Build for a custom, what do you think?

By davisjaron · 17 replies
Apr 29, 2009
  1. Alright everyone, i've got someone who wants me to build them a "family" pc. I'm not looking for a lot of profit off this build, only asking 65 for labor because it will be the first build i've ever done. I asked them a few questions and this is what they said:

    1. Do you need: Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, and/or Speakers? Monitor/Speakers
    2. What will you be doing with the computer? Gaming, business, school
    work, internet browser, etc? school/internet/music
    3. What is your budget? i dont know for sure
    4. Do you prefer Windows Vista or XP? the most up to date
    5. Are you on a time limit? (The building processes can take anywhere
    from a week to almost a month to get in all parts, put it together, and
    resolve any problems that may occur during the build.) no time limit :)

    Alright, so I went to newegg and decided to put together a list of stuff and here is what I put together for her, tell me what you think:

    Motherboard 64.99 - GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G41 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - N82E16813128388

    processor 69.99 - Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz 2MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor - N82E16819116072

    processor grease 8.99 - Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - N82E16835100007

    ram 39.99 - PNY 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model MD4096KD2-800 - N82E16820178219

    hard drive 47.99 - Western Digital Caviar SE WD2500AAJS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - N82E16822136113

    OPTIONAL BUT SUGGESTED 2nd hard drive 33.99 - Western Digital Caviar SE WD800AAJS 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive - N82E16822136195

    cd/dvd 22.99 - LG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH22NS30 - N82E16827136152

    case 54.99 - COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UB Black /Blue Aluminum Bezel , SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - N82E16811119047

    power supply 69.99 (currently with 10.00 instant rebate so 59.99) - Thermaltake Purepower W0100RU 500W ATX 12V 2.0 Power Supply - N82E16817153052

    OPTIONAL - video card 59.99 (currently with 15.00 instant rebate so 44.99) - PNY VCG94512GXEB GeForce 9400 GT 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - N82E16814133247

    Building requirement 3.50 - Rosewill RTK-002 Anti-Static Wrist Strap - N82E16899261005

    Operating System 99.99 - Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit - N82E16832116488

    Montior 109.99 - ASUS VK193D Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor (with built-in web cam)- N82E16824236060

    Speakers 23.99 - Logitech S-220 17 Watts 2.1 Multimedia Speaker System - N82E16836121014

    WITH OPTIONAL HARDWARE - no extended hardware warranties:
    Subtotal: 671.36
    Shipping: 36.22
    labor: 65.00
    TOTAL: 772.58

    WITH OPTIONAL HARDWARE (with 2 year extended warranties on all applicable hardware except speakers):
    Subtotal: 671.36
    Extended Warranty Fee:113.93
    labor: 65.00
    TOTAL: 886.51

    WITHOUT OPTIONAL HARDWARE (no extended hardware warranties):
    Subtotal: 592.38
    Shipping: 33.01
    labor: 65.00
    TOTAL: 690.39

    WITHOUT OPTIONAL HARDWARE (with 2 year extended warranties on all applicable hardware)
    Extended Warranty Fee:87.95
    labor: 65.00
    TOTAL: 778.34


    Click to Maximize

    I told her it may be a bit much for everything she wants and that I could lower the price a bit with different parts if she needed it, but that's what I recommended for her.

    What do you all think?

    oops I meant in the title "build for a customer" not "build for a custom" ... oh well.. it won't let me change it now, lol.
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I would ditch that unless your an overclocker, which you don't look like. If you are in fact, an overclocker, I point you toward a sturdy cooler and a better processor, i'm sure the e5200 isn't going to break any records, but it is a good CPU for the price.

    PNY is not know for their quality or performance, actually I don't know them at all. OCZ Vista Upgrade 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2VU8004GK - Retail, but staying with the PNY seems just fine, I like OCZ more though.

    The powersupply is a weak point, go with the CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail at $60.

    That isn't necessary but if it makes you feel better, and you don't mind buying one.

    SAPPHIRE 100255HDMI Radeon HD 4670 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail is a MUCH better graphics card, a little bit more expensive, the 9400 isn't very good.

    GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail is a superior motherboard, but it is more expensive and no doubt you could live off the one you mentioned above.

    Now I don't know about the motherboard, I can't say anything about that. The price...well, you could switch to an AMD build and save some money for similar performance, and you can stick with the parts you mentioned, but mine have a better bang for the buck :).
  3. davisjaron

    davisjaron TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82

    Well I know PNY is a good brand, we sell their RAM and video cards at best buy and almost never have any returns on them (except when people get the wrong ram).

    I chose not to go with the higher priced stuff simply because I was already going pretty high in price for a pc that all she will be doing with is internet, school, and music.

    Switching to AMD is a good idea though because like you said I could get the same performance for a better price overall....

    Also, why do you say the thermaltake power supply isn't good? I chose that power supply because it seemed like the best for the price and we sell them at best buy as well so I know they are at least decent...
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,185   +469

    I consider PNY a decent brand too. We all have our favorites, of course. For RAM I usually go with Crucial, Corsair or G.Skill. I haven't used PNY RAM yet but I have bought a couple of PNY graphics cards. It was because of my good experience with the PNY GeForce 8800 Ultra that I recently bought a PNY Geforce GTX 295. Both have performed fine.

    If the PC is mainly for internet, school and music, you could probably leave out the second hard drive. If you wanted more storage, you could increase the size of the one hard drive. I know you said it was just an option.

    I would be interested in knowing what kind of games your customer would like to play. Just because she won't be playing them a lot doesn't mean she shouldn't have a good game playing experience when she does play. So I agree with hellokitty in that if possible you might want to improve on the graphics card and I would add a better processor too. I also tend toward a full sized ATX motherboard but I understand you probably chose that one to save money. Don't get me wrong, your choices aren't horrible by any means. I know you put some thought into them.

    As an aside, I wouldn't charge the customer for the anti-static strap since I presume you are keeping that. The same for the thermal compound since you will still have plenty of it left.
  5. davisjaron

    davisjaron TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82

    I put in the second hard drive for one main reason... that reason is because it's a good rule of thumb to never save your stuff that matters onto the same hard drive as the operating system. Because then if your OS becomes corrupt or you get a virus and have to restore, you lose your files.

    So I explained that to her and put the 80gb hdd as an optional piece so that she could decide if she wanted it or not. It's better to pay 35 now for an extra hard drive then to pay 100 later to have the geeksquad do a data backup before you restore, ya know?

    And I've always been warned to wear the anti-static wrist band to keep from shorting anything out in the mobo...And I figure i'm only charging 65 in labor, that can count as a labor charge if nothing else, it's not like i'm making a lot of profit off of the build, and the wrist band is only 3.50...
  6. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    About the power supply, the thermaltake is an inefficient powersupply and has quite low amperages on the 12v rails, now it will work, the corsair is just known to be a much more reliable, efficient, and much stronger too.
    Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power Power Supply - Retail is a good powersupply too, and will suit your needs.

    Honestly, Arctic silver is good, and will last a while, but it is not going to help much for a normal user running a nice cool CPU, not a bad choice though.

    Now the graphics card, the 9400 isn't a good card altogether, but look at the four reviews, two are at one egg, one at half and one at 5. Now with the $46 XFX HD-435X-YAH2 Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card - Retail, you get a superior card, (look at reviews!) for less money (not counting the instant -15) and you can throw in a double lifetime warranty.
  7. davisjaron

    davisjaron TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82

    So what do you think about the AMD kuma 7850 2.8ghz dual core processor for 69.99? Mixed with a motherboard around the same price as the one I have now, I think it might be a much greater choice, right?

    I just saw it on newegg and it looks like a great deal... thanks for the advice about the power supply, i think i'll switch that out in the next concept I send her... that is if she likes what i've sent her so far... i sent it last night and I should get a response within a few hours...
  8. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    E5400 slightly outperforms it.
    E5300 is about the same, or maybe less.

    I was thinking the AMD motherboard would be a little cheaper though, just a tad, oh well, the processor saves you some.
  9. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    "Brace yourself".

    GSkill has 4GB kits that should be equivalent. I'd probably pick the one that's on sale.
    The HDDs are as good as any, but this is a bit flawed logically. Why on earth would you use the 250GB drive for the OS, then use the 80GB drive for storage? Really, shouldn't it be the other way around!

    Besides, Newegg will charge you shipping on the 80 gig jobbie, but not the 250, so the net result is maybe a $6.00 saving. It makes way more sense to just jump in for 2 - 250s!

    Personally I prefer the Pioneer DVR116 or 117. These are frequently on sale at the same price, and I usually grab another one when they are.

    The 9400GTs are very weak with respect to gaming. Here I'd use the onboards until I could afford at least a 9600GT. Besides you can get an additional labor charge when you upgrade. I'd recommend EVGA. They already have a 2 year warranty
    Like the American Express Card, don't leave home without it.
    I suppose if you screw around long enough, you could hold out for Windows 7. But, they might get too impatient.

    Under NO circumstances would I ever buy a 19" wide screen monitor! None, nada, nunca, never ever! buy at least a 22", or don't bother. I have plenty of sound reasons for saying that, I'm just tired of repeating typing them.

    As to extended warranties, I'll say this; in most cases they're just throwing money away. For the monitor, sure. For most of the rest, not. Intel gives 3 years on their CPUs. If you buy the Antec supply as HK has suggested, it's 3 yrs also.

    I hate to say this, but apparently you've been working at Best Buy long enough to start believing your own BS.
  10. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I like pioneer too, I thought they were like a dollar more expensive...meh.

    By the way, would you not be undercutting your own store?
    Might I mention how the 4670 at <$70 is generally better than a 9600gt at <$100?

    Foxconn A7VMX-K AM2+/AM2 AMD 780V Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail looks like a decent AMD motherboard at $54, but it does NOT mention support for Phenom II, which is basically the same processor as the Kuma.
    This may be the time to look into that old "unlock additional AMD CPU's from the Phenom II line" article :D.
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    I'm not even going near the AMD vs. Intel thing. Well, only to say if I were doing a build tomorrow, it would be an E7400 or bust. 1066Mhz FSB 'n all that.
  12. davisjaron

    davisjaron TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82

    actually for the hdd, i put the 80gb as the optional to install the OS on, if not then just get the 250 for everything...

    and honestly the video card was an optional piece if you read it, i didn't say she had to take the video card, she didn't say she would be doing any gaming at all, just internet, school, and music, so that doesn't matter much.

    and why would she want to pay extra money for a 22" monitor when she would be just fine with a 19"... Remember what it says... FAMILY PC, not gaming pc.

    and honestly, what "BS" am I starting to believe? I wasn't aware that anything that I was talking about could have even remotely been "BS." Show's how well you pay attention.
  13. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

  14. davisjaron

    davisjaron TS Member Topic Starter Posts: 82

    and I don't think window's 7 will be too great for a while... microsoft is rushing it out just like they did with vista... and everyone hated vista for the first year and half if not longer...
  15. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    O.O didn't expect it be so fast, I remember the anandtech article placing it around the e5xxx, anyway, all the better, i see you have a similar processor :).
  16. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,224   +164

    obviously a review written by an anti amd zealot! :haha::wave:
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    Ooo, I've been scolded, pay attention. I really should know better than sass someone with literally hours and hours of computer training. OK Here's my undivided attention, because you deserve it.

    Ok, I won't own a PC with only 1 HDD either. Again the Shipping charge concept holds. Small drives ship for money, the bigger ones for free. Because of the nature of DATA storage density. the larger drives tend to be a tad faster. (The head doesn't have to move as far). So, if you put 80GBs of information on a 250GB HDD, all of the data will be on the first 1/3 third of the drive. Which, so I've been told is the fastest part. Sorta squashes any reason for buying an 80, doesn't it?

    OK, well "FAMILY PC" should make it's own argument, because I have this mental picture of 3 or 4 people huddled around some crap a** little 19 incher, that won't even display an 8" x 10" inch photo full height. The 22"s are much more satisfying to view for any reason, gaming or otherwise. I've had 2 19" wide screens, sold one, took the other one back. Total time of ownership, 3 weeks. The last 19" (a Westy from BB) grossed me out so badly, I returned it as trade in towards a 37" TV! Current roster, 19" standard Westy, (from BB), 22" Westy (from BB), 22" Samsung (from Newegg), and my pride and joy, a 24" Soyo from Office Depot. You read that correctly, Soyo! It actually has an MVA panel, so it's the same color from anywhere you can see it. I should probably take it off this machine, instead of wasting it on the nonsense that comes out of the internet! I Had a 20" 1600 x 1200 Westy, loved it, but dropped a computer case on it. So, you can see, I have absolutely no experience with monitor size, I should probably keep quiet.

    I understand that in this day and age a cell phone is accepted as a source for video, and a collection of dinky little toy plastic speakers is considered a "home theater system". Point being, that modern standards are not that high. Hey, the original color TVs were 8" round tubes in juke box sized cabinets. They were all the rage! And for anyone, anywhere that might want to watch a feature film on a cell phone, there's probably nothing I could say that would register. Wow that actually amuses you? Color me baffled.

    I suppose that if I walk into BB and buy a $60.00 retail DVD drive, on top of which they'll try and "do me a favor", by selling me an extended warranty to, "protect my investment". Now @ 22 bucks a pop for an OEM I'll live dangerously without the security of years and years of "vendor concern". If it breaks,I'll just take my punishment like a man, and just throw the POS away, and buy another one. 10 minutes in and out , and I'm done. Or, I guess I could take the PC to BB, let them charge me to R & R it, while I sit with my thumb up my *** for a couple of weeks without a computer. One could argue "BS" is really "enthusiasm", and "customer concern", but that's pretty much the reason I would never consider taking a Poli-Sci course. I just couldn't sit through that garbage with a straight face.

    Actually, I was paying attention, which is why I said to build the PC >>WITHOUT<< a graphics card, install it later, and charge them for the upgrade. I can't read, I used to work for the Post Office, so I have my excuse all picked out, you get your own.

    You've persuaded me that I need extended warranties after all. How many years beyond WD's 5 years, do you think could I get the HDD warranty extended?

    As far as "believe your own BS", I probably should have said, " believe your own hype". There, there now, all better?
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Aiming at a budget of roughly $700-750, these are what I would recommend:
    Grand Total = $630 or so, including the cost of the OS. Shipping is free on all but two of the items.
    The onboard video should be good enough, and you can throw in an HD 3450 and enable Hybrid Crossfire for a little more power. You could also throw in an HD 4670 for yet more power.

    Hope I helped. :)
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