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Old December 5, 2009, 12:37 AM
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Default Building A $200-ish Computer

This is for a friend. Not my idea, he was begging me so I felt bad and took this on. He has some shitty Celeron 1.6GHZ S478 with 224MB DDR-333 and probably integrated GMA-X3100 graphics, if that. He's had it since it's inception, apparently cost him around $600 back in the day.

- He uses it for school and internet, but he wants to be able to decently game on it as well. Apparently he'll only be playing L4D2. He has a 16" (yes, sixteen) monitor apparently, probably 15" or 17". Either way resolution will not be a problem if he only wants to play it decently.

- Budget is $200. I'll see if I can milk another $40 or so for what I have planned out . I'll be buying my parts exclusively from Canada, maybe even some guys here on HWC if they got some decent used deals for parts. Otherwise, pricematching is key.

- No brand preference, he doesn't even know what the difference is between a dual and a quad core. Literally.

- Only parts will be the DVD/HDD. I'll see about the case but it's got such a retarded layout I'll probably scrap it.

- I haven't read any threads like this. Since when do you practically build a PC for $200?

- The CPU I want to use is 2.8GHZ. It's pretty fast, but I hear it's one hell of a clocker. I'll put it to the test under stock cooling conditions to see if I can squeeze more performance from nothing for my buddy. I'm not getting aftermarket cooling.

- I plan to build this from 3 weeks to 1 1/2 months. Depends when he gets paid next, how Xmas vacation goes, what sort of boxing day deals I can scoop up, etc.

OKAY. So, with that out of the way, I bring you my build which is a bit over budget, given educated guesses on relative prices for the two parts remaining. Justifications for what I chose can be found at the bottom of this page, if you so desire one.

CPU: Athlon II X2 240 - $65.09

MB: Gigabyte GA-MA78LM-S2 - $51.79

RAM: Dunno yet, some 2GB kit. It's gotta be DDR2-800 though, and it's gotta be cheap.

GFX: Also don't know. I was thinking of Mark E's 9600GT.

Case: Logisys CS-51WBK - $34.35.

So far the build comes to just about $150. I got $50, potentially $100, to spend on a new GFX card and some RAM.

The motherboard and CPU I chose is because I was on shopbot looking up AM2+ CPU's and on there it's as if the next best thing was the X2 5200+ or something which is only $2-3 cheaper. Plus the motherboards for AM2+ are pretty cheap themselves, ultra low-end Asus or MSI boards, which I dont trust . I thought whatever, for like $6 or $7 more he gets AM3.

The 9600GT is because I want to be safe for L4D2 and if he decides he suddenly wants to play Crysis. I know the 9600GT itself is a damn solid performer and I guess you can't go wrong with it, unless someone says otherwise

The case he picked. I want to get a new case for him because like I said his case is some retarded, half OEM, half wannabe-gamer Piece of hybrid that's cramped and hot and has virtually no air flow whatsoever . Plus this one comes with a PSU. As much as I'd love to get a CX-400 or VX450/550, or even a ModXStream 500W or something I don't have the coin for it . His machine has an OEM PSU which he hasn't had to replace in the 5 or so years he's had the damn thing, so I'm gonna trust them this time around
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Old December 6, 2009, 08:52 PM
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First, you might consider dropping to the AM3 Sempron. Saves a few bucks and most of them have unlockable cores. Regarding RAM, prices are very high on RAM recently. You're probably looking at ~$20 per GB. If you've got the money a 9600 GT would be good. If a little more is available (and he's focusing on L4D2) try to get a 4770, since it performs pretty well for the prices, uses little power, and the Source engine loves ATI.
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Old December 6, 2009, 09:23 PM
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Wow TYVM for the time, the thought, and the reply! I commend you for being the first to take the dip and help me out here, over some people . Thanks for the input though!

I've heard about the Semprons, and I originally considered an unlocked Sempron as an option for this build. But then again there's no guarantee that I'll get it unlocked, and if I do get it unlocked then there's no guarantee it'll work 100%. That second core is disabled for a reason.

Hmm...The 4770 starts at $104 which is money I don't have to spend. If the engine likes ATI then perhaps I can go for something cheaper? But then again I don't wanna spend $60 on a lesser ATI card when I can get a 9600GT that will still kick ass on L4D2 with a small monitor he's got.

Memory shouldn't be too much of a problem but it definitely presents a nuisance. I'm probably gonna start him off with just a 2GB kit. Whee, there goes $40. I found this Kingston kit while bargain shopping. Maybe I can buy 2GB DDR2 off someone here for cheaper, I'll see.
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Old December 6, 2009, 09:36 PM
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How bout this random cheap case and my identical to the Logisys case PSU. I'll sell the PSU for like $10 if you want it...

Forgot link: [FS] Gigabyte P35-DS3R | MCE Remote | 400W PSU | Antec P180 | Freezer 64 | SB5100 Modem - RedFlagDeals.com Forums
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Old December 6, 2009, 09:51 PM
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Meh, I'd prefer to get both case/psu new. He's kinda picky like that, he likes bling and having new stuff. The P35 IS appealing though...

Except that the E5200 is $60 at its cheapest new. I won't save much cash, if any, at all.
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Old December 7, 2009, 12:01 AM
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E5200 is actually like 45 at tigerdirect
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Old December 7, 2009, 12:07 AM
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So it is. But there's not a lot of boards that are cheap to go with it. Perhaps this Zotac one would suffice, it's right around the same price. Then again I don't imagine it OC's very well, which I'd like to be able to do (even if it's just a little bit) to squeeze out more juice for my buddy, if possible.

Waaiiit a minute. Wasn't there some guy on here selling a Gigabyte G31M-ES2L or something that OC's like a S.O.A.B a few months ago? I wonder what happened there...
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Old December 7, 2009, 02:18 AM
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Don't know if anyone has mentioned this yet because I have not read the responses but... Try your luck looking for a PC that has been thrown out, I have found like 4 PC's on the side of the street in the last month with heaps of working components (In Your Case DDR2 RAM) but some have working PSU's and other stuff. Most people that don't know much about computers just throw there PC's out when the HDD fails or something like that and then go and buy a new one (Well allot of people anyway) So you mite be able to find some DDR2 and if your lucky a decent Case that you could paint or something. Save yourself a couple bucks lol.

-Just to redeem some respect- I do not go looking through bins for PC components, I just see a PC that doesn't look that old on my way home and have a look inside it sometimes just to add stuff to my components box lol.. I feel like a bum now.
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Old December 7, 2009, 04:15 AM
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You can pricematch the gigabyte to $52: PEOnline.ca - Bringing Technology to the Forefront - Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L mATX LGA775 G31 DDR2 1PCI-E16 2PCI SATA2 Video Sound GBLAN Motherboard (GA-G31M-ES2L) probably would be quite a bit better than the zotac.
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Old December 7, 2009, 05:53 AM
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heres another 30+ dollar case Buy Logisys Computer [CS308BK] Logisys CS308BK SILVER/BLACK ATX Tower Case 4X5.25 5X3.5IN 480W 80MM Blue LED Fan Front USB Audio
i have the red one here ATM, its a sharp looking case for $30.inside is painted black already
.
i built many pc's using the cs-51 and do not think i will use it anymore since i started building with the cs308..customers like it better aswell...add some $5 ;lighted feet maybe for extra bling.. :)
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