Cheapest Bang for Buck MB/CPU/GPU


BUDGET RANGE:Sub $200, Cheaper the better

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Facebook, Sims 2, Internet surfing

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor, Periphials, HDD, Optical Drive, RAM, PSU





I am upgrading an HP a1712n. All I need is a motherboard, processor, and graphics card. I have 2 builds I'm considering.


AMD Sempron 140 Sargas 2.7GHz 1MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 45W Single-Core Processor $36

ASUS EAH4350 SILENT Radeon HD 4350 512MB 64-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 $37 (15 MIB)

ECS BLACK SERIES A780GM-A AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $65 (21 MIB)

Total: $138 ($102 after MIB)

Do you think this can run Sims 2 decent? I think it can. But here's a build I think is much better for $25 more.


AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model
GIGABYTE GV-R455D3-512I Radeon HD 4550 512MB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16

ECS BLACK SERIES A780GM-A AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard $65 (21 MIB)

Total: $159 ($126 after MIB)

So any suggestions? Also its running on a stock HP 300W PSU with 15A on 12v. Im pretty sure this is enough for both the 4350 and 4550. I'd love to hear someone beat my build for less $$$!
4 answers Last reply
More about cheapest bang buck
  1. To be honest, neither of those is that good of an upgrade. Right now, I wouldn't want to spend any money on a DDR2 based board. It's just not a wise investment to spend you money on an upgrade that's already obsolete. Also, ECS is not known for quality boards.

    I would save your money and start saving up for some decent parts. If you've got $200 now, another $200 can easily get you a new mobo, new CPU, 4 GB of DDR3, and a new GPU. My guess is that you really should just be saving for an entirely new build anyway...
  2. Well its for a friends computer and their motherboard flaked out and they dont want to spend alot of money to replace it. It originally had an Athlon 64 3400+ with integrated graphics. She doesnt want a gaming computer per say, just something that handles facebook good and she plays Sims 2 so that also. Im not worried about future proofing or anything like that, just something cheap (under 200, cheaper the better) that gets the job done.

    If I were building from scratch, or for myself I probably would go with a Core-i board but she already has 2 gigs of DDR2. If there was a sub $80 Core i3 cpu with a ~$80 board I would totally go with that, but prices right now would put me over $200 with just the board and cpu, not including the video card. And not considering futureproofing I dont think an AMD Athlon II X2 240 2.8GHz is too shabby, and I considered an HD 4650 but I think its overkill.

    And Im not so big on ECS either but the top 4 reviewed AMD MB's on newegg are all 780/785G chipsets and they all have 4 eggs and the ECS is $10 cheaper and has a $21 rebate. If they were all the same price I'd go with the Gigabyte or Asus in a second, but all having the same 4 stars and the price different I'll try the ECS. 667 reviews with 4 egg rating isnt too bad. Thanks for the input!
  3. The HD 4200 in the 785G chipset isnt much weaker than either the 4350 or 4550, as neither of them were meant for higher level gaming either, so save money and skip on the discrete card and get a better board instead.
  4. I was actually going to do hybrid graphics until I just realized its only supported with 24xx & 34xx model ATI graphics cards. So rather than get a 780g with a 3450 I think I will get the 785g and stick with the HD4200 IGP. Thanks for the advice!
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