ASUS PC Low-End Desktop Recommendation?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by (PeteCresswell), Feb 7, 2012.

  1. --
    Pete Cresswell
    (PeteCresswell), Feb 7, 2012
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  2. Sorry about the empty post above.

    A few years ago, I built an Intel-based XP box for somebody and
    it's started giving problems that even the pros they've brought
    it to can't pin down.

    Since it's used for outside work for a township, they're pretty
    sure they can get the township to spring for a replacement PC to
    the tune of $500 max.

    I think we're looking for something with full-sized slots and a
    desktop case - i.e. no cute form factors.

    QuickBooks and MS Office documents are probably the most
    demanding use it will see.

    I'm thinking something at or near 3ghz - only bc I know my 1.6
    ghz Atom-powered netbook would be too slow for comfort....

    Windows XP or Windows 7.

    Can anybody suggest something in Asus' lineup?
    (PeteCresswell), Feb 7, 2012
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  3. (PeteCresswell)

    geoff Guest

  4. (PeteCresswell)

    Paul Guest

    Just as easily, you could build the "budget AMD gamer" and drop the video card.

    That motherboard has built in video. The video would be weaker than the
    Llano system, but you don't need a lot of video in this case. This is
    copied from the Toms site.

    Processor AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana-based 3.2 GHz CPU $78
    Motherboard Biostar A880G+ Socket AM3 Motherboard $55
    RAM G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 4 GB DDR3-1333 Kit (2 x 2 GB) $30
    Graphics Card XFX Radeon HD 6770 1 GB <----- dump this $120
    Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive $50
    Case Rosewill Challenger ATX Mid-Tower $50
    Power Supply Corsair Builder CX500 500W 80 PLUS $60
    DVD Burner Lite-On iHAS124 24x DVD±RW Drive $19

    With this chart, you can see the X3 450 is a fair ways up the chart. So
    it's a good purchase. The problem with a bulldozer board (A8-3850) is
    the motherboard might be a few dollars more.

    Of the AM3 ones that are still in stock, you could go with a 3.4GHz triple core. $85
    The thing is, these are likely getting close to discontinued, as Bulldozer (A8) takes over.

    "AMD Athlon II X3 460 Rana 3.4GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core" $85

    Now, to find an AM3 motherboard. This is a microATX for $80, without a lot
    of bells and whistles. No USB3 for example. Has a selection of video
    connectors for the Northbridge video output.

    "ASUS M4A88T-M AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard" $80

    There is at least one 140W processor in the support list, so VCore is probably OK.

    (User manual)

    4GB of RAM for $29. I selected sticks with heat spreaders, only so they
    could be plugged in a bit easier without hurting your fingers. The low profile
    sticks are a little harder to insert. If the RAM defaults to 1600, you can
    dial it down to 1333 and keep the other timing.

    "Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)" $29

    The BIOS on the motherboard has a VDimm adjustment, and can be dialed to
    1.65V. Normal DDR3 is 1.5V. The adjustment thing adds in increments of
    0.15V and starts at 1.2 minimum. (1.2, 1.35, 1.5, 1.65 etc).

    Hard drive prices are all over the map (due to flooding in the country
    they're manufactured). You can probably do better than this. The SATA 6Gb
    also supports operation at 3Gb or 1.5Gb/sec.

    Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache
    SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive $85

    This is the last case I bought. The door is horrible, so I removed it,
    leaving the hinge hanging there. The hinge is spring loaded, and it might
    be removable as well, leaving that door to rot in the box. I didn't pull
    the hinge, because it wasn't absolutely necessary, but even the hinge
    turned out to be a pain in the ass (keep bumping into it).

    Antec Sonata Proto Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $65

    And this is the power supply I put in it, a 400W. No power factor correction
    and 70% efficiency. Also, units like this do *not* come with A.C. power cords.
    Buy the cord separate. (At least, I don't see a cord in the picture.)
    This one also has a lot of Molex, so pick up a couple Molex to SATA power
    adapter cables.

    SPARKLE ATX-400PN-B204 400W ATX 12V 2.2 Power Supply - OEM $45

    So my build becomes:

    Processor AMD Athlon II X3 460 Rana 3.4GHz CPU $85
    Motherboard ASUS M4A88T-M AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX $80
    RAM Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 $29
    Graphics Card (motherboard video)
    Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB $85
    Case Antec Sonata Proto Black 0.8mm $65
    Power Supply SPARKLE ATX-400PN-B204 400W $45
    Power cord $ 4.50
    Molex to SATA $ 6
    DVD Burner (Some burner) ~$20
    85+80+29+85+65+45+4.50+6+20= $419.50

    Paul, Feb 8, 2012
  5. Per Paul:
    The problem that I have discovered with building a PC for
    somebody is that, from that day on, I become totally responsible
    for any and all technical issues - not just the PC.... WiFi,
    Internet Provider.... you name it.

    It's kind of a nice ego trip at first, but can also turn into a
    real time sink... and I'm trying to get away from that.
    (PeteCresswell), Feb 8, 2012
  6. (PeteCresswell)

    geoff Guest

    ASUS M4A88T-M

    That is the board I currently use with a 3.x Ghz Athlon X2.

    geoff, Feb 8, 2012
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