TechSpot

Help picking out a low end computer.

By Boogityboo04
Jan 5, 2007
  1. I'm helping a family I know pick out a low end computer to fit their budget and am considering a Dell, but I'd like to build one for them if I could save them some money. Could anyone recommend parts to match the specs of the system I list below. I'm not particularly good at picking out low end parts that aren't going to fail after two weeks.

    Specs of the Dell:

    PROCESSOR AMD Athlon™ 64 3200+
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition
    MEMORY 512MB Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz - 1DIMM
    HARD DRIVE 80GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
    OPTICAL DRIVE 48X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive
    VIDEO CARD NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE Integrated Graphics GPU
    SOUND Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
    KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell USB Keyboard and Dell 2-button Scroll Mouse
    FLOPPY & MEDIA READER No Floppy Drive Included
    MODEM 56K PCI Data Fax Modem

    Total cost: US$409

    The folks at Dell want $75 for another 512 mb stick of RAM so if I were to buy the Dell I'd buy another stick online to go up to 1GB

    So can you help me (if possible) pick out either a better performing system for the same price, or a equivalent system for a lower price?

    Thanks in advance.

    Or you could just send them your old system :) jk
     
  2. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Are they going to play games with the PC? Or just surf the net, etc?
     
  3. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 302

    I kind of doubt that they'll be doing any gaming. They are pretty computer illiterate, and would mostly use Word, IM, email, and maybe educational games.
     
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Just quickly pricing at Newegg for those exact (or as close as I could get) components, I go over $409 when I add a case and decent power supply. About $438. RAM I priced was double sided.

    Here is the breakdown:
    PROCESSOR AMD Athlon™ 64 3200+: (socket 939) Retail - heatsink and fan included. $59.00
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition: $89.99 (OEM)
    G.SKILL 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) System Memory - Retail: $44.49
    Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JD 80GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM: $43.99
    OPTICAL DRIVE 48X CD-RW/ DVD Combo Drive: $24 (several choices)
    Foxconn 6150K8MA-8EKRS Socket 939 NVIDIA GeForce 6150 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail: $67
    SOUND Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio: included on motherboard
    KEYBOARD & MOUSE Dell USB Keyboard and Dell 2-button Scroll Mouse: $18-20
    SIIG JU-91RW12-S4 9-in-1 USB 2.0 Card Reader/Write + Floppy - Retail: $39.99
    MODEM 56K PCI Data Fax Modem: $6
    POWMAX CP808PL-1 Beige Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply - Retail: $20
    Throw out the power supply. There is a $20 rebate going on now so the case is free (except any tax and shipping)
    FSP Group (Fortron Source) ATX300-PA version 2.2 RoHS, SATA, 300W Power Supply - OEM: $23.50

    Adjusting for the limited time case rebate (-$20) total: $418.46 or so. Tax, if any, and shipping not included.

    If you want an AM2 processor, motherboard and DDR2 RAM, adjust accordingly.
     
  5. sw123

    sw123 TS Rookie Posts: 595

    Don't get Dell, I'd build one.

    http://www.build-your-own-computers.com


    And here is a low-spec list:

    BIOSTAR P4M80-M4 Socket 478 VIA P4M800 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

    Intel Pentium 4 2.8 Northwood 2.8GHz 512KB L2 Cache Socket 478 Processor

    eVGA 256-A8-N313-LX GeForce FX5500 256MB 128-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card

    Kingston ValueRAM 512MB (2 x 256MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Dual Channel Kit System Memory

    Antec Solution SLK1650B Black Steel ATX Mini Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply

    FujiPLUS FP-988D Silver-Black 19" 12ms DVI LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 600:1 Built in Speakers

    CHAINTECH AV-512 5.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card



    About $600-$750


    sw123
     
  6. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 302

    I don't have a problem with the actual building of the computer, I have plenty of experience at that. What I'm looking for advice on is how to get a good quality computer for a low income family. It's not too hard to find the parts to a good $600 computer (AM2 gaming system guide form Techspot) but what I need is a computer in the $350-$420 for a family to use the internet and do word processing.

    EDIT: I put together a $410 system from Tiger using a barebones kit with a Pentium D and a Ultra 400w PSU that costs something like $350 after rebates.: Wishlist
    Hows it look?
     
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    I guess it looks okay for a basic PC.
     
  8. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,404

    Looks like a decent system for internet/word processing etc.
     
  9. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    It's perfect for basic computer applications and lighter gaming :) . It seems okay. I never knew that Dell used Athlon Chips in their computers (all I've ever seen were Intel).
     
  10. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Looks good. If they can afford it, it's great for everyday tasks.
     
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