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need advice... low end comp < $400 US

1343 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  pi27
Here's the situation: my friend asked me to build her a decent computer with a budget of $400 US. It will mainly be used for word processing, internet, email, online grade books, and the occasional Reader Rabbit (She's a 1st grade teacher). Nothing I would consider as medium or high stress apps. No 3D gaming, or digital photo editting, or movie creation. Just straight out word, email, surfing, reader rabbit.

Now the problem: I know nothing about low end hardware. Everytime I try to get ideas in my head for hardware. I'd think they are overkill for her system. Yesterday, I though about popping in a 6800 in there. I just can't think low end. So I'm politely asking for any advice you people have. Thank you in advance.

What we got to work with: the budget is $400. She has a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. She has broadband. I dont think we can salvage anything else from her old computer. Its a p 200 with 64 SDRAM and 4x CD burner. Vid card i think is a vanta. And the mobo and case do not look like ATX form. The HD is only 5 gig.

What we need: CPU, mobo, vid card, RAM, HD (I was thinking of using the old HD as a 2nd HD), combo DVD/CD-burner, PSU, Case, fans.

I think i can manage the cooling system, case, and burner with out going overkill, but i need advice on everything else. total system price cannot go over 400, but I'd prefer that I save her as much money as possible.

Thanks you for you time :yippee:
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
CPU: An AMD Sempron
Mobo: Some Gigabyte/asus/abit (A7N8X-X/NF7) etc, dunno about Gigabyte) You could kill off the vid card by putting in a motherboard that has onboard video Eg. A7N8X-VM
Ram: Whatever "Value Ram" you can find for about $100. 512mb of PC3200 should do fine.
HDD: Any 80GB Seagate/WesternDigital/Maxtor drive you can get for a good price, less than $100
PSU: Any generic 350w will do fine
Case: Any $10 beige case :p
Fans: Fans are Fans in this case, put one in the front, one in the back and you are set to go.
CD/DVD Combo: Liteon.

I didnt find all the parts, but that gives you a good idea on what to work with.
If you have Fry's close to your area, you can easily get CPU/Mobo combo for $40-100. Just recently they had Duron 1.6 plus mobo for $40, while the usual being 2800 Sempron + mobo for $100 on the weekends.
If you are not scared of rebates, you should be able to easily get 512MB of RAM for ~$60. You can find them at both Fry's and
The rest you can as easily find for cheap at Fry's. In case that you don't, I'd recommend for everything.
you might be able to get barebones kits from the above sites for cheap as well

hehe... good ole newegg... Thnx for the advice everybody. She upped the budget to 500 and told me to spend as much of it as possible :thumb: and she told me that she wants this comp to last as long as possible 5-10 years so i was thinking about getting her a socket 754 A64 2800 with this mobo
I'm kinda partial to NF chipsets
But she's not doing anything fancy with it. Just normal use.

I'll look over the suggestions for the rest of the components, but i'll think i'll buy the case at a local store... everywhere i see its $15 shipping which is more than tax at Fry's here (I got 4 of them here oO )

any reviews and opinions on the mobo and cpu i chose is always welcome and wanted. Thnx in advance
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
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