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post #11 of 21
Look at a mini-itx featuring AMD's APU E350. The Sapphire Mini E350 with a mini-itx case, 4G 1333MHz RAM, CD/DVD, Blu ray, 1T HDD, OS. And 1080p monitor can be had for about .$500
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post #12 of 21
Whatever you do, DO NOT rip off your parents as has been suggested! Build them a decent system and do it for them as cheaply as possible....
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by steevieweevie View Post
If you're not a gamer, or doing heavy photo editing, go with Atomfix's suggestions on a gpu. Also Athelon 2 640 at the most. Pour the savings into a bluray - ROM and a small SSD for quick on and off's. They'll love you for it...
Athlon II X4 640 is $100, the 955 is $105. For $5 more, the 955 is a much better option.

I have a blu-ray drive in my PC and I never watch movies on it because it's much better to watch them on a 50" plasma + PS3 or other device in the living room couch.

I would agree with the SSD though, you could substitute the video card since the motherboard comes with onboard video.

You could always add the discrete graphics option in the future if needed.

EDIT:
I did consider the SSD option for a hot minute while putting the build together and I thought it would be too complicated for older folks to manage a system with multiple drives. If they started to save their pictures on a 64GB SSD, it will fill up pretty quick. That's why I tried to keep the system simple.
Edited by PowerTrip - 6/10/11 at 8:45am
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post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerTrip View Post
Athlon II X4 640 is $100, the 955 is $105. For $5 more, the 955 is a much better option.

I have a blu-ray drive in my PC and I never watch movies on it because it's much better to watch them on a 50" plasma + PS3 or other device in the living room couch.

I would agree with the SSD though, you could substitute the video card since the motherboard comes with onboard video.

You could always add the discrete graphics option in the future if needed.

EDIT:
I did consider the SSD option for a hot minute while putting the build together and I thought it would be too complicated for older folks to manage a system with multiple drives. If they started to save their pictures on a 64GB SSD, it will fill up pretty quick. That's why I tried to keep the system simple.
The prices are a little different North of the border. 955's are 30 bucks more. The logic behind my suggestion was the wattage requirements of a 955. If you stick with a 630-640 you may be able to save a few bucks by buying a 3+1 board like the M4ALT-M for 55 bucks.

On another note, how can they be selling a Phenom 2 840 at the same price as a 955? Something smells fishy...

Oh yeah and as far as the SSD goes, I taught my wife how to use one. She has a hard time with can openers, let alone computers. I think they can handle it if they're into photo editing.
    
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post #15 of 21
I know we're all enthusiasts/gamers for the most part, but there's one mistake alot of people like us make when doing PC builds for even "basic"use, and that is including a GPU. I know we all scream and point at the yucky IGPs, but consider that discrete GPUS bring with them...

A) increased power draw
B) increased heat
C) increased noise
D) increased dust
E) increased cost
F) increased point of failure
G) increased PSU demands

...all for extra video performance. That's alot of cons for one pro! This is fine and dandy for gamers/enthusiasts, where the trade-off is worth it, but not for basic users! They usually don't need it, so the trade-off is beyond diminishing returns. It is something known as waste. You want to avoid that. It's probably one of the biggest mistakes we do (including discrete GPUs in builds that don't need them). Basic users do not need GPUs!

OP, you need to consider their uses. If they will not use the GPU's advantages to a great extent (enough to offset the above), and regularly enough, I say skip on it. Occasional Photoshop use doesn't need it (and on that note, I've found iffy benefits from GPU acceleration, light stuttering while it kicks in, and have disabled it myself). As I said, consider waste, which also means don't spend just to do so. You can get something nice (assuming this doesn't include monitor/peripherals) for less than the budget.

If you build it, don't necessarily skip looking at Intel because you're building a basic/cheaper PC. AMD isn't always necessarily better at the cheaper regions. A Core i3 2300 at $125 might be a consideration versus a Phenom II X4 840 at $105 (prices may be different in your locale).

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/86?vs=289

It's a little more expensive ($20 here), but performs better, and less power consuming to boot, and efficiency is more important in these types of PCs. Even with half the cores (it has Hyper-threading), it still overall posts better numbers, due to better IPC and that is a key thing I notice is that it's single-threaded performance is just shy of twice that of the Phenom II, which in my opinion, makes it worth springing for the extra $20 as the PC will see alot of time doing such tasks where this might make it vastly quicker.

I imagine the Intel's IGPs are better than the current AMD chipset offerings? Don't quote me on that.

I'm just tossing the idea out. Many think cheap means AMD, but it seems Intel's even putting the squeeze on in the cheaper territory where AMD has traditionally been a better buy.
post #16 of 21
i just did one for my parents.i used the gigabyte 880gma-ud2h,athlonx4,and 4 gigs crucial ballistix ram.the motherboard has usb3 and also an onboard 4250 graphics.i added a nice antec 550 psu just incase they ever wanted to upgrade to a vcard.
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post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Princess Garnet View Post
If you build it, don't necessarily skip looking at Intel because you're building a basic/cheaper PC. AMD isn't always necessarily better at the cheaper regions. A Core i3 2300 at $125 might be a consideration versus a Phenom II X4 840 at $105 (prices may be different in your locale).

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/86?vs=289
My mistake. I linked to/compared to the Phenom II X4 805, which is 700MHz slower. They don't list the Phenom II X4 840, but the Phenom II X4 955 is the same clock speed. If we compare it to that 9and sans some for the extra cache the 955 has over the 840, is that the only difference?), the advantage for Intel is smaller, but still in it's favor, so at that point, it becomes more of a "the Intel performs slightly better but costs slightly better", but the performance for the dollar is still dangerously close to AMD's usual territory, so the point was, don't necessarily count Intel out on the cheap end of the scale. It's worth looking at all options. Either Intel or AMD appear to have good options at the lower price point now, where it was traditionally AMD.
post #18 of 21
I am sure the Op can make a decision from the various recommendations.
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post #19 of 21
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post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the suggestions. to answer a few questions they will not need a OS and they are just going to do light picture editing. Also I dont think theres a need for blu ray since they already have 2 bluray players in the house.
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