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Building a new PC for my grandfather...you heard me...

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
A little intro - my grandfather is 90 years old - fought in WWII and all that jazz. Man loves life and is still very active, despite his age. Hell, you'd probably think he was 70, tops. One thing he's always loved is technology. He's watch computers since the beginning, but when it has come to personal computers, he's always had hand-me-downs. I think the first one he had was my old 486 back in the mid-90s. So in other words, he's always been behind.

Earlier in the year, my wife and I built a new PC for my mom since hers was getting pretty old. Parts of it were made from our previous builds that we had just replaced, but all still very good for what she needed. She mentioned that my grandfather could use a new box as well, so the wife and I started pricing parts. At the time, the parts all came to about $400, which is what we were expecting. Nothing was on sale at the time, so we decided to wait and see what might come about during the holidays.

Well, as we all know, HDD prices are inflated, so I sort of dropped the ball there - should have picked up a good 750GB or 1TB drive when I had the chance. Anyway, I guess my mom recently mentioned to my grandfather that we were planning to build him a new PC and I get the below email a few weeks ago:
Quote:
Matthew:

If you do find time to build me a computer and the cost is not to great I would like I-7 chip--64Bit---16GB Ram(8 will do) Windows 7 Ultimate

Hope to see you this week end

Love you

Paw Paw

Now, first off, I lol'd. Then I was sort of impressed that he might know what he's talking about. Then I realized, no, he probably asked someone "what's the best computer right now?" and this is what they told him.

I saw him and some of the family over the weekend for a holiday get together and we talked about this a little more. I explained what I could get him (some of the stuff I already have on hand), and how I didn't think that he needed any of what he asked for, but that we were okay on the 64-bit processor. His biggest complaint seems to be speed, which is is understandable since this latest hand-me-down he has is from about 2003, I think. So with the inflated HDD prices, I'm debating if I should just get him an SSD since it's not like he'll come close to using a TB drive anyway and I have a very hard time paying $120+ for a HDD in this day and age. He even admitted that all he does is browse the web, type letters, maybe print on some envelopes, look at family photos, and put together wills for the other old people around town (whoa).

So here's what I have as a base right now: http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=15799131

The SSD is really what jacks the price up, but I've been happy with my Samsung SSD so far and wouldn't mind upgrading to the new model, so I was thinking about giving him my 128GB 470 Series, and get myself the new 128GB 830 Series, however, feel free to argue points on different SSDs to go with instead. So far all I've ordered are the case and the PSU, since those were on sale recently. I'll probably start ordering the other stuff over the next few days.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Do you grandparents have this kind of rig? wink.gif
post #2 of 23
I personally will switch to AMD Llano build, eliminates the need of dGPU (should be faster than GT 520). Corsair CX series is a so-so series. Maybe something from Antec or Rosewill Green 430 W?
Misaka
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 Sapphire HD 7850 2 GB Samsung DDR3 16 GB (30 nm) 
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Crucial M4 128 GB WD Caviar Blue 1 TB Lite-on DVD Burner Thermalright Venomous X 
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Windows 7 Professional x64 (Host) Crunchbang Linux x64 (Guest) HP 2311x HP PS/2 Keyboard 
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Misaka
(18 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K ASRock Z68 Extreme4 Gen3 Sapphire HD 7850 2 GB Samsung DDR3 16 GB (30 nm) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial M4 128 GB WD Caviar Blue 1 TB Lite-on DVD Burner Thermalright Venomous X 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Windows 7 Professional x64 (Host) Crunchbang Linux x64 (Guest) HP 2311x HP PS/2 Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Rosewill Capstone 450 W Rosewill Challenger Logitech M570 ASUS Xonar D1 
Other
Hauppauge HVR-1250 
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post #3 of 23

What is he even going to do with this build!?  For all we know a $400-500 small form factor A8 build might be all that's necessary here.  Definitely go with an A8 APU build over Athlon II x4 + 8400GS because an A8 APU config would provide the same CPU performance and so much better GPU performance for the same price!  A8 builds work fine in small form factor cases too.

post #4 of 23
My "Paw Paw" lived to be 97, and like yours was sharp as a tac. So if I were you, I would get him the "I-7 chip" like he asked for. With that said, I agree with "xd_1771" and say go with a Llano build. With that SSD it should be super fast. With the money you save, you can get him the "16GB Ram" he asked for. Seriously, regardless of which way you go, with the price of ram, get him the 16gig, just so you can say you did.....

Merry Christmas to Paw Paw's everywhere....wink.gif
post #5 of 23
i'd get a micro-board, an i3, 4gb ram, 60gb ssd. put everything in a small case - no need for dedicated graphics.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by naizarak View Post

i'd get a micro-board, an i3, 4gb ram, 60gb ssd. put everything in a small case - no need for dedicated graphics.

That's not even close to what he asked for.

How do you know that a week after he gets his new system, that he won't be able to play BF3 because his new rig is too slow? Assume nothing....


The young think the old are stupid.... But that's ok because the old know that the young are....tongue.gif
post #7 of 23
If he wants an i7 why get him a Llano? Unless I missed something and he actually doesn't mind?
It's a computer
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It's a computer
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2500k 4.5ghz @1.35v Asrock Extreme 3 Gen 3 Asus GTX 470 725/1694 @1.025v EVGA GTS 450 900/1804 (PhysX) 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
8gb Gskill 1600mhz 640gb, Seagate 1tb Spinpoint F3, Kingston 60gb SSD LG Combo Thermaltake SpinQ 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Win7 64bit Ultimate Acer X203H 1600x900 CM Storm Quickfire w/ Blues PC Power and Cooling 750watt Silencer MKII 
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Silverstone Raven RV02 Microsoft 1.1A Razer Goliathus 
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathelm View Post

That's not even close to what he asked for.
How do you know that a week after he gets his new system, that he won't be able to play BF3 because his new rig is too slow? Assume nothing....
The young think the old are stupid.... But that's ok because the old know that the young are....tongue.gif

lolwut. someone didn't read the OP...
post #9 of 23
I think that AM3+ motherboard is pretty highend for that AthlonII X4. Are just making sure he can upgrade to bulldozer or piledriver in the future?
Spit in God's Eye
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Spit in God's Eye
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
A-Data SP600 256gb SSD (C:) Samsung 840 EVO 1TB SSD (D:) Seagate 2TB Hybrid Drive (E:) LITE-ON 24x DVDRW 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair H110 Win 10 x64 HP 2511x ( 25" 1080p ) AZIO L70 
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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by naizarak View Post

lolwut. someone didn't read the OP...

Sure I did, and I'm certain whatever "Matthew" dose will be the right thing. But what I mostly read was:
Quote:
Matthew:

If you do find time to build me a computer and the cost is not to great I would like I-7 chip--64Bit---16GB Ram(8 will do) Windows 7 Ultimate

Hope to see you this week end

Love you

Paw Paw
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