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$250 basic build for the parents -- EXTREME BUDGET !!!

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bb420 51 months ago

Thankfully I have an extra copy of Windows7 and a 500GB sata II HDD (a little old from 2008 but still a considerable upgrade from their 80GB IDE drive.) Hopefully this will work...

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Celeron G1610 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor $34.99 @ Microcenter
Motherboard ASRock B75M-DGS R2.0 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $59.98 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $37.99 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive Purchased For $0.00
Case Rosewill Line-M MicroATX Mini Tower Case $29.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply $29.99 @ Newegg
Optical Drive Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $17.99 @ Newegg
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) Purchased For $0.00
Speakers Logitech Z313 25W 2.1ch Speakers $36.19 @ Amazon
Other TP-LINK TL-PA2010KIT AV200 Nano Powerline Adapter Starter Kit, up to 200Mbps $35.00
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. $282.12
Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-10 10:48 EDT-0400

I'm paying for the $35 poweline adapter and it's needed for an ethernet connection, I'm seriously tired of dealing with the wifi and I personally consider wireless an unreliable technology. They're paying for the rest of the parts. 720p/1080p streaming from Netflix for sure. Other than that, basic computer tasks only required. Flash gaming only (card games.) HD youtube and potentially some GIMP'ing photos. I'm a little concerned about those extra psu cables and how they're going to be managed but you can't beat that price.

Comments Sorted by:

Quintana 2 points 51 months ago

I commend you for actually finding a way to stay close to that budget. To be honest based on their use, I would have just gone to a big box store and got them whatever was on sale.

bb420 submitter 1 point 51 months ago

...and deal with my parents trying to figure out Win8? Hahahahaha. No.

Considering what's "on sale" atm, I think I did better with the case selection, and most likely the RAM. I also highly doubt they have an 80+ bronze 500w psu in there too. They might have won marginally by the cpu, but overall I think I did a better job. Not to mention too that the big box would have charged me an additional $23 in sales tax.

ChaoticMatters 1 point 51 months ago

woah, that budget is.. really low. i reccomend saving up a little bit more cause 250$ wont get you muc :{

bb420 submitter 1 point 51 months ago

I'm convinced for what they will be doing, any more money spent will not be utilized. My goal was to get them a decent system that's an upgrade from a system that's dieing. Just to give you an idea, here's what is in their "current" box:

  • AMD Athlon XP 1600+
  • Nvidia GeForce FX 5200
  • 80GB IDE HDD
  • 512MB of non-standard RAM that fails POST 1/3 times
ChaoticMatters 0 points 51 months ago

O_O ok wow that sucks. i suggest an amd processor. they re the most bang for your buck. hope this helps

AndyDi 1 point 51 months ago

There's no place to cut corners on that build, I think that's pretty close to bottom. You could save $10 on the case with some studying and searching, I'm surprised that they don't already have an optical drive.

I'm a fan of AMD but prefer their FM2 APUs for everyday processing. Minimum buy-in is an A4-5300 for $45

bb420 submitter 1 point 51 months ago

They do have an optical drive -- but again it's also an IDE drive. They didn't even have USB 2.0 functionality until I installed a PCI adapter some time ago.

Btw, parts ordered :)

bOOsted 3 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Very nice budget build. I wonder what a 7770 could do in there?

kblob78 1 point 51 months ago

Nice super-budget build. If you're looking to go even lower, here's one I designed a while back. It's $220, about the lowest you can spend to make a functional computer (without using older parts.) Here it is: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/kblob78/saved/29s3 And yes, the cheapest hard drive you can get really is a SSD. It's 32gb, though.

bb420 submitter 1 point 51 months ago

Interesting part choices. When I had my build in mind, I knew this would probably have to be around for the next 10 years again so, I looked for 1 or 2 baby steps above the "cheapest" parts so I can still get a hold of parts from reputable companies that are also rated very well.


  • your choice for a $30 cpu that plays WoW at 37+ fps on high settings and 1080p video, that's fairly incredible. I might have gone back and redid my build for this.
  • as kind of expected, reviews down here for that motherboard for example vary wildly, it's usually "the absolute best" or "the absolute worst" -- no middle ground. No USB 3.0 functionality would probably be another "complaint" in the next year or 2.
  • I would get rid of the cpu cooler, video card, psu (switch to something more reputable, probably another $20AR 430w from Corsair)
  • maybe spend $5 more on a case with better airflow, although the HP-Pavilion style isn't a bad one. You can get absolutely terrible ones with plastic motherboard standoffs if you go too low. I've noticed that a lot of the budget cases come included with the PC speaker too which is thoughtful and very much overlooked by most people (NZXT, Antec, Corsair.) I think it's absolutely necessary here because you otherwise get a minimal amount of trouble LEDs on the mobo and are very limited in terms of diagnosing a troubled POST.
  • I think it's funny how RAM is one of the most expensive components. I didn't find the compatibility list on MSI's site so I'll just assume your choice is compatible. Just wondering if you can potentially get DDR3 1600 for the same price though...
  • Windows7 is an essential expense for me and a lot of people though -- in the interest of saving time for doing a lot of tech support. No offense to the Linux community and I'm sure Ubuntu has come a long way for a friendly UI, but I simply can't deal with the driver nightmares, peripherals not functioning, Silverlight, and pretty much anything that would work fine on Windows but would require "clever tricks" to get it working elsewhere.

Another very viable option for $309 if you wait for prices (and are willing to settle for very limited HDD space): PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

Type Item Price
CPU AMD A4-3300 2.5GHz Dual-Core Processor $29.99 @ NCIX US
Motherboard MSI A55M-P33 Micro ATX FM1 Motherboard $47.98 @ Outlet PC
Memory Corsair 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory $39.99 @ Newegg
Storage Sandisk ReadyCache 32GB 2.5" Solid State Disk $39.99 @ Microcenter
Case Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $24.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply $20.00
Optical Drive LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer $15.99 @ Microcenter
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $89.98 @ Outlet PC
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available. $308.91
Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-08-12 00:07 EDT-0400
bb420 submitter 1 point 51 months ago

Finally getting the rest of my parts today from slow-*** Newegg today. Getting exciiiiiiiiited: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/92429426/parts1.jpg