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Basic Internet Browsing Computer for Parents

DhaSoo
  • 17 months ago

The current family computer has a Pentium E5700, a malfunctioning motherboard and a bad 80 GB HDD. No, I did not miss a zero. So, first question, for doing basic stuff, what is more important, threads or clockspeed? I am torn between the Pentium Gold series and the Ryzen 3. Secondly, how bad is the life expectancy or service period of a SATA SSD compared to an HDD, with lower prices I was thinking about a 500 GB SSD instead of the obvious 1 TB HDD choice. Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • 17 months ago
  • 4 points

Regardless of what CPU you choose (Doesn't matter much as either you're considering will work great), make sure the build has 8GB RAM and an SSD. Using rotating media a system drive in 2018 for Windows 10 is a BAD idea. You'll regret it when you're on you're 9 hours into installing windows/drivers/updates/software for the first time (something that can be done in minutes with an SSD and a fast enough internet connection). You'll regret it again if you're ever called upon to work on the computer to solve a problem.

This isn't so much about saving the end user time, as it won't have a huge impact for someone just browsing the web other than boot time. What matters here is YOU are putting your TIME into this project. If you know how to build computers and set them up, your time is too valuable to waste on waiting around for a hard drive. Seriously, don't even give them the option. Think of HDDs as only available for media storage drives. SSD's required for system/software these days.

Back when I first started dabbling in working on computers as a business I made the mistake 1 time of giving someone the option of saving $10 to go with a HDD instead of a SSD... Wound up adding hours to the project that I hadn't even considered because I hadn't built a computer with a regular drive in so long I had forgotten how bad it is. Don't make that mistake. When building for friends/family/clients whatever, SSD's are the only drives that exist. Heck if you have to reinstall windows on a machine for someone, make an SSD upgrade part of that process if the machine doesn't already have one, as the cost of the SSD will pay for itself on day 1 in time saved.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

With 80GB it is doubtful they are installing applications willy-nilly. I'd look at a chromebook first, unless there is some particular app that is necessary. Otherwise they will have to learn to maintain win10 coming from XP or Vista.

If you do go with the PC, "performance" is likely irrelevant (they don't have any now. Does it even have RAM?). On the AMD side I'd look at the 2200G, but suspect you'd really want Intel (have they ever used whatever GPU was on the E5700?). I'd expect service life of the SDD to be slightly higher than the HDD, as those 1TB HDDs are simply cut down everywhere they can (I normally suggest bumping them straight up to 3TB, but if 80GB was never changed, they aren't going to fill up 512, let alone 3TB). I wouldn't worry about a 256G SSD, but doubt there is any reason to go below that now.

I also think that the required 8GB of RAM will cost almost as much as the Chromebook (not to mention the way "the little" parts add up), but the real beauty of the Chromebook is (hopefully) zero need of administration.

PS: my mother had this long drawn out sob story about how she had so much trouble finding a win10 notebook and getting it to work (her second notebook wouldn't connect to the internet until I disabled edge to use explorer to download chrome. Touch anything connected to the internet and Edge would pop up and immediately crash). A few months after finally getting this all straight she mentions that what she thought she was buying was what my aunt had: a Chromebook.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

To be honest, for basic stuff like web browsing, email, small documents, most modern CPU's are fast enough that it doesn't matter, and that goes for GPU's as well. (Assuming you aren't going crazy with 100's of open tabs and giant documents, of course.) If I were doing a family computer build, I'd probably go with a Pentium G4560 instead of a Ryzen 2200G just because it's cheaper and does the job.

The less expensive "value" SSD's have roughly the same service life as hard drives; perhaps a bit more, but I don't have any hard numbers at hand. For home use I'd definitely get an SSD since you don't have all the rotating mechanical parts to wear out and cause problems.

Something like the below ought to work as a general purpose home computer for quite a few years. If up-front price were an issue, you could easily get by with 8 Gb of memory instead of 16. I included a copy of Windows but no monitor or keyboard.

You could probably buy an old Dell or similar computer off of craigslist for $150 and come close as far as performance, but a new build will likely last longer and perform a bit better.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Pentium G4560 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor $59.89 @ B&H
Motherboard ASRock - B250M-HDV Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $51.98 @ Newegg
Memory Team - Dark 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $129.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Kingston - A400 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $80.99 @ Newegg
Case Thermaltake - Versa H17 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $35.89 @ Amazon
Power Supply SeaSonic - 350W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $40.98 @ SuperBiiz
Operating System Microsoft - Windows 10 Home Full - USB 32/64-bit $103.95 @ Trusted Tech Team
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $503.57
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-09-14 09:23 EDT-0400
  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Singlethreaded performance is more likely a bigger deal, so higher clockspeed and IPC such as with the Pentium Gold would make more sense than Ryzen.

Good SSDs these days generally have very long life expectancy, and it is easier to check their health.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Pentium Gold G5500 3.8GHz Dual-Core Processor $69.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard ASRock - H310M-HDV Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $52.61 @ OutletPC
Memory G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory $68.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Samsung - 860 Evo 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $67.99 @ Amazon
Case Rosewill - FBM-05 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $28.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply Corsair - CXM (2015) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $26.99 @ Newegg
Operating System Microsoft - Windows 10 Home Full - USB 32/64-bit $103.85 @ OutletPC
Monitor HP - 22cwa 21.5" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor $89.99 @ Amazon
Keyboard Logitech - Wireless Combo MK270 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse $18.99 @ Newegg Marketplace
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $568.29
Mail-in rebates -$40.00
Total $528.29
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-09-14 09:17 EDT-0400

If you are building, this is along the lines of what I would recommend for a cheap build, but this leads to another concern.

Why build at this power level/price? You can easily get a nice refurb like this and throw in an SSD.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

I have two SSD drives.

One Samsung 840 and a OCZ Agility 3. (both 120GB capacity)

I use the Samsung for about 5 years now, and the OCZ is even older! (7 years)

Bit are working perfectly. SSD drives may nit have moving parts but everything that needs current will malfunction or even "DIE" sooner or later.

Just keep the temps under normal operating conditions and choose a good PSU to drive them.

Everything else is luck.

So, first question, for doing basic stuff, what is more important, threads or clock speed?

For getting regular jobs done decently, even a dual core will work.

But you should start with an 2 core hyper-threaded processor.

And for basic stuff the IGP of any Intel CPU will be enough.

So for a basic build, something similar to the below will do.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Pentium Gold G5500 3.8GHz Dual-Core Processor $69.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard MSI - H310M GAMING PLUS Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $60.98 @ Newegg Business
Memory G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $74.99 @ Newegg
Storage Kingston - A400 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $45.99 @ Amazon
Case Cooler Master - MasterBox Q300L MicroATX Mini Tower Case $32.42 @ Amazon
Power Supply Corsair - CXM (2015) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $26.99 @ Newegg
Operating System Microsoft - Windows 10 Home Full - USB 32/64-bit $103.85 @ OutletPC
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $465.21
Mail-in rebates -$50.00
Total $415.21
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-09-14 13:30 EDT-0400
  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea, thanks for going forward and putting up a parts' list together for me. The only thing I had different with my parts list was that it used the G5400 instead of the G5500. Thanks again, nevertheless.

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Go for the G5500 over the G5400 if price is similar. The integrated graphics chip in the 5500 is a meaningful step up.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem. :)

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

The life span of an SSD is more than you think. Forget about those people that say that an SSD only lasts about 5 to 10 years. Even if you factored to write and copy 30GB of data per day, the disk would theorically last over 100 years.

A 250 GB has a capacity of writing between 60 and 150 TERABYTES. You would have to write over 190GB DAILY, yes, DAILY over the period of one year to max 70 Terabytes. I doubt anybody uses that much data in a single day.

So, don't worry about the SSD. Go ahead and buy it

  • 17 months ago
  • 3 points

The life span of an SSD is more than you think. Forget about those people that say that an SSD only lasts about 5 to 10 years. Even if you factored to write and copy 30GB of data per day, the disk would theorically last over 100 years.

Double check the meth on that....

~10 years

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Double check the meth on that....

Double check the spelling on that. :P

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Bad math.... Crash the missile, sink the ship, crash the automated car, run out of ssd longevity 90% sooner than expected.

Bad spelling... look like a moron.

Yes... I look like a moron right now ;)

But at least I can do "meths"

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

I was not really sure about the SSD, now I am, thanks buddy.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Well if they were not having issue of running out of room on an 80gb HDD then a budget 240-250gb ssd is a really good upgrade for them. As stated before you don't have to worry about the SSD failing like a HDD. HDDs have moving parts and they do wear out over time and will eventually fail. SSDs have no moving parts and the only real wear and tear they get is only when writing to them. They do have something called write endurance and it is often high enough the average home user does not even have to worry about it. For someone who uses a PC for a home gaming rig I can see the SSd easily lasting 10-15 years which easily is past the time where it will be considered obsolete.

If you are a regular content creator and use the SSD as a scratch disk and are writing many TB to it a day then write endurance is something you really need to look at. Same thing in the enterprise market where it gets used in servers. Not something the average home user would even need to think about.

The build I would pick from others that posted on this thread is the one from Mark5916. Solid budget option that will handle web browsing, media playback, word processing very easily. Also he selected 2x4GB ram which will scale better with the integrated graphics which could be beneficial.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Pentium Gold G5500 3.8GHz Dual-Core Processor $69.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard Asus - PRIME B360M-C/CSM Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $84.68 @ B&H
Memory G.Skill - NT Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $70.98 @ Newegg
Storage Crucial - BX500 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $47.79 @ Adorama
Case Thermaltake - Versa H17 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $35.89 @ Amazon
Power Supply Corsair - CX (2017) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $44.90 @ OutletPC
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $354.23
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-09-16 01:37 EDT-0400

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Pentium Gold G5500 3.8GHz Dual-Core Processor $69.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard ASRock - H310M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard $82.98 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory $69.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Team - L5 LITE 3D 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $39.99 @ Newegg
Case Thermaltake - Core V1 Mini ITX Desktop Case $49.99 @ Newegg Marketplace
Power Supply Corsair - CX (2017) 450W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $44.90 @ OutletPC
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $357.74
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-09-16 01:45 EDT-0400
  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

All you need to do is install Linux base OS. I Recommend Peppermint (http://peppermintos.com/), way better than windows for basic browsing and editing. Even with 2GB of RAM is fine for browsing. Windows get bloated with stuff in the background which is a marketing strategy to for consumer to buy new pc or upgrade. I have Peppermint in old and modern laptop, all works flawless.

And SSD is worth the investment.

  • 17 months ago
  • 0 points

Well, clock speeds will be helpful for single related tasks. Obviously, a higher clock speed will allow you to do something faster. Physical cores and threads on the other hand, will allow you to do more things simultaneously. So, which one is more important really depends on what you're doing. If you're doing simple stuff like ms word, internet browsing, watching videos, you'll be better off with clock speed. Now, if you were doing things like 3d software, video rendering, etc, those things utilize multi threads and cores, so in those instances, cores and threads would be better. But again, in your case, I believe clock speed would be better.

As for ssd vs hdd. Well, an ssd speed is something that is just really nice to have. Being able to quickly boot up and move large files around. In terms of run time, they are very durable in terms of life span. However, it's always good to have backups now and then. Unlike an hdd, where storage is on a physical disk, stuff is stored digitally on an ssd. Poor explanation, but all in all, if a hdd fails completely, you can still recover it. If an ssd fails completely, you're more screwed as data recovery is... Well, not very good. Does that mean you shouldn't use an ssd? No, I highly recommend them as their run times are still great, and of course, with things like SMART, you'll have a better chance of knowing when the ssd is gonna crap out.

BTW, do you have a price range and list of parts needed (cpu, mobo, storage, etc?) the people here could put togheter a good list for you.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

I hardly reckon that my parents would be rendering video in 4K format while I am gone. XD

Anyways thanks for your answer, and I actually already have a parts' list, it is a G5400+H310 build.

  • 17 months ago
  • -1 points

an AMD FX 8 core wouldn't be a bad idea if you can get decent cooling and a power supply for cheap. If you are willing to pay a little more, ASrock has a board with USB C, but most boards available new right now should be enough, or higher end used boards if you can get them for cheap

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

The only benefit an AMD FX8 would have is that it could take DDR3. Comparing CPU+motherboard, the Pentium would be the same price and 2-3x more powerful (for everything the parents are likely to do). If you wanted to cheap out on something like 4G of DDR3, it might work. But the Intel system makes more sense overall.

The AMD FX8 will basically give the performance of the Chromebook I pushed earlier. The catch is the Chromebook costs ~$200 (with 1.6GHz intel chip and 4GB) and all the "little things" (especially if you can't transfer the Windows license) quickly add up to a lot more than that. But the whole point of the Chromebook is that you don't have to administer windows (i.e. remove all those toolbars in your favorite browser to finally see the screen) everytime you show up at your parents' place. For "basic internet", ease of maintenance is more important that performance (even the cheap ARMs in a tablet tend to be mostly waiting for the internet, and the chromebook has a "real" out-of-order "intel CPU" inside (an atom-class, not derived from Sandy Bridge. But still enough for that type of work).

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