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New Desktop for Grandma

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Hello!

 

tldr looking for help getting a desktop for grandma. Searched the forums a bit but found mostly answers about laptops or older stuff.

 

As a tech enthusiast, I've been watching LTT for a while but have no real knowledge or experience in computer hardware.

Now, my grandmother's desktop of 12 years just died, and im trying to figure out what to get for her as a replacement. Wow, there are a lot of PCs out there and I am a bit overwhelmed.

 

She definitely wants a desktop, not a laptop. She mostly uses it for browsing, research, email, etc. so by all means a light user. With that said, I am still confused about what get her. There seems to be an endless amount of stuff on websites and local stores. I'd like it to run smoothly, and last for as long as possible. Price is a concern - she would like to pay as little as possible, but doesn't want to get something shitty. If she is already paying....

 

A friend of mine told me I should go with an Intel processor, preferably 9th gen but besides that said it doesn't really matter, given her uses. Is there anything, general or specific I should pay attention to? For example, Im attaching specs of a computer from a local store - does it look reasonable? Anything specific I should look into upgrading to improve performance / longevity?

 

Processor: Intel Core i3 9100 3.6Ghz 6MB Cache - Tray 
Fan: Arctic Alpine 12
MotherboardAsus PRIME H310M-K
Memory: G.Skill Value 4GB DDR4 2400Mhz
SSD: Sandisk Plus 240GB SSD SATA III
Sound: On Board 7.1 Channel Audio
Network: On Board 10/100/1000
Case: Antec VSK4450B-U3 ATX Mid Tower Black 450W

 

My main concern is I'll pick something underpowered and a waste of her money, even tho I know she is not doing anything intensive on it. Im just kinda clueless, the internet is saying conflicting things, and thought I could use your help! Super appreciate you help!

 

(ps. im outside of the US, if that matters at all. However im sure I can find anything you mention or an equivalent)

 

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9 minutes ago, nati said:

I'd like it to run smoothly, and last for as long as possible. Price is a concern - she would like to pay as little as possible, but doesn't want to get something shitty. If she is already paying....

 

Processor: Intel Core i3 9100 3.6Ghz 6MB Cache - Tray 
Fan: Arctic Alpine 12
MotherboardAsus PRIME H310M-K
Memory: G.Skill Value 4GB DDR4 2400Mhz
SSD: Sandisk Plus 240GB SSD SATA III
Sound: On Board 7.1 Channel Audio
Network: On Board 10/100/1000
Case: Antec VSK4450B-U3 ATX Mid Tower Black 450W

Do you need an aftermarket fan(well it's a cpu cooler and not just a fan)? Would go for 2x4gigs ram, Crucial MX500 or BX500 SD and buy a power supply.

Ryzen 7 3800X | Noctua NH-D15S | Asus Prime X370-Pro | Gainward RTX 2070 Super Phantom GS 8GB | HyperX Predator 4x8GB 3000MHz | Samsung 970 EVO 500GB | 860 EVO 500GB | 860 EVO 1TB | 870 EVO 1TB | WD Purple 4TB | WD Red Plus 4TB | be quiet! Straight Power 11 650W Gold | Fractal Design Meshify 2 Black Solid | 5x Arctic F14 PWM PST CO

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4 hours ago, nati said:

* moderator snip *

 

Please, DO NOT quote the entire original post, it's unnecessary and makes browsing difficult for mobile users.

4gb of ram would be terrible if your going long term. Get 8gb. Also upgrade your ssd to 512gb or just get a 240gb ssd with a 1tb hdd. It doesnt really matter if you go with intel or amd. But make sure you get the 9100 and not the 9100f version, the f version is cheaper but has no gpu meaning you most likely wont even be able to run a video on that system.  Also does that case have an psu pre installed?  You also need to buy windows and pre install it onto a usb which is more than 8gbs. 

Edited by wkdpaul
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34 minutes ago, nati said:

im outside of the US, if that matters at all. However im sure I can find anything you mention or an equivalent

It matters a lot, because the value for certain parts or availability varies wildly from region to region. What country are you buying from?

 

I would recommend something like this, but things like motherboard, case, and PSU choice could be good or terrible depending on your local pricing:

 

I WILL find your ITX build thread, and I WILL recommend the SIlverstone Sugo SG13B

 

Primary PC:

i7 8086k (won) - EVGA Z370 Classified K - G.Skill Trident Z RGB - WD SN750 - Jedi Order Titan Xp - Hyper 212 Black (with RGB Riing flair) - EVGA G2 650W - dual booting Windows 10 and Linux - Black and green theme, Razer brainwashed me.

Draws 400 watts under max load, for reference.

 

Linux Proliant ML150 G6:

Dual Xeon X5560 - 24GB ECC DDR3 - GTX 750 TI - old Seagate 1.5TB HDD - dark mode Ubuntu (and Win7, cuz why not)

 

How many watts do I need? Seasonic Focus threadUserbenchmark (Et al.) is trash explained, PSU misconceptions, protections explainedgroup reg is bad

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just pick any OEM machine that is within your budget, no point getting hung up on the specifics.

 

the only caveat being 8GB of ram. Anything you get is going to be overkill for what she's using it for

 

look at Lenovo thinkcentres, Dell Optiplex, HP Prodesk/EliteDesk

🌲🌲🌲

Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

 

Don't dilute <good thing> by always trying to focus on, and drag conversation back to, <bad thing>.

🌲🌲🌲

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So my recommendation based on the light workload you have mentioned:

 

AMD Athlon 3000G

Gigabyte B450M DS3H

2x 4GB G.Skill Ripjaws V DDR-3200

Western Digital Blue SN550 500 GB SSD

Fractal Design Focus G Mini MicroATX Mini Tower Case

be quiet! Pure Power 11 CM 400 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply

 

Estimated total before shipping 384.- USD

 

I've chosen this case because it supports optical drives, should you want to upgrade with one later on. Also it comes with 2 included fans, which is not standard these days. In addition you could get another fan if you like but I would just use one fan in the front and one in the rear, by default both fans are installed in the front of the case.

 

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Quote

Do you need an aftermarket fan(well it's a cpu cooler and not just a fan)? Would go for 2x4gigs ram, Crucial MX500 or BX500 SD and buy a power supply.

Thanks! The specs are from a pre-built, this is just the fan they included. + I just checked and seems like the case comes with a power supply included! No mention which one. Would the Crucial be significantly better for her use case?  Will it improve speed or other stuff?

 

Quote

4gb of ram would be terrible if your going long term. Get 8gb. Also upgrade your ssd to 512gb or just get a 240gb ssd with a 1tb hdd. It doesnt really matter if you go with intel or amd. But make sure you get the 9100 and not the 9100f version, the f version is cheaper but has no gpu meaning you most likely wont even be able to run a video on that system.  Also does that case have an psu pre installed?  You also need to buy windows and pre install it onto a usb which is more than 8gbs. 

Thank you, great tips!! Will definitely NOT go for the f version then, and will look into specs that has 8gb. longevity is def a priority. + i just checked and seems like the case does come with a power supply! didn't mention which or what kind tho. also good point on windows - will definitely make sure it is included in the price. Have installed it on my mac book years ago, but prefer they just do it in the store.

In terms of SSD - she really doesn't have much stored on there. Mostly photos (6-8 gigs). Would you still recommend going for 512?

 

Quote

It matters a lot, because the value for certain parts or availability varies wildly from region to region. What country are you buying from?

Im in Israel. In my initial post. I indeed thought price wouldn't be comparable so didn't even mention. The specs are for a pretty cheap desktop, big chain brand. In USD its 393. Don't really have the knowledge what is cheaper here, as of now mostly looking at what's available on chain stores.

 

Quote

just pick any OEM machine that is within your budget, no point getting hung up on the specifics.

 

the only caveat being 8GB of ram. Anything you get is going to be overkill for what she's using it for

 

look at Lenovo thinkcentres, Dell Optiplex, HP Prodesk/EliteDesk

okay! its just that there were SO MUCH specifics, and I didn't know which ones would be relevant at all. Will you recommend OEMs over a store brand, where they build it from parts?

 

Quote

So my recommendation based on the light workload you have mentioned:

ah thank you for the specs! I will check availability and price where I am (Israel, not US). Optical drive is a good point, and something she might appreciate.

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- You NEVER buy Tray CPUs. They are often even more expensive, ha ve less/worse warranty, and can even be used CPUs as well.

Boxed only. Even if you plan to use an aftermarket Cooler, you buy Boxed Only.

And a super light user for just basic tasks, doesn't need an aftermarket cooler. Whatever Cooler is inside the box, is more than fine. The CPU will never run at full Load.

 

- And second: I don't recommend the i3, because it's a quad Core without Hyperthreadin (for a too high price)
And AMD is better than Intel now. In every price range. So your Friend just favours Intel blindly ;)
In low budget, AMD offers same performance out of the box, for less money, AND can be overclocked, has better Graphics, and better Cooler.
In higher price ranges, Intel might be a few % better for gaming because of higher clock speed, but AMD is much much cheaper, and now has even the edge in IPC (more Performance at the same Clock speed)

 

Take a Ryzen 3 3200G, if 4 Cores 4 Threads is enough. MUCH cheaper than the Intel, and still the better Product.

Or for more future-proof: Ryzen 5 3400G (4 Cores, 8 Threads, and Vega 11 instead 8). But that's by far not neccessary yet for such light tasks.

 

Price comparison here in Germany:
i3 9300: 165€

Ryzen 3 3200G: 85€ (Yes, for similar Performance, and better Graphics)

Ryzen 5 3400G: 165€

 

- Combine it with a cheap B450 Motherboard with a "MAX" in the Name, it will be Ryzen 3000 ready.

My advice for your Grandma would be the Ryzen 3 3200G, because you save 80 bucks, and it will have the same performance.

- And with 2x 4gb DDR4 Ram with at least 3000 Mhz.

 

- A Basic Case with 1 single Case-Fan mounted to the Back Top, that blows the Air out of the Case is absolutely fine. You can even set the rpm to a fixed 500-700 rpm so it stays quiet. a 65w CPU only without a Graphic Card doesn't need more than that.

 

- SSD: Check out how much 480-500 gb SSDs cost.

Example: 240gb costs 40€, but 480gb cost 55€, then go for 480. But it usually is never more than 20 bucks more.

240 gb SSDs mostly aren't produced anymore, or it's the smallest size. So 500 and more are nowadays a better Value in terms of "gb / dollar".

 

Just like HDDs with 500gb or less became completely obsolete, sometimes costing even more than newer, more modern 1TB HDDs.

 

 

Edit: Oh, @Applefreak's Configuration looks quite appealing.
The Athlon 3000G would also be very fine for basic tasks, and it can save you 30 bucks. The Ryzen 3 3200G has also 4 Threads, but it's a real Quad Core, so it does offer a little more headroom. I believe, in 5-10 years, that might become a good choice (however, even in many years, you can upgrade the CPU to a 3xxxG or 4xxxG series model)

 

I also really like his Choice of the B450 Chipset, instead of A320. That might give you compatibility to the Ryzen 4000 Desktop series, that A320 won't have.

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22 hours ago, nati said:

Hello!

 

tldr looking for help getting a desktop for grandma. Searched the forums a bit but found mostly answers about laptops or older stuff.

 

As a tech enthusiast, I've been watching LTT for a while but have no real knowledge or experience in computer hardware.

Now, my grandmother's desktop of 12 years just died, and im trying to figure out what to get for her as a replacement. Wow, there are a lot of PCs out there and I am a bit overwhelmed.

 

She definitely wants a desktop, not a laptop. She mostly uses it for browsing, research, email, etc. so by all means a light user. With that said, I am still confused about what get her. There seems to be an endless amount of stuff on websites and local stores. I'd like it to run smoothly, and last for as long as possible. Price is a concern - she would like to pay as little as possible, but doesn't want to get something shitty. If she is already paying....

 

A friend of mine told me I should go with an Intel processor, preferably 9th gen but besides that said it doesn't really matter, given her uses. Is there anything, general or specific I should pay attention to? For example, Im attaching specs of a computer from a local store - does it look reasonable? Anything specific I should look into upgrading to improve performance / longevity?

 

Processor: Intel Core i3 9100 3.6Ghz 6MB Cache - Tray 
Fan: Arctic Alpine 12
MotherboardAsus PRIME H310M-K
Memory: G.Skill Value 4GB DDR4 2400Mhz
SSD: Sandisk Plus 240GB SSD SATA III
Sound: On Board 7.1 Channel Audio
Network: On Board 10/100/1000
Case: Antec VSK4450B-U3 ATX Mid Tower Black 450W

 

My main concern is I'll pick something underpowered and a waste of her money, even tho I know she is not doing anything intensive on it. Im just kinda clueless, the internet is saying conflicting things, and thought I could use your help! Super appreciate you help!

 

(ps. im outside of the US, if that matters at all. However im sure I can find anything you mention or an equivalent)

 

if it's just light usage you can get a 2200G/3200G, B450 board and 8GB of RAM. 

Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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