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The Case And Other Components

Build It: Picking Parts For Your Kid's Entry-Level Gaming PC

Choosing a Cheap (but Great) Case

Our case budget is between $45 and $50. We're looking for something with a front vent and, because kids like looking at hardware, a side window.

Because our budget is downright conservative, we went through a long list of options before settling on a good fit. We’re using Cooler Master's Elite 430 Black as a good compromise between price and performance. It doesn’t sting us with any ugly surprises, such as cheap, thin materials or sharp edges. This is about as good as you get for what we're spending. Fortunately, it's ample for our little project.

Cooler Master Elite 430 BlackCooler Master Elite 430 Black

We added a quiet fan to the back of the case for exhaust. This cost us a little less than $10, but it was worth the price considering how much noise cheaper fans tend to make.

Fans are easy to add, and should ideally run quietlyFans are easy to add, and should ideally run quietly

At this point, we need just two components in order to finish up the PC: a hard disk and optical drive. The disk's target capacity depends on how much space you need for applications and user data, plus the cash you're willing to spend on it.

Tool-free assembly makes life easierTool-free assembly makes life easier

Drive bays make it easier to add storageDrive bays make it easier to add storage

12 cm Fan
               500 GB Hard Drive               $70
DVD Burner

Bottom Line and Overall Budget

We’re able to keep our budget in the $350 range by picking components carefully. Here’s an overview of the basic build's cost before we start benchmarking it. Remember to add $100 if you need a Windows 7 Home Premium system builder license!

Intel Pentium G620Intel Celeron G530AMD A8-3850
AMD A6-3650
CPU/APU + Motherboard
CPU Cooler
$22 $22$34
Case Fan
Hard Disk + Optical Drive
Power Supply
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