Question Looking for a productivity budget build for a friend

Discopickle975

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May 15, 2016
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Hello. I have been tasked with building an upgraded computer for my friend as a fun project since my friend knows my interest in computers - I am seeking some advice on what you guys think some starting components would be, as he is just looking to perform basic tasks like surfing the web, managing files, viewing pictures, etc. Nothing too demanding, he just needs an upgrade from what he is currently using.
His current PC specs are:
CPU : AMD E-300 APU with Raedon(tm) HD Graphics, 1300 Mhz, 2 Cores
RAM : 4GB
Those are the only notable specs, here is a link to the same computer on ebay: https://www.ebay.com/i/293078455034?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=293078455034&targetid=809743941585&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9015806&poi=&campaignid=6470415831&mkgroupid=77025814225&rlsatarget=pla-809743941585&abcId=1141166&merchantid=6296724&gclid=Cj0KCQjwi7DtBRCLARIsAGCJWBoe_cVcBV391Hg8Pu_-KuHeXgdWGyQuNo9vpEqd_R2-wQVub4I6Mj8aAm5xEALw_wcB

I am trying to decide whether to get an Intel or AMD CPU, and I am leaning towards Intel since he is not going to utilize the multiple cores of the AMD CPU. What is the best budget Intel CPU with integrated graphics (I do not think he will need a dedicated graphics card)? Also, what motherboard would I be looking for (it does not have to be fancy or overclock capable, just reliable)? I am not sure what his budget is, but I would shoot for the $300-$500 range.

Any suggestions are appreciated!

Further info:

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime before Windows 7 service ends

Budget Range: 300-500 before shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Most > General productivity tasks like surfing web, opening Microsoft Office files, managing files, etc. Least Gaming, video editing

Are you buying a monitor: No



Parts to Upgrade: Entire system, although I might reuse an old GT 730 or GTX 750 Ti that I've had lying around

Do you need to buy OS: Probably. Friend owns Windows 7, but I'm not sure if you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com

Location: Midwest United States

Parts Preferences: Whichever one suits my needs best, but I am starting to lean towards an AMD CPU for their budget performance

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution:
1600x900

Additional Comments: Does not have to be fancy, just needs to be reliable and smooth for basic functions

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Old computer is extremely slow, struggles to do basic things like view pictures and browse web.
 
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The best budget CPU is the AMD Ryzen 3 2200g. It performs better all-around than the similarly priced Intel Pentium dual cores.

Any cheap B450 or a320 will work with the 2200g. If you want to use a Pentium, any cheap B360 or H310 will work.

PCPartPicker Part List

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
CPU | AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor | $78.88 @ OutletPC
Motherboard | ASRock A320M-HDV R4.0 Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard | $54.99 @ Newegg
Memory | Patriot Signature Premium 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4-2666 Memory | $27.99 @ Amazon
Storage | Kingston A400 480 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive | $52.89 @ OutletPC
Case | GameMax Expedition MicroATX Mini Tower Case | $29.47 @ Amazon
Power Supply | EVGA 400 W ATX Power Supply | $26.98 @ Newegg
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $281.20
| Mail-in rebates | -$10.00
| Total | $271.20
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-10-20 14:43 EDT-0400 |

or here's an intel system with a slightly weaker CPU.

PCPartPicker Part List

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
CPU | Intel Pentium Gold G5400 3.7 GHz Dual-Core Processor | $60.89 @ OutletPC
Motherboard | MSI H310M PRO-VDH PLUS Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard | $64.98 @ Amazon
Memory | Patriot Signature Premium 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4-2666 Memory | $27.99 @ Amazon
Storage | Kingston A400 480 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive | $52.89 @ OutletPC
Case | GameMax Expedition MicroATX Mini Tower Case | $29.47 @ Amazon
Power Supply | EVGA 400 W ATX Power Supply | $26.98 @ Newegg
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $273.20
| Mail-in rebates | -$10.00
| Total | $263.20
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-10-20 14:45 EDT-0400 |
 

Discopickle975

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May 15, 2016
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You will need to run windows 10 as modern systems (Intel or AMD) can be a pain to get operating on w7.

You can still upgrade from windows 7 to 10 for free, however since you are switching computers, you cannot reuse the key from the old PC.
You can run w10 unactivated for free if you like.
Ah, thank you for clearing that up. Can my friend still use all of his Windows Office programs like Word and whatnot with an unactivated copy of Windows 10?

Also, what is your opinion on the AMD's Athlon 200GE ?
 
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Discopickle975

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Usually schools can get bulk windows cheap, but yea i guess.

Its a good little CPU, although its not a ton cheaper than a 2200g, and the 2200g should feel a bit snappier.
Alright, thanks for the great advice! Also, should I be concerned about PCPartPicker's compatibility warning regarding the Ryzen 3 2200G and the A320M?
 

Discopickle975

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May 15, 2016
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Not for general usage. AMD CPUs will perform better in games with faster ram.

Keep in mind, CPU and mobo ram speed limits.
Another question, what would happen if I were to take his hard drive from his old computer with Windows 7 and install it into the new computer? Could I retain that copy of windows 7 and upgrade it to 10 or would I still need a new copy of Windows 10?
 
If you took the hard drive and put in in a new system, Windows would detect a different motherboard and go unactivated.

Also, you would want to reinstall windows even if you used the old drive, due to driver conflicts between the old drivers and new hardware.
 
Sep 22, 2019
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About the OS, there’s a few videos on how to get inactivated windows 10 from a USB. You can also buy a windows 10 key from eBay for like $5 if you want pro. Windows 10 is originally like $100 if I remember correctly, so an eBay code or inactivated windows would be better. Just a suggestion.
 

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