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building a "cheap" machine, need help

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creepy

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Location
tn
My wife has gotten a job working from home to keep busy with etc as she has gotten a bit bored after ~3 years of not working, and I am gone from home for weeks at a time so its extra spending cash for her to go blow as well lol. Due to this I need to build her a machine with a few requirements and was wondering if you guys could give your input or suggest parts based on the needs? It would be much appreciated as I normally don't stay up to date with hardware; I build a 100% fresh setup every 2-3 years or so and then get back out of keeping up with things so im not real sure what the best bet would be.

Requirements:
1. reliable/stable
2. somewhat quiet
3. lower the heat output the better...she doesn't like when mine heats up the computer/tv room so that was the first thing that was mentioned when I said id just build one vs buying an off the shelf one
4. it will not be overclocked, benchmarked or anything of that nature
5. typical day to day software will be ran, nothing real intensive
6. has to be windows 8.1 per employer

Here is what I had in mind but am open to any suggestions/input that you guys may have . There isn't a budget but I would prefer to keep it around 500-600 for the simple fact that it doesn't have to be anything crazy, and if she doesn't like doing this job for whatever reason I don't have a 2-3k machine laying around collecting dust. I am not partial to either amd or intel but would prefer intel if there is a decent cpu/mobo out there that keeps everything within what id like to spend.

1. CPU - AMD fx8320 - $125
2. MOBO - Gigabyte 990fxa-ud3 - $121 or even better id like a quality board with onboard video to keep the sound/heat/power requirements of the 6970 out of the equation.
3. RAM- Gskill ripjaws x 2x8gb 1866 - $65
4. SSD - I have a pny xlr8 in my current desktop with nothing but bf3 and bf hardline on it which are never played. So ill wipe it and use it
5. GPU - I have a spare 6970 laying around
6. OS - $100
7. PSU - something like a corsair cx 600w or similar? - $75?
7. cheap case and optical drive, ____ heatsink or small corsair h20 setup - $150-$175?
 

wagex

Chapstick Eating Premium Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
that setup you listed would certainly heat up the room. honestly for reliability and price, grab a dell with an i5. alot lower power consumption, dell's warranty, and quiet. if you need a gpu toss in a gtx 960 or something call it a day.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Some thoughts:

1. You don't need 16gb of RAM unless she is doing intensive tasks like Photoshop or CAD. 8gb would be plenty, though RAM is dirt cheap right now. 16gb will draw a little more power and produce a little more heat which seems to be important to you (or her).
2. From a power draw, heat producing standpoint, an 8 core AMD FX CPU is not the best choice. I would look at an Intel i3 since she is not doing intensive tasks. You can get a Skylake i3 that puts out only 65W and has strong built-in graphics for the same price as you would pay for the FX8320 that draws 125W of power and does not have built-in graphics: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=2MN-0004-00002. That way you would save also on the power draw and heat production of the 6970 discrete GPU.
3. Since the Intel CPU draws half of the power of the AMD FX CPU and you will not be overclocking, you could get by easily with a motherboard that is less expensive than the GA 990fxa-ud3. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157636
4. With the socket 1151 board, of course, you would need to move up to DDR4 RAM. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231886

Finally, I would move down in wattage but up in quality with your PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817438053 If reliability is important as you say, the Corsari CX series is not the best choice.
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Theres no reason to get AMD cpu's anymore. They are badly outdated. Intel all the way. I'd go with an i3 over an 8350 nowadays. (this may change with Zen, but until that day is here...)

Anyway, you can poke around on pcpartpicker.com.
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I'd look at an Intel NUC.

They are small, have built in iGPU. You just add RAM, HDD, OS, and monitor. They are low power draw, so it won't heat up the room.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I'd look at an Intel NUC.

They are small, have built in iGPU. You just add RAM, HDD, OS, and monitor. They are low power draw, so it won't heat up the room.

This was my thought. An i5 NUC would be awesome here.
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
The NUC would meet her needs fine but I wonder if OP really wants to take a more hands on approach for the experience of it and a labor of love, as it were, rather than buy something pretty much canned.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
The NUC would meet her needs fine but I wonder if OP really wants to take a more hands on approach for the experience of it and a labor of love, as it were, rather than buy something pretty much canned.

The NUC still entails disassembly, installation of components, reassembly, and installation of OS... it's basically just a CPU, PSU, and motherboard in a case already.
 

Evilsizer

Senior Forum Spammer
Joined
Jun 6, 2002
here is an all intel rig for you that to me meets what your after if you dont want to go the INTEL NUC route.

CPU $124
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117640
MOBO $134
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128847
RAM $31
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232250
CASE $49
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119286
PSU $39.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026
BD DRIVE $54
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136250

Total is $433

still need to add OS, didnt choose one since some want win7 still but newegg has win10 for the same price as 7.

If you think you need better video throw this in.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150718
The reason for no after market HSF is that you would need a Low Profile HSF for the case and the intel is low profile. under light loads she shouldn't hear it unless she has really good hearing. with that case though you can do a AIO 120mm kit like the corsair H50/H55/H60 one of those three will work or even the intel water-cooler you can buy too. the first three corsair units on newegg go for about $54-59 with the intel costing $80. if she isnt doing much the dual core at 3.2ghz with HT will get the job done and on the plus side the higher cost for this dual core. Is that is has been binned to run that speed and only put out or use 35watts vs the 65watt or higher dual cores. means less heat and again with light loads near to no noise on the intel stock HSF unit.
 

Helgaiden

Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2003
Why not an AMD APU system? Performance should be great for what she needs and power draw/temps will definitely be low with going that direction.
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
the nuc is a great idea here, (and I am an amd fanboy), I did one for my mother and she loves it.
$150 for the nuc, whatever ssd you like, and a stick of ram bam!!!! the one I got mom also mounted to a vesa mount so she never even sees it.
I put zorin 9 on it and used the look changer in zorin to make it look like xp and she has no idea she's using Linux!!!!!!!
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
all she does with it is facechat, snapbook, the betty crocker site and balance her checkbook, all I had to do was rename a few icons and my 75 year old mother has not needed to call me for one problem. it just works!!!!!!
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Too awesome man, I may have to try that if Windows changes too radically for mom and dad!
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
GIGABYTE GA-H110M-A Intel, Pentium G4400 Skylake Dual-Core 3.3 GHz, G.SKILL NT Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2133 (PC4 17000) that is all you need for the basics for $158.00. It works great for all the things she wants to do.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
GIGABYTE GA-H110M-A Intel, Pentium G4400 Skylake Dual-Core 3.3 GHz, G.SKILL NT Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2133 (PC4 17000) that is all you need for the basics for $158.00. It works great for all the things she wants to do.

Still missing a case, power supply, and storage.