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  • Maximizing longevity

    Hi folks.

    I'm buying (read: building) a computer for my parents. They aren't gamers, which means pretty much all of my previous research has to be recast in a new light. Specifically, the main goal of this machine is longevity. If it can go for five-seven years without upgrades or repairs, I've achieved my mission.

    The machine is to be used for some photo editing (Photoshop), some VOIP (Skype), and playing videos as the most resource-intensive tasks. With that in mind, my plan is:

    As much RAM as possible

    (WinXP 64 to actually make use of more than 3.5GB of memory)

    A dedicated, rather than on-board, GPU, with as much RAM as I can manage (256mb at absolute minimum), but not much attention given to peak framerate. (DVI support a must though)

    An Asus mobo, with focus on reliability rather than OC capabilities.

    Audio... Not sure about that yet; might just settle for on-board.

    A modest 320 or 500GB hdd.

    The only place I am willing to give way some is the CPU -- my goal is to buy a mobo that will support the current top end chips (or nearly so), and then buy a CPU towards the bottom end of the supported range. That way, in three years, I'll be able to drop a hundred bucks and get a CPU near the top of the supported range.

    The budget for this is $700, but I don't need to worry about a monitor, thankfully.

    I did a cursory check and looks like I can build a machine for 30-50% less than I'd pay for a pre-built one. The flip side is, I won't have much in the way of warranty support.

    Thoughts? Am I on the right track, at least?

    Thanks!




    Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
    --BlackMirror
    <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
    Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
    --Blackraven93

  • #2
    Re: Maximizing longevity

    Are you looking for something like an i7? I would really recommend a Phemon II

    Well there are a few integrated GPUs that can more than handle HD video so I would stick with that and save some money.

    Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131366
    CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16819103648
    RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148262
    HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136073
    DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827151173
    Case (includes PSU): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129032

    if you really wanted you could go for a discrete GPU but I don't see the need
    You could go faster on the CPU but I guess it depends on your parents
    Its an Asus board (as requested) and is AM3, so its the current future for AMD

    $467 before shipping
    Reapator, overlord of ponies

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    • #3
      Re: Maximizing longevity

      My recommendation is Vista x64 instead of XP x64.
      |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
      TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
      Former 9th & 13th

      Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
      Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





      SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

      TG Primer and Rules

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Maximizing longevity

        I would sudgest a Sapphire 4850 Vapor-X card, low noise low heat and is not too bad a card. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814102833

        Unless they are going to be working on very large pictures or vid files I would go with about 4gigs of memory and a non 64 OS, that means that the OS will only have 3.5 gigs of memory total but unless your doing something with large amounts memory (read some high end games and large files) haveing more memory seems to do nothing.

        If your looking to save then you may want to shop on Ebay, I got all my items there, its not with out risk but I saved so much that if 1-2 parts just stop working today I can likely replace them with money I saved and still be in.
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Re: Maximizing longevity

          I don't see a reason for a video card either. Onboard should be fine if all they're doing is video playback. The CPU will be more important for that anyway. I'd go with Reaperassault's recommendation for the motherboard and Phenom processor. AMD will be much cheaper for this and still leave room for upgrading. The motherboard has your DVI output requirement plus HDMI.

          The most important parts should be CPU and RAM. You want PC to be able to do things quickly so it needs processing power and memory. Too little RAM and a system will be slow. Too little processing power and stuff like loading a web page can be slow.

          - It's who you game with.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Maximizing longevity

            Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
            My recommendation is Vista x64 instead of XP x64.
            Could you give some details as to why, Acreo? Currently, my view of Vista is roughly equivalent to my view of WinME. What am I missing?




            Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
            --BlackMirror
            <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
            Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
            --Blackraven93

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Maximizing longevity

              xp x64 is a horrible beta experiment in x64 OS. Vista x64 is solid and works well. I don't understand why you have the aversion to vista... It works well for most everyone who sits down and uses it.

              as for the computer itself. I bought a c2q8200 / 8gig ram / 620 (x2) raid / Radeon hd3450 w/ HDMI for 450 from dell's outlet. I priced the same thing at Newegg, and for the exact same setup (OS and all) I was spending over 600.00. sometimes it is cheaper to get a prebuilt machine and upgrade from there... the OS alone might put you over the top on some systems.
              Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
              The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

              If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Maximizing longevity

                Originally posted by Cheburash View Post
                Could you give some details as to why, Acreo? Currently, my view of Vista is roughly equivalent to my view of WinME. What am I missing?
                Vista had a few small problems prior to Service Pack 1 which have since been addressed. The bad press around it now is nothing more than hype. It was never as bad as ME and is much better than XP now.
                sigpic

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                • #9
                  Re: Maximizing longevity

                  I'm a fan of quiet so I would pick this case http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811129024

                  and a Samsung HD http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822152102

                  The future of video is HD. 1TB HD probably wouldn't hurt.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Maximizing longevity

                    Originally posted by Cheburash View Post
                    Could you give some details as to why, Acreo? Currently, my view of Vista is roughly equivalent to my view of WinME. What am I missing?
                    Cheb, I also was wary of Vista. When I switched over from XP all I had heard was horror stories. I use the 64-bit Vista and it hasn't failed me, if anything it blew away my expectations.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Maximizing longevity

                      Get the latest motherboard that supports the latest tech and you will be sorted for at least 5 years, everything plugs into your motherboard, also get a PSU (power supply unit) with a high wattage output for future upgrades, then take it from there!
                      Last edited by MrMojay; 04-18-2009, 03:20 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Maximizing longevity

                        Originally posted by Buckets View Post
                        Vista had a few small problems prior to Service Pack 1 which have since been addressed. The bad press around it now is nothing more than hype. It was never as bad as ME and is much better than XP now.
                        There you have it. Don't listen to the hype/BS going about on Vista from people who rarely if ever use it.

                        In addition to that, Windows 7 isn't a "whole lot" better than Vista seeing how it's 95% Vista.

                        I've been running Vista HP x64 for about 9 months now. No problems beyond a WiFi issue. Drivers can still be a pain sometimes, but that nVidia's fault.

                        Originally posted by MrMojay
                        Get the latest motherboard that supports the latest tech and you will be sorted for at least 5 years, everything plugs into your motherboard, also get a PSU (power supply unit) with a high wattage output for future upgrades, then take it from there!
                        You'll be lucky to find a new CPU that will plug into the current 1366 LGA socket in 3 years let alone 5 years. Usually every 2-3 years a new socket comes out and within a year or so, nothing new comes out for the old socket.
                        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                        Former 9th & 13th

                        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                        TG Primer and Rules

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Maximizing longevity

                          You'll be lucky to find a new CPU that will plug into the current 1366 LGA socket in 3 years let alone 5 years. Usually every 2-3 years a new socket comes out and within a year or so, nothing new comes out for the old socket.
                          That is true, it would also be even harder to get a new socket 775 in a couple of years, therefore a core i7 may be a better option?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Maximizing longevity

                            I don't know about hype; I'm not planning on installing or using any OS that provides built-in support for DRM for reasons of conviction.

                            But this doesn't strike me as hype:

                            Google windows xp 64 install bug: 356,000 hits
                            Google win xp 64 install bug: 338,000 hits
                            Google vista 64 install bug: 2,120,000 hits

                            Google windows xp 64 bug: 335,000 hits
                            Google win xp 64 bug: 346,000 hits
                            Google vista 64 bug: 2,170,000 hits

                            Or for the even more generic

                            xp 64 problem: 1,780,000 hits
                            vista 64 problem: 25,000,000 hits




                            Who needs a life when you can have a heavy bolter?
                            --BlackMirror
                            <23:03:38> "|TG|Smachin<BF Admin>" was kicked from the server by "|TG-70th| Zhohar" (UNDERAGE ban.)
                            Anything over $600, and it would be pointless to try and reason with Grandma
                            --Blackraven93

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Maximizing longevity

                              Just go with Vista, I use older programs and they work fine. There are a few tricks to make it like XP if you need it. The bug that everyone talks about when installing Vista is the fact that it takes forever. I did it three times thinking it stopped when in fact it just was extremely slow. XP 64bit has a serious lack of driver support since my friend is still crabbing about it.

                              As for a card. Go for 8800 series card. If they aren't planning on gaming, it'll serve them well. My sis uses my old 7600 GT and the thing is 4 years old. Her computer is a crapper but it does video and other menial things fine.
                              |TG-6th|SirNerd

                              My Resume includes Pirate, Mercenary, and a Devil Dog, what else do you want.

                              Pain is Inevitable, Suffering is Optional.

                              When you can't run anymore, you crawl and when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you.

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