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The cheapest build

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January 23, 2011 7:02:57 AM

I recently built my 1st pc. And now I'm kinda hooked. But I can't afford to just build them for the he'll of it. So I wanna make the cheapest one I can to sell to a friend at cost.

Purpose : run win7 and play Internet videos

Tricky thing is I spent all my time finding the right build for gaming and am not sure how to go about this. Can someone please recommend a place to start. CPU mobo psu...


Thx

More about : cheapest build

a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2011 9:38:51 AM

I dont understand completely your post,
are you building a pc with the hope of selling it to a friend, or have a friend who wants that pc built?
if your starting out its rather/very foolish to spend money on a system that someone 'may' buy, the unit is aging and losing value until its sold, potentially you could lose your entire investment,
much better plan for you,

Make it known in your circles that you build computers, become 'the mate who does computers' to all who know you, school,work, the pub etc
eventually someone will approach you with the magic words, 'Hey I hear you build pc's?'
grill them on what they want the pc for, what its going to be used for and what they are looking to spend on it,
meantime do a lot of research on the different 'classes' of pc and the components involved,
You would no more build a single core onboard gfx machine for online gaming than you would an water-cooled overclocked hexcore with 3way crossfire and masses of lights for your granny who plays farmville,
theres millions before you and millions after you with the same idea, build pc's get paid, I'm one of them same as a lot of people on here,
one thing you could do is post a thread on here occasionally ( dont spam them, you'll get few answers and less help I fear)
asking for advice on for example a £400 workstation rig or a £1500 gaming beast
this is the form to use for that, make it easier for us to help you
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/261222-13-build-adv...

Dont get all excited the first couple of times people ask you to build something btw, its really frustrating when they back out and it leaves you demoralised, but on the plus side, you will (hopefully) have done some research and learned (more valuable than I can stress :p )
theres more to say on the subject and I'm sure others will chip in with help/hassle etc :) 
one last thing, as a small builder, you get the money from the client BEFORE you order parts, you cant afford to have parts sitting around for the reason I stated at the top, you'll end up in a room full of worthless bits and skint wondering why the hell you wanted to get into this business lol
Moto
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January 23, 2011 1:59:13 PM

If it's just for looking around the internet, then a very cheap laptop would be the best solution. You can buy a 300 dollar laptop with a 15 inch screen that will surf the internet without problems for years. Just look for deals to come by on newegg, or a million other sites that have outdated computers no one wants to buy.
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January 23, 2011 2:27:10 PM

The only way to choose parts more quickly is usually to keep yourself informed in the first place so you can can choose the barebone parts quicker. And the best way to do that is read tech sites (like Tom's and Anandtech's) and forums like this one.

For example, right now the typical "bare system" would probably be something like:
  • i5-2500K
  • Asus P8P67 Pro or an ASRock P67 Extreme4
  • 2x2GB or 2x4GB of RAM (most probably GSkill) and probably DDR3-1600 as the DDR3-1333 isn't much cheaper anyway (~10$/4GB).
  • Video card depending on the flavor of the month, the need and the budget (based on the latest deals and "best card for the money" article :p ).
  • A 550-750W PSU depending on the GPU(s) desired
  • Casing is always up to taste, but there are favorites (most popular are usually Antec's and CoolerMaster's)
  • HDD will be a Seagate 7200.12, a Samsung F3/F4 and/or an SSD (OCZ, Intel or Corsair)
  • Any cheap DVD burner, most probably Asus or LG
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bits OEM unless there are viable reasons to diverge.

    Of course it has to adapt to budget, a budget PC won't have an SSD and, if solely for gaming, might go for an AMD CPU (something in the 100-150$) and motherboard (AMD 800 series chipset @ 100-150$). Even further compromises can be made like an X2 or X3 CPU instead of an X4.

    Unfortunately, there are also the ultra-low budgets where buying a Dell is also an option :p . The cheapest PC to run Win7 and play internet video might actually fall in that category and cost around 350$ + monitor, if you need extra RAM, upgrade separately Dell's memory upgrade prices are indecent (they ask 80$ to go from 2GB to 4GB when anyone here can find a single 2GB DDR3 DIMM for 20-25$).
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    Best solution

    a b B Homebuilt system
    January 23, 2011 2:39:31 PM

    If your friend has already given you the go ahead to build a system and will finance it, you probably want to start by looking at combo deals/bare-bones systems. If the purpose of the system is solely to run Windows 7 and watch online video, you don't need much more than a dual-core Intel Atom processor and two GIG of RAM for that and the simple fact is, you can purchase a pre-built system that will do it just as well for less money than the cost of building.

    But again, if you're set on building (which is sounds like you are), here's a build from Newegg that will do what you and your friend want it to do and still allows some room if s/he decides they want it to do more:

    Case/PSU/Mothboard Bare-bones: Biostar Eco I2 - $119.99
    Processor: Intel Core I3 550 - $124.99
    Memory: G.Skill DDR3-1333 2x2GB (4GB) RAM - $39.99
    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 160GB SATA Drive - $35.99
    Optical Drive: ASUS Black 24x SATA DVD Burner - $16.99
    Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM - $99.99

    Total Cost - $437.94

    The graphic capability of the motherboard, when paired with a CoreI3 processor, should be more than enough for any and all web surfing/video watching. If at a later date, you decide you need to add a discreet graphics card, then case and motherboard do allow for low-profile graphic cards, but the power supply probably limits you to low power cards.

    Hope this helps.

    -Wolf sends
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    January 23, 2011 5:07:47 PM

    Thx for the swift replies everybody!

    Wolfshadow: u understood my question perfectly. Those parts are what I'm aiming tword. I was hoping the CPU was cheaper ( my amd 970 cost that much ). But still, u definitely gave me ideas and a place to start.


    Regards
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    January 23, 2011 5:39:42 PM

    Best answer selected by Rhsnipes.
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    January 24, 2011 3:56:38 AM

    Here's my list:

    AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz $79
    BIOSTAR A880G+ AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX $59
    Foxconn Steel MicroATX Slim Case 300W Power Supply $44
    A-DATA Gaming Series 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) $23
    Western Digital 160GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache IDE Ultra ATA100 / ATA-6 3.5" Internal $Free
    ASUS Black 24x SATA DVD Burner $16
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM $99


    Total $320

    How's it look.. Can it be cheaper.. Will it work ..?
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    January 24, 2011 12:52:49 PM

    The specs for that motherboard only call for DDR3-800/1066/1333 RAM Modules. I'd stick with those. Otherwise the build looks good.

    -Wolf sends
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    January 24, 2011 4:52:36 PM

    Glad you caught that ;) 


    Last question...

    Apparently this amd chip doesn't come with a heatsink.. I can't find any small ones. Can i get a recommendation..?
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    a b B Homebuilt system
    January 25, 2011 1:25:07 AM

    Sure. Rather than spending $20-50 on a third party heat sink, why not spend $5-10 more on a better CPU with a heat sink:

    Your CPU - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Dual-Core 3.0 GHz

    Option 1 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Triple-Core 2.9 GHz @ $2 more
    Option 2 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Dual-Core 3.3 GHz @ $5 more
    Option 3 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Triple-Core 3.1 GHz @ $8 more

    All of which come with stock CPU Heatsinks.

    -Wolf sends
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    January 25, 2011 1:38:39 AM

    Unless you want to OC, stock cooler is usually enough so Wolfshadw's suggestions would be good ones (the 3.1GHz X3 would be nice for only 8$ more)
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    January 25, 2011 5:19:19 AM

    Wow.. I'll definitely go with Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz ..Once again ..great suggestion. Thanks you all.


    Pretty decent build I would say. I could have saved myself some money, on my own build, if I knew then what I learned here.



    My best
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