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Building a $100-150 computer (not a typo!)

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October 23, 2012 3:49:30 AM

hey guys,

so this is an odd request,

but I'm looking to build my girlfriend a $100-ish (no more than $150 parts-wise) computer for basic use (using microsoft office, typing stuff etc. nothing intensive) I already have a case/mouse/keyboard for it, and she's taking care of the monitor, and I'm looking to optimize the following:

-processor
-RAM
-motherboard (onboard sound & network card) - possibly with IDE support because I've got a couple of old IDE drives just sitting around, unless getting a newer motherboard and IDE->SATA cables would be more cost effective?)
-PSU
-*decent GPU is optional, if I can fit it in the budget, but she will have no use for a decent GPU)

what kind of stuff should I be looking for to optimize performance with this price range? should i aim for a q6600 processor? or can I do better right now?

thanks!
October 23, 2012 4:01:19 AM

it's not possible if you need os.
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October 23, 2012 4:02:54 AM

Agreed. If you don't have a legal copy of Windows, it's impossible for the OS alone is at least $100.
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October 23, 2012 5:41:06 PM

my bad, she does have all the software necessary including an OS, I'm just taking care of the hardware aspect of it :) 
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October 23, 2012 5:50:00 PM

Ebay, buy everything used.

LOL This is what the CPU, GPU, Mobo & RAM I could get for your price range.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Celeron E3400 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($41.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Intel DG33TLM Micro ATX LGA775 Motherboard ($42.80 @ Compuvest)
Memory: Wintec Value 2GB (1 x 2GB) DDR2-800 Memory ($24.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 5450 1GB Video Card ($29.98 @ NCIX US)
Total: $139.76
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I take no responsibility for this poor attempt at a list.
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October 23, 2012 6:28:53 PM

Are you looking to buy used or new? And I don't think you'll find a Q6600 + legacy board to fit this budget.

Main Option:

-processor
Intel Celeron G550 ($35+tax) at micro center (hopefully you have one nearby (and hopefully that link works, if not, go to microcenter and view catalog->parts)
http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/1673c8ec#/1673c8ec/...

-RAM
2GB single dimm ($10)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-motherboard
ASRock H61M-DGS ($45+$7s)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-PATA controller ($20+$7s)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-PSU
Antec Basiq 350W ($30 + $4s)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've heard Rosewill is also decent amongst the lower end, but I wouldn't skimp on the power supply. Get cheap ram and processor, cheap PSU and cheap Mobo will potentially make the whole experience miserable.

Total- $158 after shipping, add a few bucks for the tax on the processor. You'll need a PATA controller, there just aren't many options to use IDE drives on newer motherboards.

A possible substitute, using the same RAM and PSU, would be to get an AM3 board with PATA support:

ASRock N68C-GS ($45+$7s)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CPU-wise, depends on your budget. Check micro center again, they have great CPU prices, you could also wait for a sale on newegg; this CPU was only $60 this week, looks like it's off-sale again thought:

AMD Athlon x3 450 ($70 now, probably will hit $60 again)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
AMD Athlon x2 270 ($60)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total with the AMD build, assuming a $60 processor: $151

You'll have to stick with integrated graphics in either case.
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October 23, 2012 6:33:36 PM

I forgot about a PSU. Try this out. Wouldn't be half bad.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Pentium G550 2.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($34.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Pareema 2GB (1 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($9.89 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 5450 1GB Video Card ($29.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Antec Basiq 350W ATX12V Power Supply ($25.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $145.84
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Everything she needs, CPU, Mobo, RAM, GPU & PSU. She already has a case, Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor & OS.
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October 23, 2012 9:25:36 PM

I wouldnt spend money on a HD5450 - just use the one build in the processor.
And then go with 4 GB memory instead.
Whenever she has $100 extra, go with a HD7770, but in the beginning dont...
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October 23, 2012 10:20:58 PM

I would go with dscudella's build.
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October 24, 2012 2:07:01 PM

ha, you guys are epic. This is good stuff! Thanks a bunch!!
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October 24, 2012 3:35:20 PM

Apu: AMD A4-5300 Trinity 3.4GHz (3.6GHz Turbo) 60$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ram: Gskill F3 2GB 1333 MGHZ 10$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

MotherBoard:MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 FM2 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard 60$

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Powersupply: Rosewell RV 350W 27$
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is the Best build you would Ever want for now, Belive me the Apu could play lots of games and pretty fast its Dual core thou.

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October 24, 2012 3:43:08 PM

I would also go the low end apu route.
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October 24, 2012 5:14:51 PM

zooted said:
I would also go the low end apu route.


Exactly Apu = Budget.
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!