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Old 06-09-2008, 12:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Computer for Grandpa

Hello. My grandpa constantly complains about his junk emachines computer and so I have decided to build him one from scratch with a help from a friend for father's day.

He only needs a computer to check emails, surf the web, and type documents. Pretty simple. His goal is to get a solid computer which has durable parts but that aren't too cheap. Here's what I've come up with, and any advice would be great.


AMD Athlon X2 4450e 2.3GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM2 45W 65nm Dual-Core Processor

CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory

SAMSUNG SpinPoint T Series HD501LJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive

Rosewill R103A Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply with 20+4 pin connector

I could probably spend $100 more so I could invest that in a better cpu/motherboard. He obviously isn't gaming so an integrated video card setup would be more beneficial right?

The case is pretty cheap but he doesn't need anything flashy.

Fire away. Thanks in advance for any help.


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Old 06-09-2008, 12:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer for Grandpa

What is the budget?

Are you gonna overclock it?

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Old 06-09-2008, 01:31 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer for Grandpa

Prototype, he mentioned that this computer is for his 'Grandpa' for the use of checking emails, surfing the web, and typing word documents. Do you really think he is going to overclock this machine?

- Integrated graphics will be absolutely fine.
- I would suggest buying a separate power supply though; power supplies that come with cases tend to be poorly made. 400watt would probably be fine, 450watt would be for sure fine/safest. The +12V rail(s) is what is important.
- That CPU will be just fine for this type of computer, he'll be very happy with it. I don't know how it compares (at $80) to what Intel has at $80 (I bet very similar), but he'll be happy with the 4450e speed and performance.

As for the motherboard, I'd wait for someone with better knowledge with motherboards than I have to suggest if another board would be better @ that price range.

With that $100 I'd buy a better case and the power supply. A case like the one I have (Cooler Master Centurion 5) is a good case for the price ($45) and cools quite nicely. As for the power supply, I'd probably go with a Thermaltake or FSP Group power supply; they are a good bang for the buck PSU at the 400w-450w range. Antec and OCZ are some other good PSU, although they are more spendy. - FSP Group SAGA+ 400R ATX12V 400W Power Supply 120/220 - 240v NEMKO, TUV, CSA, IEC, UL, CE - Power Supplies - Something like this would be's not pretty but definitely gets the job done nicely (I'd know because it's what I'm using, hehe).

Also, don't forget about the operating system! and a CD/DVD drive if you don't have an extra lying around.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer for Grandpa

Thanks for the feedback.

My budget is $450 before operating system and it is about $350 with my current specs - so i have some room to breathe. with my current specs

KSingler - I'll look into another case and buy a separate power supply like the one you recommended - something with more than 350w.

Also, for the operating system, I currently use Windows Vista Home Basic on my recently built computer and it runs fine. But, I'm thinking of just going with XP professional since that is what he is familiar with. What do you think?
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer for Grandpa

Isn't XP out and done for on the 30th of this month (June). Anyways, I think Vista Home Basic should be fine, unless it would be hard for him to switch over to a newer interface. You could just use XP, but like I said, last I heard the support for XP or maybe even the ability to buy XP was going to stop at the end of this month.

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Old 06-09-2008, 01:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer for Grandpa

Yeah I just realized, so I am probably going to go with Windows Vista Home Basic.

Lastly, any recommendations for a case? I'm looking at:

Sunbeam Freezing-Storm IC-FS-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Sunbeam Freezing-Storm IC-FS-BK Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer for Grandpa

Looks good, but that case isn't compatible with a Micro ATX motherboard like the one you posted in your first post. So you need to find another case. I'd personally go with the Cooler Master Centurion or Elite line of cases. Nicely built cases that are Micro ATX compatible and they have good airflow all for a great price. Just really be concerned about the power supply.

Considering your budget, stick with the 4450e.. no reason to spend more money on a CPU for a computer that is going to be running very minimal functions. The 4450e will blow away anything that your Granpda will be doing.
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Old 06-09-2008, 02:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer for Grandpa

If you want to save some money you could get a Foxconn 780g. I just built a system for my parents using a Athlon x2 4600+ and that motherboard and have been very happy with it. - Foxconn A7GM-S AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - AMD Motherboards

I also used the Cooler Master Elite 330 case and would recommend it. - COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Computer Cases

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Old 06-09-2008, 02:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer for Grandpa

Ah you're right. I thought my motherboard was ATX not micro ATX, thanks for pointing that out.

I'll post my final spec in a bit.

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