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

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:

-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?)
-*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?

14 answers Last reply
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  1. it's not possible if you need os.
  2. Agreed. If you don't have a legal copy of Windows, it's impossible for the OS alone is at least $100.
  3. my bad, she does have all the software necessary including an OS, I'm just taking care of the hardware aspect of it :)
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

    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)

    2GB single dimm ($10)

    ASRock H61M-DGS ($45+$7s)

    -PATA controller ($20+$7s)

    Antec Basiq 350W ($30 + $4s)
    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)

    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)
    AMD Athlon x2 270 ($60)

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

    You'll have to stick with integrated graphics in either case.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 $100 extra, go with a HD7770, but in the beginning dont...
  8. I would go with dscudella's build.
  9. ha, you guys are epic. This is good stuff! Thanks a bunch!!
  10. Apu: AMD A4-5300 Trinity 3.4GHz (3.6GHz Turbo) 60$

    Ram: Gskill F3 2GB 1333 MGHZ 10$

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

    Powersupply: Rosewell RV 350W 27$

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

    Exactly Apu = Budget.
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