Advice for non-gaming PC build, $2700 budget

davesp

Reputable
Dec 10, 2015
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Hi,

I want to build a PC for my mom for just basic needs. She's on the internet and working with documents and she will be watching netflix on her PC. So it probably won't cost $2,700 but that's what she's willing to pay so her choice.

Most importantly I'm looking for something fast (probably SSD+HDD combo) with a great monitor (was thinking 32'' IPS). Will also need a mouse, a keyboard, and high quality speakers for great sound (but just 2 speakers because she doesn't have a lot of room).

I'm clueless about the basic parts: CPU, motherboard, RAM, HSF, PSU, and the case. Pretty sure the motherboard cards will be sufficient but I'd like to buy a better sound card to enhance her netflix experience if the budget can take it.

Can anyone please advise?

Much appreciated,
Dave
 

Eximo

Titan
Herald
Mac? Or a high end Dell workstation?

The budget far exceeds the needs. Maybe a nice laptop with an external keyboard/monitor/mouse?

As for a desktop build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i3-8100 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($118.90 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - H370M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($98.89 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Kingston - FURY 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($98.21 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital - Black PCIe 256GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($89.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($43.35 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Gigabyte - GeForce GT 1030 2GB Silent Low Profile Video Card ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT - H200 (White) Mini ITX Tower Case ($84.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - Platinum 400W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular Fanless ATX Power Supply ($97.30 @ Newegg Business)
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($94.89 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Asus - VA32AQ 31.5" 2560x1440 60Hz Monitor ($322.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1139.40
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-07-19 16:58 EDT-0400

You can pick out a keyboard and mouse. I recommend taking your Mom to a store to pick out her own.

No discrete sound card, but it does have a higher end sound chipset then what the cheaper motherboards come with. Wireless ethernet etc.

A fanless GPU and PSU for better Netflix viewing. Stock Intel fan doesn't make too much noise when just streaming videos or doing common tasks. But you could get a better CPU cooler if you wanted (Cryorig C7 or something like that)

There are a few nice case options, but they are quite a bit more expensive.
 

NightAntilli

Admirable
Jun 12, 2014
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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($94.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - X470 AORUS ULTRA GAMING ATX AM4 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial - Ballistix Sport LT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg Business)
Storage: Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($86.95 @ Newegg Marketplace)
Storage: Western Digital - Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($43.35 @ OutletPC)
Case: Corsair - 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($47.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Pioneer - BDR-209DBK Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($57.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($94.89 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Samsung - C34F791 34.0" 3440x1440 100Hz Monitor ($680.59 @ OutletPC)
Keyboard: Logitech - K840 Wired Standard Keyboard ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Mouse: Logitech - G203 Prodigy Wired Optical Mouse ($30.56 @ Newegg)
Speakers: Audioengine - A5+ Black 100W 2ch Speakers ($399.00 @ Amazon)
Total: $1801.27
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-07-19 17:03 EDT-0400


I chose X470 for two reasons;
You don't have to mess with BIOS updates to support the CPU
You get StoreMI for free, which is the best we have right now to speed up PCs with SSD speeds without having space limits or seeing a bunch of different drives.

Not sure how much space she really needs, but I chose a comfortable 1TB (without SSD) in case she wants to download some of the movies/shows from Netflix.

Didn't know what to take for case, so I chose a standard random case. Feel free to change it.

I chose an ultra-wide, since this helps a lot for work activities and watching movies. It is the most expensive thing in this list.

Mechanical keyboard for comfortable typing. Doesn't have media keys, but does have media function. Change if you want dedicated media keys.

Simple mouse.

Speakers are REALLY good. Feel free to downgrade if too expensive. White version are also available.

It's better to have an external DAC rather than a sound card... So I added one that has many functions... Not found on PCPartPicker, so here's the separate link;
https://www.amazon.com/Micca-OriGen-G2-Resolution-Preamplifier/dp/B01N14SY65/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1532034072&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=micca+origen&psc=1


 

profoundnoah

Admirable
May 12, 2015
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6,960
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A few things to note with the previous builds:

The prices of the second build are not accurate, as they include Mail-In Rebates among other discounts. The real price of that build is actually $1900 ($2000 with that DAC).

I'd HEAVILY advise going with a larger SSD. Imo, the best value for SSD's is at the 240/500GB range. An 860 Evo will give her A LOT more space

Issue with that ultrawide monitor is that isn't IPS. At that price point (at least for standard office use), I'd much rather get nicer colors with IPS while only sacrificing 25hz. It is also significantly less expensive. https://pcpartpicker.com/product/zQ66Mp/lg-34ub88-p-340-3440x1440-75hz-monitor-34ub88-p

Also, why not go B450? That Aorus board you posted has its fair share of problems. B450 still retains store MI, and is MUCH better value-wise IMO.

Here are the changes I've made:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 2400G 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - B450M PRO4 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($81.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($159.88 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Samsung - 860 Evo 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($117.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate - Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design - Define Mini C TG MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Wireless Network Adapter: Netgear - A6210-100PAS USB 3.0 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter ($40.99 @ Amazon)
Monitor: LG - 34UB88-P 34.0" 3440x1440 75Hz Monitor ($529.00 @ Amazon)
Total: $1354.79
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-07-26 16:09 EDT-0400

1. DITCH all of those peripherals except for the monitor. Having those high-end speakers (which are already powered mind you) paired with an external DAC doesn't make much sense. I would only advise those speakers if the OP's mom has TOO MUCH money to spend, as she could easily get away with some CyberAcoustics Speakers and still get a great sound. LG's built-in speakers are surprisingly good. If she doesn't like them, she can easily buy some better speakers down the line. Built-In DAC's are plenty sufficient for most devices nowadays. If you DO notice anything irritating due to the minorly-limited ALC892 chip, you can ALWAYS invest in an inexpensive external dac; no need to spend $100 when you'll barely notice a quality difference. I myself use a cheap Fiio DAC with my Sennheiser 600's and have had an AWESOME experience so far.

2. Replaced the processor/RAM. While 8GB is plenty enough for most office/document tasks, Chrome can be QUITE taxing on system resources. I myself would much get 16GB right off the bat to avoid having to upgrade/match kits later down the line. The same goes for the 2400G. Better iGPU, more threads, a lot more use cases.

3. Let your mom decide on the peripherals she wants. Personally, I don't really think Mechanical keyboards offer that much more COMFORT than rubber-domes. It REALLY is a subjective experience, just like sound is. I'd take the time to research it on your own instead of immediately going out and buying what seems to be good.
 

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