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<300 computer

Last response: in Systems
February 22, 2011 2:44:53 PM

im looking to build my girl friend a computer soon for our anniversary. She plays wow and uses the worst laptop ever I want her to be able to play it and be able to really enjoy the game ect. looking to spend as little as possible.

thanks in advance guys :) 

(if theres any reason to wait a month or 2 please say thanks :)  )
Also I have a micro center a few miles from my house so thats an option ty

so far all ive found was a $12 case haha

More about : 300 computer

a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 2:59:04 PM

I'd follow the guidelines in my signature. We need more information, especially if you need to include an OS within the $300 budget. If you need the OS included, it's impossible. Windows 7 will run $100, which means you've got $200 for the tower, which literally cannot be done.

Personally, I don't think $300 is going to cut it. The bare minimum that you could spend and get a decent machine is around $400, and that's just with the CPU, motherboard, RAM, GPU, optical drive, and HDD. Off the top of my head, a CPU is going to run about $70, the board about $60, the HDD is going to be $40 (the 7200.12 500 GB), RAM is $25 (Kingston's Hyper X 2x2 GB kit), the DVD drive is under $20, the GPU is going to be $100 (the HD 5770), and the case and PSU could be had for around $80. That's including rebates and ignoring shipping. I'll throw a couple of build together below as examples.

You could build a system that didn't use a discrete GPU, but it wouldn't play WoW very well. Even then, I'd want an i3/H55 system at the minimum, and that would be about $225, which is basically the cost of the cheap CPU, board and HD 5770.

I would wait the couple of months just to increase the budget a little. By then, Intel's new Sandy Bridge CPUs will have been re-released (there was a motherboard design flaw that forced a recall), which should drive prices down.

CPU: X3 435 $72
Mobo: ASRock 880GM-LE $60
RAM: Kingston Hyper X 2x2 GB 1600 mhz CAS Latency 9 $25 afer rebate
GPU: HD 5770 $100 after rebate
HDD: Seagate 7200.12 500 GB $40
Case/PSU: APEX PC-389-C and OCZ StealthXStream II 500W $55 after rebate
Case fans: That case doesn't include any, so I'd pick up a couple. 1x 80mm for the front, 1x 92mm for the back. Total $8. You could get by with only the rear fan, saving a couple of bucks.
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner $17

Total: $377, not counting shipping or taxes.

You could drop out the HD 5770 and get really bad performance, as the board as onboard graphics. That's fine for watching movies and such, but it's horrible for gaming.

EDIT: Forgot about the GTS 430 being a viable current generation option. That would drop the total price $50.
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a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 3:35:07 PM

^I really don't like those options above.

foobajooba's option includes many horrible choices, starting with an ancient dual core CPU and an extremely weak GPU. I'd rather have the build I put together (with the GTS 430) for $25ish more. There's a lot more value there.

batuchka's build includes a mediocre CPU (the AMD X3s are generally consider much better buys than the X4s), a very poor quality board with an older chipset and a GPU that's at least three generations old. However, if you swapped in my PSU/case combo (with fans) and RAM, you'd be under budget. Again, I think the extra $20-35 you'd pay for my other parts would be a huge boost to performance and quality.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 3:39:29 PM

For $96 for an X4 640 and 760G it's a no brainer - stop talking BS 760G have weakest IGP amongst AMD/ATI AM3 chipsets with full HT/PCIex16 gen 2.0 but this is over ruled with a discrete GPU @@

Personally, I don't think $300 is going to cut it.

If u cannot solve a problem stop trolling

Forgot about the GTS 430 being a viable current generation option

More rubbish

HD 4670 > GT 430

HD 4830/9800GT falling in between HD 4670 and 4770 (closer to the latter)
a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 3:51:32 PM

I don't really care about the onboard graphics, I care more about the fact that you don't have a good upgrade path with the older chipsets. You can't drop in the X6s or whatever AMD releases later, you can't plug in the newer SATA devices (SATA III is taking over quickly), and you won't be able to hook up the newer USB devices (USB 3 is a bit further away from mainstream). That's more of my concern. I'm also more concerned about Biostar being a very low quality brand for boards. I'd rather pay an extra $10 for the Asus M4A78LT-M LE.

As for trolling, I definitely am not. I offered my very rational opinion and included a build that was nearly in budget, just like you.

As for the HD 4670, it's also a little more expensive than the GTS 430. It's also an older model. I pick the GTS 430 not just because of it's raw price and performance, but because it's current and has more features. You also can't extrapolate from one benchmark to the other. Games vary widely on what performs best for what task, so you can't just say that one card performs better across the board. Not only that, but those benchmarks are at very low resolutions, so the GPU's effect is minimized. I also go by Tom's Monthly GPU Hierarchy. I could have just as easily picked a wide variety of cards, but I picked one that would offer the best performance, price and features for the budget. Besides, I originally picked the HD 5770, which would be a good 10-15% over any of the GPUs in that benchmark you posted. That's what I highly recommend. Any other card is really an appeasement, and not a highly recommended choice.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 3:54:21 PM

Actually i build with that exact model for countless clients - and it has a BIOS update for Thubans ^^I see you building castles in the air and while it's fine if TS had a $600 budget to work with, it most definitely is not for $300 or less
If u had factual, tabulated data on why Asus trumps brand X we would all like to to see it else stop misleading others
a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 4:21:13 PM

It's a quailty issue with the boards. That means there isn't hard data on it. I can easily point to the fact that Asus, Gigabyte and ASRock constantly get amazing reviews. Whenever there is a comparison among different boards, one of those three gets the recommendation nearly all of the time. After that, I'd say MSI or EVGA are the next tier in terms of quality. Biostar, ECS, Intel, Foxconn and the rest are generally not worth the money. The lower quality boards are perfectly fine for people who have support (i.e. your clients) and for resellers (i.e. you), as you get to keep costs down, and they don't have to worry about fixing a problem themselves. For the typically homebuilder, it's not the best idea.

So the BIOS update fixes the issue with not being able to drop in the X6. That's fine, as it doesn't change much, as I'm sure we can agree the X6s aren't worth it. BIOS updates can also be a hassle for the typical user, so unless the board ships with the new BIOS, I don't really consider an update a plus, but that's not a big issue. No BIOS update can change the fact that the board can't support SATA III or USB 3 devices, which in my opinion, is a bigger deal, and where I draw the line at obsolete chipsets.

I know my recommendations are over budget, but it's close enough to be within reach of a $300 budget (with time to spare). If I had about $300, that's what I would try to build. Deals and time will get it closer to budget. I'm sure if I scoured the internet, I could find some replacements that would make the build basically the same, but cheaper. I don't have that kind of time.

My true recommendation is to wait the few months the OP mentioned, and invest a little more in the build to get the best value possible. I did specifically say that if the OP wanted a sub $300 build, they should take the base parts of your build, and swap the case/PSU and RAM, putting the build under $300. It would just be lower quality than if the OP spent the extra $30-70 on what I recommended, but it'd be under budget. It's a trade off that may or may not be worth it.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 4:25:06 PM

Bottom line

Every maker/brand makes both gems/lemons at various price point. Many online with little to zero experience getting their hands dirty with actually building with all/various brands would merely parrot brands that they are familiar with and/or within their comfort zone.

Lastly poor TS stating a <$300 budget and fiddling with the idea of a $12 case tells me all i need to know about how to advise him/her ^^
a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 4:57:26 PM

Fair enough. I will admit I don't build with every brand out there, but I do change my recommendations based on the information that is out there. A while ago, I wouldn't have recommend ASRock as being on par with Asus and Gigabyte, but a string of recommendations from professional reviewers, favorable comparisions to other boards, and good prices changed that. I try to take into account the best information that's available, but of course, that doesn't always happen. In the end, there is always a judgment call to be made.

The low budget certainly tells a lot about the builder's preferences, but the willingness to wait for changes in the market indicates something entirely different. I landed on the side that if the OP can wait, the budget could increase slightly or they could wait for lower prices. So I went higher, looking for good quality and good performance. I just present what I would want to get the job done, which means my recommendations are almost never as cheap as possible.
a b Ý World of Warcraft
February 22, 2011 5:03:58 PM


AS Rock 760: $55
Athlon II X3 435: $72
Mushkin 4GB 1333: $40
Seagate 500 GB: $40
LG DVD Burner: $17
Xigmatek Asgard II Case: $30
Xigmatek 400W 80+ Bronze: $35
Sparkle GT 430: $50
total: $339.

you can step up a bit to a better GPU for a bit more