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$350 Barebones Vista/7 Pc


Beerman
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By the first of the year, the pc will be free with any purchase or Vista! :P

ZDNet article

 

Prices of PC components are falling weekly, and $350 will buy you a lot more horsepower today that it would a few months ago.

 

Let's look at what sort of all-purpose barebones PC system you can put together for around $350 - we want a system that'll be tough enough to handle Windows Vista and Windows 7 yet not cost the earth.

 

 

CPU

 

Let's start with the CPU. The trick with budget builds is to get a good, solid CPU without overspending. The ideal price range is somewhere around a quarter to a third of the overall budget you have planned.

 

Here I've gone for Intel's 2.5GHz E5200 (Wolfdale) dual-core CPU. If you're into overclocking then you should be able to get this CPU to 3.0GHz and beyond, but even if you keep it at stock speeds you have a good performer for well under $100.

 

1103_300_01_sm.png

 

Price: $83

 

Motherboard

 

For this build I've chose the ASUS P5N-EM HDMI board. This is a good quality board which features the NVIDIA GeForce 7100/nForce 630i, supports 4GB of RAM, PATA/SATA and SATA RAID hard drive connectors, HDMI, 4x USB and on-board audio.

 

1103_300_02_sm.png

 

To top off the features, this board comes in micro-ATX form-factor so it'll fit into a small case, making it suited to home theater use.

 

Price: $70

 

 

Graphics card

 

The ultimate dilemma … do you go for an ATI or NVIDIA graphics card?

 

Here I've gone to ATI for a mid-range card … but don't let the price tag fool you, this card really kicks pixels!

 

1103_300_04_sm.png

 

The HIS Hightech H467QS512P Radeon HD 4670 features 320 stream processors, 512MB of GDDR3 memory, DirectX 10.1 support, and HDMI. It's not exactly a 4870 but it delivers enough performance for anyone other than a hardcore gamer.

 

Price: $80

 

RAM

 

2GB of RAM for this build. Nothing fancy here, 2x 1GB Crucial DDR2 800.

 

1103_300_03_sm.png

 

Price: $25

 

Hard drive

 

The Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 offers 320GB for $50, which works out at 6.4GB per $. This driver isn't going to win any speed contests but it will offer reliable storage and good capacity for a decent price.

 

1103_300_05_sm.png

 

Price: $50

 

PSU

 

A PC like the one outlined above doesn't need a mini-nuclear reactor to power it. We can get away with a 300W. Also, in the interests of the environment and overall running cost, it's worth getting a PSU that's 80 PLUS certified. I've gone here for the SeaSonic SS-300ET 300W PSU.

 

1103_300_06_sm.png

 

Price: $37

 

Total build price: $345 … all that's left to do is add your own case (starting at about $20).

 

Price wriggle

 

There's a fair bit of wriggle room in the price of this PC. If graphics aren't important to you and you want to save $80 then you can get rid of the Radeon HD 4670 and rely on the on-board graphics. Alternatively you could by a budget card.

 

There's also wriggle room in the price when it comes down to the CPU.

 

 

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By the first of the year, the pc will be free with any purchase or Vista! :P

ZDNet article

 

Prices of PC components are falling weekly, and $350 will buy you a lot more horsepower today that it would a few months ago.

 

Let's look at what sort of all-purpose barebones PC system you can put together for around $350 - we want a system that'll be tough enough to handle Windows Vista and Windows 7 yet not cost the earth.

 

 

CPU

 

Let's start with the CPU. The trick with budget builds is to get a good, solid CPU without overspending. The ideal price range is somewhere around a quarter to a third of the overall budget you have planned.

 

Here I've gone for Intel's 2.5GHz E5200 (Wolfdale) dual-core CPU. If you're into overclocking then you should be able to get this CPU to 3.0GHz and beyond, but even if you keep it at stock speeds you have a good performer for well under $100.

 

1103_300_01_sm.png

 

Price: $83

 

Motherboard

 

For this build I've chose the ASUS P5N-EM HDMI board. This is a good quality board which features the NVIDIA GeForce 7100/nForce 630i, supports 4GB of RAM, PATA/SATA and SATA RAID hard drive connectors, HDMI, 4x USB and on-board audio.

 

1103_300_02_sm.png

 

To top off the features, this board comes in micro-ATX form-factor so it'll fit into a small case, making it suited to home theater use.

 

Price: $70

 

 

Graphics card

 

The ultimate dilemma … do you go for an ATI or NVIDIA graphics card?

 

Here I've gone to ATI for a mid-range card … but don't let the price tag fool you, this card really kicks pixels!

 

1103_300_04_sm.png

 

The HIS Hightech H467QS512P Radeon HD 4670 features 320 stream processors, 512MB of GDDR3 memory, DirectX 10.1 support, and HDMI. It's not exactly a 4870 but it delivers enough performance for anyone other than a hardcore gamer.

 

Price: $80

 

RAM

 

2GB of RAM for this build. Nothing fancy here, 2x 1GB Crucial DDR2 800.

 

1103_300_03_sm.png

 

Price: $25

 

Hard drive

 

The Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 offers 320GB for $50, which works out at 6.4GB per $. This driver isn't going to win any speed contests but it will offer reliable storage and good capacity for a decent price.

 

1103_300_05_sm.png

 

Price: $50

 

PSU

 

A PC like the one outlined above doesn't need a mini-nuclear reactor to power it. We can get away with a 300W. Also, in the interests of the environment and overall running cost, it's worth getting a PSU that's 80 PLUS certified. I've gone here for the SeaSonic SS-300ET 300W PSU.

 

1103_300_06_sm.png

 

Price: $37

 

Total build price: $345 … all that's left to do is add your own case (starting at about $20).

 

Price wriggle

 

There's a fair bit of wriggle room in the price of this PC. If graphics aren't important to you and you want to save $80 then you can get rid of the Radeon HD 4670 and rely on the on-board graphics. Alternatively you could by a budget card.

 

There's also wriggle room in the price when it comes down to the CPU.

 

Don't even think about building that setup Beerman. :lol::D You will need way more than that to do what you like to do !!

 

Frank...

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"Barebones" means you carry over your old keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, opticla drives, (floppy, optional). I understand it to include a case, which this one - as you point out - doesn't.

 

Barebones does not include an OS. If you bought the OS, then you simply transfer it. If you bought your old computer with the OS preinstalled, you're going to need to learn Linux FAST.

 

Lynn

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