I’m still planning on building one, but with the
new financial burden new baby, I’d have to go with the budget box.
Ars Technica’s Budget Box consists of the following components:
- Asus M2A-VM HDMI motherboard
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ Retail (Socket AM2) processor
- 2GB DDR2-800 RAM
- PNY GeForce 9600GT video card
- Western Digital Caviar SE16 320GB SATA hard disk
- Samsung SH-S203B DVD/CD reader/writer
- In-Win C589T case
- Logitech X-240 speakers
- HP w2007 20” LCD
- Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer
- Logitech Keyboard
Sound and network are integrated on the motherboard. Total price as of March 23rd: $831.78.
I used to think the budget systems were under $500, but I guess that's a different category (Poor Slob System?). Regardless, this system includes some components we may already have laying around. For example, most people have a monitor, keyboard and mouse they can use on their new system. Even the DVD/CD reader/writer may be usable. And how about a spare case?
If I try to re-use an old hard disk, and start out with the on-board video (ATI Radeon X1250 chipset), I'd only have to buy the motherboard, RAM and CPU. Which means the breakdown becomes as follows:
- Motherboard: $77.50
- CPU: $64.99
- RAM: $52.99
- Total price: $195.48.
Now that's respectable, and even allows me to add a hard disk and a DVD drive and still end up significantly under the $500. Time to start saving I guess!!