for saving money, I'd definitely drop the SSD first without thinking.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic $400 budget; no gaming; no rendering
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:34 pm 
Team Member Top 10
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If he is going from a laptop to a desktop, you will need an operating system, monitor, a keyboard, maybe a mouse to duplicate the function of a laptop. that is unless you are donating some hardware to the cause, or he has it available already. it will put a real dent in a 400 dollar budget.

I wouldn't even consider an SSD. I would spend the money on another HD, or a bigger drive. Or the other items that may be missing from the original build.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic $400 budget; no gaming; no rendering
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:48 pm 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5265
g.m.waters (red ranger3) wrote:
If he is going from a laptop to a desktop, you will need an operating system, monitor, a keyboard, maybe a mouse to duplicate the function of a laptop. that is unless you are donating some hardware to the cause, or he has it available already. it will put a real dent in a 400 dollar budget.

I wouldn't even consider an SSD. I would spend the money on another HD, or a bigger drive. Or the other items that may be missing from the original build.

Which wouldn't be a problem for either build. Dock off the SSD and you're down to $250 for the build. Windows will add another $100 and just get a generic keyboard + mouse combo for $20.

Monitor though... well a TV can be used assuming there's an HDTV around


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 Post subject: Re: Basic $400 budget; no gaming; no rendering
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:11 am 
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Can you beat a pre-built PC from the store in terms of prices? You're just looking at some basic needs.

OP's build lacks an OS so should we assume that you have a copy available? Otherwise, that will be another extra $100.


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 Post subject: Re: Basic $400 budget; no gaming; no rendering
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:36 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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phillyj wrote:
Can you beat a pre-built PC from the store in terms of prices? You're just looking at some basic needs.

OP's build lacks an OS so should we assume that you have a copy available? Otherwise, that will be another extra $100.

Unsurprisingly, yes. Surprisingly, not by much (well, in absolute value). A lot of what Newegg has for example that is new in the $300-$400 range is close to the builds here, sans the SSD and a more powerful processor (Pentiums and A6's in the lower $300, i3's in the upper $300).


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