So, I’m thinking about building a small back-up desktop PC for the other members of the family to surf, play music, watch DVDs, some casual and kids gaming, etc. I have a hard-limit budget of $750 and I haven’t built a computer from the ground-up for a few years so I’m out of the loop on where the sweet spots are and where I can shave a few bucks.
I shouldn’t think a heavy graphics card is needed. Actually probably I can stick with integrated graphics. Same with sound. I just want the best PC I can build given $750.
I built an e521 for my parents last week for $450 (excluding monitor, which they already have). Except for the video card, it smokes my PC. I also configurated one for a friend today with 17" flat panel for $750 (2 year warranty included). Even without any deals or corporate discounts, those 521s are damn decent non-gaming rigs. Right now they have free regular ground shipping and Vista upgrade (from Windows Media edition) as well.
That is by no means a useless system. It’s not a Core2 Duo either, but I’m unsure given what you seem to want to use a system for why you’d care about that. Dell had the Core2 with the cheaper of their 20" LCD’s on sale with 512MB of memory last Friday for $730. It seemed to not be a huge special of a price.
It has the advantage of not having to wait thru the x-mas rush for it to be shipped to us since we can pick it up today. Plus it seems reasonably powerful, and I get $100 rebate, though I’m going a bit over my budget out the door with tax.
The 17" monitor bothers me, but not that much since I’ll be using my 21" and the wife and kid can use this one! HA!
Don’t do this unless you plan to take the CPU/Memory, maybe hard drive and OEM OS install and move it into another barebones machine. The PSU, and motherboard will suck. The case will be small and hot, and you’ll melt the good shit you put in there when you upgrade the video card. I’ve never heard anyone report a good result after following this advice.
Just ask Bill Dungsroman for a QT3 local’s experience with this “budget” plan. He practically bought an entire new PC worth of upgrades after it self-destructed. Spend a bit more and go with a cheap Dell if you want to upgrade a bargain PC.
EDIT: I’ll admit this is based on anecdotal evidence, but I’m curious if anyone out there has really had a successful experience with an upgraded Emachine.
Well, maybe it’s not as gloomy as I’ve heard. Just don’t get a card that runs too hot, and make sure its power requirements are met by the PSU that your Emachine is sporting. If it does cause instability, you can always buy the roomier case and PSU at that time.
Ok thanks. I knew I needed to check the power rails on the PSU. Ill keep an eye on temps also.
I searched for a thread about Bill having a problem with his and I couldn’t find it. I found where he talked about doing it before hand, but not where he had done it and had a problem. Oh well Ill drop him a pm before I do anything.
Well, what do you want on the cheap? If you want a better power supply, you can pick one up for $40 when you buy the videocard. (And at least the emachines PSU isn’t proprietary.)
I ran a full suite of benchmarks with an emachines and a 6600GT back in the day–twice, even–and never ran into any heat or power problems. Granted, I had them for a month or two. The cases are small, but they had enough ventilation.
Also, both had name brand motherboards, just older models. One had an MSI board.