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Basic $400 budget; no gaming; no rendering


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#1 CaptainCuidado

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 03:56 PM

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


#2 hornybluecow

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 04:34 PM

if your not playing games you can go down to best buy or local chain and get one for $400. honestly CPUs are fast enough that it doesn't matter what you get for browsing the web .

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#3 Waco

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 05:34 PM

Intel NUC. :)

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#4 kennethk

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:34 PM

Looks good to me, personally I'd ditch the ssd/hdd and just go sshd if you're on a budget.


Really wish I could experience an SSD but of course my bank tells me that I can not.

 

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#5 IVIYTH0S

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 05:00 AM

Tightened it up a little: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Hgo4

 

SSHD might not be a bad idea


Edited by IVIYTH0S, 25 January 2014 - 05:01 AM.

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#6 VaporX

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 05:10 AM

The NUC is a solid option as is the Sapphire Edge. I would skip the spindle drive if you plan to stream everything and just get the SSD for the OS.

 

Now it might blow your budget a bit but depending on where this is going to go, I would spend a little extra and get a FM2+ board so you can upgrade into Kaveri if you decide you want a bit more power. If going in a public room or a place with a smaller area I would go ITX and get a case from Antec like the ISK 300 or one of Thermaltakes ITX cases with PSU already in it.

 

This is the streaming build I would make based on the parts you build..

 

Antec ISK 300-150

ASRock FM2A88X-ITX

Kingston HyperX 4GB

AMD A4-6300

Kingston HyperX 3K 120 Gig

 

All of this on Newegg is $389. Now this will handle a bit more than pure streaming. 120 Gig is not a lot of space but you might be surprised how much it can hold. I linked an article I did a while back about hoarding. If this is a pure streaming build then save another $20 and drop to a 60 gig SSD. If need to hoard a lot of data then swap out the SSD for a 2.5" spindle, a WD Scorpio Black will be about the same cost as the 120 gig and give 750 gig. The SSD however will make this little system POP.

 

Hoarding Article: http://computeredrad...p-the-hoarding/


Edited by ComputerEd, 25 January 2014 - 05:14 AM.

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#7 VaporX

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 05:10 AM

sorry double post.


Edited by ComputerEd, 25 January 2014 - 05:11 AM.

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#8 IVIYTH0S

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 05:42 AM

The NUC is a solid option as is the Sapphire Edge. I would skip the spindle drive if you plan to stream everything and just get the SSD for the OS.

 

Now it might blow your budget a bit but depending on where this is going to go, I would spend a little extra and get a FM2+ board so you can upgrade into Kaveri if you decide you want a bit more power. If going in a public room or a place with a smaller area I would go ITX and get a case from Antec like the ISK 300 or one of Thermaltakes ITX cases with PSU already in it.

 

This is the streaming build I would make based on the parts you build..

 

Antec ISK 300-150

ASRock FM2A88X-ITX

Kingston HyperX 4GB

AMD A4-6300

Kingston HyperX 3K 120 Gig

 

All of this on Newegg is $389. Now this will handle a bit more than pure streaming. 120 Gig is not a lot of space but you might be surprised how much it can hold. I linked an article I did a while back about hoarding. If this is a pure streaming build then save another $20 and drop to a 60 gig SSD. If need to hoard a lot of data then swap out the SSD for a 2.5" spindle, a WD Scorpio Black will be about the same cost as the 120 gig and give 750 gig. The SSD however will make this little system POP.

 

Hoarding Article: http://computeredrad...p-the-hoarding/

+1 this guy is onto something, I have a "lowly" E-350 APU in an Antec ISK 110 and it can handle even N64 games fluently. Mediawise, everything but uncompressed bluray rips play flawlessly without issue.

I have a 120GB Vertex 2 in it and I have a ton of ripped DVD movies I'm going through right now and like Ed said, 120GB goes a LONG way, especially the way you'll be using it.

 

Your system will be even more capable than mine and you will be greatly impressed by it!


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#9 kennethk

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 11:31 AM

Guys an SSHD is only about 15 seconds slower.


Really wish I could experience an SSD but of course my bank tells me that I can not.

 

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#10 VaporX

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 02:40 PM

If it is a stream PC then why bother with ANY performance lose? Might be smaller size but a pure streaming build only needs the OS really. Even if he does do some pictures and music, unless he goes crazy 120 gig SSD will still be all the space he needs.

 

Here is the info I found:

 

1) Word Files (if each file is 25 pages on average) you need in excess of 12K files to make 1 gig. Excel files are pretty small as well and people usually have MUCH fewer of them than word files.

 

2) Pictures (assuming every picture is a 10 Megapixel photo in JPG, most photos are JPG in format) comes to around 1200 for 1 gig on average.

 

3) Music: Using my smaller library for a standard I have 17 hours of music and that uses 0.75 Gig.

 

4) lets figure 1 gig per movie stored as well since most people storing movies compress them.

 

This means if you have 12,000 documents, 1200 photos, 17 hours of music and 10 movies you have used about 13 gig. On a typical 120 gig SSD this leaves about 105 gig or so of formatted space for the OS and software. So even if he is not streaming, unless he is a serious hoarder, based on his own usage model a 120 Gig SSD would give him a good deal of space without any lose in general performance that anything other than an SSD has by comparison. SSHD's are okay but at their cost either go with a 7200 RPM drive and get more space or an SSD and get more performance.


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#11 Scott P

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 04:54 PM

At that price point, I found pre-built was the best value. $400 gets you an i3 Haswell, 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB HD, and WIn8 or Win 7. You also get those handy USB ports and card readers built right into the case.


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#12 kennethk

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 07:03 PM

If it is a stream PC then why bother with ANY performance lose? Might be smaller size but a pure streaming build only needs the OS really. Even if he does do some pictures and music, unless he goes crazy 120 gig SSD will still be all the space he needs.

 

Here is the info I found:

 

1) Word Files (if each file is 25 pages on average) you need in excess of 12K files to make 1 gig. Excel files are pretty small as well and people usually have MUCH fewer of them than word files.

 

2) Pictures (assuming every picture is a 10 Megapixel photo in JPG, most photos are JPG in format) comes to around 1200 for 1 gig on average.

 

3) Music: Using my smaller library for a standard I have 17 hours of music and that uses 0.75 Gig.

 

4) lets figure 1 gig per movie stored as well since most people storing movies compress them.

 

This means if you have 12,000 documents, 1200 photos, 17 hours of music and 10 movies you have used about 13 gig. On a typical 120 gig SSD this leaves about 105 gig or so of formatted space for the OS and software. So even if he is not streaming, unless he is a serious hoarder, based on his own usage model a 120 Gig SSD would give him a good deal of space without any lose in general performance that anything other than an SSD has by comparison. SSHD's are okay but at their cost either go with a 7200 RPM drive and get more space or an SSD and get more performance.

They only coast $100 for about a 1tb. It's just a 15 second loss. You're getting just about the same speed and more storage.


Really wish I could experience an SSD but of course my bank tells me that I can not.

 

  • Graphics: CardAMD Radeon HD 7950
    Processor: AMD FX-6300
    Motherboard: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. M5A99FX PRO R2.0
    RAM: Crucial Ballstix 8GB Sport Edition
    PSU: Rosewill 630W;Non-modual
    Operating: system64-bit Windows 7