$300-ish Budget PC

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hot on the heels of my post on building a relatively cheap dual-core system that can double as a multimedia machine, I've decided to post what I'm recommending to a friend looking to build a budget system. Considerations for this build were the common tasks this machine was going to be used for. He would use it to play DVD's, internet browsing and office work. His wife would use it for her Adobe Photoshop projects and printing.

I recommend this set-up because of the low-power draw from this AMD AM2 ATHLON 64 LE-1620. Another side benefit of choosing this particular processor is its ability to overclock, should the need arise that is. These processors actually overclock quite a bit, as proved by this post in XtremeSystems.org. The memory requirement for this is build is kept to a single 1GB DDR2 module from Geil because he'll be using Windows XP . Together with the software he will be using, a Gig is comfortable enough. Storage is relative conservative as well, owing to the fact that he won't be storing multimedia content. He'll be playing DVD's and storing family pictures. That's it. Before he uses up the space on that 160GB Seagate drive, prices for the 500 GB SATA drive would have dropped and an upgrade would be relatively cheap. The LG GSA-H55N will allow him to back-up his data and movie downloads. Playback on a living room DVD set-top unit is also a consideration so DVD±RW burner would be ideal.

These specs may seem sparse, but the main consideration is to keep the budget around the Php 10,000 mark. That's sub-$300 to you folks in the US. The following hits it right at the sweet-spot:

The prices are in Philippine pesos and quoted from Enigma Technologies, a local store in Angeles City, Pampanga. If you click on the links above, you'll see the prices for US online retailers. Couldn't find the EMAXX NF7050HD-PRO listed on any US online retailer. The ABIT AN-M2HD (Nvidia NF7050) board would be comparable, albeit pricier option. Also, Geil RAM isn't so popular in the US either. Kingston ValueRAM would be of a comparable quality and more widely available. Going by US prices, this build would cost around $340.00 and a few cups of coffee.

So there you go.

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