General use pc for parent...

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TheCur

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...watching Youtube / Netflix, surfing the web, flash browser games, printing out cross word puzzles, solitaire-like card games.

As you can see, nothing too major.

I have a copy of Win 7 x64 I'll be using for this build.

Monitor will be an Asus VE247H or similar (~$150ish) LCD.

Must haves:
A desktop type case (form factor, smaller better)
Intel CPU
8Gb RAM

Would like:
120Gb SSD (older generations are ok)

Question:
Are integrated gfx up to snuff? If so, that could save monies on dispensing with add in video card?

Budget up to $450. (excluding the monitor above, total budget $600)

Have at it!
Thanks.
 

DesertCat

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Well you are going to get several people suggesting that you get a Dell, but I will roll with what you have.

Antec ISK 300-150 - w/ 150W PSU - $64
http://www.amazon.com/Antec-ISK-300-150-Mini-ITX-Computer/dp/B0035FIS2O

ASUS P8H61-I R2.0 LGA 1155 Intel H61 - $77
http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-P8H61-I-R2-0-Intel-Motherboard/dp/B00906G97I

Intel core i3-3225 Ivy Bridge 3.3 GHz - with HD4000 graphics - $136
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i3-3225-Dual-Core-Processor-Cache/dp/B0093H8H8I

Samsung 840 Series 2.5 inch 120GB SSD - $90
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-120GB-internal-Solid-MZ-7TD120BW/dp/B009NHAF06

Crucial Ballistix Sport Very Low Profile 8GB Single DDR3-1600 1.35V - $60 (see link below for a better solution)
http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Ballistix-Profile-DDR3-1600-BLS8G3D1609ES2LX0/dp/B00A14ZTWE

Total $427 and I think it all comes with free Prime shipping if you have that.

I figure Intel HD4000 graphics are plenty good for general use. The HD2500 graphics probably are as well, but I figure spending an extra $17 for graphics is probably justified. A person can, however, get an i3-2220 for $119 if you want. http://www.amazon.com/Intel-i3-3220-Dual-Core-Processor-Cache/dp/B0093H8HXS

Note this tiny case does have room for a half-height graphics card if you decide a GPU upgrade is needed. The 150W PSU should be able to handle any of the low power GPU cards that would actually fit in such a slot. There is also room for a second 2.5" hard drive if you find you need to add more storage in the future.

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Optional upgrades/add-ons

If you can afford $9 more, I would go with a B75 chipset for native USB 3.0 instead of through add-on chip.

Gigabyte GA-B75N -LGA1155 Intel B75 - $86
http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GA-B75N--LGA1155-Mini-ITX-Motherboard/dp/B00C0E22CI

I figure most parent boxes still need a DVD drive. If you want to add one, that's going to add $15-22 depending on your source.

Lite-On Super AllWrite 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive - Bulk - IHAS124-04 (Black) - $21
http://www.amazon.com/Lite--Super-AllWrite-Layer-Drive/dp/B002YIG9AQ

Total if both changes are included: $457
 
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defaultluser

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If you're not going to go with HD 4000 you might as well go with an Ivy Bridge Pentium like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-G2020-2-9GHz-Processor-BX80637G2020/dp/B00B4G70RU

That will save you $75 while still delivering almost the same level of single-threaded performance as a Core i3. If your parents are not going to be converting videos or playing real video games, I doubt they need the i3. The Pentium's integrated graphics are also basically the same as HD 2500 (just a branding difference), so like I said: if you're not buying HD 4000, you might as well ditch the i3.

The Antec ISK 300-150 is an excellent suggestion, although a little cramped to work in.

I'm not sure I would go with a single DIMM if using integrated graphics. This goes DOUBLE if you step-up to the HD 4000 graphics.
 

DesertCat

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If you're not going to go with HD 4000 you might as well go with an Ivy Bridge Pentium like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Intel-G2020-2-9GHz-Processor-BX80637G2020/dp/B00B4G70RU

That will save you $75 while still delivering the same level of single-threaded performance as a Core i3. If your parents are not going to be converting videos or playing real video games, I doubt they need the i3. The integrated graphics are also basically the same as HD 2500 (just a branding difference), so like I said: if you're not buying HD 4000, you might as well ditch the i3.

Yup, real good way to save some more cash. My natural tendency, if going for integrated graphics, is to push the "high end". I've had too many people say they aren't ever going to game on a box and then come back a month later with something like, "My nephew is visiting and wants to play a Super Stomper Fantasy. Why does my new computer suck at it? " ;)

I'm not sure I would go with a single DIMM if using integrated graphics. This goes DOUBLE if you step-up to the HD 4000 graphics.

Good catch. I was searching for 2-stick solutions and that one worked into my search somehow. Will come up with a different solution that is 1.5V or lower.
 
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defaultluser

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Yup, real good way to save some more cash. My natural tendency, if going for integrated graphics, is to push the "high end". I've had too many people say they aren't ever going to game on a box and then come back a month later with something like, "My nephew is visiting and wants to play a Super Stomper Fantasy. Why does my new computer suck at it? " ;)

Absolutely this, but there's a half-height PCIe slot on the Antec ISK 300 to deal with this problem. :D

Really, the only reason I paid extra for my i3 3225 is because I knew in-advance that I'd be playing some light 'real' PC games on my HTPC, as well as running FAH (this really benefits from the HT). If I did not needs these specific features, I would be just as happy with the Pentium. Dual-core is plenty for basic multitasking, and you don't lose much core speed.
 

DesertCat

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Ok, here is a 2-stick DDR3-1600 memory solution from Crucial. Costs $5 more (so $65) but is better for the reasons defaultluser cited.

http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Ballistix-PC3-12800-240-Pin-BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00/dp/B006WAGGUK

Took me a while to settle on this one because I was tempted by some other slightly cheaper offerings, but some of them *cough Kingston* sneak old 1.65V memory into their value lineups and never tell you this on their Amazon link. Definitely something to avoid with Ivy Bridge CPUs. The link above is for Crucial 1.5V.

Especially considering defaultluser's suggestions and what I've lined out, I think that kind of gives you the ballpark of what a person is looking at. It's really up to the end user whether they want to spend more on integrated graphics to "cover your bases" or go with a CPU with graphics that are perfectly adequate for browsing, etc. with the option to add a little half-slot GPU later if you find they aren't quite up to snuff.
 
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TheCur

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Thanks everyone, given me good direction to pursue this.

Probably going to go with the Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced, the Samsung SSD, Corsair XMS memory (1.50, and on QVL for Asus mobo), and the Asus P8H77 mobo, and the Intel 3225 w/ HD4000. It's a little over stated budget, but I'm fine with that.

Thanks again.
 
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