Question New Office PC build - need advice

LPK

May 27, 2020
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I would like to replace my old desktop which is frustratingly slow. I use it for office work and to support a few hobbies but nothing which is streaming or video intensive. My budget is around $350-$400.

After reading a number of forum posts a couple of months ago, I had decided to try to build one using the $85 Rysen 5 1600 AF processor which was recommended frequently. Unfortunately the price of the processor soared and I tabled the project. Now I see that the processor is down to $105 again so I would like to go forward with obtaining a new PC if I can stay in budget.

Below are a few questions that I would like to get feedback on before I start ...

- Is the Rysen 5 1600 AF the best processor for this budget machine or should I consider others?

- I have never built a PC before but I think it would be a great learning experience. However I am not sure about performance and compatibility of the various other components needed for the build … what other components are compatible and should I use in the build to insure peppy performance.

- Also I have not seen any discussion about Windows licenses … What is the best way to get Windows 10 and how much would the operating system cost?

- An alternative idea that I had considered was to purchase a refurb HP 8300 SFF with I7-3770 processor and 16 GB of RAM (available for <$300) and adding a SSD as boot drive. Would a new build system in my price range perform as good or better?

I would appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks.
 
I would like to replace my old desktop which is frustratingly slow. I use it for office work and to support a few hobbies but nothing which is streaming or video intensive. My budget is around $350-$400.

After reading a number of forum posts a couple of months ago, I had decided to try to build one using the $85 Rysen 5 1600 AF processor which was recommended frequently. Unfortunately the price of the processor soared and I tabled the project. Now I see that the processor is down to $105 again so I would like to go forward with obtaining a new PC if I can stay in budget.

Below are a few questions that I would like to get feedback on before I start ...

- Is the Rysen 5 1600 AF the best processor for this budget machine or should I consider others?

- I have never built a PC before but I think it would be a great learning experience. However I am not sure about performance and compatibility of the various other components needed for the build … what other components are compatible and should I use in the build to insure peppy performance.

- Also I have not seen any discussion about Windows licenses … What is the best way to get Windows 10 and how much would the operating system cost?

- An alternative idea that I had considered was to purchase a refurb HP 8300 SFF with I7-3770 processor and 16 GB of RAM (available for <$300) and adding a SSD as boot drive. Would a new build system in my price range perform as good or better?

I would appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks.
As far as building new, the 1600 AF won't be a good choice at your budget since you'll still need a discreet video card. A CPU such as 3200G with integrated graphics is doable but even then the rest of the components will push you beyond $400 not including a windows license. This is partly due to the unavailability of inexpensive motherboards right now and power supply prices are ridiculous even for budget models.

If you can find a budget B450 motherboard with proper bios for the CPU and a bargain for a decent PSU your $400 will work, or at least be close, for the tower. If you need peripherals, monitor and windows license the cost will go up obviously. Here's an example of what I'm refering to-
Pcpartpicker list

Buying an old prebuilt with an 8 year old CPU such as a 3770 may work for a while but it won't leave you any way to move forward. If you can spend a bit more to build new at least you'll be up-to-date and able to upgrade. That choice is up to you and your budget.
 
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