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-   -   Cheap family computer ideas? (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/new-builds/39580-cheap-family-computer-ideas.html)

draemn January 4, 2011 11:29 AM

Cheap family computer ideas?
 
Hey, I'm looking to build a budget mATX computer to give to the non-computer-literate people in the family. I'm going to buy mATX (partially for cost reasons) and use integrated graphics. I'm looking for something that's cheap as possible, but better than a laptop and doesn't compromise reliable parts.

My biggest question though is AMD + integrated graphics, Sandy Bridge i3 when it comes out, or bulldozer? I'm not a big fan of using a dual core as more software vendors are optimizing for threaded applications, but I'm keeping CPU + IGP < $130.

-CX430 PSU ~$30 after tax/shipping
-Shuttle case if I can find one, otherwise any other mATX case. (budget = $40 before tax)
-WD 640GB Caviar green ~$70 after tax/shipping
-RAM is TBD based on CPU choice.
-Monitor+keyboard is their responsibility to buy.

UPDATED: Check out post #12

Also, I would like to have an internal speaker so they don't have to buy a speaker set if they don't want to. Pref is stereo over mono. Anyone know if they still sell ones that are PC case friendly? I'm hoping this build will come in around $350.

JD January 4, 2011 12:19 PM

Just get a 500GB hard drive for <$50. Western Digital Blue, Seagate 7200.12 or Samsung F3. ~$70 for a "green" 640GB seems too expensive.

AMD Athlon II 250 (or similar) with a AMD 880G motherboard should be solid. And roughly $100. No need for i3/Sandy Bridge IMO. All this PC is going to do is get filled up with malware anyways :haha:

A Shuttle case would come with PSU and Motherboard though if that's the route your going. It likely be more expensive too.

RAM, cheapest DDR3 you can find basically. I'd go with 4GB since it's only like $50.

As for speakers, just get a monitor that has speakers in it as that's fairly common. Much better than trying to put speakers inside the case.

joatabe January 4, 2011 12:21 PM

hello

i think that for the budget reason you can tell them to buy a monitor with speakers build in

and when you're going to buy a computer for the non-computer-literate people in your family isn't a hd of 640gb a little to big? i think you can better buy a cheaper and smaller one
looks like a 320 gig or even less.

and i dont speak englisch that well so can you tell me

do you want a single core or a dual core possessor?
and how many gb of ram do you want?
and last but not least what do you want them to do with the computer?
things looks like office emailing or also doing some more stuff?

please tell me and i will take a look

good luck.

crazyhorsejohnny January 4, 2011 12:21 PM

Prob for $350 you could get something at FS or Best Buy.

krajee January 4, 2011 01:51 PM

Something like this would probably work decently, though it's over the $350 budget slightly. Also keep in mind that you can pick up a used sempron for ~$20 or so.

_dangtx_ January 4, 2011 02:00 PM

this is one of those times where you get a cheap dell, and if they mess winders up you tell them to put the cd in and reload?

id go for perhaps a celly 3300 solution, g31/41 should be enough video power. else, the above much better amd solutions

draemn January 4, 2011 04:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JD (Post 470497)
Just get a 500GB hard drive for <$50. Western Digital Blue, Seagate 7200.12 or Samsung F3. ~$70 for a "green" 640GB seems too expensive.

AMD Athlon II 250 (or similar) with a AMD 880G motherboard should be solid. And roughly $100. No need for i3/Sandy Bridge IMO. All this PC is going to do is get filled up with malware anyways :haha:

A Shuttle case would come with PSU and Motherboard though if that's the route your going. It likely be more expensive too.

It's a $56 HDD and I'm picking that one up because it is a fast, energy efficient, drive and they do some light work with photos (+6 MB file sizes for each photo) and some work related stuff from time to time. Yeah, they don't really need the extra IGP power of sandy bridge, but this is my first time looking into this market, so I don't know prices, etc. I'd like to make this 'different' from a cheap dell by having a better performing computer at the cost of extras such as blu-ray drives, etc.

I was just thinking of buying a used shuttle case with nothing in it (I've seen the odd one online).

Quote:

Originally Posted by joatabe (Post 470499)
and when you're going to buy a computer for the non-computer-literate people in your family isn't a hd of 640gb a little to big? i think you can better buy a cheaper and smaller one
looks like a 320 gig or even less.

do you want a single core or a dual core possessor?
and how many gb of ram do you want?
and last but not least what do you want them to do with the computer?
things looks like office emailing or also doing some more stuff?

I'd rather spend a bit extra money to get a larger capacity drive, even if they only end up using 300 GB. I got the green for energy performance but I got a more expensive model that has a higher level of performance.

Dual core as a minimum. I don't want to make something that feels sluggish or slow in a year.
RAM isn't a big issue as I'm good with shopping for that once I know my mobo.
As stated above, they do some photo editing and a bit of work at home. The rest is pretty simple browsing and streaming.


=======

If I can get this build under $300, that's my goal, but looking at the price of sandy bridge threw me off track with my estimates :P I'm doing this more as a short fun project, so I'm not really worried about being able to buy a cheap dell or something to get a bit more for my $. I have a windows vista OEM disk kicking around somewhere, so they'll probably be getting stuck with win Vista ;) *Evil Chuckle*

JD January 4, 2011 07:13 PM

Assuming they have no ties to Windows, I'd say put Ubuntu on there instead. It can look pretty flashy and won't get bogged down with the majority of possible malware out there these days.

Here's my thoughts:
NCIX.com - Buy AMD Athlon II X3 445 Triple Core Processor AM3 3.1GHZ 1.5MB L2 Cache 95W Retail Box - ADX445WFGMBOX In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GA-880GM-D2H AMD880G mATX AM3 DDR3 1PCIE CrossFireX Video Sound GBLAN HDMI Motherboard - GA-880GM-D2H In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1333 CL9 Dual Channel Memory Kit - CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive OEM *3YR MFR Warranty* - ST3500418AS In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Antec NSK3480 New Solution mATX Mid Tower Case 2X5.25 1X3.5 380W Black Front USB Sound & Firewire - NSK3480 In Canada.

Roughly $335. Maybe can save a few dollars from price matching as well.

I'd personally avoid using a Green drive for the OS. If you want a fast computer, you don't put a Green HDD in there unless it's purely for storage.

draemn January 4, 2011 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JD (Post 470668)
Assuming they have no ties to Windows, I'd say put Ubuntu on there instead. It can look pretty flashy and won't get bogged down with the majority of possible malware out there these days.

Here's my thoughts:
NCIX.com - Buy AMD Athlon II X3 445 Triple Core Processor AM3 3.1GHZ 1.5MB L2 Cache 95W Retail Box - ADX445WFGMBOX In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Gigabyte GA-880GM-D2H AMD880G mATX AM3 DDR3 1PCIE CrossFireX Video Sound GBLAN HDMI Motherboard - GA-880GM-D2H In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Corsair CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 4GB DDR3 2X2GB DDR3-1333 CL9 Dual Channel Memory Kit - CMV4GX3M2A1333C9 In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB SATA2 3.5IN 8.5MS 7200RPM 16MB Hard Drive OEM *3YR MFR Warranty* - ST3500418AS In Canada.
NCIX.com - Buy Antec NSK3480 New Solution mATX Mid Tower Case 2X5.25 1X3.5 380W Black Front USB Sound & Firewire - NSK3480 In Canada.

Roughly $335. Maybe can save a few dollars from price matching as well.

I'd personally avoid using a Green drive for the OS. If you want a fast computer, you don't put a Green HDD in there unless it's purely for storage.

I'm not offering tech support :P so I'm not 100% sure they would be able to use Linux without any problems. Yeah, I was thinking about the idea of getting an X3 with a mobo that can try to unlock it's dormant core. The green is a really good drive if you get the right one... Some of them can do 5400-7200 rpm where the others are just stuck at 5400 rpm. They key is to get a dynamic drive that has a high cache level. My Caviar green (500AADS) in my main computer performs between the caviar blue (500GB) and caviar black (500GB)... I may step down to the 500, but it only saves $10 and costs a lot more if they ever need more storage space.

That case is more expensive than what I will pay for PSU + case separately, otherwise great suggestions on the CPU+mobo.

Stock January 4, 2011 07:50 PM

Sometimes there's combo CPU + Mobo's for <$120 on Newegg or NCIX. It'd allow you to fit in the RAM ($50)/Case($30)/PSU($25)/HDD($45) for under $300. I wouldn't get a fancy case if they're computer illiterate...just saying.


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