Staredit Network > Forums > Technology & Computers > Topic: Building a capable PC on a shoestring
Building a capable PC on a shoestring
Jun 10 2011, 11:19 am
By: CaptainWill  

Jun 10 2011, 11:19 am CaptainWill Post #1

My brother has been complaining recently that there is no decent PC at home and when he leaves for university he's going to want to have a computer to take with him and he likes to game at "reasonable" graphics settings (medium or high, basically). My dad, knowing little about computers decided to jump in and pick up something on the cheap (around 100 I heard). I was very sceptical and found out I was right to be when I went home last week to take a look at it.

It's a Dell Optiplex - so basically an ex-business workstation very unsuitable for gaming. The processor isn't too bad but it's an emasculated energy-saving Athlon 64x2. The biggest problem is the fact it has integrated graphics - an Nvidia Quadro chipset that would have given top of the line performance in 2001, but is totally useless for games from the last 5 years or so. I opened up the case and the mobo had a PCIe slot so I thought a cheap upgrade might be possible, but the case is too small even for a low-profile graphics board. So it's going to have to be a new build.

I think his budget is 300-400 and he can probably source the speakers and monitor himself, so it doesn't have to include that. Everything else will need to be from scratch though, and the components will probably have to come from, because we Brits don't get the sweet deals you find on Newegg.

Any ideas guys? I was thinking of fixing him up with the same processor to mine or similar (Phenom II X2 555 BE), or maybe a Core i5. Graphics don't need to be exceptional so I was thinking HD5670. As for the rest I have no idea, except that I'd probably put a 450W quality PSU in there to leave a little headroom for later upgrades.


Jun 10 2011, 12:11 pm Decency Post #2 -- First comment gives a $650 (400 pounds) build,2903.html -- $527 (325 pounds).

Here's a link to my build if it's useful, most of the components are out of stock by now though:

I can't help beyond that, but I spent $450 (275 pounds) on that last build a year ago and can stream and play SC2 on reasonable settings at the same time without problems. You shouldn't have much trouble putting together a machine to do so nowadays, though I have no idea what kind of deals you're getting from UK shippers.


Jun 10 2011, 12:47 pm rockz Post #3

ᴄʜᴇᴇsᴇ ɪᴛ!

Time to go bowling.

"Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Chairman - do we have to call the Gentleman a gentleman if he's not one?"

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