Best Desktop PC For Less Than $400... Need Help!

Hi

My sister wants to buy a Desktop PC to upgrade her old PIII Presario. She only used her computer for msn, internet, mail, chatting, and all related to basic stuff. So We have checked on TigerDirect and what they have below $400 are refurbished. So we just cancel out the option to buy from internet because then shipping and everything will just increase the price.
So we are trying to find a good deal with a CPU only cuz she doesnt need a monitor. My question would be, What is the best she can get for $400?

We dont need very very nice stuff but I dont want her to have a slow and power hungry old celeron. I have told her it might be better if I make one for her but the thing is that I dont know what are the best components I can get with a $400 option so please help me out.

I would need the following:

What case, cpu, mobo,psu,videocard,hard drive, dvd-rw could you guys say that would round the $400?
30 answers Last reply
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  1. so you just need a cpu?? and you can spend $400...

    well just buy a E6600... though im 95% sure your old mobo wont even support it so no such luck...
  2. I am sorry, but for something like this, Dell is your only option.
  3. Have her just deal with the slowness now, and save up more cash.

    She could prolly do better with a laptop, or perhaps a dell setup as Caboose mentioned.

    You could check out NewEgg's deals:

    Today's PCs & Notebooks Deals
  4. You can check this out;

    http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?SubCategory=446
    Those options can fill the vid card, mobo and CPU bit.

    RAM
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145477
    $63

    HDD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148145
    $74

    DVD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827106244
    $49

    But that's around $400 without case and psu.

    Can't you salvage the old case and PSU?

    The entry level Dells are all celerons

    this Dell
    http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/cto_entdt_e310?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

    can be customised without screen down to $450 approx without screen.

    Best bet endure the slowness and save more money.

    I am guessing your sister is computer illiterate so go and try to speed things up in windows a bit. Get rid of unnecessary programs make sure not too much crap is set to load on startup. Run Adaware, defrag etc
  5. Yeah but she needs a bigger hard drive, her 15gb is now full. 256mb of ram doesnt let her run her programs fast enough and the 500mhz is now dead. The motherboard cannot be even upgraded cuz is miniATX and the graphic cards is a cheap 4mb video card.

    I just saw this deal on TigerDirect which sounds really good

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=2465533
  6. That's actully pretty nice for 300 bucks. Only thing is the 512MB ram, could bump that up to another 512 later on.

    At 1st I thought it didn't have intergrated video, but I guess it does.

    Perhaps that is something for her, since your saying her old system is dead.
  7. She now told me that she is now using it for watch movies, she said only vcd's run, now when she tries to watch dvd's they wont run. Obviously with that system....

    Since tomorrow is sunday ill wait for the offers and see if we get a better deal.
  8. well all i can say is i just did my system about a month an a half ago for around $400 i all i got to keep was the ram and the HDD. and some parts are second hand but it works amazing plays games and everything that i need.
  9. I think the Tiger Direct system litsed earlier is very good. You say shipping would could cost too much, what about tax if you buy local? Has to be near shipping cost.
    Do you have an XP OS disc? Add it to the cost if you don't, unless OS is included with the new pc.
    Any newer celeron is way ahead of a 450mhz pc. Tiger's deals usually have P4 6xx series or better.
    As for using old parts, only the cd and floppy drive would be ok. The power supply, barely, if at all. Ram, no way.
    One last thought, pay over 3 to 6 months no interest would allow you to raise your budget without requiring more than 400 initial outlay. Get a system other than $400 Dells with only 256mb ram and no DVD-R.
  10. jus get a dell, throw in a lcd moniter as well

    http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/featured_basdt?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

    if u dont care about gaming or professional work, it dosnt matter where u get ur comp really
  11. Look right here:

    Awsome Emachines Deal.

    It's a steal for $360. BTW, the Celeron used in this computer consumes 65 watts, hardly power hungry. This E-machine beats out the low end Dell due to the fact that it uses a decent IGP AND has a 16x PCIe slot for future upgrades. The Celeron D 356 is a good little cpu too. It rivals a Sempron 3400.
  12. Quote:
    Yeah but she needs a bigger hard drive, her 15gb is now full. 256mb of ram doesnt let her run her programs fast enough and the 500mhz is now dead. The motherboard cannot be even upgraded cuz is miniATX and the graphic cards is a cheap 4mb video card.

    I just saw this deal on TigerDirect which sounds really good

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=2465533
    That actually is not bad for three hundred. But it still won't beat a Dell:

    PROCESSOR Intel® Celeron® D Processor 325 (2.53 GHz, 533 FSB)

    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition with re-installation CD

    MEMORY 1GB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 400MHz

    HARD DRIVE 80GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive

    OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 48x CD-RW / DVD-ROM Combo Drive

    And while being factory built and tested, no mistakes. Comes with a re-installation CD (you can't get that for ten bucks) and an extra 512.

    I am sorry, I really do not like Dell, but they are unmatched in low price ranged systems.

    All for 389 bucks.

    EDIT: Haha my Dell beats your eMachines. 8O Battle of the crap!
  13. its the low end systems that got them to where they are
  14. Quote:
    EDIT: Haha my Dell beats your eMachines. 8O Battle of the crap!


    Ya right, YOU WISH! :lol:

    Seriously though, how can you sit here and tell me the Dell wins over the E-machines? The Dell costs more, and its only plus over the E-machine is its 1 GB of ram. Your Dell doesn't even have the DVD burner! The E-machine has not only a DVDRW drive, but also a card reader and a f*cking 56k modem! Booya! :lol:
  15. u can get a 15inch lcd, dvd burner, same memory as ur emachines and windows xp cd for $40 over budget
  16. Quote:
    EDIT: Haha my Dell beats your eMachines. 8O Battle of the crap!


    Ya right, YOU WISH! :lol:

    Seriously though, how can you sit here and tell me the Dell wins over the E-machines? The Dell costs more, and its only plus over the E-machine is its 1 GB of ram. Your Dell doesn't even have the DVD burner! The E-machine has not only a DVDRW drive, but also a card reader and a f*cking 56k modem! Booya! :lol:So, you are arguing with me over which pile of crap beats the other? Tsk tsk, the CPU forum these days.

    I have a DVD burner and haven't used it once.
    I believe all Dells come with the modem.
    Who uses card readers again?
  17. Quote:
    EDIT: Haha my Dell beats your eMachines. 8O Battle of the crap!


    Ya right, YOU WISH! :lol:

    Seriously though, how can you sit here and tell me the Dell wins over the E-machines? The Dell costs more, and its only plus over the E-machine is its 1 GB of ram. Your Dell doesn't even have the DVD burner! The E-machine has not only a DVDRW drive, but also a card reader and a f*cking 56k modem! Booya! :lol:So, you are arguing with me over which pile of crap beats the other? Tsk tsk, the CPU forum these days.

    I have a DVD burner and haven't used it once.
    I believe all Dells come with the modem.
    Who uses card readers again?

    ZOMG card readers.........i always use my cf card to backup everything i hav, omg the discrimination
  18. Yes, and the E-machine is $40 under budget. I don't really care for the conventional CRT either, but the OP already stated that a moniter isn't needed. Plus, the E-machines comes with a photo printer, a much better IGP, and a 16x PCIe slot (something which your Dell won't have until you get into the E5xxx series). I'm probably the biggest Dell supporter on this forum, yet even I can see the E-machines is the better buy for the money.

    Did you even look at my link? :?
  19. I just built myself a PC for around $400 bucks... but whether or not you can do it largely depends how close you are to a Fry's store. Here's what I got: (everything from Fry's except as noted)

    Athlon X2 3800 (AM2) w/ ECS C51GM-M Motherboard (nForce410) - $150

    1GB Centon DDR2-533 RAM (this was actually from CompUSA) - $100-$30 MIR = $70

    Ultra X-Finity 500W PS - $70-$50 MIR = $20

    LG DVD Burner with LightScribe = $40 (from Best Buy)

    Seagate 160GB SATA2 HD 8MB buffer from Newegg = $64

    Decent keyboard + optical mouse = $18

    This comes to a total of $362 after rebates and without tax.

    Note that I had a monitor, speakers, and a case.
    I use the onboard GeForce 6100 graphics... i've given it 128MB of system RAM. Still, I SERIOUSLY doubt that anyone can build a more powerful and upgradeable sub-$400 system.
  20. Quote:
    So, you are arguing with me over which pile of crap beats the other? Tsk tsk, the CPU forum these days.

    It shouldn't matter about the cost. The E-machines rig is just a better rig for the money than the Dell you listed. Get over it.

    Quote:
    I have a DVD burner and haven't used it once.

    So, you want a cookie? I have a DVD burner and I've used it about 100 times in the couple years I've had it. I know a guy who has made over a thousand burns in under two years with his Plextor DVD-RW, and yet some people still use floppies. WTF is your point again?
    Quote:
    I believe all Dells come with the modem.

    That's completely wrong.
    Quote:
    Who uses card readers again?

    Oh, yes, your right. You must not use a card reader, so no one else must be using card readers either. Well, who might use a card reader? I don't know, perhaps someone who owns a PDA or a digital camera. They might find a card reader to be pretty handy. Who uses a serial port? According to a very recent thread here a Tom's Forumz, about 50 people on this board use one almost daily. The point is, it's a feature not found on your Dell, and it's actually a semi-useful feature. The modem was a joke.
  21. hmm yea i didnt check the link, actually didnt even realize it at the time......

    but he can always take that off and its up to him if he uses card readers, even tough i use a pda, digicam, etc its been much more convenient for me since all those devices run with a mini usb, except my nano
  22. Quote:
    Hi

    My sister wants to buy a Desktop PC to upgrade her old PIII Presario. She only used her computer for msn, internet, mail, chatting, and all related to basic stuff. So We have checked on TigerDirect and what they have below $400 are refurbished. So we just cancel out the option to buy from internet because then shipping and everything will just increase the price.
    So we are trying to find a good deal with a CPU only cuz she doesnt need a monitor. My question would be, What is the best she can get for $400?

    We dont need very very nice stuff but I dont want her to have a slow and power hungry old celeron. I have told her it might be better if I make one for her but the thing is that I dont know what are the best components I can get with a $400 option so please help me out.

    I would need the following:

    What case, cpu, mobo,psu,videocard,hard drive, dvd-rw could you guys say that would round the $400?
    Well, a Dell is always a fair choice in your price range because it includes Windows, and often you can get a monitor thrown in as well. It's hard to build your own for the same price at this low-end.
    The TigerDirect bardbones is a piece of crap, even if the case looks cool. A Skt775 mobo with both AGP, PCI-E and integrated graphics with a VIA chipset! The PSU in this case is a loser as well. Don't go near this!
    OK, if you don't want a Celeron from Dell, consider this:

    Coolmax CS-480 Case noPSU $26+14 9/9/06
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811212033
    Cheap but who cares. Pick anything you want w/o a power supply.

    FSP ATX400-PA $37+7 9/9/06
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817104952
    CRITICAL for stable long-term operations. I won't cut corners here.

    Foxconn 6150K8MA-8EKRS 939 mATX $57+6 9/9/06
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813186086
    You could save $10-15 by using a 6100 based board, but I like this one.

    AMD 3000+ (939) $64+0 9/9/06
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103537
    Once again, you can save a few $ using a Sempron.

    Kingston 1GB (2x512) KVR400X64C3AK2/1G $109+5 9/9/06
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820141423
    Saving $60+on integrated graphics, some $ need to go for memory.

    WD CaviarSE 120GB/7200/8MB SATA OEM $56+0 9/9/06
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822144414
    Best deal per GB I could find using SATA.

    LITE-ON DVD SHW-160P6S-04 Retail $33+6 9/9/06
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827106013
    Retail box gives you software to play movies. If you don't need, then get OEM drive and save $5-10.

    If my math is right this comes to $420 including shipping.
    Not a bad deal, but unlike Dell there's no free monitor or WinXP...
    This will make for a nice, balanced long lasting system though. :D
  23. Wow. Nevermind. The deal just got pulled (link no longer exists). Must have ended today (Saturday). Too bad, it was a pretty decent deal.
  24. cheap/included free os cd is very important imo over card readers, but then again its jus me
  25. Seconded. XP is a big chunk of the cash on a budget DIY build.
  26. That's why Dell is hard to beat on the low-end. They use surplus parts bought at rediculous cost, throw in XP which they pay very little for and make good money at a price no-one else can touch. I didn't say not to buy a Dell. I did say avoid the Tiger system though. The parts list is just another option which will end up costing more, but performing better.
  27. Removed idiocy.
  28. Although you've already stated this post is falling on deaf ears, I'm hoping you may read it because it may help you out in the future. I'm sorry I perceived your post as being a serious rebuttal rather than mild joking. Perhaps the use of Emoticons would have aided in conveying your mood to me? You see, without use of those little guys to the left of the reply box, I have no clear idea how I am to infer the mood of the message, and am left only with the word usage in your reply to determine it. You should read over your words again, from a different point of view. They make it look like you were being more pretentious than playful. Once again, sorry for the misunderstanding. :)
  29. Quote:
    Although you've already stated this post is falling on deaf ears, I'm hoping you may read it because it may help you out in the future. I'm sorry if I perceived your post as being a serious rebuttal rather than mild joking. Perhaps the use of Emoticons would have aided in conveying your mood to me? You see, without use of those little guys to the left of the reply box, I have no clear idea how I am to infer the mood of the message, and am left only with the word usage in your reply to determine it. You should read over your words again, from a different point of view. They make it look like you were being more pretentious than playful. Once again, sorry for the misunderstanding. :)
    Well, this thread has certainly went to hell in a hand basket, hasn't it?

    Well, forgive and forget eh? Moving on...
  30. thnx. :wink:
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