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Hardware  » Building Desktops For Christmas?

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  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/22/12 2:50:07 AM#1

I am considering building some desktops for Christmas gifts this year, but due to the number of people who need one that I would like to buy one for, I need to budget down to under $300 per computer. Since I have never attempted to build any type of computer in that budget range, and cannot afford to build them one like my own,  I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on what would be a good build for this. What would you use to build multiple systems for under $300 a piece ( not including monitors, as I luckily have that part covered.) Any ideas are welcome! ( I may need multiple part options as well in case they do not have at least 6 of that part left in stock.)

Thank you,

Carrie

 

  Cleffy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/09/04
Posts: 5364

11/22/12 4:01:34 AM#2
Its best not to build desktops as christmas presents.  Most people are not good with computers and if they have a problem, instead of annoying someone over the phone, they will be annoying you.  Best to give them money to buy their own.
  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/22/12 9:56:30 AM#3
Originally posted by Cleffy
Its best not to build desktops as christmas presents.  Most people are not good with computers and if they have a problem, instead of annoying someone over the phone, they will be annoying you.  Best to give them money to buy their own.

They already annoy me when they have a problem, that is why they are called " family." HAHA! I have already formatted / repaired  their old computers, and am constantly having to solve their problems when they are unable to figure it out,  just their old computers are really terrible, some of which do not even work anymore.  They would not be able to get anything decent for $300 if I just gave them the money, but I have seen $350 gaming builds that would be much better than anything they could buy that is prebuilt. However, due to the number of people who need them  currently, I need to bring that down another $50 in order to be able to do that.

The $350 build:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRIoHhesNqc&feature=fvwrel                                 

I am wondering if I can reduce those costs further, and if anyone has any low cost parts suggestions to give them the best build for the amount spent.  Gaging from the junk prebuilts they own  they would probably  buy something  that is not any better than what they currently have.

 

 

  Betaguy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2359

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

11/22/12 9:59:45 AM#4
Originally posted by deviliscious

I am considering building some desktops for Christmas gifts this year, but due to the number of people who need one that I would like to buy one for, I need to budget down to under $300 per computer. Since I have never attempted to build any type of computer in that budget range, and cannot afford to build them one like my own,  I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on what would be a good build for this. What would you use to build multiple systems for under $300 a piece ( not including monitors, as I luckily have that part covered.) Any ideas are welcome! ( I may need multiple part options as well in case they do not have at least 6 of that part left in stock.)

Thank you,

Carrie

 

If you give people a 300 dollar computer, and it is possible, I hope it is for just E-Machine type activities.  If you are giving them 300 dollar computers to play videogames on that is not going to happen and only end in headaches down the road.  Fyi...

  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/22/12 10:04:11 AM#5
Originally posted by Betaguy
Originally posted by deviliscious

I am considering building some desktops for Christmas gifts this year, but due to the number of people who need one that I would like to buy one for, I need to budget down to under $300 per computer. Since I have never attempted to build any type of computer in that budget range, and cannot afford to build them one like my own,  I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on what would be a good build for this. What would you use to build multiple systems for under $300 a piece ( not including monitors, as I luckily have that part covered.) Any ideas are welcome! ( I may need multiple part options as well in case they do not have at least 6 of that part left in stock.)

Thank you,

Carrie

 

If you give people a 300 dollar computer, and it is possible, I hope it is for just E-Machine type activities.  If you are giving them 300 dollar computers to play videogames on that is not going to happen and only end in headaches down the road.  Fyi...

The lowest I have seen is  the $350 gaming rig

http://teksyndicate.com/videos/kill-your-console-350-gaming-pc-june-2012

I would like to see if anyone else has any ideas.  I am sure if building a $350 rig is possible, there is a way to build  a $300 one as well.  Even the $350 rig is a Massive improvement over what they are using now. HAHA!

  Terminatr

Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/08
Posts: 115

11/22/12 10:09:08 AM#6

  Betaguy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2359

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

11/22/12 10:14:16 AM#7
Originally posted by deviliscious
Originally posted by Betaguy
Originally posted by deviliscious

I am considering building some desktops for Christmas gifts this year, but due to the number of people who need one that I would like to buy one for, I need to budget down to under $300 per computer. Since I have never attempted to build any type of computer in that budget range, and cannot afford to build them one like my own,  I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on what would be a good build for this. What would you use to build multiple systems for under $300 a piece ( not including monitors, as I luckily have that part covered.) Any ideas are welcome! ( I may need multiple part options as well in case they do not have at least 6 of that part left in stock.)

Thank you,

Carrie

 

If you give people a 300 dollar computer, and it is possible, I hope it is for just E-Machine type activities.  If you are giving them 300 dollar computers to play videogames on that is not going to happen and only end in headaches down the road.  Fyi...

The lowest I have seen is  the $350 gaming rig

http://teksyndicate.com/videos/kill-your-console-350-gaming-pc-june-2012

I would like to see if anyone else has any ideas.  I am sure if building a $350 rig is possible, there is a way to build  a $300 one as well.  Even the $350 rig is a Massive improvement over what they are using now. HAHA!

It's not an improvement when it can't handle anything but WoW, anythig else would cause dissapointment and fustration.

  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/22/12 10:25:26 AM#8
Originally posted by Betaguy
Originally posted by deviliscious
Originally posted by Betaguy
Originally posted by deviliscious

I am considering building some desktops for Christmas gifts this year, but due to the number of people who need one that I would like to buy one for, I need to budget down to under $300 per computer. Since I have never attempted to build any type of computer in that budget range, and cannot afford to build them one like my own,  I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on what would be a good build for this. What would you use to build multiple systems for under $300 a piece ( not including monitors, as I luckily have that part covered.) Any ideas are welcome! ( I may need multiple part options as well in case they do not have at least 6 of that part left in stock.)

Thank you,

Carrie

 

If you give people a 300 dollar computer, and it is possible, I hope it is for just E-Machine type activities.  If you are giving them 300 dollar computers to play videogames on that is not going to happen and only end in headaches down the road.  Fyi...

The lowest I have seen is  the $350 gaming rig

http://teksyndicate.com/videos/kill-your-console-350-gaming-pc-june-2012

I would like to see if anyone else has any ideas.  I am sure if building a $350 rig is possible, there is a way to build  a $300 one as well.  Even the $350 rig is a Massive improvement over what they are using now. HAHA!

It's not an improvement when it can't handle anything but WoW, anythig else would cause dissapointment and fustration.

Their computers are over 10+ years old and will not even play WOW. That is the working ones they have anyhow. The broken ones are not even in that  good of  shape. My Dads HP computer he bought at walmart on clearance, and  cannot even load Ebay in under 8 minutes. So yes, it would be an improvement. I am afraid to give them the money for it  because they have no idea how to spend it in regards to computers. My brother bought an old emachines from Best buy that came fully loaded with a virus when he bought it, as well as a corrupt HD.  I know you probably would not be happy with a $300 build, but they would be more than happy considering the old prebuilts I am trying to replace did not even cost them that much new retail.

 

  Betaguy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2359

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

11/22/12 10:30:45 AM#9
Originally posted by deviliscious
Originally posted by Betaguy
Originally posted by deviliscious
Originally posted by Betaguy
Originally posted by deviliscious

I am considering building some desktops for Christmas gifts this year, but due to the number of people who need one that I would like to buy one for, I need to budget down to under $300 per computer. Since I have never attempted to build any type of computer in that budget range, and cannot afford to build them one like my own,  I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on what would be a good build for this. What would you use to build multiple systems for under $300 a piece ( not including monitors, as I luckily have that part covered.) Any ideas are welcome! ( I may need multiple part options as well in case they do not have at least 6 of that part left in stock.)

Thank you,

Carrie

 

If you give people a 300 dollar computer, and it is possible, I hope it is for just E-Machine type activities.  If you are giving them 300 dollar computers to play videogames on that is not going to happen and only end in headaches down the road.  Fyi...

The lowest I have seen is  the $350 gaming rig

http://teksyndicate.com/videos/kill-your-console-350-gaming-pc-june-2012

I would like to see if anyone else has any ideas.  I am sure if building a $350 rig is possible, there is a way to build  a $300 one as well.  Even the $350 rig is a Massive improvement over what they are using now. HAHA!

It's not an improvement when it can't handle anything but WoW, anythig else would cause dissapointment and fustration.

Their computers are over 10+ years old and will not even play WOW. That is the working ones they have anyhow. The broken ones are not even in that  good of  shape. My Dads HP computer he bought at walmart on clearance, and  cannot even load Ebay in under 8 minutes. So yes, it would be an improvement. I am afraid to give them the money for it  because they have no idea how to spend it in regards to computers. My brother bought an old emachines from Best buy that came fully loaded with a virus when he bought it, as well as a corrupt HD.  I know you probably would not be happy with a $300 build, but they would be more than happy considering the old prebuilts I am trying to replace did not even cost them that much new retail.

 

Buy them 199 dollar Playbooks.... sounds all they want is emachines.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 12767

11/22/12 10:31:23 AM#10

That's $356 without an OS.  That's fine if they're Linux fans, but giving a Linux machine to someone who is clueless about computers is a bad idea.  A Windows license adds $100 to the cost.

So let's come up with the cheapest machines that we can.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1126635

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130641

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148455

That comes to $221.44 before $35 in mail-in rebates.  But those parts are all limited to 3 or 5 per customer, and the rebates are one per customer.  If you're building them for six different people at six different addresses, you could get around that by having them "bought" by six different people.  That would make the Christmas present very much not a Christmas surprise, though.

I'm assuming that you can salvage a SATA optical drive out of old machines, or else leave machines without one.  I'm also assuming that you can salvage peripherals (keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, surge protector) from other machines.  And there still isn't an OS license listed.

And yes, we're cutting corners.  The memory needs 1.65 V to reach a meager 1333 MHz.  The hard drive is a 5400 RPM laptop drive, which is glacially slow.  If you don't like that, then how do you feel about giving people a 60 GB SSD and no hard drive?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227811

That adds $25 to the cost, however.

On the bright side, the motherboard should work, the power supply is decent, 8 GB of memory should last them basically forever, and you get a real quad core processor with viable graphics.

  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/22/12 10:53:34 AM#11
Originally posted by Quizzical

That's $356 without an OS.  That's fine if they're Linux fans, but giving a Linux machine to someone who is clueless about computers is a bad idea.  A Windows license adds $100 to the cost.

So let's come up with the cheapest machines that we can.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1126635

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130641

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148455

That comes to $221.44 before $35 in mail-in rebates.  But those parts are all limited to 3 or 5 per customer, and the rebates are one per customer.  If you're building them for six different people at six different addresses, you could get around that by having them "bought" by six different people.  That would make the Christmas present very much not a Christmas surprise, though.

I'm assuming that you can salvage a SATA optical drive out of old machines, or else leave machines without one.  I'm also assuming that you can salvage peripherals (keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, surge protector) from other machines.  And there still isn't an OS license listed.

And yes, we're cutting corners.  The memory needs 1.65 V to reach a meager 1333 MHz.  The hard drive is a 5400 RPM laptop drive, which is glacially slow.  If you don't like that, then how do you feel about giving people a 60 GB SSD and no hard drive?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227811

That adds $25 to the cost, however.

On the bright side, the motherboard should work, the power supply is decent, and you get a real quad core processor with viable graphics.

Thank you very much! I have the OS, monitor, mouse and keyboards covered already, so those are not a concern.  I had looked at that case last night as well and was comparing it to this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811156281

but was weary  of the Raidmax  because it costs more initially and have to wait on rebate,  it didn't have any reviews yet, and I have not tried any Raidmax cases.

Thank you very much for your suggestions, they look better than what I had found.

~ Carrie

 

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/22/12 10:53:50 AM#12
have a look around for these auction sites where when businesses fold they auction off their office desktops and stuff in bulk.
  Traugar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 159

11/22/12 11:09:16 AM#13
Originally posted by Quizzical

That's $356 without an OS.  That's fine if they're Linux fans, but giving a Linux machine to someone who is clueless about computers is a bad idea.  A Windows license adds $100 to the cost.

So let's come up with the cheapest machines that we can.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1126635

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130641

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148455

That comes to $221.44 before $35 in mail-in rebates.  But those parts are all limited to 3 or 5 per customer, and the rebates are one per customer.  If you're building them for six different people at six different addresses, you could get around that by having them "bought" by six different people.  That would make the Christmas present very much not a Christmas surprise, though.

I'm assuming that you can salvage a SATA optical drive out of old machines, or else leave machines without one.  I'm also assuming that you can salvage peripherals (keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, surge protector) from other machines.  And there still isn't an OS license listed.

And yes, we're cutting corners.  The memory needs 1.65 V to reach a meager 1333 MHz.  The hard drive is a 5400 RPM laptop drive, which is glacially slow.  If you don't like that, then how do you feel about giving people a 60 GB SSD and no hard drive?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227811

That adds $25 to the cost, however.

On the bright side, the motherboard should work, the power supply is decent, 8 GB of memory should last them basically forever, and you get a real quad core processor with viable graphics.

Linux is fine for them.  My mom is clueless about computers, but needed one on an extreme budget.  All she uses her computer for is internet, and email.  I loaded Mint on it, and renamed the firefox icon to internet.  She has used it fine for a few years now.  I am getting her another computer this year, and all she wants to keep mint.  If you aren' t playing games, or needing to use windows software then you aren't going to run into the various issues with Linux that would require a knowledge of computers.  

  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/28/12 12:29:53 PM#14
Originally posted by Quizzical

That's $356 without an OS.  That's fine if they're Linux fans, but giving a Linux machine to someone who is clueless about computers is a bad idea.  A Windows license adds $100 to the cost.

So let's come up with the cheapest machines that we can.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1126635

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130641

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147023

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148455

That comes to $221.44 before $35 in mail-in rebates.  But those parts are all limited to 3 or 5 per customer, and the rebates are one per customer.  If you're building them for six different people at six different addresses, you could get around that by having them "bought" by six different people.  That would make the Christmas present very much not a Christmas surprise, though.

I'm assuming that you can salvage a SATA optical drive out of old machines, or else leave machines without one.  I'm also assuming that you can salvage peripherals (keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, surge protector) from other machines.  And there still isn't an OS license listed.

And yes, we're cutting corners.  The memory needs 1.65 V to reach a meager 1333 MHz.  The hard drive is a 5400 RPM laptop drive, which is glacially slow.  If you don't like that, then how do you feel about giving people a 60 GB SSD and no hard drive?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227811

That adds $25 to the cost, however.

On the bright side, the motherboard should work, the power supply is decent, 8 GB of memory should last them basically forever, and you get a real quad core processor with viable graphics.

I just wanted to let you know, I received the PSU and cases and the PSU doesn' t work with the case. The mounting screw alignment for  that  Corsair PSU unit does not match the case.  I am trying to see if I can find an easy solution here, none of the screws align properly. I looked this problem up online and apparantly it is an issue with the PSU, as some are reporting that it does not even align with cases from the same maker as the PSU. I was considering sending them back for a dif model, but Since I mod cases anyhow, I think I will just make the needed  modifications to make it work, as that will be faster for me to get it done. * breaks out  blow torch* :)

~Carrie

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 12767

11/28/12 12:38:32 PM#15
What doesn't match about it?  From a quick eyeball test, they sure look to me like they match--though that wouldn't catch it if something is a quarter of an inch off.  You've oriented the power supply with the screw holes at the back of the case and the big fan pointing downward, I hope?
  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/28/12 12:42:01 PM#16
Originally posted by Quizzical
What doesn't match about it?  From a quick eyeball test, they sure look to me like they match--though that wouldn't catch it if something is a quarter of an inch off.  You've oriented the power supply with the screw holes at the back of the case and the big fan pointing downward, I hope?

No, that model has a funky alignment. Edit:  They are about half an inch off on all sides.  Yes, I know which way is up. :p When I googled it, seems this was a problem with the PSU from the complaints coming in about it. It doesn't even fit in the opening properly ( the  piece surrounding the the power cord  was slightly too high bending the top back piece of thecase.) I am making a  custom mount to the case to fit the PSU though.

I could just put the screws in the air holes in the back of the PSU, but I want to make sure it is more secure than that since it will be transported and I don't want that sucker coming loose. I am making something to be sure it isn't moving anywhere. :)

Edit: I already have one secured well now.  I work faster than sending it back. The modifications I made can be used with any psu, so if we have to switch them out later it won't be a problem. 5 more to go.. HAHA! :)

If  a few Screw holes is all I have to worry about being off at this price, then it was  good day.

  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/28/12 1:22:18 PM#17

Quiz,

Okay I have now opened and fitted all of the PSU's. Only one had perfect screw alignment. 3 were only slightly off, 2 were way off. The 2 that were slightly off I did not have to make modfications for since I could get at least 2 screws in.  I think I just must have gotten some that got messed up during machining. That may be the problem here. The holes on some of the same model work fine, some do not.  So only one more I have to make a custom mount for the rest will be fine.

Thanks,

Carrie

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 12767

11/28/12 1:25:51 PM#18
Originally posted by deviliscious

Quiz,

Okay I have now opened and fitted all of the PSU's. Only one had perfect screw alignment. 3 were only slightly off, 2 were way off. The 2 that were slightly off I did not have to make modfications for since I could get at least 2 screws in.  I think I just must have gotten some that got messed up during machining. That may be the problem here. The holes on some of the same model work fine, some do not.  So only one more I have to make a custom mount for the rest will be fine.

Thanks,

Carrie

That's very strange.  And it's also the sort of thing that one wouldn't catch by eyeballing a picture of one unit on New Egg.

  deviliscious

Novice Member

Joined: 11/09/07
Posts: 6924

"Adjusts ponytails and pulls the lollipop out of my mouth"

 
OP  11/28/12 1:32:39 PM#19
Originally posted by Quizzical
Originally posted by deviliscious

Quiz,

Okay I have now opened and fitted all of the PSU's. Only one had perfect screw alignment. 3 were only slightly off, 2 were way off. The 2 that were slightly off I did not have to make modfications for since I could get at least 2 screws in.  I think I just must have gotten some that got messed up during machining. That may be the problem here. The holes on some of the same model work fine, some do not.  So only one more I have to make a custom mount for the rest will be fine.

Thanks,

Carrie

That's very strange.  And it's also the sort of thing that one wouldn't catch by eyeballing a picture of one unit on New Egg.

Yea, I think the guy checking the alignment needs to not drink  before work. HAHA!

  Ridelynn

Elite Member

Joined: 12/19/10
Posts: 3168

11/28/12 2:00:03 PM#20

[quote]Originally posted by deviliscious
[b][quote] Originally posted by Quizzical [quote] Originally posted by deviliscious [color=#ff0000]Quiz, Okay I have now opened and fitted all of the PSU's. Only one had perfect screw alignment. 3 were only slightly off, 2 were way off. The 2 that were slightly off I did not have to make modfications for since I could get at least 2 screws in.  I think I just must have gotten some that got messed up during machining. That may be the problem here. The holes on some of the same model work fine, some do not.  So only one more I have to make a custom mount for the rest will be fine. Thanks, Carrie [/quote] That's very strange.  And it's also the sort of thing that one wouldn't catch by eyeballing a picture of one unit on New Egg.[/quote]Yea, I think the guy checking the alignment needs to not drink  before work. HAHA! [/color][/b][/quote]

Very common problem with budget cases. I'm surprised you didn't have motherboard alignment issues as well.

*edit* no idea why bbcodes are all of a sudden deciding to completely not work, but I'm not fixing it. Stupid forum software here.

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