$750 Mainstream PC for Little Sister

SlingboxEnthusiast

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May 19, 2010
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So if you've seen my other thread, you'll know I've never built a pc before but I believe I can do it. My dad agreed to help pay for mine, if I will build a new one for my 14 year old sister also. She's looking for something that will perform general tasks well, and play her mainstream pc games. Some of her games are older, so she wants a system that will dual boot XP and Windows 7, because some require xp and won't run in compatibility mode. She's got a great monitor that's 23"with max resolution of 1920 x 1080 @60 Hz. She needs a wireless keyboard and mouse that I haven't picked out yet. I'm fine with newegg or amazon for parts.

This is what I've picked out:

Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16811129066

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 955 $119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16819103808

Motherboard: ASRock 970 EXTREME4 AM3+ $104.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16813157262

Video Card: SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 $119.99 (plus $20 mail-in rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16814102940

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16820231311

PSU: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Modular $64.99 (plus $15 mail-in rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?item=N82E16817371016

Hard Drive: HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 $64.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822145520

DVD Burner: Lite-On 24x $23.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106335

Other Misc: Rosewill Memory Card Reader $14.99 and Antec Drive Bay Adapter $11.99

Total: $650.89 before mail in rebates

I didn't know whether or not to wait for bulldozer on her system or go intel since she doesn't need really high-end performance. My dad wants it to have 8gb of ram, don't really care so much about the brand, just reliability. Video card and case I'm open to suggestions on. Really any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

SlingboxEnthusiast

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That's a very good question, and I asked my dad that also. He said she has some old children's games that were designed for xp, and they have tried them on his windows 7 desktop, and tried them in compatibility mode, but they won't run. So mainly, I'm taking his word for it. Do you think we will run into problems trying to make it dual boot?
 

SlingboxEnthusiast

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No clue on the games, and I can't get ahold of him at the moment or I would tell you. I know she used to play some Nancy Drew games, it may be some of those. I don't know what newer games she plays, but I do know none of them are state of the art graphics so as long as she has a solid mainstream card she should be good. As for the keyboard and mouse, as long as it's wireless she should be fine with the looks/brand.
 

lp231

Splendid
Nancy Drew should run under Windows 7 with no problems. When the game is setup to compatibility it also needs to set "run as Administrator". And XP is that should have died long ago. Just go with Windows 7.

Intel Core i5 2400 @3.1GHz $189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115074
Asus P8H67-V $109.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131783
Adata 8GB DDR3 1333 $49.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211548
HIS HD6850 1GB $159.99 (Free Dirt 3+Shogun game coupon, while supplies last)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161348
Samsung SpinPoint F3 1TB $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
Cooler Master Elite 310 $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119203
LG DVD writer $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136236
Corsair V2 500w $59.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139027
Microsoft Wireless Desktop 2000 keyboard and mouse w/BlueTrack $37.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16823109235
$727.91

 

flyboy86

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Not sure of your problems running dual boot but I am running XP and Win 7 64 bit with no problems
 

SlingboxEnthusiast

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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll definitely try those once I get it built before I go through the hassle of dual booting xp! If anybody wants to give me an opinion on the build I have picked out for me in the other thread I would appreciate it too!
 

lp231

Splendid


When you run XP what are the chances of running Win7 and vice versa? The chance of that is zip since the user will always
go use the OS that is the most important to them.
For his sister who play games and let's say they only work on XP, you think she will actually use Win7?

I used to dual boot all the time, until I found using the older OS is unlikely as newer OS supports old software and if it doesn't work
compatibility mode is the answer. One other thing is when XP fails it takes Win7. Now instead of getting XP to work, he will also have to bring back Windows 7 into the loader.

@OP
provide link to your other thread.
 

SlingboxEnthusiast

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Here is my other thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/318281-31-need-advice-1000-gaming-upgrade-older-system#t2368383

Any advice on it would be appreciated, if it looks good I plan to order the components tonight. Thanks!
 

ps3hacker12

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what level of gaming is she doing? if its just low-mid graphics settings gaming i would reccommend an A8-3850 build in a small mini-ITX or micro ATX form factor (i love having a small Quiet PC and then my main ATX PC separate). Or even a pentium G850 build (has similar performance to a phenom 955: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/88?vs=404)
 

SlingboxEnthusiast

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May 19, 2010
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I followed some of the recommendations here and went with the i5 processor, and the Samsung hard drive. Ordered the parts today. After talking to my dad, he said he wouldn't be surprised if her games were 16 bit, as some of them were older than I had originally thought. Probably going to dual boot windows xp 32 bit for her, if that will let her run them. I appreciate all of the advice, and suggestions.
 

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