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Building a cheap, general-use computer

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I'm piecing together a general use computer for my parents. Right now, they have an HP Pavilion a1600n. It's slowly falling apart and I think the RAM might be going bad. It's also having trouble staying connected to the Internet.

All they use it for is light computing, Internet, and Netflix. It will get a lot of use, so I need parts that will be relatively long-lasting. I don't need anything amazing or top-of-the-line..my problem is that my knowledge is limited to higher-end parts, so I don't know what low-end parts are durable.

So far, I've only gotten as far as picking out a CPU, an

.

I'm considering a few mobos but haven't decided on anything yet. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a good, cheap AM3 mobo. Here's what I'm looking at currently: ASUS M4A785T-M, ASUS M2N68-AM, , or MSI NF750-G55

I'm leaning to the ones with GPUs (to cut cost and I don't think she needs much more than an onboard GPU).

Any other input would be greatly appreciated.
Edited by OverCaffeinated - 5/16/11 at 1:41pm
post #2 of 7
If you're in the US, snipe the combo CPU/motherboard deals. Today there'a PhenomII quad core and motherboard for $150USD....there's also the same board with an AthlonIIx3 for $10USD or so cheaper...or the AthlonIIx3 with an older 700-series board for $120...*If* you're in the US.
DD Boxen
(23 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230 Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen3 Powercolor 6970 2GB G. Skill 1600mHz Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
SpinpontF3 1TB, WD 250, and WD320 Lite-On DT Waterblocks DT5Noz Waterblock Swiftech Komodo 6900-1 Waterblock 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR-220 Drive radiator Swiftech MCR-220 QP radiator 6xGentle Typhoon AP-15s Archx64 KDE4.5, Windows 7 x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eyefinity 3-head 5265x1050 OCN Ducky!! MX Blue Switches XFX 750W Black Edition Mountain Mods H2gO 
MouseAudioAudioAudio
Razer Naga Asus Xonar Essence STX Sennheiser 595 Sony STR-DE995 A/V receiver 
OtherOther
Lian Li Card flash memory reader Asus PCE-N15 Wifi-N card 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 1055T Gigabyte 790 Sapphire 4850x2 2x2GB 1600mHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSKeyboard
A few Yes Vista/7 Das Keyboard 
Power
Ugly 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 1.2 GHz Something kinda small Qualcomm Adreno core 16GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
None N/A WebOS 3.0.2 9.7" XGA, multitouch 
PowerCase
6300mAh Piano Black 
  hide details  
Reply
DD Boxen
(23 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230 Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen3 Powercolor 6970 2GB G. Skill 1600mHz Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
SpinpontF3 1TB, WD 250, and WD320 Lite-On DT Waterblocks DT5Noz Waterblock Swiftech Komodo 6900-1 Waterblock 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR-220 Drive radiator Swiftech MCR-220 QP radiator 6xGentle Typhoon AP-15s Archx64 KDE4.5, Windows 7 x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eyefinity 3-head 5265x1050 OCN Ducky!! MX Blue Switches XFX 750W Black Edition Mountain Mods H2gO 
MouseAudioAudioAudio
Razer Naga Asus Xonar Essence STX Sennheiser 595 Sony STR-DE995 A/V receiver 
OtherOther
Lian Li Card flash memory reader Asus PCE-N15 Wifi-N card 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 1055T Gigabyte 790 Sapphire 4850x2 2x2GB 1600mHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSKeyboard
A few Yes Vista/7 Das Keyboard 
Power
Ugly 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 1.2 GHz Something kinda small Qualcomm Adreno core 16GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
None N/A WebOS 3.0.2 9.7" XGA, multitouch 
PowerCase
6300mAh Piano Black 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skripka View Post
If you're in the US, snipe the combo CPU/motherboard deals. Today there'a PhenomII quad core and motherboard for $150USD....there's also the same board with an AthlonIIx3 for $10USD or so cheaper...or the AthlonIIx3 with an older 700-series board for $120...*If* you're in the US.
This is a stupid question, but where do I find those?
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverCaffeinated View Post
This is a stupid question, but where do I find those?
Here:

http://www.newegg.com/Store/ComboDea...s-Motherboards
DD Boxen
(23 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230 Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen3 Powercolor 6970 2GB G. Skill 1600mHz Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
SpinpontF3 1TB, WD 250, and WD320 Lite-On DT Waterblocks DT5Noz Waterblock Swiftech Komodo 6900-1 Waterblock 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR-220 Drive radiator Swiftech MCR-220 QP radiator 6xGentle Typhoon AP-15s Archx64 KDE4.5, Windows 7 x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eyefinity 3-head 5265x1050 OCN Ducky!! MX Blue Switches XFX 750W Black Edition Mountain Mods H2gO 
MouseAudioAudioAudio
Razer Naga Asus Xonar Essence STX Sennheiser 595 Sony STR-DE995 A/V receiver 
OtherOther
Lian Li Card flash memory reader Asus PCE-N15 Wifi-N card 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 1055T Gigabyte 790 Sapphire 4850x2 2x2GB 1600mHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSKeyboard
A few Yes Vista/7 Das Keyboard 
Power
Ugly 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 1.2 GHz Something kinda small Qualcomm Adreno core 16GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
None N/A WebOS 3.0.2 9.7" XGA, multitouch 
PowerCase
6300mAh Piano Black 
  hide details  
Reply
DD Boxen
(23 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3-1230 Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/Gen3 Powercolor 6970 2GB G. Skill 1600mHz Ripjaws 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
SpinpontF3 1TB, WD 250, and WD320 Lite-On DT Waterblocks DT5Noz Waterblock Swiftech Komodo 6900-1 Waterblock 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
Swiftech MCR-220 Drive radiator Swiftech MCR-220 QP radiator 6xGentle Typhoon AP-15s Archx64 KDE4.5, Windows 7 x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eyefinity 3-head 5265x1050 OCN Ducky!! MX Blue Switches XFX 750W Black Edition Mountain Mods H2gO 
MouseAudioAudioAudio
Razer Naga Asus Xonar Essence STX Sennheiser 595 Sony STR-DE995 A/V receiver 
OtherOther
Lian Li Card flash memory reader Asus PCE-N15 Wifi-N card 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 1055T Gigabyte 790 Sapphire 4850x2 2x2GB 1600mHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSKeyboard
A few Yes Vista/7 Das Keyboard 
Power
Ugly 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 1.2 GHz Something kinda small Qualcomm Adreno core 16GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
None N/A WebOS 3.0.2 9.7" XGA, multitouch 
PowerCase
6300mAh Piano Black 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 7
I'm going to touch up a little on this thread

For this build, I highly suggest a Seasonic power supply considering you're putting emphasis on " long lasting " parts:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817151085

Anything else would probably do fine, but let's be serious here, you want to have the guarantee that nothing will go wrong with your system.
post #6 of 7
If you live near a micro center there are phenom and athlon mobo combos where all you do is buy the processor and you get a good motherboard bundled with it. You can snatch an HD 4550 from newegg for what, $40? The rest should be easy. Samsung F3 500Gb for $450 or add another $15 and you can get an F3 1Tb harddrive. There are a bunch of good cases out there. If your parents don't really care how the case looks, go with a cheap Antec 300. The PSU can be 350-450w and you can get a really cheap Corsair or CoolerMaster PSU. Since ram is SOOOOO cheap these days get them 4gb of ram so you can put a 64bit OS on it. Everything else should be easy like any cheap $20 DVD drive.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazzyRussian View Post
If you live near a micro center there are phenom and athlon mobo combos where all you do is buy the processor and you get a good motherboard bundled with it. You can snatch an HD 4550 from newegg for what, $40? The rest should be easy. Samsung F3 500Gb for $450 or add another $15 and you can get an F3 1Tb harddrive. There are a bunch of good cases out there. If your parents don't really care how the case looks, go with a cheap Antec 300. The PSU can be 350-450w and you can get a really cheap Corsair or CoolerMaster PSU. Since ram is SOOOOO cheap these days get them 4gb of ram so you can put a 64bit OS on it. Everything else should be easy like any cheap $20 DVD drive.
Thanks for the advice. That would just about do it for an entire upgrade.

After cracking open the case, I decided that I can pretty much re-use many of the parts (cd/dvd rw, psu, hdd)..at least for now. The 'rents aren't to keen on dropping a large wad of cash for a whole system re-haul all at once. I think for now, I'll update the mobo + cpu + RAM based on the bundle recommendations everyone has given, and upgrade the HDD, power supply and other parts in the near future.
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