Staredit Network > Forums > Technology & Computers > Topic: Building Grandmother a PC for her birthday
Building Grandmother a PC for her birthday
Jan 4 2017, 5:55 pm
By: LoveLess  

Jan 4 2017, 5:55 pm LoveLess Post #1

Let me show you how to hump without making love.

So my grandfather called me and told me that my grandmother's PC is taking a dump. She has a laptop, but hates using it and I think she just prefers a desktop. She worked for the state on a desktop when they were first introduced to the working environment and has had one in her home for over 20 years.

Pretty confident about just getting the parts myself but wanted to make sure I don't screw anything up. Since the only games she really plays are mahjong, hearts, and bejewled-like games, it just needs an internal from the motherboard? What exactly am I looking for here? Or is it just going to be more efficient to get an older video card that has proven to be reliable? Of course I plan to get her a SSD and a second HDD. She knows how to use multiple drives already, so this is not an issue. She barely uses her cd drives anymore, so I can probably cut that corner and just use her current set. New case is probably the issue I am scared of most, ordering a case that doesn't fit the motherboard.



None.

Jan 4 2017, 6:05 pm Excalibur Post #2

The sword and the faith

Lovey, this is real simple. What shes doing is a very low stress application hardware wise, and so your considerations are more about the cheapest reliable part available than anything else. Here's a quick a dirty PCPA I threw together in 2 minutes:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD A6-5400K 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A68M-HD+ Micro ATX FM2+ Motherboard ($49.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial MX300 525GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($124.99 @ Jet)
Case: Cougar Spike MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($33.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 300W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($38.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $316.93
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-04 13:02 EST-0500

rockz or someone may come blow me out of the water with a better budget SSD or something with mail in rebates, the former not being my area and the latter being too much of a hassle for me to care. Anyway for the price of a regular Staples/Walmart desktop you can build her something quick, responsive, and capable. The onboard GPU on the CPU will be more than enough for what she needs and can even handle older games like SC, D2, WC3, ect. without issues. I tried to pick a case that was marginally inoffensive although I could find something more sleek if you want a subtler aesthetic. Does she really store enough crap to need a second drive? A 525GB SSD seems pretty good for Grandma use. If not grab a WD 1TB EZEX as a secondary since they're cheap and solid.




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Jan 4 2017, 8:18 pm Lanthanide Post #3



Consider going with only 4GB RAM if you want to cut price further, but it probably wouldn't be much of a saving.



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Jan 4 2017, 8:43 pm LoveLess Post #4

Let me show you how to hump without making love.

Yeah I already ordered the parts, I just threw in a HDD as well. She takes a lot of pictures, she has a high definition camera and does a lot of artsy stuff along with crafts, she takes pictures of them all. Think like, Fire_Kame if she was retired and spends 8 hours a day on hobbies instead.



None.

Jan 4 2017, 9:57 pm Excalibur Post #5

The sword and the faith

Quote from Lanthanide
Consider going with only 4GB RAM if you want to cut price further, but it probably wouldn't be much of a saving.
RAM is so cheap now it just doesn't make sense not to get at least 8GB. I had a hard time convincing myself not to go 32GB in my current build just because the price difference was so negligeable compared to 16GB and the overall build cost.

Quote from LoveLess
Yeah I already ordered the parts, I just threw in a HDD as well. She takes a lot of pictures, she has a high definition camera and does a lot of artsy stuff along with crafts, she takes pictures of them all. Think like, Fire_Kame if she was retired and spends 8 hours a day on hobbies instead.
Gotcha. Well, it should be a solid box for her, and I wouldn't be surprised in the PC outlives her depending on her age. :P Good luck with it, let us know how it turns out.




SEN Global Moderator and Resident Zealot
-------------------------
The sword and the faith.

:ex:
Sector 12
My stream, live PC building and tech discussion.

Jan 4 2017, 10:33 pm Lanthanide Post #6



Quote from Excalibur
Quote from Lanthanide
Consider going with only 4GB RAM if you want to cut price further, but it probably wouldn't be much of a saving.
RAM is so cheap now it just doesn't make sense not to get at least 8GB. I had a hard time convincing myself not to go 32GB in my current build just because the price difference was so negligeable compared to 16GB and the overall build cost.
And yet there aren't any games that use 16GB of RAM. Sure, if you're doing graphics or video editing or 3D modelling, fine. But I don't think you are. Also, a grandmother is unlikely to need more than 4GB of RAM.

$20 saved is still $20.



None.

Jan 4 2017, 11:35 pm LoveLess Post #7

Let me show you how to hump without making love.

Quote from Excalibur
Gotcha. Well, it should be a solid box for her, and I wouldn't be surprised in the PC outlives her depending on her age. :P Good luck with it, let us know how it turns out.

She's only in her mid 60s actually :lol:



None.

Jan 5 2017, 6:19 pm NudeRaider Post #8

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Lanthanide
$20 saved is still $20.
4 GB might be fine now. But it's doubtful it'll still be in 5 years. So grandma suffers performance loss until she finally complains to her grandson. Then he'll need to find a spot to buy the then ancient DDR3 and might even end up spending more, and having more work. Not worth an unlikely $20 saved.

Buying something that works as long as possible as is, should be the priority here. Which is another point in favor of skipping the HDD.




Jan 8 2017, 3:03 am Lanthanide Post #9



Quote from NudeRaider
Quote from Lanthanide
$20 saved is still $20.
4 GB might be fine now. But it's doubtful it'll still be in 5 years.
What do you imagine is going to change in 5 years that suddenly there are new applications that this woman will be running which require that much extra memory?

Quote
Then he'll need to find a spot to buy the then ancient DDR3 and might even end up spending more, and having more work. Not worth an unlikely $20 saved.
In the unlikely event that the woman needs more RAM for some reason, it seems likely that a discrete graphics card will be required too (since most RAM-heavy applications are graphics related). Getting a graphics card that's compatible with the motherboard might be tricky - at that point it'd be better just to replace the motherboard, CPU and RAM anyway, in which case that $20 you saved can go towards the new system.



None.

Jan 8 2017, 7:11 am Vrael Post #10



I have a half dozen applications open - word, OneNote, some text files, an image or two, Chrone, media player, etc, and I'm sitting at 5.84 GB consumed on Win7. As hardware has gotten bigger, software has gotten bigger too. You could probably have the same things I have open now opened 5 years ago and it would have consumed .584 GB, so I definitely think Nude has a point when he says it might not be enough in 5 years. OS alone will consume like 4GB if you let it nowadays. Of course when memory gets tight it will start to dump things and compress things, I'm just making the point that there is significant upward pressure over time. If grandma literally uses the machine as a facebook box then 4GB will probably last her till kingdom come, but once she starts installing CaSiNo RoYaLe 2019, CasiNO ROYal 2020, BajDONG, Vajazzled 3000 and all the malware she'll be downloading there could be issues.



None.

Jan 8 2017, 3:19 pm NudeRaider Post #11

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Lanthanide
What do you imagine is going to change in 5 years that suddenly there are new applications that this woman will be running which require that much extra memory?
As Vrael pointed out you got that question backwards. The real question is, what do you think will change so that the current trend of needing more and more RAM over the years stops?




Jan 8 2017, 4:10 pm Dem0n Post #12

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

I've had a computer with 4 gbs of RAM for over 6 years and it's worked fine playing actual games from all 6 of those years.. It's also a prebuilt piece of shit that's way worse than what Loveless is building. I'm sure this computer will work completely fine for browsing the internet and playing card games for years to come.



Memes gather, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the memer on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of memes. I pledge my life and honor to the Meme's Watch, for this meme and all the memes to come.

Jan 8 2017, 8:13 pm Swampfox Post #13



Quote from Dem0n
I've had a computer with 4 gbs of RAM for over 6 years and it's worked fine playing actual games from all 6 of those years.. It's also a prebuilt piece of shit that's way worse than what Loveless is building. I'm sure this computer will work completely fine for browsing the internet and playing card games for years to come.

Likely because you're good at keeping it in good running condition. If you've ever helped parents, relatives, etc with their computers, you know they do a terrible job at keeping them cleaned up. More ram is probably always a good idea.



None.

Jan 8 2017, 10:53 pm Lanthanide Post #14



Quote from Vrael
I have a half dozen applications open - word, OneNote, some text files, an image or two, Chrone, media player, etc, and I'm sitting at 5.84 GB consumed on Win7.
It is Windows 7 that is consuming the vast majority of that RAM, not the applications.



None.

Jan 9 2017, 6:31 pm Vrael Post #15



Quote from Lanthanide
Quote from Vrael
I have a half dozen applications open - word, OneNote, some text files, an image or two, Chrone, media player, etc, and I'm sitting at 5.84 GB consumed on Win7.
It is Windows 7 that is consuming the vast majority of that RAM, not the applications.
I know.
Quote from Vrael
OS alone will consume like 4GB if you let it nowadays.
Imagine installing an OS like this on a machine from 5 years ago, that was the whole point.

Of course as the flipside of that idea, why bother trying to future-proof such a low budget machine for such a high time frame if it's basically futile anyway?



None.

Jan 9 2017, 9:46 pm NudeRaider Post #16

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Vrael
Of course as the flipside of that idea, why bother trying to future-proof such a low budget machine for such a high time frame if it's basically futile anyway?
Because it's likely the only upgrade that's ever gonna be necessary and because it's really cheap to do and annoying to deal with later.

There's a difference if I build a machine for me that is trimmed to maximized cost-efficiency in the here and now because it's no big deal for me to accommodate future needs or a machine for my grand-ma that is supposed to run no matter what as long and as maintenance free as possible, because grandma CANT deal with it.

Who can't understand that kind of reasoning probably either has no computer dummy relatives, lives near them or has never been in charge of getting them online. Things gotta work. Granny doesn't care if it costs $20 extra as long as it works. But don't take my word for it and ask her this: Would you pay $20 now that ensures that everything will always run smoothly, or would you rather skip that $20 and my guts say it will still be fine, but I can't be sure that you don't need to spend even more money and my time later, because I can't predict the future.

Post has been edited 2 time(s), last time on Jan 9 2017, 9:55 pm by NudeRaider.




Jan 10 2017, 1:07 am Dem0n Post #17

ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

tbh I wouldn't pay more than like $100 for a computer for my parents. You don't need speed for browsing the internet or playing card games from 2001. There's literally never going to be anything a grandma would do that would require more RAM, neither now nor in the future.



Memes gather, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the memer on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of memes. I pledge my life and honor to the Meme's Watch, for this meme and all the memes to come.

Jan 10 2017, 7:36 am NudeRaider Post #18

We can't explain the universe, just describe it; and we don't know whether our theories are true, we just know they're not wrong. >Harald Lesch

Quote from Dem0n
tbh I wouldn't pay more than like $100 for a computer for my parents. You don't need speed for browsing the Internet or playing card games from 2001. There's literally never going to be anything a grandma would do that would require more RAM, neither now nor in the future.
Nice. Show me that $100 computer and I'll show you why you shouldn't get it for granny.




Jan 10 2017, 8:19 am rockz Post #19

ᴄʜᴇᴇsᴇ ɪᴛ!

Buy a dock for her laptop and hook it up to her monitor/keyboard.

Buying a whole new computer for her is going to be tedious.



"Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman - do we have to call the Gentleman a gentleman if he's not one?"

Jan 11 2017, 10:39 pm Vrael Post #20



But then she won't get to say to all her friends at knitting club that her grandson built her computer from scratch. "Yes Martha, designed all the circuits himself! Chip doping, circuit integration, assembly, the whole shmeal!"



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