Basic, budget build for my sister

vbimport

#1

I was using my sister’s computer the other day and it was painfully slow compared to my main computer and even compared to my backup, which is five years old.

Her computer is an old hand-me-down I built for myself years ago, probably late 2006, and has one of the slowest Core2 Duo processors, a Conroe E6300 that runs at 1.83ghz.

I would put in an ssd for her operating system, but that motherboard has no provision for AHCI in its bios, and there is no newer bios available. I tried last year to upgrade to an ssd for her, and it simply would not load Windows, no way, no how.

So, time for something new. She does not run any programs that would stress a computer. She surfs the net and uses Word now and again. That’s about it, other than online games that would not stress a new processor and onboard video.

She has a tablet, but prefers a desktop and keyboard. And she has no use for a laptop.

So, that’s it for the build up. Here is what I’m considering. I have extra DDR3 ram sitting around, so I’m going to stick with Haswell for the processor. I also have a new power supply and the case and all peripherals are good. I need a cpu, motherboard and an ssd for Windows 7.

I want a micro-atx board with 4 memory slots, since I might want to upgrade the amount of memory in the future, and its possible I’ll have extra 2GB chips available then. I’m starting her off with the 2 x 2GB I have now. I’ve found two motherboards that are very inexpensive, an Asrock and this Gigabyte that I’m now favoring. The Gigabyte is $65.

And I’m going to get a Crucial SSD I think. The BX100 250GB is $85 right now at Newegg.

The real question is the cpu. She doesn’t need much, but it has to have built-in Intel graphics. I’m looking at the i3 4170, which is on sale for $110 (with coupon code) this weekend. It may be far more than she needs however. A Haswell Pentium or Celeron might be enough, but I have no experience with them.

Any input will be appreciated.


#2

I built an AM1 ITX computer with the 5350 CPU and have been very impressed with it. It is quad core with decent graphics and can be built for peanuts. I used the M350 case which makes for a very small computer that can be placed anywhere and be very portable.

I have also built similar computers around Intel CPUs and ITX motherboards. A good budget CPU to build on is the G3258. I has an unlocked multiplier and can be overclocked to 4+ ghz using the stock heat sink.


#3

I haven’t considered ITX since most of the parts I already have will only fit in a regular case.

I think I’ve decided against the Gigabyte board and am now considering two Asrock motherboards. Though I never liked the layout of my Asrock board in my main computer, it has run flawlessly for me for three years.

One: Asrock motherboard B85 chipset.

Two: H97 chipset motherboard from Asrock.

Still researching cpu’s.
Edit: Several features of the i3 are appealing. Especially the better graphics, since I won’t be using a separate video card.


#4

I would go with the i3 4170 CPU you mentioned.
Regarding the motherboard. I too would choose AsRock over Gigabyte.

The H97 board you mentioned is more up to date board, and does support Haswell CPU’s better than the B85 board. The only two downsides is the H97 board doesn’t have an Intel NIC, and audio processor isn’t fantastic.

A little bit more expensive is this board, and it does have decent audio, and an Intel NIC.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157512&cm_re=asrock--13-157-512--Product


#5

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2759619]I haven’t considered ITX since most of the parts I already have will only fit in a regular case.

I think I’ve decided against the Gigabyte board and am now considering two Asrock motherboards. Though I never liked the layout of my Asrock board in my main computer, it has run flawlessly for me for three years.

One: Asrock motherboard B85 chipset.

Two: H97 chipset motherboard from Asrock.

Still researching cpu’s.
Edit: Several features of the i3 are appealing. Especially the better graphics, since I won’t be using a separate video card.[/QUOTE]

I have used several ASRock boards the past few years and they all have run flawlessly. Plus, they have good features sets.

Maybe it is a phase I am going through but all my recent builds from scratch have been based on ITX motherboards. Anymore they offer about everything feature wise as larger boards and are a good alternative if add-on cards aren’t required. I like the small form factor they allow. For anything work related I always default to ATX boards.

Have you considered putting a quad core CPU in her computer as a quick, cheap, temporary and inexpensive fix? A Q95XX CPU would give it a considerable bump in performance. Especially with some additional RAM and a lower end video card.


#6

[QUOTE=UTR;2759642]

Have you considered putting a quad core CPU in her computer as a quick, cheap, temporary and inexpensive fix? A Q95XX CPU would give it a considerable bump in performance. Especially with some additional RAM and a lower end video card.[/QUOTE]

That might be a little more risky; even finding one would mean buying used and you’d have to hope it was supported in the bios. And it would mean no SSD, which will be one of the primary means of speeding up the new machine.

[QUOTE=Dee;2759638]A little bit more expensive is this board, and it does have decent audio, and an Intel NIC.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157512&cm_re=asrock--13-157-512--Product[/QUOTE]

That does seem like a better choice all round. So, it has gone into the build. It added $10 to the total cost, but as it so happened, Newegg put an instant rebate of $10 on the Crucial SSD this morning, so the costs evened out.

I’ve ordered this H97 Asrock board, the i3 processor and the Crucial SSD, so it should turn out to be a good combination.

Thanks for the input UTR and Dee.


#7

You might be able to find a card that plugs in and will support a ssd drive. I needed extra ide and sata slots on my new to me AMD 6 core 1090t and there were quite a few add on cards that supported both formats cheap so I bought one and pretty sure its still working fine here many years later.
They don’t add all the extra ports and slots like they used to on enthusiast boards anymore. I guess most users don’t run 5 hard drives and 5 burners anymore so why bother.
There are plenty of ready to run oem boxes that you could just add more ram and a ssd to dirt cheap on Amazon and New Egg too.


#8

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2759606]So, time for something new. She does not run any programs that would stress a computer. She surfs the net and uses Word now and again. That’s about it, other than online games that would not stress a new processor and onboard video.

She has a tablet, but prefers a desktop and keyboard. And she has no use for a laptop.[/QUOTE]
From the read here any off the shelf complete Desktop unit from BestBuy would suit her fine. Unless she wants Window 7 then that would be to find someone selling Windows 7 and doing a complete Windows 7 install. Also not to mention she would eventually run MS Office as well and that will come with a cost as well. From what it looks she need a complete Desktop from a Electronics retailer would suite her needs. But if she goes that route make sure it is iNtel not AMD…based processor and start out at least i5 and up to i7. I have a custom built system but I use a i5-4690K at 4.2 OC and it works great but I do have CoolerMaster 212 for it. That’s my honest opinion.


#9

^I can almost always beat the price of a pre-made unit simply because I have pieces/parts left over from other builds. In this particular instance, I already had the case, a new power supply, optical drive, memory, keyboard, storage hard drive, mouse and display. I also had the Windows 7 operating system that she wants.

So, to make her a new computer all I needed was the cpu/heatsink, motherboard and an SSD for her operating system drive. She has no need of an i5 or greater processor…she’ll never stress out an i3.

I have all the parts in and will put it together tomorrow. I suspect it will last her for at least four years, and she may not need to upgrade again until Windows 7 becomes obsolete and has no more security updates.


#10

I hate Windows updates. 216 updates and it completely froze the computer twice. Had to start over once, after only 29 were installed. You would think in a completely new installation, updates would go smoothly.

There are always small glitches with drivers in any installation. Windows 7 had no idea what to do with the Canon printer/scanner/fax machine, but I found the disc that came with it eventually.


#11

By the way, I had an odd thing happen with temps. I used my old i5 copper core heatsink instead of the all aluminum one that came with the i3. They are the exact same size and design except for the copper core, and I used the fan and new push pins from the newer heatsink. I was seeing 49-55° C temps with a normal load, which seemed a bit high, but well within limits. I reapplied thermal grease, thinking I might have got a little too much in there, but no change in temps.

I checked again today and temps were way down…in the lower to mid 30’s° C.

?

That seems like a huge change and I wasn’t using anything high tech for thermal grease, just some generic stuff from Coolermaster that came with the Hyper 212 EVO that I use on my main computer.


#12

On the updates I agree a pain to do it all from a fresh install.
Even if you aren’t going to do them one at a time.
It’s best to do them is smaller groups . Base the groups on the dates they were released. See if that helps next time you do a fresh install like this.

I’ve read some thermal compounds need to cure .
It takes a day or two of use to accomplish this.