Planning 1st time Build - budget system - any suggestions

Hi I am in the beginning stages of looking into building a lower cost budget system for my kids. It definately dosent need to have all the latest & greatest however I would like to have something that will last them a few years. Right now they are interested in playing games like Zoo Tycoon 2, Rome Total War (the older child),etc. I was looking at THE $300 PC by Patrick Schmid & Achmi Roos dated Feb 19, 2007 & was wondering if that type of set up would work..or would I just be better off buying Dell. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. I think the newer RTS games like Rome: Total War will require a little more than that $300 PC. Not 100% on it though. I know there is a cheap mobo @ newegg with the nVidia 6100 integrated graphics. It would be something like this.

    It doesnt have to be that one in particular, it is just an example. Then you could probably base your build similarly to the $300 PC from there. Pick out some parts and make a list here, I'll let you know if it will be enough.

    Please don't buy a Dell. Thank You. :D
  2. well...if he's looking at a really low end pc..manufacture PC's are almost the way to go.
  3. Seconded. If you build your own PC then buying Windows alone will eat half the budget. Something like Acer or HP could also be OK if you don't want a Dell.
  4. Read this. You could go with a Dell and just upgrade the video or go with a slightly more expensive system which will be far superior.
  5. Ok thanks for the feed back..I did get a chance to read the article "Three Easy to build PCs" which was posted..and I'm getting the feeling that building a real low end budget system (300 +/-) isnt the way to go..I have an older HP pavilion 7915 which I have been it possible, if I do choose to build a new one, to use some of the old parts (ie harddrive, cd-rom, etc) to keep the price down (then I wouldnt have to buy a new OS)
  6. You should have no problem using parts from your old system although the only parts your likely to be able to keep would be the HDD and optical drive(s). You might be able to use the case and/or PSU as well.

    Edit:I just looked at the HP site and the one you have is one of their mini towers which I believe will prevent you from using either the PSU or case.

    Just to give you an idea, compare with what the OEM's have to offer.
    Case w/ PSU

    Total= $300.96
  7. would building a 300-500 budget system give me more flexability in terms of future upgrades as compared to a low cost Dell/HP/Acer?
  8. Absolutly, all OEM's especially on their lower end systems use a lot of proprietary components. Building your own system would allow you to upgrade what you want as you need it without having to worry about compatability.
  9. If you'd like, you could check out this thread... I've got a pretty nice set-up there for $403 or so I believe. It should last for a while, and it has a clear upgrade path. The only things you'd need would be monitor/keyboard/mouse.

    Hope that helps, best of luck to you :D
  10. That's not bad although I would switch the P4 out for a C2D but other than that a really good system for +/- $400.
  11. Quote:
    That's not bad although I would switch the P4 out for a C2D but other than that a really good system for +/- $400.

    At the bottom I had listed a new GPU, CPU, and Motherboard, ended upbeing this CPU this GPU and this motherboard. I picked the same m/b and gpu manufacturer (evga) because I'm just funny about things like that. Still kept me in budget though.
  12. Yep, those 3 will work well together. You maybe could have gotten more out of a Pentium D processor, but I'm not a big fan of those.
  13. so what's wrong with the Pentium D or Celeron D ?
  14. also what do you guys think of the barebone systems that newegg or tigerdirect are selling?
  15. just so you know the intel D is a processor that is known to be a space heater, if you get what I mean.
  16. Just to be clear, you dont need anything special for Rome Total War. I play all the time on my old Emachines 2.8 ghz pentium 4. If that's the most they're playing then dont waste much money on a video card. The game runs great with the on-board graphics on my machine.
    I will say however that after putting in a low to mid range card that it did run a bit more smoothly.
    Good luck!
  17. thanks for the feedback..what do you guys think about an operating system..I am thinking about just using my old HD with XP but I wanted to see if anyone thought upgrading to vista was worthwhile..also can I use the old case from an HP or Dell system
  18. Vista... :cry: Stick with XP for this type of thing.

    Yes, you could use your old case if you really wanted to I suppose.
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