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Help me build my mom a PC

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, so mom needs a new computer for christmas. She mainly just checks email and does word documents/spreadsheets, but occasionally does little videos in windows movie maker. So ya, she doesn't need anything powerful. If it doesn't cost too much extra, I would like to be able to run TF2 or low/medium settings. I don't really have a price range, just basically as cheap as possible without being junk. Her current PC takes 20 minutes to start up, so anything will be an improvement

Now, ever since I built my rig I stopped looking at new components. I assume AMD is still the cheaper option for non performance PCs? Also, what would be a good cheap GPU? So basically any ideas for components would help, as I have always just shopped for performance PC parts and am lost without my benchmarks and big numbers I really have no idea what components are better for simple stuff.

Also, I have an unused 32 bit Vista home premium license here. It has been a while since I used vista, but for basic use should I just use that? Mom has only ever used XP, so I am debating between that, this vista, or just getting Win7. She is VERY computer illiterate, so I don't know how she would like leaving XP.

Thanks for any help!
Henterprise-D
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Henterprise-D
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Zalman MZ230ED 23" 1920x1080 Samsung 226bw 22" 1680x1050 View Sonic VA702b 17" 1280x1024 Optoma HD20 1920x1080 projector 
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post #2 of 12
Get her either a high dual core or a low quad, a good PSU, a halfway decent mobo, cheap case... If she's going to be using 32bit, slap 2gb of memory in there and something like a 500gb hdd. Then toss a lower video card in there like a 8800 or a 9600.

Shouldn't be all too hard.
    
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post #3 of 12
I personally wouldn't build a pc for my mom. I'd just buy a pre-build. It'd be cheaper, especially if she only uses the internet.
Sweaty Fat Man
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Sweaty Fat Man
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post #4 of 12
What older parts do you have to work with? Like stuff left over from upgrades, etc.
    
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post #5 of 12
My RIDE
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My RIDE
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post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFB View Post
What older parts do you have to work with? Like stuff left over from upgrades, etc.
2GB of DDR2800 ram is basically all I have. I usually only upgrade when things die

And ya, sorry about no budget. Dad said just build her an OK PC, and then ran off to work. I will see if I can get a price out of him, but am mainly just trying to get a basic idea together now.

Thanks for the ideas Eric! May have to upgrade my PC so mom doesn't have more cores than me
Henterprise-D
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Henterprise-D
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Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG Blu-ray drive Hyper 212 EVO Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit Dell U2311H 23" 1920x1080 eIPS 
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G15 Rev 1 (18 G-keys) Corsair 1200 Lian Li PC-A70B full tower w/ clear sidepannel Logitech Mx518 
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post #7 of 12
AMD Combo

Windows 7 64 bit

XFX 5670

Price: $534.97 with rebates.
    
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ericrules30 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yugimt View Post
AMD Combo
Windows 7 64 bit
XFX 5670

Price: $534.97 with rebates.
Avoid the combo system. There's a few reasons why I avoid such systems: parts choice and price. For only a $70 discount you get crum parts such as a motherboard with unheatsinked 4+1 (dangerous for 125W processors) and overpriced generic memory.

Let me match yugimt's suggestion with a suggestion of my own:
Phenom II x4 955 - $135.50
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO + Rosewill Challenger - $139, 124 AR
Antec NEO ECO 520W - $55
Corsair XMS3 1600 9-9-9 DDR3 - $50, 40 AR
Samsung F3 1TB - $60 shipped, superbiiz
Promo code "EMCZNZV25" - -$15
Promo code "FBXMAS10" - -$10

Counting all promo codes/discounts: $414.50 before MIR's, $389.50 after so for only $10 more you get a black edition, better mobo, much better RAM, twice the hard drive space... power supply isn't any better but will handle it just the same. Sacrifice the hard drive for a smaller one like in the original combo and you now have a same-price deal.

Another recommendation I'd like to make is that if you have a Microcenter near you, you might want to consider going there and picking up an Athlon II x4 + free/near-free motherboard. You should limit shopping there to CPU, mobo and HDD (all other selections, i.e. RAM, are crap) but you can still get great deals.

Other things you might need:
Sony Optiarc 24X DVD - $17
Edited by xd_1771 - 12/19/10 at 7:25am
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Great, thanks! Sadly the nearest microcenter is a few hours away, so I will just order it online. And I am thinking the 5670 is a bit too much power for what mom does, so will probably go with a 5550. Seems like people can still game on it, and since it will be used for gaming maybe 10 times a year I like the looks of saving $50.
Henterprise-D
(24 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-4770K GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H EVGA GTX 670 EVGA GTX 275 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
16GB Mushkin Redline 1866 Samsung 8400 Pro 128 GB SSD Samsung 1TB x3 Maxtor 1TB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG Blu-ray drive Hyper 212 EVO Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit Dell U2311H 23" 1920x1080 eIPS 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
Zalman MZ230ED 23" 1920x1080 Samsung 226bw 22" 1680x1050 View Sonic VA702b 17" 1280x1024 Optoma HD20 1920x1080 projector 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
G15 Rev 1 (18 G-keys) Corsair 1200 Lian Li PC-A70B full tower w/ clear sidepannel Logitech Mx518 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Belkin gel Diamond XS71DDL sound card Corsair HS1a headset Onkyo HT-S5400 7.1 sound system 
  hide details  
Reply
Henterprise-D
(24 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-4770K GIGABYTE Z87X-UD3H EVGA GTX 670 EVGA GTX 275 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
16GB Mushkin Redline 1866 Samsung 8400 Pro 128 GB SSD Samsung 1TB x3 Maxtor 1TB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG Blu-ray drive Hyper 212 EVO Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit Dell U2311H 23" 1920x1080 eIPS 
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
Zalman MZ230ED 23" 1920x1080 Samsung 226bw 22" 1680x1050 View Sonic VA702b 17" 1280x1024 Optoma HD20 1920x1080 projector 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
G15 Rev 1 (18 G-keys) Corsair 1200 Lian Li PC-A70B full tower w/ clear sidepannel Logitech Mx518 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Belkin gel Diamond XS71DDL sound card Corsair HS1a headset Onkyo HT-S5400 7.1 sound system 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 12
as far as building a pc, i dont think itll be cost effective. for around 300 dollars you can get a nice desktop from walmart. the computer im on atm, is a dual core amd, came with a smooth keyboard, and nice mouse, decent speakers, and a case that has 9 in 1 media card support right in the front, if your mother ever takes pictures, this would be handy.

this computer was actually a gift for my gramma, im just using hers right now, but its really good. she really likes it. she too came from xp, theres no real difference, except i "pined" google chrome to the start bar, so its easier for her to find. but you cant build a computer for under 300, so i think the best place to go would be walmart. my gramma is like your mom, mostly checks email, this was our gift to her.
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