• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Upgrading My Wife's Computer

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
I built this computer (my first) for my wife about 3.5 years ago. I was thinking of upgrading it to the I series and going with a SSD.

Uses: She shops, emails, plays Pogo card games and does a lot of work with MS Office. She will have a lot of web sites open at the same time while shopping and then have a couple of word and excel documents going too. No music, gaming or picture or video editing. Overclocking is not a consideration for this machine.

Keeping:
Cooler Master Centurion 5 case
OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W PSU
DVD/CD RW
Existing WD Cavair Blue 320 gig Hard Drive will be moved for data storage

Replacing:
Pentium Wolfdale E6300 2.8 GHz
4gig DDR2 600 Memory
Gigabyte Mother board with on board Video... So no GPU card to replace.


I wanted to do this for about $300 but it seems that $400 is about the best I can do and not cut to the bone. But maybe you have some ideas on costs VS wants.

Anyway here is what I'm thinking.
1. I want a snappier machine for her than what she has.

2. I just do not see a benefit at throwing hundreds at a high end I 5 or I 7 CPU for what she is doing. So I'm think of an I-3. BTW I'm staying with Intel.

3. I'm thinking since she is now using and happy with an onboard video motherboard with no GPU card that upgrading to a I-3 with the Intel 4000 graphics will be an improvement over what she has. I don't think there's really need for a separate card? Besides a card can easily be added later if necessary.

4. I checked her existing hard drive for used space. She has a total of 54 gigs used on the 320 gig hard drive. That includes the OS, all programs and all her pictures and MS Office documents. I am going to use the existing WD Blue HD for pictures, office files and such if needed for additional space. SOoooo I just don't see a need for a 250 gig SSD. I'm thinking a 120 gig SSD is plenty and will hold her until I die. (hey your thinking changes when you get old like me, LOL)Then she can have mine if she needs more. :)

5. For overhead I thought bumping up to 8 gigs over her existing 4 gigs would be a nice addition.

So here's the plan:

Intel Core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 55W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I33225 $145

GIGABYTE GA-H77M-D3H LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard $95

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL $49 (on special sale)

SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD120BW 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) $110 (I know this is the slower non Pro version but the speed gain over the existing HD should still be dramatic based on my experience)

Total is close to $400 plus shipping, if any.

I'm thinking the motherboard is a little of an overkill for what I'm doing but, but, ....I just don't know? I want the 6gig sata and some access to some USB 3.0 ports and I want a strong name brand. I picked Gigabyte because I have one in her machine and I know about it.

Anyway your review and comments will be appreciated.

I'm old :rain:... so be gentle. :)

Thanks for reading.
 

Mjolnir

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Location
Sydney, Australia
Looks good. B75 boards ftw! To be honest even 4gb is enough for a machine like that. 8 is unnecessary. And the way I see it is just grab one 4gb stick now. And SHOULD the need ever come up for more. Add another later. But that wouldn't be for a long while I'd suspect. My parents rig I rebuilt is a celeron ivy bridge or something. I don't even remember. Has a 64 gb SanDisk ssd. My old storage drive 1tb green just because it wasn't being used. And only uses 4gb of ram. Its a 32bit windows to because the copy was free lol. And its more than enough for their emails and Web browsing and videos/whatever. The dual core pentium/celerons aren't as slow as you think. Honestly she probably doesn't even need an i3. (this is only if you did want to get closer to that 300 mark)

Edit. Asus B75-m board. 4gb of the cheapest stick you can find. Intel g2020 pentium dual core. And you're laughing. My parents rig is very similar to this (using a h77n gigabyte itx board because I went Itx with it in a Silverstone sg05) and if anything is almost as fast for general use as my 2500k rig. The ssd really is the big difference in performance.

wiferebuild.PNG

Something like this. Has 1 Sata3 port for that SSD; and an onboard USB 3.0 header should you need it. Small conservative board. And like I said you'd be surprised at the quickness of one of these dual cores XD. Just keeping your price down ^^. Up to you if you wanna stick with your older build though.
 
Last edited:
OP
O

olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Mjolnir,

To be honest I forgot the plain Pentium/Celeron were still around. :shrug: But I just had a mind set on an I3. So I did pull the trigger on my build but with the B75 board.

But I really appreciated your effort... and your thinking out of the box is going to pay off for me. I have been trying to put together a system for my older sister and husband (79 and 83) who are suffering from a decaying and constantly crashing old Dell with Win XP Media OS. I wanted to keep it cheap as they barely use the thing and frankly anything newer would be a speed demon in comparison and much easier to maintain.

In past efforts I could not for the life of me put a box together for less than $600 because I was stuck on certain pre conditions IE must be an I3, 6 gigs of ram, blah blah. But your points are right on. They don't need that kind of performance at that kind of price!

So just for an exercise I did a complete build last night based on your suggestions and hit close to $425 (including the cost of a win7 OS). I'm betting I can get it down to below $400 and as low as $375 if I try and with help from people here maybe lower.

If I can then they get a much faster and reliable machine that I can maintain for them that is cost appropriate for what they need. I think I could build a better computer for almost the same cost as the cheap manufactured units I was going to suggest they buy. So I'm starting to grin.

So thanks! :clap:
 
OP
O

olddude

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2009
Looks decent to me, she'll love you long time for this.

For some unknown reason she has already loved me for a long time... 50 years this Sept. But maybe this will convince her the long ride was worth it. :)

Thanks for reviewing the build!
 

Mjolnir

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Location
Sydney, Australia
Mjolnir,

To be honest I forgot the plain Pentium/Celeron were still around. :shrug: But I just had a mind set on an I3. So I did pull the trigger on my build but with the B75 board.

But I really appreciated your effort... and your thinking out of the box is going to pay off for me. I have been trying to put together a system for my older sister and husband (79 and 83) who are suffering from a decaying and constantly crashing old Dell with Win XP Media OS. I wanted to keep it cheap as they barely use the thing and frankly anything newer would be a speed demon in comparison and much easier to maintain.

In past efforts I could not for the life of me put a box together for less than $600 because I was stuck on certain pre conditions IE must be an I3, 6 gigs of ram, blah blah. But your points are right on. They don't need that kind of performance at that kind of price!

So just for an exercise I did a complete build last night based on your suggestions and hit close to $425 (including the cost of a win7 OS). I'm betting I can get it down to below $400 and as low as $375 if I try and with help from people here maybe lower.

If I can then they get a much faster and reliable machine that I can maintain for them that is cost appropriate for what they need. I think I could build a better computer for almost the same cost as the cheap manufactured units I was going to suggest they buy. So I'm starting to grin.

So thanks! :clap:

:). No prob! Yeah I'd probably buy an i3 for my partner too just out of principle haha (If I had a partner.. /foreveralone) hahah. But yeah the dual core pentium and celerons I've used in a few builds for basic office computers and what not. And with an ssd behind it it feels like an i7. Its really all about the ssd. But even if you ran an older HDD to save money, windows 7 isn't too slow like that anyway. I've got an AMD x3 720 going in my little brothers rig. And before that it was in my parents rig using a normal HDD. And for general use was still plenty fast. Noting that the dual core ivy bridge CPUs are in fact 80% of the time faster than my older triple core. So ya.

I've found newer boards with newer drivers run far smoother and faster than older boards. I've got 2 SanDisk 64gb ssds. One with that x3 720 and one with a dual core pentium. Same ssds. But the pentium machine for general use is significantly faster. Not sure if that's a sata 3 thing or what(doubt it) or just older boards are slower (am2+ crappy low end board). Anyways. Best of luck!! Glad I could get your thinking train chugging along :). I'm all about saving money.... For others. For myself? I make stupid impulse buys constantly hahaha