/ Sign-up
Your question

The Cheap!

  • CPUs
Last response: in CPUs
May 1, 2003 8:12:16 PM

Aight, here's the deal, working on building an utterly cheap (but not crappy) computer to upgrade one of my linux boxes (an old 450 p2). I wanna hit the under 300$ price range counting shipping. I'm stuck presently. Open to suggestions... especially on case and mobo. Prefer to keep things as upgradeable as possible, within reason of course...

I have Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Floppy. Need everything else including sound. Prolly best to go with something overclockable too. Priority goes as Price, Stability, Overclocking, Appearance, Upgradeability.

This is the idea for stuff I've got so far...
Motherboard -- MSI K7N2-L -- 85.00
Processor -- Athlon XP 1700+ -- 45.00
Ram -- Samsung 256MB PC2700 -- 28.00
Hard Disk -- IBM ATA/100 45GB 2MB 7200RPM -- 50.79
Video Card -- Aopen GeForce4 MX 440 8X AGP 64MB DDR -- 52.75
CD-RW -- Lite On 52x -- 22.00
Speakers -- Creative Inspire 2.1 Slim 2600 S/Sub -- 44.00
Case -- Antec Lanboy w/350w PS -- 94.00

So basically I need to cut 123.54 off the price. MUST GO CHEAPER!


More about : cheap

May 1, 2003 11:40:50 PM

You can definately buy a case that cost less the the lanboy. Something without a window and LED power supply.

Where can you get a 52X CD-RW for $22?? Probably the same place you got that Hard drive for so cheap....
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
May 2, 2003 2:16:36 AM

I have one suggestion for your video card...your GeForce4 MX440 is out of date, it's support only DX7
Go for Ti4200 or above if you are getting nVidia, otherwise, get ATI Radeon8500LE/8500/9100/9000/9000Pro
May 2, 2003 2:21:43 AM

In your price range you're going to have to go with onboard video. I would follow the first 2 post's advice. The IBM hard drive will most likely fail so get something else, cut down the price of the case, and get a motherboard with integrated video.

I'm not sure you can get your price as low as you want.

<font color=green>Everyone should be like the Dutch. They're perfect.</font color=green>
May 2, 2003 2:58:36 AM

I have one suggestion for your video card...your GeForce4 MX440 is out of date, it's support only DX7
Go for Ti4200 or above if you are getting nVidia, otherwise, get ATI Radeon8500LE/8500/9100/9000/9000Pro

It's an office PC, not a gaming PC

<b><A HREF="" target="_new"> My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="" target="_new"> My Rig</A></b>
May 2, 2003 4:00:17 AM

Not ONLY should you get onboard video, but the MSI K7N2G-L **INCLUDES** an MX440. Thats right, the extra $15 you are spending on getting the K7N2G-L instead of the K7n2L gives you onboard video LITERALLY made out of the MX440. Hence why the chipset maker is Nvidia, also the maker of the MX440....

People say you need to get at least a Ti series... Sure, if you had money! The MX440 is an AWESOME card for the price and to stay under your price range. And, with the K7N2G-L, you get the MX440 built in.

ALso, try to get as much as you can from . Youre guaranteed to get what you order and get it fast, AND the prices you listed are the same for
May 2, 2003 5:26:17 AM

do not listen to this tard

the MX440 is horrible

get a 9100, its 2x the speed and probably cheaper


<A HREF="" target="_new">XGR-Game Reviews</A>

"You change the channel, and you change our minds..." - System of a Down
May 2, 2003 7:53:44 AM

Are you stupid or just retarded???

Did you miss the guy's part about a BUDGET??

Gee should he run out and get a 5900 ultra or 9800 pro because its just grand diggity doo the best!

Hello!!! Hes on a friggin BUDGET! Thats where you SAVE money. The 9100 is COMPLETELY SEPERATE THING THUSLY COSTS MORE $$$$ when HES TRYING TO LOSE $125 OFF THE TOTAL PRICE.

Im simply giving him a way to lose money off because the MX400 is included in the motherboard I listed.

Before you make a fool of yourself again, remember, BUDGET does not equal PREFERENCE. It equals SAVING MONEY, tard.
May 2, 2003 12:30:10 PM

Spitfire_x86, that's why I said get R200 series, otherwise, for gaming, he should get R9500+
I mean.. a R200 series card are very cheap
am I wrong?
May 2, 2003 1:04:58 PM is where i got most of the prices from, I've dealt with a wide variety of vendors there off and on, you get the occasional lemon but most of them are pretty decent... just research a bit before buying anything.

May 2, 2003 1:10:53 PM

heh, I don't care it's for linux and nv drivers for linux work well :)  The only gaming this is going to do ever most likely is perhaps solitare or a textbased game.

May 2, 2003 1:16:45 PM

Alrighty, that cut the price a bit, I know I can get a much cheaper case, but I've never went for a pc that is THIS budget, so I have no idea what to go with on the cheaper end of the case world. Need a suggestion there, don't think I can really cut much price elsewhere anymore... other than maybe cheaper speakers, anyone have a suggestion on something that sounds decent that is cheaper (I'm not an audiophile by any stretch as long as it will play 128/mp3s well I'm content)?

Motherboard - MSI K7N2G-L 96.00
Processor - Athlon XP 1700+ 45.00
Ram - Samsung 256MB PC2700 28.00
Hard Disk - WD ATA/100 40GB 2MB 7200RPM 57.00
CD-R - Lite On 52x 22.00
Speakers - Creative Inspire 2.1 Slim 2600 S/Sub 44.00
Case - Antec Lanboy w/PS 94.00

86$ to go... real good suggestion on getting the integegrated video.

May 2, 2003 5:05:34 PM

Have you used that case? Basically what I'm asking for is someone who has had a cheap cheap case and powersupply and was satisfied with it. I could get a case for 25$.

May 2, 2003 8:23:52 PM

Heh. Define satisfied! If you have to cut to get the machine you want, cut! If you really want the LANBoy, you'll be disappointed with a cheapo case, but it'll hold your stuff. The PS in a case like that will be pitiful. If the machine is seriously unstable, look there first.

The onboard video will work, even for light gaming, but consider upping the RAM to dual channel as your first upgrade. Of course, coming off a 450, it'll be blistering no matter what you do.

If none of this helps you hit your price point, you're going to have to try eBay for some slightly-less-than-current gear.

<font color=blue>Learn from the mistakes of others. You won't live long enough to make them all yourself.</font color=blue><font color=green>
<i>Canadian Flight Safety periodical, ~1987</i></font color=green>
May 3, 2003 12:30:11 AM

For an office PC, a TNT-2 M64 might be enough, GeForce2 MX is the maximum. IGP of nForce2 is more than enough for an office PC and it costs much less than any kind of R200 card.

R8500/8500LE/9100 is still a good gaming card for most of the current games.

<b><A HREF="" target="_new"> My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="" target="_new"> My Rig</A></b>
May 3, 2003 1:05:33 AM

Why not re-use the case that's getting stripped for the rest of the parts and just buy a new power supply?

<font color=blue>-A sig is a sig is a sig.</font color=blue>
May 3, 2003 4:12:34 AM

hm...I see your point
maybe for me, Radeon8500/9000/9100 are "normal" card
but anyway, you are certainly right!
May 3, 2003 5:43:43 PM

Typical computer that crash often.

[-peep-] french
May 4, 2003 3:36:39 AM

Ehhh, I disagree with the IBM statements. Their newer 120gxps or 180gxps are very reliable. I have one and its been running for a year with no hiccups. I just got a Maxtor(diamond max plus 8mb cache) two weeks ago and i have to rma it already.
May 4, 2003 3:57:32 AM

just the really bad PSU will affect stabilty of the systmes may even burn have send pulsive Vcc or any others issue that can happen.

As i have built a cheap PSU my self it easy to broke or fry to whole stuff.Bad diode or wrong side.As most of component have fault tolenrant up to 25 % specialy on L and C

[-peep-] french
May 4, 2003 10:50:29 AM

I am not sure of IBM being bad or fail, had two Maxtor HDD, they did go down with a spark. I would suggest the IBM.
May 5, 2003 1:44:43 AM

*gasp* I love my deathstar so there :p 

Treat your body like a $600 car. God didn't intend it to last so use it. Run it into the ground!
May 5, 2003 4:38:54 AM

I agree...use the old case and get a new PSU. Or get the $25 case and put a good PSU in it. Still be cheaper than the LANBoy.

Also, you could get the Logitech 340 2.1 speakers for $25 on sale quite often. If you want to work with rebates, u can get some savings that way. didnt say anything about HSF for the 1700+. I assume the $48 is for OEM, not retail...if it is retail, where???!!

my sig left me for an Honorary Guru...
May 5, 2003 11:56:43 AM

I *could* use the old case... but not cd rom it's a scsi burner. The biggest problem with the case is that it is massive, full tower case, had to support ?extended atx? size board (Asus P2B-DS). Thus the case has got to go! My lian-li pc-60 on my main pc is about 40% smaller than this case... and the lian-li isn't one of the smallest cases. Like I said, the reason I'm asking is to avoid ending up with utter trash for the cash, no exp with cheap cases... so ask the people who would know :) 

May 5, 2003 5:49:18 PM

Why not just get headphones?

<font color=green>Everyone should be like the Dutch. They're perfect.</font color=green>
May 5, 2003 8:03:24 PM

Because it's hard to talk on the phone, chat with someone in the same room, or communicate with someone on voicechat with headphones on... especially since this linux box is also my primary mp3 player and my windows box runs the games I play/voicechat.

May 6, 2003 2:25:39 PM

For the audio... The onboard audio will be sufficient. I have a A7N8X board (nForce2 chipset, NON Deluxe) and I'm pretty satisfied with the sound quality. It's more than enough to play MP3 and audio CD.

Another thing, you may want to get 2 * 128 Megs of RAM to use the DUAL-CHANNEL feature fo your board... Or keep your 256 Megs and buy another one later.

I would like to see a site where we could bench and compare the performance of low cost systems... It would be great to compare 3DMark points by dollar invested in hardware.

Would you buy a GPS enabled soap bar?
May 6, 2003 5:49:43 PM

The as close as it gets to 300 upgrade here for all to enjoy and trash as they see fit:
(all prices from and total is before shipping)

Raidmax Model 208(BEIGE) 10-bay Case w/ 350W Power Supply Retail <b>28.00</b>

Maxtor 30GB 7200RPM Hard Drive <b>60.00</b>

MSI DragonWriter CDRW 52X24X52 <b>43.00</b>

(2)Buffalo Technology 128MB PC2100 DDR Memory Module 16X8 (Samsung Module) - OEM <b>36.00</b>

Soltek Motherboard for AMD Processors, NVIDIA nForce2 (IGP + MCP2), Model SL-75MRN-L Retail <b>99.00</b>

AMD Athlon XP 1700+ <b>50.00</b>

JUSTER 5D-107 7 pcs, 1000 Watts Total Power, Wooden Case Subwoofer 3D Surround SPEAKER - RETAIL <b>26.00</b>

Total: $342.00

I am not sure where you were getting the 1700+ for 45 dollars. that is a good deal. 50 is about the lowest I have seen it most places. I am also not real sure where you found a CDRW for 22.00$. Good on ya if you can get it, but that sounds like just a CDROM price to me. I got as close to 300 as I could while staying as close to what you wanted as I could. Also if you are buying your original list from different places you will have to pay shipping from every place (most of the time) and this will add to cost. My list came from one site and you will pay shipping only 1 time. Totaling to about 360.00 w/shipping probably. Also I went for a surround sound 4.1 system and could've saved a little there if I went 2.1 like you had before.

Just a computer junky
May 7, 2003 12:09:54 PM

Generally I see a larger case as an advantage, but this is not my main pc... in fact it's one 3 linux pcs that I have running, so space is kinda an issue, my main pc is the only one allowed to grow to unlimited size :) 

May 7, 2003 12:13:00 PM

It was actually supposed to say cd rom, but i based it off a system I had built for someone else at about 420$ and forgot to change it when i put it in, those are pretty decent looking speakers for the price... def pick those up.

So... running quote is:

Motherboard - MSI K7N2G-L 96.00
Processor - Athlon XP 1700+ 45.00
Ram1 - Samsung 256MB PC2700 28.00
Hard Disk - WD ATA/100 40GB 2MB 7200RPM 57.00
CD - Lite On 52x 22.00
Speakers - JUSTER 5D-107 7 Pcs 34.00
Case - Raidmax Model 208 10Bay 350w PS 43.00

325$ - Anyone think of a way to knock 25$ off this price?

On this pc for me price is more important than speed which is why I didn't bother with the dual ddr thing... I may at some point in the future pick up some more ram and toss it in or something (or take it out of my primary box when it gets upgraded.) to do dual ddr but as long as at this point it's upgradeable, its cool. The prices above include S&H and are from pricewatch/newegg.

May 7, 2003 1:00:12 PM

Get a 30GB HD instead of a 40GB, but that is maybe 10$ at the most. Jump down to a cheaper memory brand, maybe another 3-5$(if there is one). Change the Motherboard to <A HREF="" target="_new">;/A> This board has the Nforce2 northbridge, but lacks the Nforce APU, which means it has a AC97 integrated sound. It is 81.00 before shipping. After shipping maybe 88.00$.

Just a computer junky
May 8, 2003 2:09:31 AM

If you're going to go cheap on the case, then I would go <i>dirt</i> cheap and buy a good power supply seperately, with plans for an upgrade later. Getting a good case is one place where you can spend a little extra money on quality and not have to worry about it being obsolete in 18 months. My current rig is built into an Enlight case that I'll probably keep through several mobo changes.

<font color=blue>-Any tool dropped while repairing a car will roll under the car to the exact middle.</font color=blue>
May 8, 2003 1:07:46 PM

Mainly because I have no use for a cd-rw on that machine, I have one in another linux machine and I also have one in my primary computer.

May 9, 2003 11:24:57 PM

Well, you could easily knock that amount off by going with a lower end mobo such as K7S5A or M7VIG ($55). DON'T get a smaller HD, they are just as expensive as the larger. Again, you can find somewhat cheaper deals if you are into rebates. Still looks like you have forgotten HSF...true?

my sig left me for an Honorary Guru...
May 10, 2003 3:51:53 AM

When I needed a cheap mobo quick last year I picked up an ECS K7S5A and for what I paid for it has worked quite well. I don't use the onboard sound 'cause I stuck an old soundblaster card in there, but the lan works fine and while the SiS chipset in it isn't the best, I haven't seen starcraft suffer for it yet. :)  On the otherhand I don't remember it having onboard video so whatever you save by going to this cheap mobo you're going to turn right around and spend on a video card. I would also agree with the statement that below a certain size the HDs start pricing about the same so you might as well get the largest in your value range.
May 20, 2003 1:19:13 PM

I'm curious what your final system came out to be. I also have a question about the MSI K7N2G-L mobo. Even though it has integrated graphics, can you still buy and install a graphics card later on? Also, with the MX440, is that good enough to play games like Simcity 4 or Civilization III? I would like to get something basic now and upgrade later when I need it. Overall, how is the MSI K7N2G-L board?