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Build Advice Ultra budget pc build for browsing?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by pac-man, 27 Jun 2021.

  1. pac-man

    pac-man What's a Dremel?

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    Hi guys,

    Need to build dad a pc which will just be used for internet browsing. Was considering a mini pc but he doesn’t really need the space saving and I feel a bigger bang for buck could be achieved elsewhere.

    Considering either a prebuilt or opening his current one (hard disk is kaput), and just replacing the components.

    Budget is cheap as possible. I know there are some dirt cheap pcs on eBay but not convinced about the components they’d use.
     
  2. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    How much don't you want to spend?
    Do you need a GPU?
    What are you using it for that may be more demanding than browsing?
     
    Last edited: 27 Jun 2021
  3. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    I have a gigabyte brix mini pc - quad core celeron, 8gb ram and a 256gb ssd, already has a win 10 licence.
     
  4. pac-man

    pac-man What's a Dremel?

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    No more than £300 and no gpu needed. Most demanding thing I can think of it being used for is streaming a video online. My dads use is very limited.
     
  5. pac-man

    pac-man What's a Dremel?

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    Any good?
     
  6. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Sounds like fixing his PC with an SSD or some such might just be the easiet thing if he has modest requirements or a tablet/cheap laptop, I bought a PC stick for media that has an atom, completely pants for anything but media and browsing, £87 from Amazon.

    Any of those cheap PCs that you've seen on ebay etc are likely to be fine.
     
  7. enbydee

    enbydee Minimodder

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    What about an android tablet.
     
  8. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    It's perfect for the use case you've stated.

    It's this one.
     
  9. Arboreal

    Arboreal Keeper of the Electric Currants

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    I'd agree with @David, I run a couple of older Intel NUCs which are very similar to the Gigabyte Brix.
    They're tiny, and work surprisingly well; essentially laptop in a different configuration.
     
  10. pac-man

    pac-man What's a Dremel?

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    Many thanks for the replies, I’m going to try and replace the hard drive and see if that does the trick. Failing that, will probably opt for the mini pc. Here’s the noise the drive makes on startup: https://youtube.com/shorts/iyoeKzHnnmI?feature=share with a “no boot disk has been detected or the disk has failed error” on startup, plus in bios, the hard disk is said to be 0GB.

    Seems like HD failure to me, good luck me trying to recover any data from this -.-
     

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  11. pac-man

    pac-man What's a Dremel?

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    Thought I’d post a conclusion to this.

    Replaced the hard drive, reinstalled windows and works fine. Will see how the performance fairs and if an upgrade is needed, I know to go down the mini pc route. Thanks everyone!
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    To be honest, if all you're looking for is browsing, maybe look at a Raspberry Pi 4. Cheap, low-power, small, silent.
     
    Sentinel-R1 likes this.
  13. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    I would have suggested a chromebox, but actually this man speak the true true.
     
  14. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    I'm not sure about Pi or Chromebox as an option, DRM media content tends to be a problem with these, I'd stick with a windows machine.
     
  15. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Nah, it's literally a single command to get Widevine running:

    Code:
    sudo apt install libwidevinecdm0
    That's it. That's all it takes. Disney+, Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, iPlayer, you name it, works fine.

    EDIT:
    That's for the Raspberry Pi. A Chrome OS system should be ready to run out-the-box - I know my cheapo Chromebook works fine for all of the above, no messing.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jul 2021
  16. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit Modder

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  17. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    I know there were problems with Sky GO and even some youtube content but that may have changed in the last year, certainly for chromebook anyway, that wouldn't run Sky, I never tried on the Pi as it seemed to struggle with dropping frames on youtube content.
     
  18. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Haven't had Sky for years, but apparently it does work if you enable Developer Mode. No, I've no idea why you'd need to do that either - everything else seems to work fine!
    Was that on a Pi 4, and if so how soon after launch? I only ask 'cos Chrome didn't have hardware acceleration enabled until a while post-launch - everything should be fine now, as far as I'm aware.
     
  19. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Yup it was quite soon, I was evaluating it to provide for kids without computers, stuck with little windows units in the end, for compatibility reasons for stuff like teams etc, pretty much just as cheap and worked, of course the main reason was that it was also easier to support as all school docs for VPN/RDP etc assume windows.

    Found similar for my own use case, thought the PI would be good for me and would work nicely on my portable screen which it did in term of supporting touch etc, but getting everything working well was a chore and no better than just working on my phone, though it also has DRM issue of another kind, god damn content locks.....Sky is a pain in the arse.
     
    Last edited: 2 Jul 2021
  20. ShakeyJake

    ShakeyJake My name is actually 'Jack'.

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    Both my htpc and a network appliance are Lenovo m93s from ebay. £100 and up depending on configuration. I bought two of the cheapest and upgraded them myself. Excellent machines.
     

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