Cheap $500 PC (using some upgrade leftovers)

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: If I do it at all, within 2 weeks

BUDGET RANGE: $500ish and don't trust rebates, so they aren't part of my budget

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Office 2007 apps, heavy (50+ tabs) browsing, website maintenance, watching movies, older games (GTA:SA primarily)

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: monitor (has VGA and DVI ports), keyboard (PS/2), mouse (USB), speakers (USB), webcam (USB), PSU (700W), video card (512MB 4870)


PARTS PREFERENCES: ATX case and motherboard, AMD Phenom II 945 processor (thanks iRemedy and ares1214), onboard video for backup (the 4870 is questionable)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Doubtful but I want a motherboard that can handle it in the future, at 16x or 8x, NOT 4X!

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900 on a 19" for now, 1680x1050 after awhile when I get a 22"

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I know a quality case and power supply are important, and yes, I've read the reviews on the bits below, and I'm comfortable with them

This is what I have put together so far, and I'm pretty comfortable with spending the money needed for this box, just want to be sure the motherboard, CPU, video card, power supply, and whatnot are compatible and will not give me three days of headaches trying to POST. I will be using 7 Home Premium and this whole premise of building my own would be in lieu of buying:

eMachines ET1331G-03w from Wal-mart for $398 (Athlon X2 235e, 6GB RAM, 7HP)
upgraded power supply for my wife's computer for $110 (
upgraded Crossfire video cards for my wife's computer for $300 (probably a pair of 5770's)
then putting my wife's used 700w PSU and 512MB 4870 into the eMachines box...

As far as the $500 in the title, after combo discounts are applied for the operating system and who knows what else I'll find, I expect this build to be close to $500. And I might leave off the DVD burner, get my wife a new one, and use her quirky Blu-Ray drive instead.
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cheap using upgrade leftovers
  1. I really do like this build, it has some really good budget power. Good selection on the parts, and a beautiful price mark for using DDR3.

    However, I am just wondering, why did you elect to use the Athlon II and not the Phenom II for an extra 30 bucks?
  2. I'm not convinced a CPU with an L3 cache will help during the tasks I do. The 635 is a fairly new processor (released what, two weeks ago?) and the 620-630 has been a very solid performer. I picked the system around that CPU just because it's one of the new ones.

    Actually the difference is $24, not $30. It might actually be worth it. But I could go all the way to a 965BE with $62 over the 635. I originally picked the 630 and then saw the new 635 was only $18 more. I never scrolled down far enough to see beyond the 925 at $141, thinking anything above that was too pricey.
  3. That case would have to go, I've got all the blue light I need in my room with a SNUS fridge next to my desk for chilling Dr Peppers. Thankfully it's an $80 case so I've got a lot of options for downgrading and putting me back under $700. I think even the Antec Three Hundreds are well under $80. I just don't like the way they look. I like a plain case, black, maybe some silver, and I don't want a side panel window or a bunch of lights. I'll happily add fans to a cheap but solid case, I LOVE white noise.

    Will 1333MHz memory make a difference over the 1066? Especially with 8 Latency? Everything else is pretty close to ideal.

    Also, I forgot to notice the combo deal I can get on the 700W PSU and the hard drive, saves $20. Actually saves enough to consider moving to a full terabyte. Or the $109 1.5TB EcoGreen drive. Same $20 combo discount.

    Anyway, it looks like I have a lot of options. And wifey really wants her Crossfire. So I'm redoing the build with her PSU and her 4870...
  4. well that case is very good, it has a 20$ mir i counted, so yeah. the case choice is up to you, but i recommend the antec 300 allusion, or this:

    the ram will be much better, and you are forgeting the fact i have a better cpu, vid card, and psu.
  5. Best answer
    What you chose is GREAT! You deffinetly need the quad core power, probably would be somewhat helpfull with 50+ tabs. I also reccoment you look these two cases up:
    Antec 300 and Coolermaster 310
  6. Yeah but they don't make the 310 without a side panel window, do they? I see the 330, 332, 335, 341, 360 all have solid sides.

    AHA...the 310 with no side panel window is $60. It wasn't in my "no power supply included" search!

    Oh yes, that is a case I would like very much. No funky lighting, no see-through-to-the-guts look. Worth $60? With free shipping, sure! But shipping is another $17. And it comes with a crap 420W power supply. Wonder if I can sell that for anything? Probably not to anyone who knows anything about computers, but it could make a good backup PSU, I could just take the graphics card out and run off on-board video to use it.

    Wish NewEgg sold the solid 310 without the PSU.

    But for $50 I could go with a Centurion 5.

    Good ratings, plenty of room, well-ventilated, could work.

    The Three Hundred is just too funky and gamer-ish looking. It reminds me of a custom Xbox 360 case I saw once. Same goes for the Two Hundred, Nine Hundred, and the Sonatas (except the Sonata Elite, that isn't too bad). I wish the P183 wasn't a $150 case. My wife has a P182, and I love it. Maybe I can find a good used P182.
  7. Best answer selected by occupant.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product