$450ish new build for my wife, any cost saving ideas?

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: in the next week or so (tax refund dependent :) )

BUDGET RANGE: $400-$500 before rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: surfing the web, email, editing (word), streaming netflix and watching random DVDs



PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD, trying to stick with AM3 and DDR3 so upgrades are easier later (may evolve into a second gaming computer) but open to cost saving options


MONITOR RESOLUTION: whatever the onboard video of the motherboard supports, will still be using an old CRT for awhile.


This is a computer for my wife who is currently using my old machine from two upgrades ago. I thought I would get a motherboard with on-board video to save cost. The case looks really don't matter all that much. Low fan noise would be a plus but not required.

What I have so far:

CPU: AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX250OCGQBOX - Retail $65

RAM: Kingston ValueRAM 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model KVR1333D3N9/2G - Retail $53
(I am really not sure on the RAM. The Kingston looks like its decent quality.)

MOBO: ASUS M4A785T-M/CSM AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail $85

HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $55

CASE+PSU: Antec NSK4480 Black/ Silver 0.8mm cold-rolled steel construction ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 380W Power Supply - Retail $70

OPTICAL: SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM $27

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM $105

USB Mouse + Keyboard: Microsoft Comfort Curve Value Pack - OEM $25

Random Notes/Questions

-The total above is $480. My original budget was $400. What would be the best option to get back below $450? Alternatively are there better components I could get for the same price? I am torn that I might be going too cheap.

-I was looking at a cheaper ASUS motherboard option: still AM3 and DDR3 with an ATI3000 instead of the ATI4200. That would save $20.
Would that video chip set be enough for basic DVD watching, netflix streaming, Word editing?

-Would switching to a DDR2 motherboard to save a few bucks be a good idea? My previous lone successful system build used an ASUS but any reputable motherboard manufacturer would work (GIGABYTE, ECS, etc...). There seem to be a lot of combo deals with those boards.

-Is a bigger power supply recommended? Alternative case + PSU option which might be beefier but sill roughly the same price.
CASE: APEX TX-381-C Black Steel Micro ATX Tower Computer Case - Retail $25
PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail $50

-Also if I missed any required components please let me know.

Thanks for your time.
2 answers Last reply
More about 450ish build wife cost saving ideas
  1. you can definitely spend too little on a computer and it seems to me that lowering the quality of components is counterproductive . Your original hardware choices will make a great machine .

    if you want to save $107's get a free copy of Ubuntu Linux as the operating system . Its more than capable of handling all the uses you list , and will include open office free , as well as any other software you will need .
  2. The first build is good to go. The choice for HDD is excellent. No need for additional power supply as the one included in the case is already enough.
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