Very low budget build advise

so i need help, im totally new to the whole building a pc thing, although i know im fully capable. im just not sure what is better then what, and what direction to go in.
I have about 250-300 dollars to buy a new pc.
Its going to be for school but i do want to play wow and SC2. Can someone show me a good build in or around this price range. It would be much appreciated. i just want some options and build advise.
I want a PC that will work for now and be upgradable throught the day.

Buget. Now more than 350 for the time being
20 answers Last reply
More about very budget build advise
  1. DO you already have a WIndows CD? (OEM versions of Win7/64 are available for about $100), leaving ....$250?

    Options are severely limited, but, some sort of X2/X3 AMD build with perhaps only 2 GB of DDR3 to start..(add 2 more GB later!)

    There are a few AM3 boards with onboard video ($110), I'd choose to add a video card later, and complete the rest of the build adequately for school work. Find a 400-600 GB drive on sale for $40....salvage a DVD from some old machine...

    You can add a GTX460 later when you have saved another $150 or so....
  2. I do have a Windows Disc.
    Im not so so worried about budget because i think im simply going to do 2 seperate orders over 2-3 months.
    I need some suggestions on chips. I wanted to go with the AMD quad core below but not sure i can afford it/ its worth it.
    If you believe it would be worth it to drop the extra dough than i will though.
    I still need a good Video card suggetion, HDD

    Heres what i have so far. VERY OPEN TO IDEAS. im new and winging it. just wanted to show you guys what im thinking.

    MB ->
    RAM ->
    PRO. ->

    was also wondering if that massive cooler master is going to fit in the case i want.
    do i even really need an extra cooler for the processor?
  3. also wondering if spending the extra cash for the quad is worth it. if you guys think so i wouldnt mind sropping the money on that part specifically, since it makes the computer pretty much
  4. bump
  5. Here's what I think:

    CPU: Since you're gaming minded, the cheapest option is a 3-core Athlon II X3. The lowest speed will be more than enough for your needs. It's priced around $70.

    Motherboard: Any sub $60 with only 2 slots of DDR3 (max. 8GB) and 1 PCIe x16 slot will be sufficient. If you don't need crossfire, your current choice is a waste of money.

    RAM: Here's the tricky part. If you want Dual channel, you'll need a pair of 2GB or 4GB DDR3s in order to activate it. If you're planning to purchase the second piece of RAM later on, you'll most likely miss the feature. I'd say go for the 4GB kit, since it's more affordable. You've made the relatively right choice. Just see if you can find any cheaper ones. HINT: I can get a 4GB kit for $50. ;)

    HDD: Any would be good enough.

    GPU: Another tricky part. For budget oriented rig, the $50 HD4650 (Tom's recommendation) is the thing you're looking for. Fot better performance and DirectX11 support, the $80 HD5670 is your alternative. Go for a HD5750/HD5770/GTX460 if you have the budget to spare. Mind you, they are several times more expensive than the HD4650.

    Case: Any will do. Depends on your preference. UNLESS you are planning to OC. That's a whole different story. A decent case usually cost around $50.

    PSU: You'll probably won't need that 800W PSU, since your requirements are low (as low as the price :lol: ). A 500W, or even a 400W PSU with 80+ certification will serve your needs just fine. A 400W FSP Saga II (for example) will only cost around $40.

    Unless you OC, you won't need any aftermarket CPU cooler.

    CPU is not the only one that determines your gaming rig's capabilities, the GPU also plays a very important role.

    All that will cost you around $400-$500. Pretty cheap, huh? :D
  6. nice this is a lot of good information.
    Could you give me some link for some recommendations on parts you would get, like the processor and motherboard mainly
  7. Isn't Newegg the best place to search for you? I live in Indonesia, so the recommendation may not be applicable for your country.

    But here's the items I recommend (with rough price estimation):

    CPU: Athlon II X3 440 $70
    M/B: ASRock 770DE3L $55
    RAM: TEAM Elite 2GB x 2 $55
    PSU: Seasonic 400W SS-400ES 80 Plus Bronze $55
    Case: THERMALTAKE V4 Black Edition $50
    GPU: Sapphire HD 4650 512MB $50 or higher models for better performance
    HDD: Any within your budget. A 160GB/250GB HDD usually costs around $35-40. It comes down to capacity preference. Go for the WD Velociraptor/Black for performance. SSDs if you really want to.

    That's just about it. The grand total is: $375. That cheap??? :lol: I even surprised myself.

    Well, if you have spare budget, go for a higher model from the above mentioned ones. Remember that the parts I listed are for your current needs. You may be disappointed when you find that the rig can't play Crysis decently. ;P

    Good luck!
  8. thansk so much man really.
    im really only looking to play Diablo 3 (someday) and wow. and a little SC2/
    anything is btter tehn my parents low end hp peice of ***
  9. Since Diablo 3 minimum requirement is as follows:

    For PC:
    Operating System: Windows XP/ Vista
    Processor: 1.4GHz or higher CPU.
    RAM: 1Gb or more.
    Video: 128Mb video card Dx9
    Hard Drive Space: 4-8GB

    You can play it at the highest setting and resolution. How's that for a sub $400 PC? :D Surely, a lot better than your parents' old HP dinosaur. :lol:

    Here's something to read about the HD4650:,2444.html
  10. I've spent last 3 weeks researching hardware etc. since I'm building a new rig myself (however for more than twice the price)

    I've just looked through what you linked earlier and you simply won't make it without making major sacrifices

    As you were told earlier you should also remember the fact that you need to buy windows (£70 here and I believe someone mentioned it being $100 in US) which is ... well in your case 1/3 of the budget.

    damasvara gave you a very decent option up there totalling 375 but do add another 100 for OS, there is a few options but my suggestions won't yield enough benefits to justify making them :)

    I don't know how you chaps over the pond do it, but over here it's silly building a system on such budget - most people who want to spend that much on a system are simply not looking for quality high enough to justify building a rig - again I don't know how it is where you are but here pc retailers can easily get you a pc for 300 quid if it's for school (quality of components will be awful but it will be more than enough for studying)

    Gaming wise ... well how should I put it ... D3 isn't even out yet but (someone correct me if you think I'm wrong) there is simply no way you will be able to play it properly with a rig built for 200 dollars :S same for star craft really ... then again may be it would run all low on bottom res but i'd not even wanna play like that ...

    All I'm trying to say is if all you have is 300 dollars it may be worth checking your prebuilt pc market - huge retailers do buy dire components but they also get them for cheap bcz of scale of their orders ...
  11. wouldn't let me edit
    Missed the bit where you said you already have windows dvd - changes the situation a bit but in case of a UK resident I'd still think twice even with 300 pure hardware budget.
  12. @Molotov: I see. Well, even with my recommendation, the price is still above the OP's budget. I'm just simply trying to give him a realistic perspective on how to build a PC without discouraging him. Besides, he can get it from Newegg, where they frequently give combo offers and discounts. He can probably get the parts cheaper there.

    I may be wrong about the specs for Diablo 3 (got it from Google), but considering the vast majority of the game players, I don't think that the specs will be as high as Metro 2033. A dual core CPU, GPU with 512MB memory and 2GB of RAM is the reasonable requirements. Then again, let's just wait for the announcement, as I'm not the one who makes the game. :P
  13. yeah you are exactly right D3 can only be speculated about. Problem is both D3 and SC2 are competitive online games (seeing as how OP plays wow I assumed SP isn't all he wants from them) and having a sub-par rig would often cripple a gamer - after all noone likes to lose :P

    also I'm not trying to say he shouldn't try building a rig (and sorry if it came across like that), I just wanted to remind about pre-built systems being out there and being an option if academic use is priority
  14. I don't think academic use is quite his priority. The OP clearly stated that. WoW is not a very demanding game anyway, so I don't think it can be used as a stand point. I do expect SC2 and Diablo 3 to be quite a demanding game, yet not as demanding as Crysis.

    I personally don't trust pre-built PCs. The idea of not having total control and freedom over something so common and personal as a PC is against my ideals. Well, we share our own thoughts to ourselves.

    Budget wise, I still recommend a DIY PC for the control and price. That $375 can still be reduced by carefully (and luckily) choosing the parts by himself. An upgrade or degrade (such as using only $30 2GB of RAM, using $20 case, utilizing old HDD, using $50 Athlon II X2 for examples) of parts can be done to maximize the budget's allocation. Who knows, maybe it can be a low as $300. That's the main thing DIY build wins over pre-built PCs.

    It's all about FPS and eye candies in the end. I'd say just wait for the review of Diablo 3 for a hands-on experience using a particular GPU and CPU. That would be the best thing to do instead of determining one PC to be under qualified or not.
  15. yet again i agree with you on the prebuilt vs own built pc :P 100% - but as i said here sometimes (especially after crimbo) pre builts are ridiculously cheap - i had a look around yesterday and there was an hp with 20 inch lcd and decent spec for 350 quid ... but anyway real question for me would be like u said control and freedom of building own spec (and slightly better components even at low price) over lower quality but higher spec pre built

    as for waiting for d3 - he should wait now anyway imho since SB is out in just under 2 weeks it's likely it will affect the price of many CPUs and save him a bit of cash on that
  16. was a bit busy earlier - should have linked this kinda thing right off

    I'm not a huge fan of this site myself but ...
    this still does require a GPU tho
  17. Doing your school homework and playing games u love are two very different things. Maybe u should choose what system u want for, especially when u don't have much money :) In my opinion, an expensive system doesn't mean it must be better than the cheap one. But, building a good system always take away your cash. Everything has its price... :)
  18. @Molotov: That i3 link is using IGP. With that in mind, another $50-60 will be over the budget limit. And OcUK PSU? Is that a reliable PSU?

    I've done some research myself. It turns out that few online game do have high requirements, like FFXIV for example. i7, 8GB RAM and GTX460 for a smooth gaming experience? That's just insane... Just hope the Diablo 3 is not that demanding, since it would take over $1000 to build the rig. :pfff:

    @sixthseven: Homework vs Gaming? It's more like Gaming > Homework IMO. If you can play Crysis at high res, you definitely can make simple graphs and reports.

    Everything has its price is indeed an undeniable truth, but don't forget a simple thing in the market called "lowered price". I'd say with the careful choice of parts and (a whole lot of) luck, you can build a decent low-end gaming rig with more academic use capabilities than a standard office/study PC can ever have.

    I'm saying this because I've made some research myself, through reviews and first hand experience for the PCs I've built for others. It usually costs around $350 for a minimum spec'd gaming rig, but from Newegg it might just be cheaper.
  19. damasvara said:
    Isn't Newegg the best place to search for you? I live in Indonesia, so the recommendation may not be applicable for your country.

    Bro, tinggal dimana? Gw sekarang di Lampung. Dulu di Bekasi n Yogya...
  20. dama
    that was more of a random first hit link to demonstrate the pricing here :P i was also under impression US price are nearly digit for digit same as ours just in different currency :P things tend to be cheaper there
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