Budget APU build for light image editing and web browsing, help required

Arnav Bhatt

Aug 2, 2015
Hey guys,

I have a question about another system build. This is a budget system for my mom because currently she's using a Sony Vaio VGN-FW51JF. My mom, who is a painter, uses it for storing the photos of her paintings, rough sketches, drawings and stuff like that. She also uses Adobe Lightroom for touching up the photos of her finished works before uploading (watermarking), but it's nothing too intensive. Beyond that she uses it to browse the internet and watch videos, and that's pretty much it.

Now the laptop she's using works fine, but it pains me to just look at it. It's 6 or 7 years old, way past its prime. It boots up, but working on it is really inefficient. Boot time is in the minutes, between 2 and 4. Loading webpages takes time, opening applications takes time. Maybe it's unnecessary, but I do feel that with a new, optimised system, her workflow would be greatly improved and she won't have to spend time waiting when she's on the computer and get straight to whatever it is that needs to be done.

So guys, can you help me build a system for the purposes outlines above? I have a feeling that an AMD APU would be exactly right because she doesn't need discrete graphics, but at the same it's powerful enough and cheap. I don't know much about AMD CPUs or APUs, it's all just surface knowledge. The budget would be a reasonable €350, maybe, possibly €400 but not more. That's including the monitor, mouse and keyboard. The OS is not a problem as the laptop runs Windows 7 so I can create a USB boot drive from it. The form factor should be as small as possible. Because I am located in Switzerland, I would be buying from Germany so everything should be in euro if possible.

That's about it and again I want to thank everyone for taking the time to provide the help!
The graphics in that laptop was equivalent to the very weakest card available (HD 4550) even 7 years ago so I wouldn't worry about getting APU graphics personally. I'd go with Intel because the integrated graphics are still pretty good and they tend to have more CPU grunt.

I'm struggling to find something within budget though to be honest because this is what I'd aim for as a minimum:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Pentium G3220 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor (€57.26 @ Home of Hardware DE)
Motherboard: ASRock H81M-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard (€67.89 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Memory: GeIL EVO Veloce Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (€49.53 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Storage: Sandisk SSD PLUS 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (€52.00 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Storage: Toshiba 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (€53.87 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Case: Thermaltake Core V1 Mini ITX Tower Case (€39.64 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Power Supply: be quiet! 300W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply (€41.99 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Monitor: Hannspree HE225DPB 21.5" Monitor (€103.99 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Keyboard: Logitech K120 Wired Standard Keyboard (€12.13 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Mouse: Genius XScroll Wired Optical Mouse (€5.59 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Total: €483.89
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-08-22 12:50 CEST+0200


Arnav Bhatt

Aug 2, 2015
sorry I should have mentioned earlier but it slipped my mind: I have a wireless mouse already, and I'm thinking about scavenging the hard drive from the old laptop. it's a 2.5 inch drive so no issues there. thanks for the build though! if you have any other suggestions, by all means, post them here and it would be greatly appreciated :)


Aug 19, 2015
Okay so here is another system

CPU (APU) – amd A10 5800k S-FM2 , Black Edition 3.8GHz - http://amzn.to/1gYSUs1 - 99$
MONITOR Acer full HD - http://amzn.to/1gYVwGo - 100$
MB- Gigabyte A78 - http://amzn.to/1fsigO5 - 61$
RAM – kingston HyperX Fury 2x4GB 1600MHz- http://amzn.to/1U0tWFj - 50$
CASE - http://amzn.to/1fsiTXV - 40$
PSU – EVGA 500W http://amzn.to/1gYUUAK - 40$
Keyboard -http://amzn.to/1hAiKUe- 9$
Optical drive - http://amzn.to/1NlnpGe - 19$
Speakers - http://amzn.to/1U0yZ8P - 13$
TOTAL : 431$


May 22, 2011
Laptops have a couple of easy upgrades. DDR2 SoDimms from ebay doubles the RAM, an SSD gives ten times the speed
and a new processor from the same family should be supported - that's what I did for my circa 2009 laptop to keep it


However he 7000 family only has a limited upgrade to 2.26GHz so I wouldn't bother.

The RAM is a fiddly bit where you need a junk store that has a lot of modules in stock, cast offs,
so that several pieces of 4GB can be tried. Ebay and other merchant spaces aren't known for
their exactitude and you need some expertise to discern the differences.


However the SSD is a no brainer.


You could also buy a monitor now and a VGA adapter so that her workspace increases.

The end result is that when you do a budget build you will be in the skylake year where older
i5-i7 stock is being discounted and be able to get better deals on 1150 systems and you will have
already paid for the SSD and larger quality monitor and spread the cost over two years.

An i5 system with a quad core and a modern motherboard will be a dream. An SSD and RAM
upgrade if you can do it would be a great start especially if you coupled it with a monitor.