$185 Office Build; Opinions & Thoughts?

Hey all, this Christmas my brothers and sister and myself decided to get my mom a new computer since her old (DDR2) computer is pretty well totaled. I'm a college student and my siblings are little, so needless to say this was a tight budget build between us.
Got a Thermaltake Snow Commander case from a friend for free, have a 500 Gb hard drive laying around, Got a 300 watt no brand PSU from an Acer desktop from a different buddy free and Im putting in my old GTX 650 too. Now for CPU I originally had a Celeron G1840, but I returned that after my buddy offered me his 2nd gen i3 2100 for the same price. Smart decision? I know its older than the G1840, but more powerful by a bit right? Had to search newegg for an 1155 socket Mobo, those are getting scarce. Ended up with a Asrock Mini-ATX and 8 Gb of 1600mhz DDR3.
What do you think? Shes no Titan killer, but I just need her to be able to do intensive office work and the odd total war & Fallout game. 300 watts is low, I know. But it should be Ok by my calculations..?
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  1. ... probably would have been better spending some money on a SSD, other then that not too shabby for a tight budget.
  2. Best answer
    It's nice having spare parts lying around to lessen the cost of your build. Don't forget a CPU cooler. You can get a cheap cooler (with thermal paste already applied) as the i3 doesn't require anything special for cooling.

    I understand you are using an old graphics card to toss in this build; however, the integrated GPU in the i3 (& i5 & i7) is plenty powerful enough to handle any and all office computing tasks. That said if you find the PC crashing because the PSU can't supply enough wattage for everything (unlikely but possible), then removing it would be fine for normal office usage (non-gaming). The reference GTX 650 is only rated at 64 watts, but recommends a 400 watt PSU. You should be fine with the 300 watt PSU, but I recommend using a power meter like the 'kill-a-watt' meter (< $25) to measure your system's power draw from the wall socket.

    The PSU input will always be higher due to the conversion from AC to DC power and thermal inefficiencies (30% to 40% for cheap oem PSUs). A PSU output wattage (dictated by internal component draw) is not the same as the input wattage at the wall (dictated by output + efficiency loss). If all your internal components theoretically draw 180 W, then you are almost at the 250 W mark.

    Measure idle power, average power, and gaming power draw. If your power draw approaches 250 W at the wall then you may want to invest in a more powerful PSU. All PSUs have their maximum power output listed, but they shouldn't be run near that limit for long periods (especially with cheap oem PSUs). A PSU is most efficient around 50% of maximum rating, so if your system draws 250 W at the wall you will want a 400+ W PSU.

    This is a good article on PSUs.

    Hope that helps.
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