Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
llmoose

Building a cheap cheap PC

Recommended Posts

Building a PC for a mates dad. Just wondering if anyone would make any changes to this. Cost is the number 1 factor. He is only using it for email, internet and the office suite. I used the wiki over on the whirlpool forums and came up with this.

 

AM3 x2 255 – $65

Gigabyte MA78LMT-S2 – $59

2gb Kingston DDR3 – $23

Seagate Barracuda 500gb – $39

ATX Deluxe 6220-CA w/Codegen 470w PSU – $49 (Where do I find this one or are there any comparable case & PSU's available from MSY?)

 

Total – $235

 

I do have a couple of usable cases at home but would still need a PSU if I used one of them.

 

Is the $99 Windows 7 Home Premium OEM from MSY the cheapest way to get Windows 7?

 

Also, buying everything from MSY would greatly help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The athlons are pretty slow, my mums computer runs one of those even for just ms office and ie its a slow machine, maybe look at an pentium G6950 and cheap H55 board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While nesquick is right, the athlons are only slow when doing certain calculations. Media decoding\encoding, compression, all the junk that are used to benchmark a CPU.

 

In the real world, if his use is internet, office, and casual facebook games; he'll be thrilled.

 

My build is simmilar, but a couple of subtle changes:

 

CoolerMaster RC341 MATX with 420W + HD Audio

$59.00 Ive always used coolermaster products for cheap builds, their cases are sturdy and their PSUs while not amazing; work.

Asus M4A78LT-M-LE

$58.00 Some will be aware of my hatred for gigabtye (ive had mass failures) Keep in mind the Gigabtye problems seem to be just me and a couple of others. This is costing you $10+ more

AMD Athlon II X2 Dual Core 255 CPU AM3 3.1GHz (65W)

$64.00 Unless we go back to 775 chips, there is no budget that can match this yet. My comment above stands. Benchmarks like shit, performs OK in real use.

2X Kingston 1GB DDR3-1333MHZ $15.00

$30.00 Still 2 GB of ram, but dual channel. Not that he'll likely use it, but should a huge I\O to ram of some sort happen, why slow it down?

Western Digital 500G SATAIII HDD Caviar Blue

$40.00 I'm liking the blues. They have that auto spindle-speed technology from the green drives, without the annoying head parking and what not.

 

Total:$251.00

 

The changes i made in a nutshell:

Motherboard I trust more, Low end gigabytes cause me headaches.

Dual channel ram, only a couple of bucks more.

Better brand case\PSU

Better HDD (imo) as its power saving while not suffering slowdown.

 

 

Team this system up with Avira Antivirus, Opera web browser, use the built in windows firewall, and make sure to apply the MVPS HOSTS FILE patch; and his system will be FLYING.

 

I like pushing low end systems. Sometimes I think people over-power their PC for no reason.

yes, I have an overclocked i7 with 6GB ram etc. But I expect it to last me 5 years like all my other PC's.

 

 

As for windows; you have 2 options.

OEM Win7 is the cheapest way to go, but if you 'want to evaluate the usefulness on a home PC, as an it professional' you could always put the money toward a technet subscription.

 

For a parent, if they use things like internet banking, being able to use the asus "Instant Boot" environment, as a known clean base to log into your bank etc. from has always been a plus for me (and id assume for them).

Doesnt matter how bad the actual OS is, the BIOS OS should be happy and clean.

 

Just my 2c.

Feel free to duscuss or ignore (but tell me why :P)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for somthing so cheap i would be looking for secondhand gear as you should be able to get some higher qulity parts

 

for a new office pc i would look at somthing more like this and while it dose cost a little more hopefully it will be more reliable and you may get your money back since it should use less than half the power

ASRock E350M1/USB3 Mini-ITX Motherboard $145

Corsair VS2GB1333D3 2GB (1x2GB) DDR3 $25

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB WD5000AAKX $39

Silverstone SG05 Black Cube Mini ITX Case 80 Plus certified SFX 300W power supply $109

$318

prices pccg

if you want to use one of your cases with this psu it could save a little cash but the case would need to have itx standoff positions

Antec EarthWatts 430W 80+ Bronze $69

$278

 

 

ssd may be worth the extra as it can make a massive difference to windows\office performance

OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD $135

extra ram can help to giving windows more room to buffer files that are frequently used

Corsair CMV4GX3M1A1333C9 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3 $45

Edited by Dasa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for somthing so cheap i would be looking for secondhand gear as you should be able to get some higher qulity parts

 

for a new office pc i would look at somthing more like this and while it dose cost a little more hopefully it will be more reliable and you may get your money back since it should use less than half the power

ASRock E350M1/USB3 Mini-ITX Motherboard $145

Corsair VS2GB1333D3 2GB (1x2GB) DDR3 $25

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB WD5000AAKX $39

Silverstone SG05 Black Cube Mini ITX Case 80 Plus certified SFX 300W power supply $109

$318

prices pccg

if you want to use one of your cases with this psu it could save a little cash but the case would need to have itx standoff positions

Antec EarthWatts 430W 80+ Bronze $69

$278

 

 

ssd may be worth the extra as it can make a massive difference to windows\office performance

OCZ Vertex 2 60GB SSD $135

extra ram can help to giving windows more room to buffer files that are frequently used

Corsair CMV4GX3M1A1333C9 4GB (1x4GB) DDR3 $45

 

Thanks for all the help guys! Master Scythe I will definately take on board your help.

 

Dasa, I could but wrong but I cannot see a CPU in your build and it is already 20% more expensive.

 

In regards to the RAM, would it not be more effective to get 1 stick of 2gb, so that should the need arise another 2gb stick may be purchased and then ran in dual channel?

 

Also, what is this "instant boot" environment you talk about? Sounds intriguing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dasa, I could but wrong but I cannot see a CPU in your build and it is already 20% more expensive.

It's built in to the mainboard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dasa's build is using AMD FUSION, with the CPU, GPU and Motherboard all in one.

Think of it like a netbook, but probably twice as fast (and a desktop :P)

 

If you use my case I linked for him, it drops the price, uses half the power, but will only ever be good for Office and internet (and movies and music actually, watching only though. They support hardware acceleration for most stuff!). But will do it quite well overall.

 

 

As for the ram, if you think he's going to need 4GB eventually, then yes. Either way you're talking about $20 now, or $20 later. Its not the end of the world which ever way you go.

 

As for 'instant on', its a tiny Operating System stored on the motherboard in flash memory (linux, i believe)

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news...m&px=NjEwNw

Quite simply, its a barebones OS with a web browser, photo viewer and music player.. and other stuff. Look at some things like DamnSmallLinux and you'll get an idea of how much they can cram in.

 

Its loaded as quickly as your BIOS, and lets you know your system is clean to do banking, or to quickly play media or check email.

Its pretty neat for computer 'noobs' to do risky things, as its basically virus proof. Social engineering is always an issue, but trojans and worms are no worry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

only wory i have about that inwin case is the psu qulity with no reviews that i can find for it

they do make a 180w model that achives 80+ bronze so it must be half decent but nothing on the 80w model and i know the 150w antec sticks in its itx case is only ~60% efficent with bad v regulation qulity so you realy cant go on brand alone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bowiee, look up reviews of that basiq.

Its not much better than a generic.

In fact, worked only lightly, some generics run more stable than the basiq.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Thanks for the help guys.

 

How much of a performance drop are we talking to go to mini-ITX from the other build?

 

Forgot to mention that I'm recycling the DVD-RW drive too. Do the mini-ITX cases take full sized ODD's OK?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quite significant. But its all relative.

As said, if he surfs the net, plays facebook games, reads email, uses microsoft office, and plays media ONLY (so no encoding, 3D gaming, database work, RAW image editing) it'll be fairly small of a change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Single core P4?

I'd dare say the ITX would significantly outperform it.

Once again, maybe not in benchmarks (though likely....), but definately in usabiliity, being dual core and all that.

Especially with W7's better memory management.

Edited by Master_Scythe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was going to be my next question regarding how W7 would run. Are you saying it would be better then vista?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bowiee, look up reviews of that basiq.

Its not much better than a generic.

In fact, worked only lightly, some generics run more stable than the basiq.

Not much better is debatable as are all reviews, once again my choice comes only from experience, and mine has been good for bare bones systems. :)

 

That was going to be my next question regarding how W7 would run. Are you saying it would be better then vista?

Windows 7 will run far better on a low spec system than vista so yep win 7 is the go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Thanks for the help guys.

 

How much of a performance drop are we talking to go to mini-ITX from the other build?

 

Forgot to mention that I'm recycling the DVD-RW drive too. Do the mini-ITX cases take full sized ODD's OK?

the itx cpu is ~2-3x slower at processing data than then athlon II you were looking at but the difference probably wont be noticable in the things it will be used for

it should feal a lot quicker than the old system

many itx cases only have a slim odd slot inc the one i suggested so you will want to look for one with a larger slot if it needs a odd

so maybe this Antec NSK3480 Micro ATX Case with 380W $115 or just use your current case with the psu i suggested above

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bowiee, look up reviews of that basiq.

Its not much better than a generic.

In fact, worked only lightly, some generics run more stable than the basiq.

Not much better is debatable as are all reviews, once again my choice comes only from experience, and mine has been good for bare bones systems. :)

 

Thats fair enough, user experience is a good reason to reccomend something; but not a good reason to say "a better psu"

 

Line ripple, noise, efficiency, the 3 things that make a PSU good (besides amperage) were all pretty nasty on every test I can find (feel free to link and prove me wrong). As i said, as long as only lightly loaded, some generics even beat it.

Antec range as a whole? hells yes.

Basiq? I think there is better for the money (like the thermaltake; ironically)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm gonna mix it up a little. The mini PC is a nice look, but clearly you're replacing an existing case and the desk it's on is probably set up for a full size one. If you want to do something that'll actually make the guy go "Ooh, a new computer! So fast!", add an SSD.

 

AM3 Sempron 140 2.7Ghz $36

AsRock N68-S3-UCC DDR3 All-In-One DDR3 Motherboard $46

Kingston 2GB DDR3 1333 $23

Kingston SNV125-S2 30GB $76

Windows 7 Home Premium $99

Antec VSK-2450P Tower Case with PSU $105

Total $385 from MSY

 

Now, I think you should get either the NSK3480 or the NSK1380 for the case, but MSY don't carry them. If you can be bothered going to two places, do it.

 

*EDIT* Ya know what? I'd probably just re-use his existing Windows XP license. Drop $99 from the price.

Edited by tantryl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tantryl; that motherboard only supports HT2.0 bus, not HT3.0; not wise. I almost recommende dit too before i noticed that.

 

 

Interestingly for llmoose, there IS a dedicated group (and website) for ITX gaming.

People taking ITX all in one boards, adding a whopping graphics card with a right angle adaptor, and playing the latest games (usually ZOTAC itx systems). So they ARE quite capable for USE, just dont expect to number crunch (compress, compile, encode, etc)

 

I'd still go the cheap desktop in a matx case though. Or a cube case if you have the budget, i like cubes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tantryl; that motherboard only supports HT2.0 bus, not HT3.0; not wise. I almost recommende dit too before i noticed that.

And how, exactly, is that going to impact the Sempron 140?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tantryl; that motherboard only supports HT2.0 bus, not HT3.0; not wise. I almost recommende dit too before i noticed that.

And how, exactly, is that going to impact the Sempron 140?

 

Fair call; very minorly, but why bottleneck future upgrade paths?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they can only muster $250 for a machine I doubt upgrading will be at the forefront of their minds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because it's cost more to get something else, it's rediculously unlikely that the CPU alone would be upgraded, and the difference between HT2.0 and HT3.0 for home usage is virtually zero. It's a no benefit at a cost scenario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×