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Best build for $200 is it possible

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May 19, 2011 9:53:44 AM

I always hear you can build a better computer for less money then buying one, So is it possible to build a pretty good one for around 200 then buying one for about 400 from walmart?
My brother in law needs a new computer but cant afford that much.
So can anyone help, I can build it but no idea what to put in it.


Budget Range: Around $200.


System Usage from Most to Least Important: , surfing the internet, watching movies, Light gaming for kids.

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, ncix.com.

More about : build 200

May 19, 2011 10:03:28 AM

Welcome to the forum. Here's the dealbreaker - do you need an OS? You should be able to get an Athlon II X2 build for around $300 I'd say, if not. Also, it's typically best to avoid them, but see if you can find any quality supercombos, sometimes they have some in this price range.
May 19, 2011 10:35:37 AM

jbakerlent said:
Welcome to the forum. Here's the dealbreaker - do you need an OS? You should be able to get an Athlon II X2 build for around $300 I'd say, if not. Also, it's typically best to avoid them, but see if you can find any quality supercombos, sometimes they have some in this price range.


No i don't need a OS, Well i don't need to buy one anyway.
Also thanks for the reply ill look in to that.
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May 19, 2011 1:08:48 PM

Since you asked, here is my 2 cents worth. It is cheaper to build a mid- high end computer that buy one, a very bottom of the line low end one like you are talking about, you can't do any better for cheaper, forget about it. You may be able to piece together something from Ebay, but by the time you pay shipping and figure your time, you are in the hole.
For $200, you are not going to get much, and you are suddenly going to be the support for your brother in law. You would be better buying the one at WalMart (or somewhere else preferably) for $400. It would be a far better value. And, lastly, if you have no idea what to put in it, then you probably shouldn't be building it, should you?
May 19, 2011 2:35:20 PM

Instead of a $400 OEM I would prefer something like the following for around $365.

Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz 2 x 256KB L2 Cache 3MB L3 Cache LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I32100
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL NS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9D-4GBNS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MSI H61M-E33 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HEC 6T Series 6T10BB Black 0.7mm SECC Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG CD/DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-222AB - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Basiq BP350 350W ATX12V v2.01 Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Keep in mind that I don't have a lot of experience but I think a system like this is better than a $400 OEM, just trying to help. Perhaps other more experienced can comment on the suggested build.

May 19, 2011 4:24:19 PM

Since the PC is a low requirement, low budget one, I'd say get a $60 Atom board, $20 2 GB RAM, the cheapest HDD you can find (usually at low capacity like 80GB to 160 GB, usually costs $30), and finally a $40 case specific for Atom boards (usually with 150W built-in PSU). That's around $150, excluding the monitor and DVD drive.

Good luck! :D 
May 19, 2011 4:38:21 PM

I forgot that the budget is $200. :p 

Change the Atom board with a $55 AMD 785G basic series+$40 Sempron 180. Get a $10 generic case and a 350W PSU from reputable brands (usually costs around $40).

That should be around $240, but with a lot more fire power. :lol: 

I can't make any website reference, since I'm not in the US. But the pricing should be similar, if not cheaper... :D 

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May 19, 2011 10:08:44 PM
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Okay... here is another idea. You say they like movies and browsing the web. How about this little AMD E350 based HTPC for $244 ($224 after the MB mail in rebate). It even has HDMI to connect to the TV. It should work well browsing, online video and media (boxee). The MB has AMD Radeon HD 6310 graphics.

SAPPHIRE Pure White Fusion E350 AMD E-350 APU (1.6GHz, Dual-Core) AMD Hudson M1 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Rosewill RS-MI-01 BK Mini ITX Tower/ Desktop Computer Case with 250W 20+4Pin & 1SATA Connectors Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 1.5MB Cache SATA CD/DVD Burner - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL NS 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model F3-10600CL9S-2GBNS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
May 19, 2011 11:56:35 PM

Yeah after looking into it some more, I'm going to agree with jitpublisher, probably better off buying OEM @$200, but if that budget increases to around $400 then its another story. To be clear, that doesn't necessarily mean that the Dell, etc. would be better quality, but that they would offer more performance for your money. For just the internet though, it may not make that much of a difference.
May 20, 2011 2:48:04 AM

For what your friends requirements are, by going with Dell, you also get a legit copy of Window 7 and it should work right out of the box. If it doesn't, then Dell does the trouble-shooting, not you.
When doing a favor for your friends, you have to consider what your time is worth when it comes to putting a cheap system together and possible having to trouble-shoot it later-on down the road.
Either way - good luck :) 
June 2, 2011 7:25:20 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone.
The pc he has now only has 512MB of RAM DDR
So it needs to be better then that and that wont be hard.
With all the info from here i can give him one that wins in every way against the one he has now.
June 2, 2011 7:36:47 PM

heres a great setup for the $200 you wanted:
e-350, with built in radeon 6310 + mobo and heatsink is included:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
nice case+PSU:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD-burner:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
2gb ddr3 ram: (1333mhz)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
320gb sata 6gb/s HDD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and i think thats all!

adds up to $238 for a great system for the needs that you listed!

this system will be in a mini-itx format so its very small at 12.20" x 10.40" x 3.90", its also very low power with AMDs 18W APU, it will only use a max of around 50W under load.
June 2, 2011 7:56:30 PM

PS3 - nice build

June 2, 2011 8:00:41 PM

lifeking said:
PS3 - nice build


just saw your E-350 build, i geuss i must have missed it the first time, but that looks great too. :D 
June 2, 2011 8:06:09 PM

Best answer selected by BlueLightRevival.
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