Ultra low budget computer

I am planning on building a really nice computer (I've posted my build and have started getting the components), but since I don't have any experience building computers, I thought perhaps I should put together a cheap system first, learn a little bit, then handle my higher end build. I would donate the resulting build to a local charity.

I thought of just picking the cheapest everything I could find, and still may do that, but if you, TH's people, were to build a "practice" system, what would it be and how useful would it be for, say, web browsing and office applications?

I don't even know what the budget would be. $300? And does it make sense? If I follow instructions carefully (and I can do that :D) will I fry or somehow ruin my valuable components?
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  1. Well, If you Are gonna Do that , that means you Dont Know what would Be enough for you am i right?. Well First Of All WE DONT WANNA WASTE MONEY!.

    So, We are Gonna Start Right Away With a Good Case, Psu and Cpu Heatsink because these can be reused.

    On Cases I recommend any above 90 usd of these brands, Antec,Corsair,Enermax,Bitfenix, NZXT.

    Psus Any 700w of these brands, Antec, Corsair, Seasonic or FSP (of this brand only the Gold Certified), Remember If you Want to Have A Clean Look Inside your Case and want to get better airflow Get a Modular, this means you only Connect the Cables you Use in to the Psu.

    Cpu Heatsink , you should be looking only in, Xigmatek, Noctua and Zalman Brands, And if you Want to get a little more knowledge go for the Corsair H80 - H100 Watercooling.

    Now In Case you Dont have the Money for the Nice pc and still want to do a pc for practice only for web browsing.

    I Would Go like these.

    Case Rosewill Double Fan 120mm

    Cpu G620 + Motherboard H61

    4x2 Ram Memory G-skill 1333

    Psu Antec 450

    1TB Hard Drive WD Green Caviar (this can be reused in next Build as Main Storage)

    that will leave you with 308 usd. Adding a Video Card would Take it to the 400 already and its not worth it to spend more than 300 usd in a Test. THis will Web Browse like a Champ, any office stuff and if u added any card, it would have Performance almost as a i5 in some games that dont use more than 2 core. Remember this might be the pentium series, But It Still is a Sandy Bridge so , this little cheap bastard have a Great Gaming Potential.
  2. Best answer
    I don't think buying new parts for a practice throwaway build makes sense. Even if you DO mess up and fry a component or two, replacing it will still cost less than even the cheapest new system. If you really want to do something like this, find something used off ebay or craigslist and take that apart and put it back together.

    But really, this isn't necessary. Most of the rules are common sense: no drinks in your work area, be careful of static electricity, juggle your flaming chainsaws in another room.

    As long as you run the parts list by us and someone okays it, there should only be a couple of things that you could possibly put together the wrong way and do lasting harm. First, mixing up the firewire and usb headers is bad. Those are the only things that fit in places they shouldn't go, so beyond that as long as you don't go "Sure, round peg square hole whatever" you should be fine. Second, there are TWO power cables that go from your PSU to the motherboard: the 24-pin one, and a smaller 4- or 8-pin one near the CPU. Oh, and if you have a graphics card with extra power slots on the back, make sure you plug those in too.

    The case may or may not have standoffs ( which are screwed into the case, and which the motherboard itself is then screwed into. Once the motherboard is in the case, the motherboard's manual will guide you step by step in putting everything else together. Watch a youtube video on how to apply thermal compound.

    1) Consult on a part list first to make sure your build CAN be put together
    2) Read the manuals, particularly the motherboard manual
    3) If you have a question, google or youtube "How to install a (intel cpu/graphics card/hard drive/etc.)
    4) Don't, like, ...lick anything
  3. Best answer selected by megmeg.
  4. Thanks, both of you!

    erikalikesfire, that was *exactly* what I needed to read! I will be building it either on carpet or in my kitchen (no other options), but I'm planning on doing my best to deal with static. I've had my parts list vetted, so I'm relatively confident there.

    Thanks again!
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