Need opinions before i commit to a build


Jun 28, 2012
building a computer for my mother, and i just want some peoples opinions on it.

price range: $500 max, preferably $400-ish
what it will be used for: ms office, videos, basic windows games, maybe other games in the future.
don't need: keyboard, mouse, monitor or speakers.

my current selection:
CPU: A8-3870K - $79
MOBO: GA-A55M-DS2 - $49
PSU: Corsair CX430 - $65
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 500GB - $60
ODD: DVDRW, samsung - $19
Card Reader: ICY BOX Card Reader - $35
Case: CoolerMaster Elite 341 - $39
Memory: G.Skill Ares 1866MHz (2x4GB) DDR3 - $55
OS: Windows 7 64-bit - $95
total: $496

i'm in australia, and using "" for my prices.

a few things i'm considering:

1. how much better would the a10-5800k be over the a870k? the website i'm using has the A10 at $135, and a FM2 socket mobo would cost at least $65. so would the extra $72 worth it for the improvement? (would she even notice it?)

2. i've heard that memory speed has a significant effect on integrated graphics, so i went with 1866MHz ram. is this overkill, or should i save $10 and downgrade to 1600MHz?

3. 8gb of ram, or maybe 4gb for about half the price?

4. i can save $95 by installing Ubuntu instead of windows. is it possible to share files on a network between computers running different OS?

5. is there a CPU + discreet graphics option that is more cost efficient than the A8-3870k?

6. the motherboard has the a55 chipset. normally, i would have gone for a a75, except that the site i was using didn't have any. the main difference is that the a55 only has usb 2, and sata 2. am i right to assume that usb3 and sata3 devices can still be used, but will run at usb2 and sata2 speeds?
if not, could i use the PCI or PCIe slots to add in a usb3 card?

Thank you in advance to everyone who read and tried to answer my questions. :)


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G550 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($45.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: ASRock B75M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($24.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($62.00 @ Scorptec)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card ($75.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Case: Thermaltake VN900A1W2N (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider Essential 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($59.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($22.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 3-Pack (64-bit) ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Total: $504.00
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-22 18:23 EST+1100)

If you plan to game, you really need a descrete card.


Jun 28, 2012
i may have over emphasized the importance of gaming, it is a fairly low priority. windows games, maybe some online flash games, probably never anything that would have to be installed from a disc.