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3471 posts

Uber Geek


#115927 12-Apr-2013 09:32
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Hi all,

Looking for some opinions on a system I'm looking to create for a friend. He's looking for a general day to day computer for use by his family. No major gaming (maybe very light for his kids; think free flash games, chrome web store games, maybe some free windows 8 app store games, etc)

Most usage therefore will just be web, email, very basic photo manipulation, microsoft office, maybe serving some light content to his xbox, etc.

Given this usage, the following may seem like overkill, but I also want him to have something that will be reasonably snappy now, use decent brand components and last reasonably well without needing an major upgrades.

Any opinions or thoughts? The following comes to under $800 shipped from alphacity. I've suggested the option for a laptop instead, but he is not a big fan of laptops.

The one component I'm not too sure of is the case.  anybody had any experience with the cheap Aywun chasis?

Kingston HyperX Blu DDR3 PC12800/1600MHz CL9 XMP 2x4GB (DDR3 memory stick)
ASRock B75 Pro3-M (Motherboard)
Corsair VS450 450W (Power supply unit)
Microsoft Windows 8 Eng (64-bit OEM) (Operating system)
Aywun A1-922 (Black) (Chassis)
Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 16MB 500GB (3.5 inch S-ATA hard disk drive)
Kingston SSDNow V300 SV300S37A 60GB (Solid State Drive (SSD))
Samsung SH-224BB (Optical drive)
Intel Core i3 3225 3.3Ghz Socket 1155 Box (CPU)

"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman

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16230 posts

Uber Geek


  #798262 12-Apr-2013 10:08
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You could use a smaller PSU. SSD is probably overkill, they'd probably get as much value from a hybrid disk, fast boot and app launches is all he needs - though ssd would give faster swap space, a dubious benefit. i3 should be fine for that use, two decent fast cores will be all most people need. 8GB of memory is plenty.

Do you need to add a screen, mouse, or keyboard?

Overall: good, though you could probably shave a few more dollars off if you want to, without much loss of performance.

3471 posts

Uber Geek


  #798268 12-Apr-2013 10:18
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He has keyboard, mouse and screen (though I will probably suggest he looks at a new screen - he's still using a 19 inch 4:3 LCD I think, blregh)

Shaving some dollars off would be good!

Hmm, good point on the hybrid drive, but I can't see any desktop hybrid drives for less than that SSD + HDD combo. Actually I can't find any desktop hybrid drives actually on sale in NZ; maybe I'm looking in the wrong places...

For the PSU, yes I agree completely, but couldn't find any decent brands for much less than that corsair (which is $51) any suggestions?

"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman



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Master Geek

  #798281 12-Apr-2013 10:26
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I agree with "timmmay" on the SSD, however, I would stick to the PSU you have, just in case they decide further down the track to add a Graphics card or something. That PSU will allow for a bit of expansion if it's needed.

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Uber Geek


  #798292 12-Apr-2013 10:39
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My own anecdotal experience has been that SSDs not only help with boot time, but also fairly noticably with application launch\load times. Surely one would also help extend the life of a mechanical HDD by having the OS and frequently used apps on the SSD.

You may well be right that these benefits don't outweigh the cost, but I've got 2 desktops at home that originally had HDDs and both IMO showed a noticable improvement in general usage upon adding an SSD for OS.   I'll have a think about it - certainly it would be good to forgo the SSD and put the extra money towards a better chasis and maybe larger HDD... hmm.

"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there."         | Electric Kiwi | Sharesies
              - Richard Feynman

16230 posts

Uber Geek


  #798303 12-Apr-2013 11:08
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SSDs do make a noticable performance improvement, I have a couple in my PC.  Have you considered this Intel one? Intel's a better name in SSDs than Kingston I believe. I haven't looked at benchmarks, mine are old, 120MB/sec compared with new ones doing 500MB/sec, the lower latency is the main gain.

For $20 you can go from 500GB to 1TB - seems worthwhile given file sizes from modern digital cameras.


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  #798332 12-Apr-2013 11:51
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The case specs I looked at indicate the front ports are USB2.0 only. Better to get something that supports the USB 3.0 provided by the board. Extenders for the rear ports are a simple solution but if 2.0 front ports are there you can bet someone will use them anyway which will lead to problems that are not understood.

This looks like a good family system planned for five years use. SSD is a good idea to keep that performance up during the life of the system. I think that is a good idea.

On the video side kids tend to want to play the same PC games as their friends, and video card is usually the constraint. For that reason I would consider starting out with slightly better video with full 8 support from a company that provides regular driver updates. Imho later upgrades to family systems are relatively rare in practice ; ).

I did not look at the current prices but the hyperx blue might be overkill when standard memory will do just fine here. If you are paying double for it I would suggest using double normal memory or use it for other case options or improved video instead.

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