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Could I build a decent PC for around $300-350?

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May 17, 2008 1:00:22 AM

I'm new to the forums so if this is the wrong place for this, someone please point me in the right direction.

I've decided that I would like to build my own desktop computer. For the past year I've been using an HP Pavilion dv2000 laptop. It's a fine computer and gets the job done, but I'd like to have a desktop to tweak and tinker with in my spare time.

I'm starting college, and with textbooks, gas prices, and other needs I'm not going to have much money to spend on it. Right now I'm looking at having maybe $300-$350 to spend on my computer.

Now I'm not looking for anything top of the line, I'm not a gamer, I don't download tons of stuff, nor do I edit video or pictures. I'm basically looking for your basic low-end PC that will run well, and I can eventually upgrade to make it a mid to high range PC.

Is this possbile? I already have an old monitor/keyboard/mouse. Any input would be great. Thanks

More about : build decent 300 350

May 17, 2008 1:22:20 AM

It's definitely possible, but you are sacrificing a lot of performance. Forget about basically playing any games or anything else other than surfing the web and watching videos. This seems like all you are looking for, so you could go for it. I personally wouldn't even try to upgrade it, because at the prices you are looking at you can't buy components that form a solid base to upgrade from. A very low performing power supply your system would have to have is just one example of the limiting factors.
May 17, 2008 1:36:05 AM

jcorqian said:
It's definitely possible, but you are sacrificing a lot of performance. Forget about basically playing any games or anything else other than surfing the web and watching videos. This seems like all you are looking for, so you could go for it. I personally wouldn't even try to upgrade it, because at the prices you are looking at you can't buy components that form a solid base to upgrade from. A very low performing power supply your system would have to have is just one example of the limiting factors.

Soooo.. say if I decided to wait an save up for a better computer. What is a good price range for a mid-range computer?
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May 17, 2008 1:40:34 AM

Its possible all right but well have to do some searching around to get you the best for your money. ABout that future upgrade. Yea.. not happening. with what you'll be getting for $350 the only way to get to a midrange in the future is to build a whole new rig basiclly. you'll want a new mobo, cpu, gpu, so you'll need to make a whole new rig.

If you can I recommend that you wait and collect a little bit more. If you get up to $500 to $600 then you can get yourself decent low end system system. I think you'll be dissapinted with what you'll get with 300. I recommend you collect some more money then we could recommend some better parts and you'll have a decent system
May 17, 2008 1:52:35 AM

CoolerMaster Centurion 5 case and 430w PSU $60
Gigabyte EP35 DS3L motherboard $90
C2D Allendale E2160 1.8Ghz CPU $69
Wintec AMPO 2GB DDR2 800 RAM $40
Sapphire Radeon X1550 video card $20
Seagate 7200.10 80GB HDD $40
Samsung DVD Burner IDE $24

$ 343 before any taxes and shipping

Add your favorite Linus Distro for OS.

edit;
[:wr2:2] You can get the SATA version of the DVD Burner for only $2 more
Add a mid-range video card and overclock the CPU to ~@ 2.4Ghz for a low mid-range gaming system.






May 17, 2008 1:59:10 AM

If your on a tight budget you can wait till you get 500-600. I just configured some thing on newegg to see what you could get for 500-550.
Case:Coolermaster Centurion 5= $50
PSU: Thermaltake 500Watt= $45 after rebates
CPU: E7200 2.5ghz $130
RAM:You could Get 4gbs
Mobo:GIGABYTE GA-G31M-S2L $60
HDD: 7200rpm 16mb cache 250gb $60
GPU: 8400GS 256mb $50
That comes out to 500-550.

If you really want to get something that will really give you some speed for the money you can wait till you get $800-$1000 then we can really recommend some good components for you, and you'll have a great system for the money you pay.
May 17, 2008 3:55:50 AM

WR2 said:
CoolerMaster Centurion 5 case and 430w PSU $60
Gigabyte EP35 DS3L motherboard $90
C2D Allendale E2160 1.8Ghz CPU $69
Wintec AMPO 2GB DDR2 800 RAM $40
Sapphire Radeon X1550 video card $20
Seagate 7200.10 80GB HDD $40
Samsung DVD Burner IDE $24

$ 343 before any taxes and shipping

Add your favorite Linus Distro for OS.

edit;
[:wr2:2] You can get the SATA version of the DVD Burner for only $2 more
Add a mid-range video card and overclock the CPU to ~@ 2.4Ghz for a low mid-range gaming system.


If you want an AMD alternative you could look at:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ 2.4Ghz CPU $66
With this CPU you even get John Woo’s Stranglehold for free through Newegg till 5/30.
GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 motherboard $90
accompanied by the same other components as above from the intel build

Just an option.

The AMD CPU would be slightly overclockable, but Intel CPUs are much more well known for their overclockablity. Though with the AMD already at 2.4Ghz compared to a overclocked Intel to 2.4Ghz, the intel might be slightly faster clock for clock.

It is your choice. Just keep your options open for such a low-budget build.
May 17, 2008 5:36:50 AM

sure you can build a decent PC for around 350.....but you might want to see what Dell will give you for about the same amount of money. You may be surprised. Add to the fact that you get a legit copy of windows with a Dell.
May 17, 2008 5:41:41 AM

I agree with joefriday, at that kind of price you might as well go around to vendors and see if you might get as good or better performance than something you'd get yourself. IMHO I would do what some of the other guys suggested and wait it out for a $500 to $800 build, which would much more effective and upgradeable.
May 17, 2008 6:01:33 AM

<also agrees with joefriday.

Intel® Pentium® dual-core processor E2180 (1MB, 2.00GHz, 800FSB)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Basic
No Monitor
2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs
250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
16X DVD+/-RW Drive
Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3100
Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Dell USB Keyboard and Dell Premium Optical USB Mouse
Dell 19 in 1 Media Card Reader
No Modem Option

$440 direct from Dell
May 17, 2008 6:13:07 AM

crucial ballistix ram 2gb is 25 usd after 30 mir. its better too. dont get the ep version, id rather get the ga- 35-ds3l version which is very reliable.
May 25, 2008 12:50:11 PM

CPU:$76.00 AMD 2.5 Duel Core with Heatsink
MB: $100.00 Gigabyte GA-MA78G Ingrained Graphics Card
Ram:$24.00 Corsair 1 GB (512X2) PC 800
HD: $60.00 250 GB Western Digital SATA
DVD Burner: $23.00
Case and 500 Watt Pwr Supply:$40.00
Total Cost: $323.00
With Home Premium 64 Bit $423.00

What I like about this system:
This will allow you to actually be able to play almost all the current games at Medium Settings (tested Bioshock, COD4, Crysis, etc) and allows you to Upgrade when you want without making any of the big sacrifices right now. You mentioned that you would want to tweak and tinker with and this system does just that. Furthermore the system provides HDMI output allowing you to duel display without the need of another Graphics Card. It would make an outstanding Home Entertainment system, Moderate Gaming System, Outstanding Beginning Computer Learning System. This isn't a Low Range Computer but a Mid Range at an unbeatable cost. The best part is that you can easily upgrade down the road to a pretty hefty High Range Gaming Computer for about the cost of $200.00.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 25, 2008 1:08:58 PM

Cuddles said:
CPU:$76.00 AMD 2.5 Duel Core with Heatsink
MB: $100.00 Gigabyte GA-MA78G Ingrained Graphics Card
Ram:$24.00 Corsair 1 GB (512X2) PC 800
HD: $60.00 250 GB Western Digital SATA
DVD Burner: $23.00
Case and 500 Watt Pwr Supply:$40.00
Total Cost: $323.00
With Home Premium 64 Bit $423.00

What I like about this system:
This will allow you to actually be able to play almost all the current games at Medium Settings (tested Bioshock, COD4, Crysis, etc) and allows you to Upgrade when you want without making any of the big sacrifices right now. You mentioned that you would want to tweak and tinker with and this system does just that. Furthermore the system provides HDMI output allowing you to duel display without the need of another Graphics Card. It would make an outstanding Home Entertainment system, Moderate Gaming System, Outstanding Beginning Computer Learning System. This isn't a Low Range Computer but a Mid Range at an unbeatable cost. The best part is that you can easily upgrade down the road to a pretty hefty High Range Gaming Computer for about the cost of $200.00.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


A MB with integrated graphics will play Crysis??? Wow.

May 25, 2008 2:39:48 PM

My son's computer cost just under $500.00. Has 2 Gig RAM and a 2.8 5400 Athlon and a slightly better Case. I also had the Hard Drive, Monitor, Mouse, and Keyboard. I dedicated 512 of the Memory to just Graphics which left like 1 GB to the CPU and 1 for Graphics. It wasn't 1024 and he's currently playing on it. Runs Bioshock on Medium Settings decently, couple of settings of Crysis I had to put at low but most are at medium, COD 4 is at medium, haven't had a chance to test anything else out yet.
Would probably say with a 3870 Graphics Card would outperform my current computer which can run Crysis on High.
May 25, 2008 6:57:42 PM

I haven't had a chance to do fine tuning on the Mother Board so in it's Auto Settings the 3D Business and Graphics was 3.8. I'm really impressed with AMD's Integrated Graphics Solution. I'm pretty sure with some tweaking I'll be able to get the score to 4.0+. I'll put the full marks up later.
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