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Advice on budget office desktop


Jan 2, 2012
Hi all,

I am a complete newbie at building a system and I would much appreciate any help. I will fill out the template and post the links to products I thought would work.

I use my PC mainly for home office, not gaming or graphics intensive anything. Email, several windows open for internet based work programs, etc. My main concern is that it be futureproof (if that's possible) with a tweak here and there and not bog down like the Dell Dimension paperweight I have now and the other two IBM paperweights in the closet.

Approximate Purchase Date (within a couple weeks)

Budget Range as far under $1000 as I can get :)

System Usage from Most to Least Important Mostly office, email, surfing the internet, some Youtube, but could change to light gaming if my laptop dies

Parts Not Required keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts mostly newegg

Country United States

Parts Preferences Intel Sandy Bridge, thought the new Z68 mobos would be futureproof

Overclocking Maybe later

SLI or Crossfire I don't know what that is, so probably not.

Monitor Resolution I'm not sure, I have a 17" flat screen monitor, good enough for now

Additional Comments no bling on case or anything, cheap as possible on stuff I don't really need. I have no idea which case to use. I heard Antec 300 or Cooler Master HAF 912, but I don't know.

CPU: $220
Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

Motherboard: $125
ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

HDD: $130
Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Do I need to buy any cables for this or do they come with the mobo?

DVD: $25
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS-324-98B

Memory: $60
G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR

PSU: $80
SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze 620W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 SLI Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

OS: I guess Windows 7, and I assume I need 64 bit to take advantage of the system - hate shelling out for the retail version!

Truth be told, I'm afraid to put the parts together because I don't want to break anything and I don't really know what I'm doing, but I don't want another paperweight in 4 years and I don't want to mess with changing the CPU or motherboard anytime soon. If there's anything that I don't need in there, please let me know because this was not a good time of year for the Dell to kick it! If there are better deals somewhere other than Newegg, please tell me that, too - I never built a computer before so I'm not sure where to go.

I don't think I need a graphics card right now and I'm trying to get by with the cooling system that comes with the CPU and whatever fans come with the case.

Thanks so much in advance! I've been reading as much of your advice as I can - otherwise, there wouldn't even be a parts list!
There is no reason to buy a gamer mb
Buy one of the cheaper m_ATX Z68 boards like
performance will be identical .

The 2500K is a cpu for overclocking . Its unlikely email will ever be so demanding that you need this .
A 2400 will save you $$$$ and give you plenty of performance

Buy an OEM copy of Win 7 64 bit

Even a 500 watt psu will let you run a powerful graphics card . Just make sure its bronze certified or better .
Better still buy a quiet office case like the Antec Sonata lll
that includes a quality psu and wont make much noise


Apr 11, 2011
Value case with USB III in front panel

NZXT Source 210 Elite Black Steel with painted interior ATX Mid Tower Computer Case w/ Black Front Trim

Branded PSU with enough watt for the system and future upgrades

FSP Group SAGA+ 450R 450W ATX12V v2.2 Power Supply

CPU and Motherboard combo. Quad Core APU with unlocked multiplier so you can overclock plus good graphics for this monitor!

AMD A8-3870K Unlocked Llano 3.0GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D AD3870WNGXBOX

bundled with:

GIGABYTE GA-A75M-UD2H FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard


A lot will say that this is overkill but more RAM is never bad and it's future proof! So with these prices go straight forward for 16GB

Kingston HyperX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model KHX1600C9D3K4/16GX

And finally because of the HDDs prices it's a great idea to buy a small SSD now and when the prices are good add another HDD. The next one is clearly the best outhere both in terms of perfomance and reliability

SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC064D/AM 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) Desktop Upgrade Kit

SUM 534$ without MIR(10$)


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