I've decided I'm going to build my grandfather a computer for Christmas. The one he currently has is ancient. We had to replace is CRT monitor last year because it went out. He doesn't surf the web or watch movies or anything like that. All he does is play card games. Any recommendations for cheap parts that won't explode when I put them together? I had a combo on newegg yesterday that seems to have disappeared. I'd like to spend around $250. Any recommendations on building a bare bones PC?
A computer building request of another kind...
If all he does is play the built in games then don't waste your time building a PC. At that low of a point any computer made in the last 5-10 years can get by fine. If you build it you will become tech support and every time something breaks they will call you to fix it and you don't want that kind of headache. Go to Dell and buy a cheap desktop that comes with a tech support line for when things go bad, or go to a local pawnshop, pick up a cheap PC, format and do a fresh install if you don't mind being tech support for them.
If you are trying to go that cheap, the price of a windows license will probably outweigh any benefit in terms of a home build (upgrading power supplies, video cards, memory, or needing a case with decent ventilation is where off the shelf items fall off).
Get a dell or HP that is on special, or something that costco is running in their monthly brochure. Windows is ~80 on sale at best, and even all black friday stuff is not going to catch up to a pre-built.
@Barrock: If it's something you want to do together then by all means, but if that's really all he is going to do then it's a waste of your time and your really only building it for yourself because it will make no difference for him. If you want to feel like you helped build it then go with the used PC route. You can take it apart, clean it up nice, do a format/fresh install and turn it into a like new PC.
Bah! Give me a minute to get back to my PC, I'll whip a list up.
EDIT: All right:
Motherboard and processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131875
Hard Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152244
Power Supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171060
DVD Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289
Rounds out to $288. I did this pretty quickly so a more thorough search could reveal cheaper and better results. Also, I'd like to see someone double check my choices because I did them rather quickly.
Finally, I did this because I respect your willingness and want to do something for your grandfather, but it must be said that this is a case where you could get a better deal by buying a pre-built computer off of a Wal-Mart shelf or something. I didn't even include the price of an OEM copy of Windows 7, which raises this PC's cost to 388. You might be able to pull off some kind of black magic to get a $150 machine to run Windows 7, but I doubt it would run well, even well enough for your grandfather's card games. Still, I definitely understand wanting to spend a little more money to do something for someone else instead of just buying something and being done with it, so I wish you the best of luck!
EDIT: Well, nevermind, @Mirado 's build is way better than this one. Still, once you add in the cost of Windows 7 it will go over budget.
@Barrock: If we're talking scraping the bottom dirt cheap, this is as low as I can get it to go. I'd honestly spend a bit more to get a power supply from someone I recognize (doesn't need any more oomph, though). And keep in mind this is literally as low as I can get it in good conscience; single core CPU, 4GB of RAM to just run a modern OS, and that's the cheapest non-referb hard drive newegg offers. Any less and the case is made out of cardboard and you're running the programs on an abacus.
Foxconn D250S Intel Atom D2500 Intel NM10 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo, two Team 2GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066, LOGISYS Computer PS480D2 480W ATX12V Power Supply, SAMSUNG Spinpoint F4 HD322GJ/U 320GB, and DIYPC DIY-5823BK Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case with 1 x 80mm Fan for a grand total of $ 149.94. This is by far the worst thing I have ever put together please don't ever build it..... Hope this wins the worst PC build award for this thread.
It's hard isn't it? Intentionally picking low end parts. It almost hurts.
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