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Raccoon1400
June 3rd, 2012, 05:48 PM
I'm putting together a desktop computer for a friend. Thinking of using AMD for bang for buck, maybe the athlon x4 631.
This system will probably run ubuntu, and will be used for browsing internet/streaming video, music.
My friend is not a computer person, so it needs to be reliable.
He is an audiophile so sound needs to be at least somewhat decent.

Criteria:
cheap, between $300-400 CAD
reliable
decent quality sound (onboard sound should be fine)
quiet
wireless
basic graphics, on board.

Any suggestions?

VE6EFR
June 3rd, 2012, 06:05 PM
Does it need to be new or would they be willing to entertain a used computer off of Kijijji or eBay? You may be able to get a pretty good deal for relatively low cost from someone that has upgraded their system and no longer needs their older computer.

mips
June 3rd, 2012, 06:29 PM
He is an audiophile so sound needs to be at least somewhat decent.


If he's a true audiophile a decent sound card will be needed imho.

Raccoon1400
June 3rd, 2012, 06:43 PM
If he's a true audiophile a decent sound card will be needed imho.

If he really wants to listen to something, it will not be off the computer anyway.

Bandit
June 4th, 2012, 01:13 AM
I recommend a Shuttle XPC with 4GB of RAM and a Intel i5-2500 and a WD Blue Caviar 1TB HDD with a ASUS Disc Burner..
Mind you I am a AMD person but currently intel has the best bang for the buck, so I dont want to mislead anyone over branding.

But those systems have good built in sound, video, run quite and cool, very compact and affordable.

Not sure if you have Newegg or Tiger Direct in CA but they sell them as well.

Rodney9
June 4th, 2012, 09:33 AM
For a Audiophile you can get ideas from this - A Linux-based hi-fi audio player (http://www.volkerschatz.com/hardware/itxplayer.html)

Rodney

rjbl
June 4th, 2012, 10:21 AM
I'm putting together a desktop computer for a friend. Thinking of using AMD for bang for buck, maybe the athlon x4 631.
This system will probably run ubuntu, and will be used for browsing internet/streaming video, music.
My friend is not a computer person, so it needs to be reliable.
He is an audiophile so sound needs to be at least somewhat decent.

Criteria:
cheap, between $300-400 CAD
reliable
decent quality sound (onboard sound should be fine)
quiet
wireless
basic graphics, on board.

Any suggestions?

Not sure of canadian prices but I did a barebones in the UK for a dual-boot XP / Ubuntu 11.x box (I just have to have Flight Sim X somewhere). Its a bit crappy for FSX but rock solid and fast for Ubuntu 11.04.

Basically:-

Intel E6700 dual core @3.2 Ghz + 4 Gig of RAM + Geforce GT430 (1Gig), on an el cheapo Foxconn mobo (can't think of the partno, off hand, my documentation ain't going to win prizes for orderliness) Cost excluding DVD drive and HDD was about 120.00

The on-board audio is fine for my purposes - but I don't have ears of bat-like aural sensitivities, just do a bit of Audacity type cleaning-up, etc of home video tracks.

The added GPU card is brilliant for everything that I do in Ubuntu but it gets a bit stressed in FSX/Windows but, hey, FSX is a notoriously buggy and demanding graphics app.

Hope this helps

richard L

Raccoon1400
June 4th, 2012, 03:14 PM
For 400 it looks like I can build a system around the AMD athlon II X4 631.
Can someone suggest a motherboard?

Raccoon1400
June 4th, 2012, 07:18 PM
Ok, here's what I have.

AMD athlon II X4 631 FM1
ASUS F1A55-M LE mATX motherboard
Kingston KVR1066D3S8N7K2/4G 4GB RAM (2x2GB)
Antec VP-450 power supply
WD caviar blue 250GB hard drive
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X DVD writer
Apex SK-393-C mid tower

Comments/suggestions?

The Jinx
June 4th, 2012, 07:36 PM
My only comment would be you don't have a gpu. I believe the Athlon II x4 631 is a CPU only not an APU.

You might want to go for a AM3+ build, it might provide your friend with a better upgrade path down the line.

In addition, check out some of the Tigerdirect barebone kits in the 300-400 range. They usually provide you with a 500gb - 1tb HDD.

Raccoon1400
June 4th, 2012, 07:53 PM
My only comment would be you don't have a gpu. I believe the Athlon II x4 631 is a CPU only not an APU.

You might want to go for a AM3+ build, it might provide your friend with a better upgrade path down the line.

In addition, check out some of the Tigerdirect barebone kits in the 300-400 range. They usually provide you with a 500gb - 1tb HDD.

Mobo has vga/dvi ports. Thought the GPU was build into the mobo.

The Jinx
June 4th, 2012, 08:03 PM
Nope, the reason they are there is because most FM1 socket processors are APU which have gpus built into the same processor.

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_Socket_FM1/F1A55M_LE/#specifications

If you look under the graphics section, notice it says "Integrated AMD Radeon™ HD 6000 Series Graphics in Llano APU"

AnotherMuggle
June 4th, 2012, 08:04 PM
Ok, here's what I have.

AMD athlon II X4 631 FM1
ASUS F1A55-M LE mATX motherboard
Kingston KVR1066D3S8N7K2/4G 4GB RAM (2x2GB)
Antec VP-450 power supply
WD caviar blue 250GB hard drive
ASUS DRW-24B1ST 24X DVD writer
Apex SK-393-C mid tower

Comments/suggestions?

I've heard Western Digital have been having some issues with the Caviar Blue drives at the moment, I'd swap it out with a Black for peace of mind.

drawkcab
June 5th, 2012, 04:13 AM
Why not just get one of those zotac nettops based on the amd e450 and then slap a hdd and some ram into it?

Sounds like your friend might really like a quieter, low-wattage nettop htpc type box.

Do you even need that nice of a sound card if you're going to pass audio to the receiver via hdmi?

Raccoon1400
June 5th, 2012, 03:29 PM
Why not just get one of those zotac nettops based on the amd e450 and then slap a hdd and some ram into it?

Sounds like your friend might really like a quieter, low-wattage nettop htpc type box.

Do you even need that nice of a sound card if you're going to pass audio to the receiver via hdmi?

The processors I was looking at are waay faster than the amd e450.

He doesn't use a receiver with HDMI, he uses vintage equipment. As long as the sound is somewhat decent it is not a big deal, we can always upgrade later. For better sound quality there are turntables and CD players.
I'm sure the sound will be better than on his old HP netbook.

Looked at the barebones kits on tiger direct. This is the best I found
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2428842&CatId=332

As for CPU I could swap out the Athlon II X4 631 for the amd a6-3650, but it is a bit slower. I could also look for a cheap graphics card. I only need the bare minumum for graphics.

The Jinx
June 5th, 2012, 06:56 PM
If you are sticking to a FM1 socket based mobo the AMD A6-3650 integrated Radeon HD 6530D graphics should be good enough for non gamers.

Warpnow
June 6th, 2012, 05:46 AM
The processors I was looking at are waay faster than the amd e450.

He doesn't use a receiver with HDMI, he uses vintage equipment. As long as the sound is somewhat decent it is not a big deal, we can always upgrade later. For better sound quality there are turntables and CD players.
I'm sure the sound will be better than on his old HP netbook.

Looked at the barebones kits on tiger direct. This is the best I found
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2428842&CatId=332

As for CPU I could swap out the Athlon II X4 631 for the amd a6-3650, but it is a bit slower. I could also look for a cheap graphics card. I only need the bare minumum for graphics.

As a general rule, PSUs bundled with cases are to be avoided like the plague. They have a very high fail rate when a PSU fails it can take your entire system with it.

The Jinx
June 7th, 2012, 03:22 AM
Although this is the general consensus. Based upon my personal experience, I have never had a problem with the PSUs bundled with a case. I've used bundled PSUs to power my crossfire graphics solution and it hasn't failed me yet. If you are really looking for a budget build that extra $30-50 savings can mean the difference between a 160gb and 500gb hdd.

Bandit
June 7th, 2012, 11:23 AM
As a general rule, PSUs bundled with cases are to be avoided like the plague. They have a very high fail rate when a PSU fails it can take your entire system with it.

I agree, not only are they fail rate higher. But they also are much lower wattage then the user may need, 350watt for example. Which can lead to component failure and high heat.


Also in regards to sound quality. I enjoy listening to music and the built in sound is pretty good these days. I recommend just getting a set of really good headphones or speakers. Those initially can really effect the sound quality more then anything. Then if the sound isnt up to par, then try purchasing a Sound Blaster card or something other of your choice.