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Old 12-02-2009, 02:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default $500 Xmas build for Dad

My dad has a Dell Dimension 2400 that is pretty slow. He would like to have one that is a little faster. I would like to build him one for Xmas. Of course the cheaper the better but the max amount would be $500. Mainly he just uses it for office stuff, book keeping, internet, and music. He does not play any games at all. All he needs is the tower and possibly Windows 7, may decide to keep Windows XP which is what he is using now. He does not need a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or speakers.

Case: He doesn't want anything big at all. Though about the Antec 300. The case doesn't really matter too much except for the size of it. He doesn't need anything fancy, maybe just a side window.

MOBO: I am pretty clueless in the part. What are some of the top brands?

CPU: I know that AMD CPU's are more for a budget build but I would like to stick with Intel if possible. There is something about AMD like that justs rubs me the wrong way. Though about the E8400 or the q6600 if I can afford it.

CPU Cooler: I have an Artic Cooler Freezer 7 Pro that he can use. Since most likely no overclocking will be done, that should be fine. Although he does like to keep it warm in the house.

RAM: I figured I go with 2 gigs of DDR2. 4 gigs would be nice if the budget allows for it. DDR3 would also be nice but probably don't have the budget for DDR3.

GPU: I thought about using onboard graphics to same money but will probably be better with a separate card. He does not do any gaming.

DVD drives: I can pick them out.

HDD: He does not need much storage, 200gb's or less. I would like to get 2 of them, one for OS and the other for backup. I know it will be an Western Digital brand.

PSU: I would think a 500 watt would be more than enough.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: $500 Xmas build for Dad

For the CPU, I would like to stick with Intel since I have always used Intel. Nothing against AMD. I thought about the Intel E8400 but I can get a q9400 for a little bit cheaper. I know the q9400 would be overkill, he does not do alot of multitasking, for him but if I could get something faster for cheaper than why not, unless someone can convince me otherwise. I just don't know if I want to go the AMD route, I am sure they are great cpu's but I don't know if I would be comfortable with them since I have never used them.

As for the HDD, I think I am going to stick with Western Digital. That is all I have ever used and never had a problem with them.
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: $500 Xmas build for Dad

Theres nothing wrong with any of the parts I posted, you and he will be very happy with it.

Your biases will cause you to spend more money in the end.

The Amd cpu and the samsung/seagate drives have warranties just like any other part, so you don't need to worry about it.

AMD cpus are great for low end builds, common you can get a quad core for 99 bucks, thats awesome...
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: $500 Xmas build for Dad

I hope this topic doesn't cause this thread to get away from the original question but why is AMD so much cheaper than Intel? Does Intel outperform AMD that much? How much of a performance difference is their between both brands of quad cores?
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: $500 Xmas build for Dad

AMD's stuff is equal to Intel's last gen of chips, Core2Duo/Core2Quad. Their top end stuff is close to the lower end of Intel's higher line chips. AMD has the mid-level to low-level market on bang for the buck.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: $500 Xmas build for Dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by memory View Post
I hope this topic doesn't cause this thread to get away from the original question but why is AMD so much cheaper than Intel? Does Intel outperform AMD that much? How much of a performance difference is their between both brands of quad cores?
its cheaper because its not to par with intels new cpus.

BUT because of your budget and what he wants to do (Not gaming or intense applications)

an AMD cpu is perfect for this build.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: $500 Xmas build for Dad

that athalon II X4 is about the same speed as a q8400, just for refrence.

Newegg.com - GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 LGA 1156 Intel P55 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Intel Motherboards

Newegg.com - Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66GHz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor - Processors - Desktops

Newegg.com - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL8D-4GBRM - Desktop Memory

total for that stuff is $350, the i5 750 is faster than the AMD equivalent. overkill, i know.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: $500 Xmas build for Dad

I linked two harddrives, ram, cpu ,mobo and power supply for only 28 more than the above.

AMD is the better deal for his needs.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: $500 Xmas build for Dad

I don't think investing in Intel is a good idea because you'll have to buy a 775 mobo, so you can fit your budget, which is being discontinued soon. Buying the AMD with socket AM3 like the one Ste mentioned will be better for future upgrades.
Of course you can also go with an i5 build but it's more expensive.

I would go with AMD if I were you.
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