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Trying to build a PC that won't lag for a decade

Me and my family been using i3 3210 with GTX 1050/8GB ram, but recently the power supply/motherboard started to fail and my parents are looking forward to buy a new PC than replacing/fixing them.
As I currently use laptop for all of my works, the new PC will be only for my parents - who doesn't play any games and only need a good, long-lasting machine for MS office, email, and youtube.

I'm not sure about one thing though - Which CPU should I go with? Intel i3 9100F or AMD Ryzen 3 3200g? Or should I go with i5 and Ryzen 5?
While their work isn't very demanding, (Both of my parents use Pentium e2200 as office PCs, and they haven't complained yet.) I'm not sure if there's advantage on office works between these two(four) CPUs. I also wonder if having more cores/threads result in better MS office environment and keep PC 'lag-free' for a long time.

Ram would be 32GB, with 1TB ssd from micron.

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Best Answer

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You're On The Right Track

There two main considerations when choosing a new computer which you hope will last for ten years.
The first is finding a model which is powerful enough to keep up with evolving standards that demand more performance over time. For that, I would suggest Core i5 or Ryzen 5 as opposed to Core i3 or Ryzen 3.
The second is reliability. PCs and laptops marketed primarily as business models from Lenovo, Dell, and HP generally are constructed with solid components and are built to last. One important point, regardless of brand or model, is to do a bit of regular maintenance such as opening the PC case and using a can of compressed air to blow the dust out once or twice a year. On a laptop blow the air into each of the vents/grilles.
We once owned a Dell Dimension 4550 equipped with a Pentium 4 cpu. After using it daily for eight years we passed it on to a daughter who, in turn, used it for another five years. We currently have a Lenovo laptop about 6 years old. It's built like a battleship, and it runs every bit as well today as it did when new. Over the years I replaced the 120GB SSD with a 240GB model, and added an extra stick of RAM so it now has 8GB total.

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I've seen such efforts.

For my brother's office we are using laptops all the way back to 2006. But as the 2006 laptop was stolen I think the oldest of the fleet is from 2009.

It hangs in there for W10 and Office 365 use mostly because it has the basics of:
1. SSD for storage. NO MORE HDDS at the office.
2. 8GB RAM standard. A few rare laptops in the fleet have 16GB but it's not called for.
3. The slowest CPU is one model that we plan to move out so let's call the next one out as the 2.something GHz Core2Duo.

As all these have no HDDs and a good amount of RAM they all save one seem great at Office, YouTube and similar work.

I rarely see a power supply and motherboard fail. More often we find failed fans and clogged heatsinks.

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Another way to look at it: Cost per year

As usual, I agree with R. Proffitt. Lotsa RAM and an SSD will be the most important.

Given the same amount of RAM and same size SSD between the machines you're considering, what's the difference in price? If the difference is on the order of $100, and there's a reasonable chance that they'll be using the same machine ten years from now, that's $10/year. That calculation is why I tend to future-proof my machines. To me, it's worth $100 now to put off upgrading for a few extra years.

In my experience, what happens is the machines run fine, and then one of the updates to the OS or an often-used program tanks the performance. For example, I hung onto an XP machine as my secondary machine for a long time, and it was plenty Good Enough. Until one day opening about ten tabs in my browser cratered the performance. My main Win 7 machine had no trouble with dozens of tabs. I lived with that for about six months and then got a new main machine and demoted my previous main to secondary.

So, my vote is to determine your budget, and that's what you spend. The more machine you buy now, the further you push back an update making the machine nearly unusable.

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Agree with the earlier posters

You are heading in the right direction. My thoughts:

CPU - go for the I5/Ryzen 5 - they are the real workhorses from the middle of the chip yield. Do for the full performance model, not the ULV version. I've got a couple of laptops with i5 quads with hyperthreading, running at 2.6 GHz, one 3rd and one 4th generation, which run the workload you describe like the proverbial "dose of salts"!

RAM - while it's a good idea to have the capability, I think 32 GB initially may be overkill. I'd go 16 to start on a 32 capable M/B (I don't have any machines over 8 GB and they aren't stressed).

SSD - definitely solid state and if your budget runs to 1 TB, why not? I have 2 machines at 250 GB (with the data elsewhere) and one with 500 GB (single disk system and a bit tight 100 GB free).

GPU - for the work you describe, reuse the one you have.

As has been said earlier, you might want to check out a Dell or Lenovo Business machine, they are really solidly built for years of service and look at the manufacturer refurbished models. It may be cheaper than a self build.

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You don't mention what os on your parents comp.

If their programs are new enough and 64 bit upgrade any way you want.
If you buy new ready built upgrade the ram. 8GB will be enough if all they do is mail, word and solitaire.
If they do more go to 16GB.
I build all mine and always build as mild gaming though I don't. I figure if build for power use it will last longer without problems under non gaming use.

Current build; Ryzen 5 MSI X470 Gaming 16GB ram. Power supply is also above minimum.
P>S> I don't think it makes much difference, AMD or Intel, just the AMD costs less.

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