The $300 Super Cheap Challenge :p

Hey folks!
I'm making a new computer for a co-worker. This computer will probably never do more than Facebook games and HD youtube videos. I'm trying to get the cheapest thing I can without making it straight out bad. Any advice?

Approximate Purchase Date: Tomorrow

Budget Range: 350-400 Before Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Word Processing, Youtube, Facebook

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, HDD, Disk Drive

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg

Country: US

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: Any

This is what I have so far. What do you think?

Edit: Now that I think of it, since I'm trying to use integrated graphics with the i3, I probably don't even need the 430w psu. Isn't it true that (even if I am not pulling the power through parts) the psu still draws more power if it's rated for more?

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 RC-912-KKN1 Black SECC/ ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ...

ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
17 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about super cheap challenge
  1. Any comments, anyone? Does anyone think that I need a cheap GPU for this (and if so, any recommendations)? What improvements could be made?
  2. It's pretty much good except for the HAF 912. I would get a cheaper case than that since it's a waste of money to get an expensive case for just watching vids and farmville.

    A 300 watt would be best.

    1 single stick of 4gb would be cheaper but not much difference.
  3. All right; check out the current build. I think I even got it a bit better for cheaper (Yay!)

    Total Cost: $309.95

    Cooler Master Elite 311 ATX $40

    Rosewill 350w ATX PSu $30

    G.Skill 2x4GB DDR3 1333 $42

    Asus Micro ATX Motherboard $70

    Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz CPU $127

    Any ideas on how to make it just a bit better? Could I change the motherboard for a bit more bang for the buck?

    Also, does anyone know where to get a cheap copy of the most basic version of W7?
  4. Best answer
    for the CPU, try microcenter.

    may as well drop the nice case and use the savings to get a i3 2125 so you'll at least step up to HD3000 graphics.

    i3-2125 $119.99

    Biostar H61MLB LGA 1155 H61 mATX Intel Motherboard $54.99

    8GB DDR3-1333 HyperX $29.99

    Thermaltake V3 Black Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $37.99 - $10

    I don't know how you feel about thermaltake but this PSU seems not bad.
    Thermaltake TR2 430W Watt ATX Power Supply $37.99 -$10

    otherwise the corsair you had was a good price.

    That all totals to $281 - $20 in rebates.
  5. Case + PSU: 50 pounds [...] 30-kkpl-gp

    RAM: 16 pounds

    Motherboard: 60 pounds

    Processor G840: 50 pounds

    All these prices are in pounds sorry but I'm sure you can find these in the US ( probably even cheaper).

    Will definitely be enough for your friend's requirements with expansion ability for the newest graphics cards.
  6. Microcenter scares me. I went to a Microcenter in Cincinnati for the first time last week, and it was like walking into a Chinese knock-off market. Can I really trust what I buy there?
  7. alternatively, you could go AMD

    FX 4100 Black Edition 3.6GHz Quad-Core Socket AM3+ Boxed Processor $99

    ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS Socket AM3+ 760G mATX AMD Motherboard $59.99 - $50 bundle savings - $10 rebate (Free)

    All else equal, that's a total price of $226 - $30 in rebates.

    I guess the FX4100 is poor in gaming but that's not a stated use (can it really be that bad?) And if nothing else, it's quad core so multi threaded apps should perform decently.
  8. Wyko said:
    Microcenter scares me. I went to a Microcenter in Cincinnati for the first time last week, and it was like walking into a Chinese knock-off market. Can I really trust what I buy there?

    at least here in Silicon Valley, Microcenter is probably better trusted if not as well known as Fry's, Best Buy, etc and it helps that I work about 5 min away. I've never been to another store so I don't know what they're like.

    I buy my stuff there since they're often cheaper than Amazon even with tax, especially full builds because they have awesome deals on CPU/mobo combos. I asked a sales guy about it once and they said they're an Intel Launch Partner, whatever that means (Intel's headquarters is about a mile away) so they get killer deals on the CPUs. Also their staff is pretty knowledgeable here in SV, unlike any other big retailer. I'd say they were a pretty reputable outfit.
  9. microcenter isnt a "chinese knock-off market". they carry all the big brands just like the other stores do. it just so happens that they also carry quite a few of the lesser known cheap brands. just because its cheap doesnt mean its crap.

    bliq's build seems to be alright. you dont need 8gb of memory though.
  10. If you're looking at something with that little usage, I'd consider AMD's E-350 platform or their new APUs (A-series). If they need added graphics power then they can throw in a cheap AMD GPU to couple with the integrated GPU.
  11. Man these kinds of computers are popular! Here is a build which keeps the price in mind!

    Case+PSU: APEX TM-302-3 Black/Silver Steel MicroATX Mid Tower + 300W PSU

    Motherboard: ASRock A55M-HVS FM1 AMD A55 Micro ATX

    CPU+GPU: AMD A4-3300 Llano 2.5Ghz FM1

    Ram: Patriot Signature 4GB

    HDD: HITACHI 500GB 7200 RPM

    CD/DVD Burner: LG 22X Super-Multi DVD Burner Black

    Total: $279.94 Before Tax.

    The only thing I would look at upgrading is the case/psu. The PSU will do in terms of Watts, but in terms of quality it is probably pretty bad. - Still $39.99 for a case+psu is great!

    I recently built an AMD A Series computer and I'm extremely happy with it. They are perfect for budget builds, especially if you are not building this PC for serious gaming or 3d modeling/rendering.

    (If you want to be surprised, you can find youtube videos of people playing BF3 on an AMD A8. I tested this and yes, it is playable!)

  12. Best answer selected by Wyko.
  13. Thanks for your help everyone! I appreciate all your comments.
  14. If I was you I would go with APU / FM1 solution. These chips blow the heck out of intel integrated graphics
  15. Really? I've heard so much good about the Sandy Bridge series.
  16. I would only go sandy bridge if you plan on buying a discrete graphics card.
  17. The AMD 6330 graphics are definitely more powerful. I have an E-350 build myself but for the cost of the Brazos platform, you could get a quad core FX4100 with motherboard. The big win for E-350 is power consumption (which could be important). given the stated uses, I went with more CPU power and adequate GPU power. actually, to make the machine feel really zippy, I'd invest any remaining budget on a small SSD.
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