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The lowest budget gaming pc possible?

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January 14, 2010 12:03:16 AM

So I have a few hundred dollars laying around and would like to build a PC for my sister who plays World of Warcraft online. She likes to do group activities like raiding on it and it causes her a great degree of frustration as she plays WoW on a very out-dated laptop. I have built a computer before and I would say my tech level is novice at best. I've read a few articles but I am afraid that the information in the articles is dated. Perhaps I'm not looking in the right areas. Does anyone have advice on what to look for or a good guide to follow? Thank you in advance for taking the time to read and respond!

More about : lowest budget gaming

January 14, 2010 12:26:37 AM

If your post this question using the format that you can find in the sticky post "How to ask for new build advice" at the top of this forum, it would help us choose the best build for your budget.
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January 14, 2010 1:13:52 AM

Sorry about that. Here's the info needed:

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: As soon as possible

BUDGET RANGE: 300ish Before Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming: Specifically playing World of Warcraft

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: United States

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel or AMD cpu

OVERCLOCKING: No

CROSSFIRE: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Looking to build the cheapest, smallest(in size) pc for my sister to play World of Warcraft on. Thanks again for the assistance! :) 
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January 14, 2010 11:08:04 AM

Sorry, the best build that i can recommend comes to about $400 before rebates.... and that's without an operating system.


Maybe some of the pros on here can help us out.
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January 14, 2010 12:56:09 PM

I think your best bet is a HD4650, AMD Athlon II 2.9Ghz, AM2+ mobo, 2 gb of ddr2, $50- hdd and a cheap case/psu combo
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January 14, 2010 7:06:15 PM

I second going with AMD and geodoe_'s stats look good to me. From everything I have read and learned is that at a lower price point, AMD gives you better bang for your buck. The case to me (after air flow needs) falls under personal choice. You might want to let her pick one out unless its a surprise. Tha antec 200 is cheap and simple...not bad looking at all. Even for her uses I'd go with a mid atx case as it has better air flow than a micro atx, although I just built one for my parents and it seems fine. Even threw in a GTX 280 for them! :)  Anyway, I'll post links in a sec...
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January 14, 2010 7:31:12 PM
January 14, 2010 8:16:11 PM

I could not build a pc for 300.00 If I could it would be an atari
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a b 4 Gaming
January 14, 2010 8:35:57 PM

You're best bet is to look for a used computer, ask around to any of your friends that have upgraded recently.
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January 15, 2010 6:26:58 PM

I've put a list together here, and it totals $290 including shipping, but no OS :( 
Like everyone else has mentioned, you will be hard pressed to come up with a system that will run games smoothly for $300. I think this build would play Warcraft on low settings, maybe?

GPU: Asus 4350--36.99+free shipping+$15.00 mail in rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Wintec 2x1 GB DDR2 800 RAM--$45.99 + free shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300 Illusion Case + Antec Basic BP 430 = $94.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Athlon xII 240 + ECS Mobo--$106.98 + $18.00 mail in rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

With this combo, you'll wind up getting $33.00 in rebates. Windows 7 OEM costs $104.99 right now at Newegg. With the total being $290 shipped, that puts you at roughly $60 short of an OS, even using my "fuzzy" math. Your best solution would probably be to look for a used PC as others have suggested, or if you are a student, I think you can still get Windows 7 for $30, I'm not sure.

This is not a great build regardless. The mobo is not a great one. The RAM is just barely enough to get by on nowadays, and the PSU is not great either, but it should run that setup. Good luck.

EDIT: you could probably try to go with a cheaper case/psu combo, but even on a low budget build, I'd try not scimp too much on the PSU. You should be okay with a good 400 watt PSU from a solid brand like Antec.

I forgot to add a DVD/CD drive too :(  here's a good cheap one ($21.99 + $1.99 shipping) that I am using right now : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That would bust the $300 budget right there...

Or, if you really wanted to cut some corners, you could get a pretty nice case with a not-so-nice 420 watt PSU for $49.99 + free shipping + $10 rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I don't even know if that case would accommodate the Micro ATX mobo though.

That would put you at $263.99 including shipping, minus $43.00 in mail in rebates.
Technically, you could say those rebates put you at around $220, only ~$25 shy of being able to get Windows 7 OS.

EDIT (again) I forgot a hard drive as well >_< so yeah, that would put you right back up around $285. Sorry
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January 15, 2010 6:40:54 PM

Without owning an OS you will not be able to build price competitively with budget manufacturers. Manufacturers buy windows for cheap, you will have to dish out a lot for it. Your best bet is a used computer that comes with an OS.

I know its above your budget, but this would make a great foundation for what could eventually be upgraded into a "real" pc....

$349+graphics...
Asus Essentio CM5570-AP002 Refurbished Desktop PC - Intel Pentium E5300 Dual Core 2.6GHz, 6GB DDR2, 640GB HDD, DVDRW, Vista Home Premium 64-bit
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

Maybe your sister would want to chip in to get something that will last longer? Does she have any money? The GMA graphics in the above machine would be survivable for a little while... maybe you could let her do the eventual upgrade to a discrete video? It being a surprise would be nice... but it being usable for a while would be better.
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