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Old 11-26-2012, 10:14 PM   #1
santoshn
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Default Basic entry build for my relatives

Hi,

I am travelling to India in Jan 2013 and was hoping to take critical components from here (US) as they are much cheaper here. The system will be mostly used for browsing, watching youtube, some light MS word, MS paint and nothing else.

It is intended for my niece who is 10. There is no gaming (if you exclude flash based online gaming). So here are the answers to questions in the sticky:

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.
Videos (low quality 720p or worse), MS paint, browsing, youtube.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread
200-250$ Updated

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.
US

4. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc.
Leaning towards AMD APU as they are good value for money for such very light usage model. I am ok with intel too but HD4000 isnt as good as 7XXX. Also there are no indications of high CPU perf required.

5. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.
I will buy/resuse a case back in india. I have an old CRT monitor also. No need of KB or mouse.

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.
None what so ever

8. What resolution will you be using?
Its an old CRT monitor I guess 1600X900

9. WHEN do you plan to build it?
Note that it is usually not cost or time effective to choose your build more than a month before you actually plan to be using it.
Early December.

So with these in mind can you suggest something that includes:
1. CPU
2. Motherboard
3. Ram
4. PSU
5. HDD

Can I get two options: one for uATX and another for regular?

Thanks in advance,
- S

Last edited by santoshn; 11-26-2012 at 10:19 PM. Reason: Price Update...
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:45 PM   #2
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$200-250, for mostly web-based stuff? Have you considered a ChromeBook? It has a battery too, so it will work if the power goes out in India.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:54 PM   #3
santoshn
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Originally Posted by Ken g6 View Post
$200-250, for mostly web-based stuff? Have you considered a ChromeBook? It has a battery too, so it will work if the power goes out in India.
I dont get the tone but am I overkilling it? I do not have experience with chromebook and would not go for it unless I have used it for sometime. I cannot carry another laptop as I am already carrying one for my friend and I have my work laptop.

Thanks for the suggestion though. Will keep it in mind if anything changes.

Thanks,
S
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:57 PM   #4
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Do you already have a valid copy of Windows? If not, this is pretty much a non-starter on that budget. For usage that light you may be best off trying to snag a decent used computer off something like craigslist.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSF View Post
Do you already have a valid copy of Windows? If not, this is pretty much a non-starter on that budget. For usage that light you may be best off trying to snag a decent used computer off something like craigslist.
Yes, I have a copy of Win. I just need the 5 components. All missing pieces of the puzzle can be assumed to be available from previous build.

Thanks,
S
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:03 AM   #6
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http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pL3i

vs

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pL5P

Hope this helps. These are Micro ATX only.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:50 AM   #7
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If you want to do it yourself, I would suggest a Celeron G465, the cheapest H61 MB you can find, 4GB DDR3-1066 (unless you can get a good deal on higher clocked RAM. The Celeron does only supports 1066, but higher clocked might allow tighter timings...) and a cheap HDD.

I actually have a Celeron G465 powering my mini-mediacenter. Performance is low, but perfectly adequate for web-browsing, youtube and basic use...
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:34 AM   #8
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I really think that for this usage scenario and the need to ship parts abroad, your best bet is a laptop. How about a refurbished Thinkpad like this one for $270? http://www.staples.com/Lenovo-ThinkP...product_797014
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torn Mind View Post
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pL3i

vs

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/pL5P

Hope this helps. These are Micro ATX only.
Thanks Torn mind. Both look good. The i3 is very expensive compared to A6!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Insert_Nickname View Post
If you want to do it yourself, I would suggest a Celeron G465, the cheapest H61 MB you can find, 4GB DDR3-1066 (unless you can get a good deal on higher clocked RAM. The Celeron does only supports 1066, but higher clocked might allow tighter timings...) and a cheap HDD.

I actually have a Celeron G465 powering my mini-mediacenter. Performance is low, but perfectly adequate for web-browsing, youtube and basic use...
Any reason why a celeron over an APU? The celeron is good on CPU but the iGPU sucks doesnt it? Am I overestimating need for a decent GPU?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Termie View Post
I really think that for this usage scenario and the need to ship parts abroad, your best bet is a laptop. How about a refurbished Thinkpad like this one for $270? http://www.staples.com/Lenovo-ThinkP...product_797014
Yes, I would have agreed if I could. But I cant as explained previously. Still looking for discrete components.

Thanks everyone,
- S
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santoshn View Post
Thanks Torn mind. Both look good. The i3 is very expensive compared to A6!

- S
I chose the i3 mainly because the mobo selected was at a deep discount and the total still fit in your budget. You can downgrade to a Pentium or Celeron if you so desire so you can use the savings on other things, like a SSD.


Quote:
Any reason why a celeron over an APU? The celeron is good on CPU but the iGPU sucks doesnt it? Am I overestimating need for a decent GPU?
I wouldn't suggest a G465 when a G530 can be had for a few dollars more like the fella you're responding to did.

In my experience, HD video files are handled reasonably well on a Sandy Bridge Celeron; I have a Celeron G550. My only quip is with AVC part10 videos(high quality encodes) have occasional streak(thin bar) even at 720p when fast motion occurs(football games), but I'm not sure if it is Linux or the iGPU though. There is no stuttering or dropped frames though and I can fire up other programs while the video plays. HD Youtube vids are handled easily by my Celeron processor.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santoshn View Post
Yes, I would have agreed if I could. But I cant as explained previously. Still looking for discrete components.

Thanks everyone,
- S
I don't really understand this. A motherboard box is about the same size as a laptop, so how are you reducing volume by getting parts?
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Old 11-28-2012, 08:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santoshn View Post
Any reason why a celeron over an APU? The celeron is good on CPU but the iGPU sucks doesnt it? Am I overestimating need for a decent GPU?
Unless you're gaming the HD2000 is sufficient for basic use, it handles video decoding just fine.

If you want something with a better GPU then the HD2000, your other low-cost option is the A4-5300 or A6-5400K + A55 MB...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torn Mind View Post
I wouldn't suggest a G465 when a G530 can be had for a few dollars more like the fella you're responding to did.
We have a Celeron G530 based machine at work, and honestly I can't tell the difference between it and my own G465. The other compelling feature of the G465 is its EXTREMELY low power consumption, we are talking 10-12W at full load + full load on the IGP...

But if the G530 is only a few $ more, it doesn't matter...
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Old 11-28-2012, 10:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Insert_Nickname View Post
Unless you're gaming the HD2000 is sufficient for basic use, it handles video decoding just fine.

If you want something with a better GPU then the HD2000, your other low-cost option is the A4-5300 or A6-5400K + A55 MB...



We have a Celeron G530 based machine at work, and honestly I can't tell the difference between it and my own G465. The other compelling feature of the G465 is its EXTREMELY low power consumption, we are talking 10-12W at full load + full load on the IGP...

But if the G530 is only a few $ more, it doesn't matter...
Interesting. Must be that Hyper-Threading that's responsible for the smoothness. If he's a fella concious of the environment or his relatives can make use of the savings, perhaps the G465 is the buy for him. However, electricity in India is apparently subsidized and so cheap that they have issues generating enough to meet demand, so if he doesn't care about maybe an extra 10-15 watts, the G5xx might be the way to go.

I have set my G550 to use only one core just now(and one time before) and the difference is noticeable on Linux Mint. A subtle lag is introduced. when starting up a program and then switching program windows. It's a very subtle difference though and I have no HTT.

Amazon.com is probably his best bet if he wants to go the G540 or G530. It is 45 bucks there.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santoshn View Post
I cannot carry another laptop as I am already carrying one for my friend and I have my work laptop.

Thanks for the suggestion though. Will keep it in mind if anything changes.

Thanks,
S
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfenn View Post
I don't really understand this. A motherboard box is about the same size as a laptop, so how are you reducing volume by getting parts?
Cannot carry more than two laptops to India.

MotherBoard:
-------------
I am planning to go the APU route with a A4-5300. Any recommendation for the motherboard? FM2 is it?
Is this good? 4/5 eggs.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813157331

In video ports it says "D-Sub + DVI". I checked and I understood D-Sub = VGA. Can some one confirm?


RAM:
-----
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231193
(OR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820211409

Totally clueless here (RAM)!!

HD
-----
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822152244

I think I am spending too much or is 50$ for 320GB alright? Is there a cheper option?

PSU:
-----
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151086

What capacity will I need? Can I just total the total max power for each component or will I need to apportion some to miscellaneous also?


Entire Build:
------------
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qu8E

Thanks all,
- S
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #15
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Yes. D-Sub is VGA. I too came across this when I was doing research on my first build.


Get the 24.99 G.Skill. I doubt your niece is going to push the computer very hard and the CPU, so the cheaper of the two is the way to go.

The PSU is enough to power the whole thing and then some. None of the compenents are guzzlers. Plus, Seasonic is a trustworthy brand; their PSUs are sure to deliver their rated wattage.

I'm seeing 59.99 for your hard drive.
You can get better bang for your buck with one of these:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148840 (1TB, 69.99)

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CT56R6/?tag=pcpapi-20 (500GB, 61.21)

If you really need to get down to 50 dollars, this is the best I could find that isn't a refurb.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148767 (250 GB):
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:50 PM   #16
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Agree that 300W is more than fine for that build. The only significant power draw is going to be from the CPU, and that's only 65W at load. I'd be astonished if the build used even 90W fully maxed out.

The drive is fine, but it isn't very good value for money. The 500GB that Torn Mind pointed out is only a few bucks more.

The rest of the parts look fine, though I would get a single 4GB DIMM to save money and leave a slot open for future upgrades.
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Old 12-03-2012, 08:14 AM   #17
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The rest of the parts look fine, though I would get a single 4GB DIMM to save money and leave a slot open for future upgrades.
I wouldn't. APU's are hugely sensitive to memory bandwidth. And by that I don't just mean the GPU-side...
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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I wouldn't. APU's are hugely sensitive to memory bandwidth. And by that I don't just mean the GPU-side...
I considered that when I was posting, but then I reread the OP's answer to Question #1. None of the stuff he listed will need a lot of memory bandwidth. More upgrade-ability is the net win here.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:10 AM   #19
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I considered that when I was posting, but then I reread the OP's answer to Question #1. None of the stuff he listed will need a lot of memory bandwidth. More upgrade-ability is the net win here.
I have a friend with an A6-3420M (Quadcore Llano @ 1.5/2.4GHz) based laptop. It shipped with a single SO-DIMM. Out of the box there was a very slight amount of lag, when loaded. Another 4GB SO-DIMM cured that instantly...

With RAM prices as low as they are right now, it makes no sense not to get a dual channel 2x2GB kit. Case in point, a quick search here (Denmark) puts a 4GB DIMM at ~150DKK ($25), a 2x2GB kit is ~175DKK ($30) so its a very small difference. A 2x4GB kit is ~250DKK (~$42), so its actually cheaper to get the 8GB kit now, rather then upgrade later. In which case you'd be spending ~$50...

(disclaimer; the above didn't factor in the used market...)
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Insert_Nickname View Post
I have a friend with an A6-3420M (Quadcore Llano @ 1.5/2.4GHz) based laptop. It shipped with a single SO-DIMM. Out of the box there was a very slight amount of lag, when loaded. Another 4GB SO-DIMM cured that instantly...

With RAM prices as low as they are right now, it makes no sense not to get a dual channel 2x2GB kit. Case in point, a quick search here (Denmark) puts a 4GB DIMM at ~150DKK ($25), a 2x2GB kit is ~175DKK ($30) so its a very small difference. A 2x4GB kit is ~250DKK (~$42), so its actually cheaper to get the 8GB kit now, rather then upgrade later. In which case you'd be spending ~$50...

(disclaimer; the above didn't factor in the used market...)
Anecdotes are not evidence.Besides, you didn't even test the situation we're talking about here. Increasing the amount of RAM while simultaneously increasing the memory bandwidth is not any kind of scientific test.

The OP is on a very tight budget as it is, so adding another $17 to the build doesn't look like an option to me. (I am willing to be proven wrong if you can fit CPU, mobo, 8GB of RAM, and HDD, and PSU into $250.)

The bottom line is that you have to pull your head out of the enthusiast space when talking about these sorts of low-end general usage systems. Sure, there is a nice improvement in gaming benchmarks from going with dual-channel memory on an AMD Llano or Trinity system. That doesn't matter for what we're talking about here. What will matter is when the OP's family wants to upgrade 3-4 years down the line and they're looking at $40 for a new 4GB DDR3 stick (my solution) or $80 for two new 4GB DDR3 sticks (your solution).
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:46 AM   #21
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Anecdotes are not evidence.Besides, you didn't even test the situation we're talking about here. Increasing the amount of RAM while simultaneously increasing the memory bandwidth is not any kind of scientific test.
If you want evidence I can fall back on my G465-powered mini-mediacentre. With one DIMM it chokes the minute you put any kind of load on it. With two DIMM it performs like a champ, and is for all intents and purposes identical to a G530-based system we have at work. I can't prove any of this with numbers on a graph, but systems with an iGPU tend to feel snappier when you run dual-channel...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mfenn View Post
The bottom line is that you have to pull your head out of the enthusiast space when talking about these sorts of low-end general usage systems. Sure, there is a nice improvement in gaming benchmarks from going with dual-channel memory on an AMD Llano or Trinity system. That doesn't matter for what we're talking about here. What will matter is when the OP's family wants to upgrade 3-4 years down the line and they're looking at $40 for a new 4GB DDR3 stick (my solution) or $80 for two new 4GB DDR3 sticks (your solution).
Oh, please. I have built more low-end systems on a budget, then I care to think about over the last 20-odd years. I would rather have something I can use NOW, rather then worry about upgradability 3-4-5 years down the line. If the OP wants upgradability down the line, it might be better to drop the $25 extra and get the FM2A75 Pro4-M board instead. That way he can always reuse his 2x2GB kit + f.x. future 2x4GB or 2x8GB kit...

I admit you always have to do trade-offs when on a budget, its never easy...
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