Need advice on a buld for my parents

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diebog

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So my parents usually buy the package systems from retail stores and they only last a few years. They use them for quick books, internet, email, storing photos and sometimes music. I would like to build them a desktop computer with components that will last them along time. They will never play games but I still would like it to be a decent platform that would allow me upgrades down the line if for some reason they wanted.

They have the basics like monitor, keyboard, mouse, I am just looking to purchase the tower and components. Their monitor is just a normal size LCD computer screen, nothing special. As far as the tower/case goes, it doesn't have to be some super fancy huge case, but something that looks up to date.

I am definitely thinking going with an SSD vs HDD, ive looked over some builds that use 2 hard drives, and SSD for the OS and a 1 or 2 tb for just storing info. But sense the SSD's are supposed to last longer as there are no moving parts, I kind of prefer that everything be stored on an SSD and that's the main component that they have had go out on a few computers in the past. The hard drive they use in the consumer computers just don't last. Im sure its also because of the price line they are buying at being they usually buy a whole system and may tend to buy the "on sale" or cheaper option. So while computers and components I realize are not bulletproof, I am hoping to build something that will not act like a consumer computer and fail in a few years.

I'm guessing many of you out there have also built a "parents" build, what did you go with? Any suggestions or things to stay away from?

As far as price goes, lest say in the 5-800$ range and keep in mind I am going for longevity here, while I realize tomorrow most computer components are already outdated so to speak, I just want a good build that they can enjoy worry free for along time.

Any suggestions are appreciated, and though I am not partial to, I only have experience with Intel components, but if AMD would be ok to. I just have no clue whats what on them.

Few things it needs to have, built in wifi, 2 cd/dvd writable drives, 6 or so usb ports, hdmi out if they wanted to ever plug into a tv, going to stick with win 7 (which I don't know if its possible to use the OEM product key off their accer the have now)

Thanks
 
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 860K 3.7GHz Quad-Core Processor ($78.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-D3H Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($63.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($52.95 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6450 2GB Video Card ($39.99 @ Micro Center)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1100 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($36.25 @ Directron)
Power Supply: Corsair CSM 450W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($55.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Directron)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $540.10
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-03-22 00:23 EDT-0400

Add a start button to windows 8 using a free program called Classic Shell .
Maybe add an aftermarket cpu cooler if they would like it to be quieter
 

Alex R

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I wouldn't go with a V300, there are much faster and more reliable SSDs for not much more.
This is my recommendation.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($104.95 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI H81M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($43.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX100 128GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($64.95 @ SuperBiiz)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($50.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1100 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($36.25 @ Directron)
Power Supply: EVGA 400W ATX Power Supply ($27.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - 64-bit (OEM) (64-bit) ($92.00 @ B&H)
Total: $476.11
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-03-22 00:36 EDT-0400
 


I wouldnt go with a junk motherboard with no option to upgrade RAM
Or a low quality power supply
And I definitely wouldnt rely on intel for the graphics . The drivers suck
 

diebog

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Thanks for the responses guys. So question for OUtlander, what makes the MSI a junk mother board? and Why is Intel bad for graphics? Remember this is just for my parents and they will never need a super duper graphics card as its just basic stuff they do. But if your meaning the card is junk and wont last very long, then that's what I'm tying to avoid.

Does anyone know if I can skip the win8 and use the win 7 oem key on the acer they have now? I hear win 8 is lame and my parents arent real good at learning a new platform. You should see when they have to learn a new phone. They just arnt interested in learning something new, so I need to keep it at win 7.
 
The H81 chipset is a very low end product from intel .
There are only two RAM slots on all H81 boards . There are limited connectors for hard drives [ though maybe enough for most people ] , and lots of board technologies are just not included .
They do work though . I used one in my HTPC because the case would never fit more hard drives anyway .
Endless instability from the intel graphics drivers though

You wont be able to re-use an acer oem copy of windows . It will be locked to the original motherboard .
If you are buying an OS then 8 makes more sense . You add an ap called classic shell and get a desktop and start button . You also get a longer support life and a license that let you transfer it to new hardware some time in the future
And when win 10 is released the free upgrade might be easier

I would be very wary of a $28 power supply lasting
 

Bossyfins

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Outlanders build has a bad PSU, Alex has a littler more decent PSU.

Here is my build. Offers upgradability, and is relatively cheap. You could go cheaper too.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($104.95 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H97M PRO4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($79.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($104.98 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($35.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80+ Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 - 64-bit (OEM) (64-bit) ($92.00 @ B&H)
Total: $567.88
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-03-22 19:49 EDT-0400
 

diebog

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So everyone seems to be in agreement with the i3-4150 3.5GHz, is this a popular CPU or just a reliable one? I am guessing this will be plenty for what they want to do? And do the fans or heat sinks come with these? I didn't see any on anyone's list.

I was looking at different cases and I had no clue they had so many choices. My moms favorite color is purple, so I thought it would be cool to go with this case. But I had a question on the pictures they show. One picture shows the window clear, another shows it purple. Is that an led they put inside to create that look, or could it possibly be a purple colored lexan or something similar? The description doesn't say either or. Any guesses?

On the hard drive, everyone suggested 2. Is there a specific reason behind this? I realize most use the SSD to run programs and something like a 1T for general storage, But would it be better to just buy a larger SSD and have one hard drive? They have a very very small music collection, pictures from over the years, so in reality a 256gb might even be large enough as it is. Ill have to look and see what they are using now as far as storage goes. Its one thing I forgot to double check. A 500gb SSD gets pretty pricey but if its going to last allot longer then I think the price might be worth it. I was looking at the Crucial MX100 512gb

Any thoughts or reasons to go with 2 vs a single SSD?

As far as power supply's I have only had one oem go out on the computers I have ever had and didn't know there is so many out there even by the same manufacture one series is rated horrible and another high and all by the same vendor. Again I want reliability so I guess I will just have to use the guide posted here and make sure to get a good one. When I think a power supply I think there isn't really anything complicated there to go wrong, they all do the same thing, but its how long and how well they do it I guess is what matters. Cleaner power so to speak.

Thanks again for your guys help. Its really appreciated.
 

Alex R

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The MSI board is in no ways junk at all, and the Intel HD 4400 in the i3 is much better than the extremely outdated 6450.
 

Bossyfins

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We also have a PSU Tier list, as of differences? I use the one Tom's has, but I do NOT know whether their list is a tested list, or just from sources.

the i3 comes with a fan heatsink assembly, so you should be fine. Intel Graphics are MORE than enough for what you said they do, but you could easily drop in a 750 ti, or a r9 270 if he/she wanted to do some casual games..

Really, you want to store the program on the SSD, and then actual documents on the HDD, but if you want too have 1 ssd, you could do that. I would look at the total gigs used right now on the current computer, and add about 30-40% of storage for growing.
 

diebog

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Ok so I finally had a chance to look at my parents computer. They have a ACER with an AMD IIx2 215 2.70Gz, 4gb ram, 64bit win, and a 1tb hard drive which they are currently using only 92.4 GB total (this is OS, programs, pictures, email, etc. So I am thinking a 256gb SSD would be more then enough for them.

They also said they wanted a bigger screen around a 27-28" or so. I was looking at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824236392&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID= Has anyone used this one? Is there a better alternative?

As far as buying win 7, on the pc part picker they have the option to buy a win 7 OEM version, how does this work? I thought oem keys were only sold to big manufacturers? Win 8 is just going to be to confusing to them and sense they have win 7 now, I want to keep it that way. I wish I could just use the key from their ACER but I guess its not possible? I did some searching on that and some people said they have been able to use an OEM key and others say no. I guess it depends on the manufacture of the computer? What if I made a fresh install CD from their computer and used it to install on the new hard drive/computer and use the product key from their ACER? I used a product key finder and found the key, so thats not a problem. Would this work?

 

ZeTechKing

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Window 7 keys can be put into when the OS is installed on the new PC.
As far as the build goes, here it is. I didn't include an optical drive, because people these days can make media out of usb.

[PCPartPicker part list](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gm2TRB) / [Price breakdown by merchant](http://pcpartpicker.com/p/gm2TRB/by_merchant/)

Type|Item|Price
:----|:----|:----
**CPU** | [AMD A6-7400K 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/amd-cpu-ad740kybjabox) | $56.99 @ SuperBiiz
**Motherboard** | [Gigabyte GA-F2A88XN-WIFI Mini ITX FM2+ Motherboard](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaf2a88xnwifi) | $93.95 @ OutletPC
**Memory** | [PNY XLR8 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/pny-memory-md8192sd31600x9) | $56.87 @ Amazon
**Storage** | [Mushkin ECO2 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/mushkin-internal-hard-drive-mknssdec240gb) | $88.98 @ Newegg
**Case** | [Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/fractal-design-case-fdcacore1000usb3bl) | $35.99 @ SuperBiiz
**Power Supply** | [EVGA 600B 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/evga-power-supply-100b10600kr) | $44.99 @ NCIX US
**Operating System** | [Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)](http://pcpartpicker.com/part/microsoft-os-gfc02050) | $86.99 @ NCIX US
| *Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts* |
| **Total** | **$464.76**
| Generated by [PCPartPicker](http://pcpartpicker.com) 2015-03-28 17:28 EDT-0400 |
 

diebog

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So is there a general consensus that agrees what brand of mother board is the best? Everyone's build uses a different one and while i realize everyone is partial to what they like, is there one manufacture that has less bad reviews/boards?

Also as far as monitors goes, the same thing. There are so many brands out there, whats good and what should I stay away from. I was looking at ASUS monitors, are they one of the top manufacturers? Again this is not for high end gaming, or any gaming per say. Just don't want a junk monitor that goes out super quick.
 

Bossyfins

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For motherboards. Asus and Gigabyte are the best. Use very solid caps and VRM solutions. AsRock is also good, but if you are on a budget.

As for monitors, BenQ and Asus make good monitors as well.
 

diebog

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So here is what I have been putting together, please let me know if you would change something or if there is something better for the price. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/kQGNjX
Also I think the mother board I chose has wifi built in, so I dont need the extra wifi card right?
And do I need a video card to work with the monitor I chose?
 

Bossyfins

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PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($104.95 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($70.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX100 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Neos White/Purple ATX Mid Tower Case ($57.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($45.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.75 @ OutletPC)
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WN881ND 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($18.49 @ OutletPC)
Monitor: Asus VN289H 60Hz 28.0" Monitor ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $663.12
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-03-30 00:50 EDT-0400

I assume you arn't going to OC as your parents aren't doing anything to intensive.

No need for a z87 board. A simple H97 board with a wifi card will work fine.
 

diebog

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Correct, not going to Over Clock. So The ASrock is a good board to go with? I thought you said Asus and Gigabyte are the best? And do I need a video card for that monitor? Or is it built in to the MB?
 

Bossyfins

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Those are the best. But, AsRock is also good. But not as good as Asus and Gigabyte. In this case I went with an AsRock pro4 because that is high quality. Really, you only need a HIGH end board like Asus ROG line if you are doing something like OCING alot. or need a lot of cool things to tinker around with. AsRock was a division of Asus before, so some of its quality carried over
 

diebog

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Hey thanks allot for all your input Bossyfins, I really appreciate it. I bought everything today and its all on the way.


Again I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. It helped me out a lot!
 

diebog

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Hey again guys, I know this is an old thread but I need some more advice. My parents computer I built is still doing ok, its getting slow so Id like to upgrade a few things as well as windows 11, but ill need a new processor windows is tilling me. Id like to upgrade the WiFi card too. My dad uses this now mainly for zoom as a meeting host so there is a slight lag in performance and he would like to be able to use the virtual backgrounds in zoom (no green screen) but that requires a faster processor as well, no games, just basic web browsing. It has 8gb of ram, maybe I can add another 8? I'm not sure if that ASrock H97 board can? There are 2 more slots, so possibly? I know this motherboard is quite outdated but Id like to upgrade what I can to get the most out of it. I really built this for my mom who has sense passed away so If I can just add a few things to give it more life as apposed to buying a new computer that's what Id prefer to do.

So again any suggestions on a good processor that supports windows 11 and the virtual backgrounds in zoom, WiFi card, ram, or any other any other upgrade suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks,


Jeremy
 
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