Question Building a system for my grandfather!


Sep 27, 2016
Hi All,

I'm looking to put together a system for my grandfather who recently turned 88 years old. His old system hasn't been updated in the last 5 years and from what I see, he's definitely overdue for something new. The only tasks he really performs on his PC are browsing the internet, playing solitaire, checking his stocks, printing documents, etc.. Needless to say he isn't going to need a powerhouse gaming PC..

That being said I'm looking for a build for him with a budget of around maybe $6-700-ish though he says cost isnt much an issue so if need be we can add another $1-200 on the budget. For the bare necessities he uses the PC for I don't see him needing anything over $900-$1000. I was thinking to utilize the Fractal Design Meshify C ATX case for the build (though open to suggestions) as his PC will be tucked into a cubby hole in his desk and he will need sufficient airflow with dust filters to of course prevent excessive dust build up for the inside components. I would also like to use at least an SSD if not an M2 drive for fast boot / file transfers. He doesn't care if its Intel or AMD, just as long as its fast.

Any help would be awesome and surely appreciated. He's looking to have this PC built in the next week or so and if all goes well my girlfriend's parents would like to purchase the same build to replace their current PC which hasn't been updated since 2015 lol..
Last edited:

Math Geek

a simple ryzen APU would fit the bill easy. can go atx or smaller if you wish easy enough. little cooling needed and plenty of gpu power to not need a separate card. a basic ssd without going crazy as well. plenty of speed for browsing the web. i have one of these and it's a decent budget ssd for sure.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3200G 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B450 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($59.58 @ Newegg)
Storage: PNY CS900 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($87.99 @ B&H)
Power Supply: Corsair CX (2017) 450 W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($64.94 @ Newegg)
Total: $397.49
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-09-22 16:24 EDT-0400

i'll leave the case up to you, but as you can see it won't take much cash to handle what he needs :)


What is the existing system?

(Quite possibly/often merely the upgrade of a spinning hard drive to an SSD makes many systems seem like greased lightning again. My own mother uses an HP with some low power variant of an i7-2720Q -something variant or so from 2012, and, once equipped with an SSD last year, she is still quite happy with it)
Reactions: logainofhades


I really wish AMD would hurry up and get Renoir desktop APU's out into retail. I chose R3 3100, and a GT 1030, so I could go with a better upgrade path, with B550.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($105.31 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9x65 SE-AM4 CPU Cooler ($49.90 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock B550M-ITX/ac Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($129.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory ($76.49 @ Newegg)
Storage: Silicon Power A60 512 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GT 1030 2 GB Low Profile Video Card ($84.49 @ B&H)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 110 Mini ITX Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Fractal Design Ion SFX-L 500 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply ($99.99 @ B&H)
Total: $651.15
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-09-22 16:55 EDT-0400
I built a similar pc for my son using a small ITX case.
I used a i3-10100 processor which is really quick. about $125.
The key to great desktop performance was to use a m.2 pcie samsung 970 evo plus.
About $70 for 250gb, $110 for 500gb.
Only if storing many video files would a HDD be appropriate.
Any lga 1200 motherboard will do.
They all come with integrated graphics that is sufficient for HD movie playback and even light gaming.
About $100 for ITX, about $70 for matx.
A Itx case might be the fractal design core 500:
A Matx case might be the focus G:
The pc I built used a lian li PC-02 . It is tiny and has no fan capability at all.
So sad they are not made any more.
Lian li pc-08 may be around.
Thermals is not a problem and the included stock cooler is virtually silent.
Grand dad may have cd disks with old photos on it, so a case with a dvd drive may be useful.

Nothing wrong with the meshify C, but how many of the available expansion slots will ever be used??
Probably none.

Buy only a quality psu.
Here is one list of quality units:

Power supplies seem to be expensive at the moment.
At this time of year, Seasonic is usually on sale, look for that.
Pay more if you need to for a good psu.
Anything from 300w to 550w would be fine.
It will only use the power demanded of it, regardless of the max capability. You will likely be the one to handle problems and you do not want any power supply issues.

Buy a larger monitor, say 27 or 30" Perhaps 1440P
As we get older it helps to be able to scale up the text sizes
A ips monitor with a 178/178 viewing angle will have a better image.

I might add that if you want prompt delivery, order from newegg or amazon shipped directly, and not from one of the resellers who may not ship promptly or who might not have the item in stock.


Sep 27, 2016
Thanks for your replies everyone.

I've posted a link below to his exact PC Specifications.

HP P6-2378 -

CPU: AMD A8-5600K @ 3.6 ghz (1 socket, 2 core, 4 processors)
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7560D - 512mb (integrated graphics)
HDD - Hitachi HDS721010CLA630 - 1TB @ 7200rpm
Ram: 8gb (2x4gb DDR3-1600)
Power Supply - 300Watt
Monitor cables: VGA port only.. no DVI / HDMI


Apr 4, 2019
check ebay, can buy a second hand optiplex pc with a 6th gen core i5 or core i7 + ssd and 16gb of ram for like 300-400$
that's plenty for it's use.

don't spend too much on he tower. end users are much more impressed by nice peripherals (new keyboard / mouse, large monitor, good sound, etc)