The 250 dollar challenge

Im poor. I need to build a new computer. I have a hard drive, i have optical drives, i have an external sound card. I basically need a case, cpu, motherboard, and memory. I will not be gaming with this computer. what components do i buy! Im literally poor, so insults for the lack of funds wont be very enjoyable. I do some sound recording and editing, hence the audio interface. Thanks guys.
34 answers Last reply
More about dollar challenge
  1. Easy just look on newegg for some good deals. I would probably go
    amd with that budget.
  2. Ok

    $20 Cheap no frills Rosewill case
    $70 Foxconn A7GM-S 780G motherboard (micro ATX)(Has onboard graphics)
    $50 AM2 X2 BE-2400 (temp proc, as the MB I listed can use the new Phenom II with a BIOS update)
    $40 G.Skill DDR2 800 2x2GB
    $45 Rosewill RG530- 2 530W 80+ certified

    Total: $225 + S&H (not counting MIR, or combo/specials)

    Later get an internal sound card.
  3. Look at these:
    Puts you at ~$260 before shipping and rebates, rebates and shipping costs will probably cancel each other out, but the rebates may take a few weeks. I assume you need a PSU too so I found a case with one, and that motherboard comes with good onboard video. I chose a decent processor for you since you will be using it for audio editing, but you could go cheaper there. Good luck!
  4. If you need a legit Windows license (you didn't say), then I'd suggest you go to the Dell Outlet and take a look at some refurb systems. They have a 2.2GHz Sempron, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CD/RW DVD Combo, Vista Premium system for $219.

    If you want to try Linux or temporarily use the free Windows 7 beta you can save some money.

    Otherwise, here's my list to contribute some ideas:

    AMD Athlon BE-2300 1.9GHz dual core, Gigabyte 740G newegg combo $81
    2x1GB A-Data DDR2-800 $20
    Antec Earthwatts 380W $35 on sale
    Any cheap Rosewill case $20-30

    That comes to $155-165 and you can add another $100 for a legit Vista OEM license to meet your $250 budget.
  5. Rosewill Case & Power Supply - $30

    AMD Brisbane Dual Core Processor 1.9 Ghz - $30

    BIOSTAR TForce TF720 - $70

    Kingston 2 GB RAM DDR2 800 - $20

    $150 total.

    That's about the bare minimum these days you can upgrade that a tad if you wish. (I'd start with that power supply as it will probably only last a year or so) Good luck!

    I haven't looked into AMD in the last 5-6 years as Intel is so much better performance-wise. AMD is much cheaper though and gets the job done. I'd ask someone who knows AMD to verify the MOBO/CPU/RAM all play nice together.
  6. thank you guys for your input, im just going to use windows 7 until i can save up for an os. So 250 without os is good for me. Any other ideas? Im trying to get as many options to look at. thank you guys alot.
  7. has an AMD barebones dual core bundle w/o video card for $170. Check it out.
  8. What do you guys think about this. Its 16 dollars over budget but is it worth it?

    Actually after rebates its cheaper, is this is a decent system?
  9. Are you near a Fry's? can't beat their mobo/cpu combos when on a budget. this weekend's deal is a E7400 and motherboard w/ onboard video (admittedly not great, but has PCI-E slot) for $160. Add 2GB of DDR2-800 for $24 - 10 rebate. Add $70 video card (might try looking for used to get more value) and you're in business.
  10. Case+PSU

    Rosewill TU-155 Black 0.8mm SGCC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 400W ATX12V Version 2.2 Power Supply - Retail $64.99

    ECS A780GM-A AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail

    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail $39.99

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor - Retail $55.99
  11. thanks again, what do you think of one i posted
  12. the one you posted is a better quality build and faster. I dont know about the case seems kinda flimsy.
  13. Use your Mobo and CPU combo and then use trencin's ram and case/psu, that will give you a solid budget build, if you wanna save a little more you can go with the mobo/cpu combo that I had. That Processor is a dual core, but core for core runs better and faster than that phenom you picked out, plus its a black edition so you could overclock it easily and probably get more performance out of it than that phenom. Wait until you save $40 to buy an aftermarket CPU cooler for it though.
  14. Which was the combo you had? Ive heard the black edition is unlocked and easy to overclock

    A word to the wise: Make sure when you overclock that you have good airflow through your case and you have a good enough cpu heatsink/fan. If your case isn't ventilated then overclocking will cause your case to overheat and you can damage your system. Fans are like $10, so invest in some of those when you decide to overclock.

    You probably won't get to use the full potential of that chip until you get other system components to compliment it, such as a graphics card and a better sound card, and I'm not sure how good your hard-drives are but most likely will be limiting factors in your system since they are older.
  16. thats a good combo that xthekidx showed you, well worth the money.
  17. awesome, any suggestions on a reasonably priced case with good ventilation? And excuse my stupidity but is a dual core at 2.7 better than the quad at 2.3? the dual core has better performance overall?
  18. Not a stupid question. Most of the time yes, the dual will be faster, but depends on the kind of applications you run. For about 90% of apps out today, the higher clocked dual will perform better because most applications do not take advantage of quad cores yet. That dual core chip is one of AMD's best dual cores, so it will perform very well, I don't think you could find anything better for your budget.
  19. If you can fit this in your budget I would get it, then you can overclock right when you get your pc built. Good thermal grease+decent and cheap cpu cooler. The cooler comes with grease on it, but the brand name stuff is always better and worth the price, it'll usually drop you like 4-5 degrees C.
  20. If you have a comp usa near buy you should sign up for their emailing list to see their weekly deals. Now that it's owned by tiger direct their prices aren't too bad.
    COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 RC-335-KKN1-GP Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $30.00
    BIOSTAR A780G M2+ SE AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
    Radeon HD3200 graphics for media PC $60.00
    Antec earthwatts EA380 380W ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply QUALITY PSU for upgrades later $35.00 !!!
    G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory $40.00
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 Brisbane 2.6GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 65W Dual-Core Processor PLENTY of power for your applications $56.00

    with shipping comes in @ $248.19 and a very upgradeable system
  22. just because you're in a low budget doesnt mean you have to go AMD... especially with the recent intel price cuts. if you can afford it, get the e5200+P43/P45.

    +1 for that cheap g skill - it owns!
  23. Nice job on the budget builds.

    About the case - there is a deal on the Antec 300 for $39.99 at microcenter right now. That's a great case for that price - great cooling too.
  24. If you need a legit Windows license (you didn't say), then I'd suggest you go to the Dell Outlet and take a look at some refurb systems. They have a 2.2GHz Sempron, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD, CD/RW DVD Combo, Vista Premium system for $219.

    I would suggest homebuilt, that system from Dell will FAIL at running Vista =/
  25. Very good ideas out there, especially from rwpritchett and xthekidx. The only thing I'll add is that the Antec Earthwatts 380 is a much better PSU than the Rosewills. If you do add a GPU later, it will be able to power up to a 4850.
    I've used a few different models of the cheap Rosewill cases (typically whichever was cheapest). They are all reasonable budget cases, with one 120mm fan in the rear and a place for another one in the front. I'm about to buy another one (I think it's $20 now).
  26. this is great, thanks for your suggestions ive definitely got it down to


    the combo deal for the first too is great at $162

    and then

    that's a total of a little over 200 dollars.

    case and psu is next.

    What are my options?
    $51 after rebates, and a that PSU is quality, much better than the ones that usually come in the case/psu combo deals. most of those other psu's like rosewill's will fail in a year and fry your motherboard or something.
  28. Is $250 your absolute max? If you could somehow find like $50+ it would make this easier.

    BTW, that is an excellent combo that I posted above. You can find cheaper, but they will be much lower in quality and I would be worried about any PSU that comes in a combo for cheaper.
  29. I would have to sell something to come up with any more money, I could look around for some stuff to sell, or i guess i can go for a cheaper mb/cpu combo. What do you think i should do, downgrade the combo a little bit?
  30. :/ tough call. If you can wait for a week or so and get the money I would do that. I wouldn't want to downgrade the cpu anymore, its already a very cheap cpu...unless you wanted to go with an intel cpu, you could find an e5200 for about $75 and then look for a cheap mobo.
  31. You can go cheaper on that ram, just go with 800mhz
    Just stick with this ram:

    That motherboard doesn't have onboard video, so you would have to buy a video card, which would mean more money, this is why the AMD setup is nice cuz it has onboard audio. Look at this motherboard:

    Get the CPU from here, save $5

    That leaves you $55 to for a Case/PSU.
    $60. This is a better PSU than most rosewill's and doesn't have any especially negative reviews.

    So that leaves you $5 overbudget. Mind you, you will probably have to pay at least $25 for shipping, maybe more :( check around to see if you can buy a case/psu locally because those are the ones that will cost the most for shipping. Do you live close to a fry's? They usually have good deals on such things.

    That setup you had up there would be ok too, probably a better motherboard as well but you will need to get a video card somewhere. If you can find something cheap on craigslist or something then your configuration up there would be better than what I just showed you. Shop around, newegg has great deals, but not necessarily the best. Lots of people sell their used (but still good) pc parts online for cheap, which would be a good option for you. Craigslist is my personal favorite. Good luck bargain hunting!
  32. Oh goody! I thrive on building budget builds hehe. My entry:

    Depending of your standards, i use this config for 1280 x 1024 gaming mid-high settings (depending on games) Eg: Crysis mid
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Computer Systems Product