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Low cost solution for my parents

Last response: in Systems
February 1, 2010 4:48:18 PM

I'm working on building my parents a new computer...they are die hard Mac :pt1cable:  fans, but don't like the cost of a new Mac. I may have them convinced to try a Windows based PC...

Now the question is should I try and recommend a boxed PC (Dell/HP/??) or build 'em one myself?


SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: #1. Internet #2. Quicken #3 Excel

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: OS,Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Video Card (I'll use one I have lying around)

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Cheaper is better...bottom line cost wins...Fry's/Microcenter both are nearby or Newegg




MONITOR RESOLUTION: Doesn't matter...they have two older CRT 17", one 19" ...on board video or the cards I have will suffice

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: We're talking about upgrading from computers that are 10+ years old here...ANYTHING will be better than what they have...this is why cost is king...

So here is the build:

Case: Rosewill - $20

Processor: Intel - $50

CD/DVD: LG - $24

Power Supply: Antec - $45

Memory: G.Skill - $50

MOBO: MSI - $44

HDD - Segate - $36

With shipping/rebates - $290

I beckon thee oh wizards of PC building


Best solution

February 1, 2010 5:12:03 PM

Did you see this combo deal at newegg? $177.99 + $2.99 shipping.

I'd also look into this PSU for a few bucks less after MIR (not that the Antec is bad):
CORSAIR CMPSU-400CX 400W ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified ($45)

For HDD, 80GB is no bargain. Looks at this for basically the same price: ($45)

If you don't need to burn CD/DVDs: ($20) otherwise the LG is fine. Lite-On products are just fine.

Total: $290.98 and you get a better PSU and mobo and you don't spend a huge chunk of your $$$ on shipping but components instead. If you are daring enough to use the PSU included in that case you can even save $45 and your build is $256.

One other options if you want to go as cheap as possible: ($235)

Here's a bunch of coupon codes to go with it:

Offer: $30 off Desktop (excludes Precision) priced $200+
Code: 7$Desk30##DFS redeem code
Expires: 2010-02-16

So, $195. Stick on of your old video cards in it if you need to.

I bought one of these from them for $180 last year and turned it into a Windows Home Server machine. I couldn't be happier. This would definitely run whatever your parents want to do even if it's old school.

That website also has some off-lease dual core AMD Athlon builds (Dimension) for $235 - $280 with 150GB HDD, 1-2GB ram, DVDRW, etc. Maybe that $30 off coupon will even work with those.
February 1, 2010 6:56:09 PM

Dougie Fresh offers some improvements in quality and HDD capacity!
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February 1, 2010 7:17:53 PM

i would probably go more towards what Dougie Fresh offered....i do have one ?, why would u only want to go with an intel cpu when amd cpu's are always a better bargain for the price and you said it yourself u just want a pc that can get the job done.
February 1, 2010 7:17:59 PM

Good suggestions...

Changed out the PSU and the HDD...

I'm at $305 delivered right now...

I thought about trying to get them into a refurb deal, but I also worry about how long that solution would last...especially for the cost of a low end new system. I just don't know if it makes sense...

I'm keeping the burner parents like to back up photos to cd/dvd...

The question now will be, do they want a Windows based solution or do they want the mac mini

All they have ever owned is mac...when I was going to highschool, they bought an IBM so that I could learn windows as well as mac...
February 1, 2010 7:21:38 PM

Intel vs AMD - that was the cheapest processor at Newegg that was dual core with a heatsink

(Edit) I figure for the $15, it would be worth it to get a dual core vs. single
February 1, 2010 9:46:01 PM

^ That's a good combo too. Just know that it comes with an OEM processor so you will need to get a heatsink/fan for it.

I'd still get a refurbished Dell :) . I've bought many a refurb from Dell and never had a problem. You get a warranty too. That's something parents appreciate :) .

It's definitely not as fun as building one.

February 1, 2010 10:08:52 PM


Your post asked for the bottom price. And you got some good responses.

That said, there is an old saying "The bitterness of the product is remembered long after the sweetness of the price is forgotten"

For their needs, look for a good looking case, a 24" monitor and a 40gb ssd to make everything feel snappy. Get 4gb, and a good cpu like the i3-530.

Try to find the funds your folks will remember your efforts fondly longer.
February 9, 2010 12:04:23 PM

Best answer selected by snowgoer1998.