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What is the cheapest viable PC you can build?

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Last response: in Systems
a b B Homebuilt system
May 13, 2011 12:38:59 PM

What would be the components of a PC that can play 720p YouTube videos, do Microsoft Office, Facebook, etc. (A 2011 viable PC)

Something $200-$350 dollars. With everything but the OS, that would be Ubuntu maybe.

Maybe something with an Athlon, etc.

I'm not looking for build advice, just doin' research.

More about : cheapest viable build

May 13, 2011 1:38:26 PM

I'd say a $36 Sempron 180 (a 2.4GHz Dual Core), a $55 ASRock 785G LE series motherboard, and a mere $17 2GB generic DDR3 RAM should be the lowest point of cheap PC platform. Anything from Intel just can't possibly beat this combo for its price. Even the cheapest LGA775 Dual Core CPU is more expensive, disregarding any sort of sale on Microcenter and such.

Without the monitor, I've calculated that the whole system will cost around $200. That includes a generic $35 Seasonic 350W, mind you. ;) 
May 14, 2011 1:26:20 AM

This motherboard includes the CPU and GPU will do everything you ask above: It's only $80. I've built a couple of systems with this motherboard and it'll run 720p youtube video, MS office, surf the web, kids' games, etc.

The build:

MOBO: Intel D525MW mini-itx: $80
RAM: Crucial 2GB 1066 DDR3 SO-DIMM $21
HDD: Seagate 160GB $35
ODD: LITE-ON CD/DVD SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM $21
Case: Apex MI-008 mini-itx tower case w/ 250W PSU $40
OS: Ubuntu $0

Total: $197
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 14, 2011 1:10:13 PM

Is it possible to game with $500? Win7 is $100 do that leaves $400
May 14, 2011 8:58:09 PM

^ Absolutely! Especially if the monitor is excluded. I'd say $350 is the bottom limit for budget gaming PC with Athlon II X3, HD5670, 4GB RAM and a decent 400-450W PSU.
a b B Homebuilt system
May 19, 2011 8:43:22 PM

For light gaming budget of $400 or less eh.

$30 Xigmatek Asgard II
$60 Antec Earthwatts 500W
$45 Foxconn A7DA-S 790GX AM3 (onboard vid will hybrid x-fire)
$80 AMD Athlon II X3 450 Rana 3.2GHz
$39 G.SKILL Value Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) (1 stick)
$37 Seagate 250GB
$20 LiteOn 24x DVDR/RW

Total: $311 + S&H (no OS)

$ 73 XFX HD-567X-ZNL3 Radeon HD 5670 1GB

Total with vid: $384 + S&H (no OS) not counting MIR, or combo deals.