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Build a $250 PC That Doesn’t Suck

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Jammo the OrganizedFellow:
I've never built my own PC, though looked forward to it for many yyeeaarrss.
I came across this article the other day on ComputerShopper.com

Their total bill came to $242.46 (after a $20 bundle discount and a $15 mail-in rebate).


So can I just share below what I am considering? I want to make absolute certain everything is compatible :)
This is just a budget PC, no gaming, mostly internet surfing, web development, scripting, minimal stuff. Preferred 2GB RAM so I can safely run VMWARE+Ubuntu :)

I'll use the same processor as the article, but a different motherboard, so I can get some bundle pricing.
(all TinyUrl links are to NewEgg.com)

Processor: AMD Athlon 64 3400+ 2.2GHz (http://tinyurl.com/26gkx6 ) = $35.99
Mobo: BIOSTAR GEFORCE 6100-M9 Socket 939 (http://tinyurl.com/3yg284) = $59.99
($20 discount for bundle @ $75.98)
<< max RAM = 4GB >>

RAMx2: Crucial Ballistix 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM (http://tinyurl.com/3bhwng) = $72.49
(after $40 mail-in rebate = $32.49 x 2 = $64.98)

Hard drive: Western Digital 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 160GB (http://tinyurl.com/2tokk5) = $48.99

Question about CD/DVD reader/writer: can I just use my old ones?
Lookig at device manager and front of tower it says:
DVDRW/R IDE 16x / CD-ReWritable
GoldStar CD-ROM CRD-8482B

CPU cooler: COOLER MASTER DK8-8ID2A-0L-GP 80mm Rifle CPU Cooler (http://tinyurl.com/yu5cz4) = $4.99
case: Foxconn Black/ Silver Steel MicroATX Mini Tower 300W PSU (http://tinyurl.com/25d3c3) = $39.50

Looks like my total, if i can use my old CDROM and DVD burner, plus with the $20 CPU+MOBO bundle and $40 RAM mail-in rebate = $234.41
<< i know the rebates and bundle pricing end soon, but I'm just getting an estimate for a budget PC. >>

If I can't use my old devices, then I can do with 1GB RAM for $32.49 and get an affordable device, but I need DVDRW for data backups (I'm pretty OCD about backing stuff up, haha. no movies, no music).

steeladept:
Yes, you can use the old one as long as there is an IDE connection on the Motherboard...There should be, but I didn't go look it up.  My only other comment (and I understand that it depends completely on costs) is that you should consider the memory.  Upgrading from 2 2x512 to 1 2x1GB modules would allow for future expansion without wasting the memory later.  My experience with VMWare and Ubuntu (I do that too already  :Thmbsup: ) is that 2GB memory is the MINIMUM you want so that you can give XP 1.5GB and Ubuntu 512MB memory.  I also found out they both work much better with [email protected] and [email protected]  Of course that could just be my setup, but going with the 2x1GB would allow for the 2x512 addition (or even another 2x1GB) later without wasting anything.

Curt:
When these large (GB) memory blocks first arrived the market, one of the complaints was that they might be fast when handling big video games, but they were too slow when it came to small, simple jobs like copy&paste a word in the text editor! Is this problem all gone? I am asking because I never play these big games, but I need more RAM, and I am having doubts about what size to ask for, please.

 :tellme:

steeladept:
Hmm.  I don't ever remember hearing that.  To my knowledge, there hasn't been an issue with it, but that doesn't mean much.  I would guess that it is stated due to a block size issue, but I have only heard of that on hard drives, not in memory.  Of course in hard drives, you can resize the blocks to fit your requirements - within reason.

Jammo the OrganizedFellow:
... you should consider the memory.  Upgrading from 2 2x512 to 1 2x1GB modules would allow for future expansion without wasting the memory later.  My experience with VMWare and Ubuntu (I do that too already  :Thmbsup: ) is that 2GB memory is the MINIMUM you want so that you can give XP 1.5GB and Ubuntu 512MB memory.  I also found out they both work much better with [email protected] and [email protected]  Of course that could just be my setup, but going with the 2x1GB would allow for the 2x512 addition (or even another 2x1GB) later without wasting anything.
-steeladept (July 28, 2007, 06:11 PM)
--- End quote ---
Thank you immensely for the tips on the memory.
This should be sometime in the next week.

If it ends up happening later, that's fine too. Expecting baby to be born any day now, so ... that's put a hold on some projects.

Thank to everyone for their advice. :)

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