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Can you help me build a cheaper system?

Hi everyone:

I am in the market for a second desktop. My budget is between $450-$500 (which includes the price of a 20" monitor). Dell is currently selling the Vostro 230 Mini Tower with a 20" LCD monitor for $419. Here are the specs:

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E7500 w/ VT (2.93GHz, 3M, L2Cache, 1066FSB)
CHIPSET Intel® G41 Express Chipset with ICH7
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 32 bit
WARRANTY & SERVICE 1 Year Basic Limited Warranty and 1 Year NBD On-Site
MEMORY 2GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz - 2DIMMs
OPTICAL DRIVE Single Drive: 16X (DVD+/-RW) Burner Drive
HARD DRIVE 320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
VIDEO CARD Integrated Video, Intel® GMA X4500
MONITOR Dell 20 inch Widescreen E2010H Flat Panel Display
KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell USB Keyboard and Dell USB Optical Mouse
EXPANSION SLOTS: PCI: 2 Slots, PCIe x1: 1 Slot, PCIe x16 (Graphics): 1 Slot
POWER SUPPLY: 300 Watts

Do you think I could build a similar system cheaper than this? Any suggestions on the components would be greatly appreciated!
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APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within a month
BUDGET RANGE: $450-$500
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Heavy MS Office Work, Surfing
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: No Preference
PARTS PREFERENCES: None
OVERCLOCKING: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: OS Preference: Windows 7 64-bit ; Monitor Preference: 20" LCD Widescreen
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build cheaper system
  1. That includes monitor? No.

    What is the point of the computer? If gaming the 4500 is going to hold you back. If possible check to see if it has a PCIe slot so you can add a video card.
  2. Thanks for the response.

    Yes, it does come with a 20" monitor (E2010H, which retails for $159 on Dell's website) - I mentioned this in the specs.

    Also mentioned in the specs, there is a free PCIe x16 slot to which I can add a graphics card for dual monitor support.

    The purpose of the computer: General MS Office work, heavy browsing, etc. I am NOT a gamer and will not be running any heavy duty games on this build.
  3. Any ideas anyone?
  4. When I asked about monitor I meant the one you want us to build. We might be able to get close to that, but it wont' include OS or LCD.

    If your just using it for office and browsing work its fine. $400 for a machine like that WITH 20" screen is a good deal. You might want to see if you can upgrade the ram to 4GBs, but you probably don't even need that.
  5. Oh, sorry, I misunderstood.

    I guess it's a good price then, for the specs.

    Out of curiosity, if I were to build a system from scratch in the $400 range (minus monitor), what would your suggestions of the following components be?

    CASE
    CASE FAN
    POWER SUPPLY
    MOTHERBOARD
    CPU
    RAM
    HARD DRIVE
    OPTICAL DRIVE

    Thanks!
  6. Best answer
    Sorry, I don't make builds from scratch. The case would have to be one of those cheap $30 ones. Optical drive would be another $20. You can forget about the case fan, add it when you get more money. I've seen the Corsair 400W on sale for $35 after rebate (I think $50 before) so that should be your PSU. That leaves you with ~$300 for everything else. Mobo and ram will be around $75 each, so your down to $150. Get a ~$60-75 CPU, tri core if you can, and some DDR3 ram and you should be set. But you still need an OS, Key/mouse, Monitor, etc. Thats why I said we couldn't beat/match it.
  7. Thanks, 4745454b, for your input.

    If any one else on the board has any suggestions as far as components go for a system in my price range, I would appreciate it!

    If I come up empty here, I guess I will just go with the Dell.

    Thx!
  8. Best answer selected by gups.
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