$250 budget home system

This is going to be a simple system, but I want to make sure I get quality parts as I expect this will be the only computer purchase they make for the next 5-8 years. Main uses will be openoffice.org stuff, web browsing, some iTunes, email, etc. Not critical that it can do much more. It should have sufficient capacity, I'm thinking 320GB is more than adequate.

Can anyone put something together? Onboard video is OK, but I also have a spare ATI HD3450 I can throw in there if it will allow a bigger HD.

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  1. Can you take any parts from a different computer? If not then the DVD drive is going to eat up 10% of your budget and if you need a mouse and keyboard you dont have much left for parts. You are likely better off looking for a prebuilt.

    I would see about making a potential build for you but my internet is being stupid right now sorry.
  2. Ah, good point. We do NOT need keyboard/mouse/LCD. And we can re-use the CD drive from their old computer. I can probably squeeze up to $50 more for the budget if it is a turning point between a real skimped out system, and one that will be decent for casual use for a few years.
  3. Cheap AMD build < $250




    or cheaper:


    DDR2 2GB of RAM

    or DDR2 4GB

    That leaves DVD Burner, monitor, keyboard, mouse that you can probably get cheap, locally.

    I advise to not go cheap on the power supply and try to get the highest wattage you can afford. I would go cheap on mobo and cpu with the plan to replace both later on. The PSU, if high enough watts allows you to keep it for future builds.

    Alternatively, you go cheap with an Intel setup as well. Around the same prices.

    The reason I am saying to stay with cheap processor and motherboard is that you probably would replace both if building a new system. Otherwise, I would spend mostly on the motherboard with the intent on upgrading and then buy a cheaper cpu. Some ideas?
  4. First try: $280 - have to see if this will be acceptable, but I think it's looking pretty good. Any comments/suggestions/better deals? How do people like the G41 chipset?

    $50 HD: Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB
    $25 RAM: G.SKILL 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 533 (PC2 4200)
    $60 MB: GIGABYTE GA-G41M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G41
    $62 CPU: Intel Celeron E1600 2.4GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core
    $140 CASE: Antec 300
    -$55 PSU: Antec earthwatts EA430 430W

    Total: $282
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