Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
Hi, i'm on a tight budget here and want to build my own PC. I'm starting an open university course and well be using it just for that. I have a budget of ?300-?500. I've got another PC and a laptop but i use them for work and the rest of the household and just need something cheap and cheerful to see me through the course. I don't want to buy another PC, i feel i'm techie enough to build one on my own. Anyway i'm just looking for advice from anyone who has built their own computer and where they bought their components from. I've checked a few sites so far but still undecided, any help will be great. Minimum Specs are required are below. Cheers
Hard disk capacity
VGA graphics with 2MB video RAM
Monitor screen size
640x480, 256 colors
Keyboard, mouse, floppy disk drive 1.44MB, inkjet printer, 56kbps (V90) modem and access to the Internet, sound card, microphone and speakers/headphones
No additional 'Office' software
I think Carver has offered you sound advice. Even buying new is likely to be cheaper than building yourself when you price in software. I've just spent ?450 upgrading my computer which still has a very modest spec and retains the existing O/S, hard drive, CD rw and all the peripheral bits. Add in the hours spent getting it working, which would be better employed in your case studying and it's no contest.
The problem with secondhand computers is that you never know how they have been used/or abused, and what the reason was that they were put on the market.Many components don't have an infinite life,and it only needs a mobo capacitor to go and the disruption to your studies could be great.
Many suppliers now sell barebone packages, usually a case and motherboard connected up, leaving you to add a cpu and other peripherals.Another alterenative is this auction site which I have used with great sucess in the past
PCWorld are flogging an Emachine (E420 IIRC) with a 17* CRT monitor, Intel Celeron 2.6MHz Processor, rodent/keyboard/speakers seperate DVD/CD writer, 80Gb HD etc etc for ?499. At this price building a computer is a no-brainer and you can lift it off the shelf at PCW ;-))). They are also flogging a similar spec with a 15" TFT and 40Gb HD for the same price.
Build one...you'll enjoy it, and afterwards you'll be able to fix stuff without warranties and help lines and all the rest.
Go to click here for some pointers and see if your local library has Steve Mueller's "Upgrading and repairing PC's"
Buy cheapest case, processor (AMD) and motherboard etc from somewhere like Dabs (ONLY select stuff in stock in quantity) and away you go. Dabs Value range is cheap and good for cases, sound cards, video cards etc
for the spec given I think it would almost be impossible to build new, as the spec is set so low. The lowest AMD chip I see these days is 1.3Ghz. The rest of the spec is also "absolute minimum"
Gandalf is right, for 499 pounds PCW do some really good deals. BUT if is a self build you want then there are many dealers out there who will supply a kit for you to build a PC.
Most of you spec will be covered easily via on-board spec of certain motherboards. This would leave you with virtually just having to fit CPU, RAM Hard/Floppy drives and CD.
You will certainly get change from 500 GBP.
Get a Duron 1600 processor, it is cheap and cheerful.
Run at least 256Mb, it is cheap and safe for first time builders.
Go for a 40Gb 7200RPM drive, it is ample, fast and cheap.
Run the cheapest case, but go for a good quality 350watt PSU.
Run a compatable good make motherboard, such as MSI, Gigabyte, Asus, etc...
Onboard sound is fine, and go for a seperate Graphics card if pos. Just a basic one should be fine.
Just go for a cheap DVD drive and a cheap monitor and get a copy of XP home or Win 2000.
You should be happy with that, and if it is a retail Motherboard you should get a guide to help you build. I buy OEM so dont get that, but I dont need it, ensure you get some.
As above, go the the website and review the info.
Ask the sales counter when yuo buy if they reckon it is all compatable first.
You should be able to do this for less than your budget. About £ 399
i just built my brother a p4 2.4 gig system for ?530. and that was with some expencive bits.
you could get a 2.4 gig celeron processor for around ?80 less cd/rw for ?24 and a psu for?19
60 gig hdd for ?50
gigabyte titan 845 for ?60 2 stick of ddr 256meg for ?90 and a case for ?30 and a nvidia 5200 agp card for less than ?80
the only thing which will sting is the software, and linux are a cheap and effective solution with red hat 9.0 or mandrake 9.1 for around ?40.
For the sort of system you need building your own is just not worth the hassle. choffe above has put some items down and if you work his prices out it still comes to nearly ?450 and he's forgot the monitor /and modem, ad in the cost of windows xp home and that's ?86 for an upgrade edition(so you need win 98 or ME to make it work)then you have the problem of making it all gell together, so if your open uni course is in computers alls well, if not it could be before to long.
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