Need to build a computer - Challenge: $300.00 Price Tag!

I've got a request for a computer build for a few people. This was their criteria:

- $300.00 maximum price tag
- Internal DVD Burner Drive (DL is not required)
- Floppy Drive
- Minimum 512MB of RAM
- OS Not required, but preferred if possible (WIN-XP:SP2)

I did some work and was able to mock up a computer for both of them:

Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz Northwood
ASUS P4S800D-X Motherboard
256MB RAM (Don't remember brand)
Antec TruePowerII 380W PS
80GB Harddrive
Floppy Drive
DVD-R/RW Drive
Cheap Random Case
No OS

The previous got me to right around $300.00. It's a fair, mid-level computer, but nothing spectacular. One of the people will be using their computer mainly for internet, MSN, and word processing. The other will use it for essentially the same thing, but will also include some medium-level photo-editing, designing, creating.

I was wondering if anyone could mock up for me a better computer. It doesn't have to be awesome, but anything mid-level that can do all of the aformentioned, plus photo editing, and potential light video editing. AMD or Intel has no preference, so I'm willing to go either way. I don't want to use a PS that comes with any computer case. I've already experienced bad luck with that.

Any help would be asesome, as I may try to order the parts for their computers this weekend. Thanks a lot for your help! If you have anymore questions that I didn't answer in this post, feel free to ask, and I'll respond ASAP.

Thanks!
24 answers Last reply
More about need build computer challenge price
  1. For that price, you may want to just buy a prebuilt. Here's an HP w/AMD Sempron 3200, 256MB, 80GB HD, and dvd rw for 320
    http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/cto/computer_customize_components.do
  2. I clicked on your link and it told me that that specific customized series as currently unavailable and that I had to try a different series instead.

    Thanks for trying though!
  3. Oh, when I went through the website it worked. Well I bet Gateway or hate to say it, Dell would have just what you're looking for. Although what you have looks good, and if they ever need to upgrade they can do it more easily on a custom than a prebuilt.
  4. For that price, here's what I would do. I would go to Dell's website and look around in their outlet. I was able to pick up a very similar system from them with everything complete. That includes OS, CDs, keyboard, mouse etc. I paid just under 300 bucks for it. Just go to their outlet site and look at their current inventory.
  5. "I did some work and was able to mock up a computer for both of them:

    Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz Northwood
    ASUS P4S800D-X Motherboard
    "

    I'd look instead for a 2.6C or 2.8C Northwood, as the 800 MHz FSB models will be quicker than the 533 models...(the 2.6C/800 comes close to equaling a 3.06/533; if you can find either of the 2.6C or 2.8C models at the same price point, it's the only thing I would change, and the rig even as you have spec'd it will be more than enough for the tasks you mentioned...
  6. nothin you can do for that price sorry dude but if you get from ebay or refurb then ta it would fit in your budget
  7. Look here is also an option:

    CPU Intel® Celeron D 336 2800 MHz Socket LGA775 256K bus 533 0,09u BOX ( Intel® EM64T ) - 83,89 USD
    MB ASRock 775TWINS-HDTV, P4 ATI XPRESS 200, LGA775, FSB 1066, mATX, PCI-E x16 / 2xPCI / Dual DDR400 / Dual DDR2-667, U-DMA 133, S-ATA Raid, Video ATI X300&SB 8ch.&Lan on board. - 64,78 USD
    DIMM 512Mb DDRAM PC-3200 (400MHz - 2x200MHz) KingMax SuperRAM CL2.5 - 45,67 USD
    HDD WDIGITAL 80 GB 7200rpm 8Mb Serial-ATA 150 8,9ms WD800JD - 57,22 USD
    FDD SONY 3,5" 1,44 Mb - 5,88 USD
    DVD±RW LG GSA-4167BB 6X16X8X16X - 48X32X48X Ultra-ATA BULK Dual Layer - 42 USD
    Mouse, keyboard, speakers - 9 USD

    TOTAL : 308,46

    NOTE: It has onboard ATI X300 Video Card, The client may upgrade to a PCI-E x16 Video card in the future, and also he may change to a P4
  8. How decent of a computer would that one be, for 300$? Like I said, I don't need to go top of the line for them, but I do want to get them one that won't crash with POS parts. I had bought a case with an included PSU, and it was horrible. It constantly crashed my PC, corrupted my HDD, etc. I finally put a voltmeter up to it and discovered that it was dropping .3V+ on CPU Load, from 11.9V to 11.6V. Once I upgraded to an Antec PSU, it was a ton better. 12.14V Idle, 12.13V Load.
  9. it was the 2800 i still have the issue(right next to my other magz :wink: )
  10. For those specs they want, it is going to be around 500, not 300. Plus, the system you are considering is not "fair, midlevel", it is entry level and junk...it won't be much over a year before they do not even sell that junk anymore.


    [ :wink: = :D ]EBAY[/ :D ]
  11. APEX PC-115 Beige Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply - Model #: PC-115 BEIGE - $24.00
    ECS 760GX-M Socket 754 SiS 760 GX Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Model #: 760GX-M - $50.99
    AMD Sempron 64 2800+ Palermo 800MHz FSB Socket 754 Processor Model SDA2800BXBOX - Model #: SDA2800BXBOX - $75.00
    Kingston ValueRAM 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model KVR400X64C3A/512 - $38.99
    SONY Black 1.44MB 3.5" Internal Floppy Drive Windows 98SE/ ME/ 2000/ XP - OEM Model #: MPF920 Black - $9.99
    Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 8 6K040L0 40GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA133 Hard Drive - Model #: 6K040L0 - $43.50
    DCT Factory OG-312 2-Tone PS/2 Wired Standard 3 in 1Keyboard Mouse Included - Model #: OG-312 - $12.99
    NEC Black IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner Model ND-3550A - Model #: ND-3550A BK - $38.99
    2xMASSCOOL FD08025S1M4 80mm Sleeve Case Cooling Fan - Retail Model #: FD08025S1M4 - $3.58

    Subtotal: $298.03

    Optional:
    Thermaltake TR2 W0070 ATX 430W Power Supply - Retail - Model #: W0070 - $39.99
    Subtotal: $333.02
  12. I think people can under-estimate exactly what you can do with a 1.6Mhz AMD with 512Mb memory and onboard video. Once you get rid of most of the standard crap that is installed as standard by XP and shutdown about 40% of it's services, that config of computer will run nicely.

    Obviously, no good for heavy games.. but will run Age of Empires 2 and Civ 3 type games extremely well.
  13. Quote:
    ... but will run Age of Empires 2 and Civ 3 type games extremely well.


    Exactly, that's because that system was top of the line when those games came out...
  14. It's gonna be real tough to build a PC with windows for $300.
    I mean you buy Home Edition OEM, and you're already down to $210. Maybe look at getting a barebones mobo and processor at TigerDirect for real cheap, and you might be able to pinch something out.

    If I were you I'd ask for a $500 budget.
  15. sempron socket 754
    512 cheapest memory
    asrock mobo
    onboard/sub 75 dollar pci express card/agp

    if u want to keep it close to the 300, get a chepaer sempron thats on socket 754 and overclock the nuts off of it, semprons are pretty good overclockers, they also run very cool, in most cases only a few degrees over room temp...
  16. From TigerDirect.com
    Item #: M450-1020 C
    Mach Speed Matrix P4M800 Socket 478 Barebone Kit / Intel Celeron D 340 / 512MB DDR PC3200 / CPU Fan / ATX-Mid-Tower Case with 400 Watt PS /Keyboard / Mouse
    Price: $239.99
    Less Rebate: - $70.00

    Final Price: $169.99*

    Item #: N27-1890
    NEC ND3550A / 16x8x16x DVD+RW / 16x6x16x DVD-RW / 8x DVD+R DL / 6x DVD-R DL / 48x32x48x CD-RW / Biege / Dual Layer / Retail Box DVD Burner with Software
    Price: $43.99

    Item #: S94-3064
    SIIG JU-91RW12 / USB 2.0 / 9-in-1 Reader/Writer plus Floppy Drive (Biege)
    Price: $42.99

    Item #: TSD-40BD R
    Western Digital / Caviar / 40GB / 7200 / 2MB / SATA-150 / OEM / Refurbished Hard Drive
    Price: $39.99

    Total
    $366.96
    -$70.00 Rebate =
    $296
  17. tigerdirect takes a LONG time to honor rebates, ud be better off finding somthing for 366 without rebates...
  18. although if u really want to wait a half year for a rebate consider
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=1819091&sku=MBM-M7NCG4-3300&CMP=EMC-TIGEREMAIL&SRCCODE=WEM1062CV

    yes its socket A, but at 90 dollars u cant go wrong, especially since ur using it for wordprocessing u wont need the faster socket 754 semprons...

    also i found

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=1871067&sku=B450-2107%20A&CMP=EMC-TIGEREMAIL&SRCCODE=WEM1062CV

    also not bad if u want to wait for rebates, all ud need to add is a dvd drive a nice cheap pci express card (x300se can be had for under 40) and a hd... overall its a bit more expensive but then again thats a pretty nice computer (with the exception of the video card)
  19. p4 2.66 LGA775 111.0
    Ebayed cheap mobo 30.0
    Corsair Value Select 512Mb pc3200 35.0
    NEC Black IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner $38.99
    Western Digital Caviar 80Gb 48.50
    Antec TruePower II 59.00

    321.00
    you still need a case alothough i dont think that would be much more expensive if you just picked up a 20.0 one at a local computer shop. and those p4s can clock up to 4.0Ghz with good cooling :D im trading in my duron system to get one of these.
  20. The only way you can hit your price goal with the OS included would be through an OEM vendor such as HP or Dell (both have computers in that range). If you don't want to go that route, then here is my 2 cents.

    Case Antec Solution SLK1650B Black Steel ATX Mini Tower w/350W Power Supply Price $57.99

    Processor AMD Sempron 64 2600+ Price $71

    Motherboard BIOSTAR GEFORCE 6100-M7 Socket 754 Micro ATX Price $59.99
    Integrated sound, video and NIC

    Memory CORSAIR ValueSelect 512MB (2 x 256MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM Price $43

    Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar WD400BB 40GB 7200 RPM UATA100 Price $42

    DVD RW NEC Black IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner Price $38.99

    Floppy SAMSUNG Black 1.44MB 3.5" Floppy Drive Price $9.45

    Total $322.42
  21. good ideas but id go for a cheaper case, 30 at max, no need for floppy... also tigerdirect has ultra memory for 30 bux... for a 512 kit... so i just saved u a good 30-40 bux... enough to get an x300 to get some diablo II runnings :lol: or to invest in another 512 memory, u really want 1 gb at least itll lead to an overall better experience with windows xp
  22. The floppy is there because he specified that he needed one. I'd still stick with that case - well built case with a good PSU (for the $$$). I also don't like to skimp on memory - you may be able to save 15-20 on some generic memory - but you are more likely to have headaches down the road. If he wants to add a value video card down the road - he can get into a decent pci-x card for very little coin. On the memory - I agree, 1 gig would be better than 512 - just went with his specs :).
  23. lol i dont remember what he asked for but u can find a working floppy at the dump or a pawn shop for 25 cents...
  24. Quote:
    I've got a request for a computer build for a few people. This was their criteria:

    - $300.00 maximum price tag
    - Internal DVD Burner Drive (DL is not required)
    - Floppy Drive
    - Minimum 512MB of RAM
    - OS Not required, but preferred if possible (WIN-XP:SP2)

    I did some work and was able to mock up a computer for both of them:

    Intel Pentium 4 2.66GHz Northwood
    ASUS P4S800D-X Motherboard
    256MB RAM (Don't remember brand)
    Antec TruePowerII 380W PS
    80GB Harddrive
    Floppy Drive
    DVD-R/RW Drive
    Cheap Random Case
    No OS

    The previous got me to right around $300.00. It's a fair, mid-level computer, but nothing spectacular. One of the people will be using their computer mainly for internet, MSN, and word processing. The other will use it for essentially the same thing, but will also include some medium-level photo-editing, designing, creating.

    I was wondering if anyone could mock up for me a better computer. It doesn't have to be awesome, but anything mid-level that can do all of the aformentioned, plus photo editing, and potential light video editing. AMD or Intel has no preference, so I'm willing to go either way. I don't want to use a PS that comes with any computer case. I've already experienced bad luck with that.

    Any help would be asesome, as I may try to order the parts for their computers this weekend. Thanks a lot for your help! If you have anymore questions that I didn't answer in this post, feel free to ask, and I'll respond ASAP.

    Thanks!


    You could buy at computer outlets (CompUSA, Best Buys) eMachines with Pentium Celeron 2.6 GHz (?) (300 U$ dollars rebate - clearance) or now AMD SEMPRON 64 bit, with Windows XP Home (no monitor) 100- 160 GB HDD, 256 MB RAM for 299.99 (plus sales tax) after rebates, combo DVD/ CDRW with one year warranty.

    Now eMachines are for U$ 349.99 with Windows XP after rebate on their website:


    Specifications

    CPU: AMD Sempron™ 3300+ Processor (64-bit)1
    (128KB L2 cache, 2GHz, 1600MHz System Bus)

    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition (SP2)2

    Chipset: NVIDIA® nForce® 410
    Memory: 256MB DDR (1 × 256MB), 400MHz (PC3200)
    Expandable to 2GB

    Hard Drive: 100GB (7200rpm, 2MB cache)3

    Optical Drive: 48x CD-RW/DVD combo drive

    Media Reader: 8-in-1 digital media manager (Secure Digital (SD), smart media, micro drive, memory stick, memory stick pro, compact flash, mulitimedia card, USB 2.0)

    Video: NVIDIA® GeForce® 6100 GPU
    up to 128MB of shared video memory
    PCI-Express (PCI-E x16) slot available

    Sound: 6-channel (5.1) AC'97 audio

    Network: 10/100Mbps integrated Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)

    Modem: 56K ITU V.92-ready fax/modem (RJ-11 port)
    Peripherals:
    Standard multifunction keyboard,
    2-button wheel mouse,
    amplified stereo speakers

    Ports/Other: 5 USB 2.0 (4 in back, 1 in media reader),
    1 VGA external connector,
    1 serial port,
    1 parallel port,
    2 PS/2 ports (keyboard and mouse),
    5 audio ports (2 in front, 3 in back)

    Dimensions: 14.25"H x 7.25"W x 16.00"D
    Weight: 22.5lbs

    Software:
    Microsoft® Works 8.0,
    Microsoft® Office 2003 Studen Teach Edition trial4, Microsoft® Money 2005,
    Microsoft® Encarta Online,
    Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 7,
    CyberLink® PowerDVD with 5.1 audio support,
    Microsoft® Windows Media Player 10,
    Microsoft® Digital Image Starter Edition (includes 60-day Digital Image Standard 2006 trial),
    RealNetworks RealPlayer®,
    Quicktime,
    Napster 3.0 (30-day trial)5,
    Microsoft® Internet Explorer,
    AOL 9.0 (6 month membership included)6,
    Google Toolbar,
    McAfee® Internet Security Suite™ (90-day complimentary trial)7,
    eMachines BigFix® 8(identifies and resolves problems that affect the system before they occur)

    This computer will change the way you think about value PCs. We've priced the T3304 to please, but didn't scrimp on quality. Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition comes standard. An AMD Sempron™ Processor with 64-bit performance means powerful speed for fast computing. And preinstalled digital media software makes it a snap to burn and enjoy your favorite photos, music and videos. Get the desktop you didn't think you could afford.

    Standard Warranty
    Every new eMachines Desktop and Notebook PC is protected by a standard One-Year Limited Warranty (pdf) from date of purchase. The standard one-year limited warranty offers:
    One-year guarantee on Parts and Labor.
    One-year technical support via telephone.*

    http://content.gateway.com/www.gateway.com/about/legal/warranties/8510311.pdf
    http://www.emachines.com/support/warranty.html

    http://www.emachines.com/products/products.html?prod=T3304

    http://www.emachines.com/products/desktops.html

    http://www.emachines.com/support/rebates.html

    or remanufactured Gateways (329.00)


    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition

    Processor: Intel® 2.6GHz Celeron™ Processor

    Keyboard: Keyboard

    Display: Monitor Not Included

    Pointing Device: Mouse

    Memory: 256MB RAM

    Drive: 80GB Hard Drive

    Optical Drive: CD–ROM

    Application Software: Microsoft® Works 8.0

    Video Card: Integrated Video

    System Case: 4–bay Small Form Factor Case

    Sound Card: Integrated Sound

    Speakers: Speakers Not Included

    Floppy: 1.44MB 3.5" Diskette Drive

    Modem: 56k Integrated Modem²

    Network Card: Integrated 10/100 Ethernet


    http://www.gateway.com/reman/hm_Desktop_1008377_504_Certified_Refurbished_2300.shtml

    Why to waste your time on it?
    Adding the value of OS (Microsoft Tax) which any way must purchase: Windows XP Home SP 2 (at least 50.00 U$ OEM) it is bringing you well below your $ 300.00 budget.
    With Athlon 64 300+ they were for 499.99 after rebate.
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