Help me build a PC for my Aunty

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  • malloc 28 Jun 2012 22:28:55 2,358 posts
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    My Aunty is the type who will buy a PC once per decade.

    She's after something sturdy, robust, reliable etc. Not necessarily the cheapest. Other than the internet, storing photos, some work in Microsoft Office that's pretty much it. Not interested in gaming, downloading films etc., so no concerns about graphics cards or huge harddrives.

    I'm thinking of the following from http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk:

    Case
    STYLISH PIANO BLACK ENIGMA MICRO-ATX CASE + 2 FRONT USB
    Processor (CPU)
    Intel® Core™i3-2130 Dual Core (3.40GHz, 3MB Cache) + HD Graphics
    Motherboard
    ASUS® P8Z77-M: MICRO-ATX, USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs, ATI®CrossFireX
    Memory (RAM)
    4GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz X.M.P(2 x 2GB KIT)
    Graphics Card
    INTEGRATED GRAPHICS ACCELERATOR (GPU)
    Memory - 1st Hard Disk
    120GB INTEL® 520 SERIES SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 550MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
    1st DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
    24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
    Memory Card Reader
    INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
    Power Supply
    450W Quiet 80 PLUS Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£29)
    Processor Cooling
    INTEL SOCKET LGA1155 STANDARD CPU COOLER
    Sound Card
    ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
    Network Facilities
    10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs
    USB Options
    6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD
    Operating System
    Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit w/SP1 - inc DVD & Licence
    Office Software
    FREE Microsoft® Office Starter 2010 (Limited functionality Word & Excel)
    Anti-Virus
    NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
    Warranty
    3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour) (£5)
    Delivery

    Total cost is £595.

    Going for a 2nd gen Intel chip, SSD drive. Want to keep the cost under £700, will likely get a 19" flat screen to replace the CRT, which believe it or not is still working well. Considering getting the MS Office Home for £82.
  • malloc 28 Jun 2012 22:38:28 2,358 posts
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    Madgod_Dc wrote:
    @malloc why not ditch the desktop and get an i5 lappy instead? :confused:
    Yeah, a possibility, but I think she prefers desktops. Would likely need to get a monitor etc. and the benefits of a lappy wouldn't likely be of much to her.
  • Deleted user 28 June 2012 23:11:07
    For what she wants it for that's far too expensive and there is no point getting her an SSD. You can get something suitable for £350 or less without any problem.

    See here: http://www.novatech.co.uk/pc/home/
  • mrpon 28 Jun 2012 23:13:35 29,190 posts
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    Shhh, he's pocketing the difference. Those herbs ain't cheap y'know!

    Give yourself £5 or ½ gig, you're worth it.

  • Deleted user 28 June 2012 23:16:54
    If you know someone with an .ac.uk email address you could shave a good few quid off the Office price.
  • monkehhh 28 Jun 2012 23:23:32 3,425 posts
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    I've been using LibreOffice (cos it's free and I'm cheap) and it's pretty solid so far, though I do have an .ac.uk address so I should probably sort out getting 'real' Office.. or a special internet version.
  • Lukus 28 Jun 2012 23:28:17 19,251 posts
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    Open Office is free and reasonably solid, if a little slow.

    Paintings & Photographs

  • malloc 28 Jun 2012 23:32:30 2,358 posts
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    Aargh. wrote:
    For what she wants it for that's far too expensive and there is no point getting her an SSD. You can get something suitable for £350 or less without any problem.

    See here: http://www.novatech.co.uk/pc/home/
    Ta for the link.
  • malloc 28 Jun 2012 23:36:53 2,358 posts
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    I managed to get MS Office 2010 through work for £10 a deal they had. Think will look around.

    Anyone used the freebie Starter version?
  • FutileResistor 28 Jun 2012 23:58:09 1,238 posts
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    @malloc

    Looking at the spec, I would avoid PCspecialist like the plague. Being generous, there's £360 worth of parts including Windows 7. That system you link to is ridiculously overpriced. A Z77 board doesn't even make sense for a non-overclocking chip and no separate graphics card.

    The Novatech i3-2120 system in Aargh 's link is £319 and is pretty much the same spec and more in line with the kind of price you should be paying for a i3-21XX system.

    Don't agree with the SSD comment though. A 128GB SSD has dropped from £130 to £70 in the last 7 weeks or so.

    In terms of actually making a difference to the actual experience of using a PC day to day (not gaming), you can't make a better upgrade than an SSD.

    Edited by FutileResistor at 00:00:40 29-06-2012
  • malloc 29 Jun 2012 18:21:04 2,358 posts
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    @FutileResistor

    Thanks for the reply. Agree with the SSD, my aunty won't need more than a few gig, so may aswell go for an SSD as isn't a whole heap more expensive.

    The problem with the Novetech PCs is cannot customize them, hmph.

    Any places around where it's possible to customise a PC.
  • FutileResistor 29 Jun 2012 23:40:37 1,238 posts
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    They're also charging £90 to install Windows 7 Home Premium! (Doesn't even specify if it's 64bit.)

    Having standard parts obviously allows cuts costs in design, testing, building, maintainence etc... So understandably most pre-build PC companies will not allow a great deal of flexibility in terms selecting components.

    Stricty speakng a dual core sandy bridge pentium like a G840 would be more than adequate for light office/home use. Since you say she will keep this for a decade it might be wiser to get a core i3-21XX.

    I always self build so I can't vouch for their systems but the Scan V10 can be specced with 8GB Ram, 120GB SSD, no HDD for £378.20. The individual components are pretty solid. If you bought all the parts from Scan it would cost about £342, so they're only charging £36 to build the system. They charge £73 to install a copy of Win 7 Home Premium 64bit.

    You can get Windows 7 Professional 64bit from here for £43.50 and install yourself.

    For the monitor I recommend the VX2336S-LED for about £122 delivered. It's a really good IPS panel and you won't find anything better for under £170.

    The Dell U2312HM is £170, has a better stand but the actual image quality is pretty similar. I'm not sure the stand justifies a £50 premium.

    Edited by FutileResistor at 23:50:05 29-06-2012
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