Two weeks ago my father's old Dell died. He was using the cheapest "surge protectors" he could find, and they didn't help him keep the smoke in during his most recent power surge.
He told me to build/buy one ASAP, and locally we only have Best Buy and CompUSA. Here are some brief specs:
ASUS P8H6-M/LE motherboard.
Intel i3-2120 CPU.
8GB Patriot Sector-7 RAM (DDR3-1333MHz)
Intel-520 120GB SSD (I gave him a Samsung 256GB and used the G3 drive in my desktop).
Western Digital 500GB (backups mainly).
Thermaltake V3 Black case.
Corsair 650TX power supply.
Win7 Home Premium OEM (64bit).
Everything went together very smooth. Being used to an overclocked i7-960 I thought the i3 would feel "slow." While loading all the programs he uses, sneaking in all the games I play, zipping up pics for backup, etc.; the i3 was impressive.
I know 8GB is too much RAM, but the price compared to 4GB was worth it IMO. I regret getting the Corsair PS... 650 was the smallest Corsair they offered, and I thought it was modular. I bought him a APC 1000VA (600 watt I think) UPS, and his desktop was averaging 48 watts. Nice compared to mine hovering around 300
I bought a Corsair H40, but it simply wouldn't fit in his case. I ran it with the stock Intel cooler, but ultimately used a Zalman orb I had laying around.
Besides the Zalman orb, I included the following from my stock:
- Generic Bluray player... it is 100x more quiet than his old DVD-RW.
- 2 port USB3 PCIe card... he only had 1 USB port left.
- Multi card reader for his 3.5" external slot. His old readers didn't accept the smaller Sony memory sticks (his new camera), and wouldn't read the newer SD cards my camera uses.
- Trendnet 802.11n USB dongle. Just for shiggles.
Total price was double what I wanted to spend.... $932
The SSD ($230) and UPS ($125) were the killers...