Home Computer

By dwyeredward1 ·
I am/was an IT guy, but it has been awhile since I've bought a new computer. I bought a refurbished Lenovo laptop, but it is a problem and being returned. Any suggestions on a cheap alternative? When I say cheap, I mean below $400. I would like to buy my own parts for a desktop, but it has been awhile and there are so many, many options. I do not care for nor need Windows 8.

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Might depend on your geographic location...

by wizard57m-cnet Moderator In reply to Home Computer

in the USA, many OEMs produce sub-$400 dollar models, Acer, Dell, HP come to mind.
The only desktop I've ever purchased for myself "new in the box" is my Dell Inspiron 510S,
bought in 2008, plus a Lexmark all in one printer/scanner, for under $500. Have not had any issues. If you shop around, many big box stores (Staples, WalMart, Best Buy etc) run specials all the time, and you may find something at those. I bought my Dell with WinXP SP2, since updated to SP3, and added an additional gig of RAM to total of handles everything I have to throw at it so far. As for notebooks, most of the lower cost models have lower specifications, especially on RAM. You might get lucky though and find one with 2 or 3 gigs RAM, around 500 gig HD, on closeout. I inherited a Compaq Presario CQ62 with 2 gig RAM, 500 gig HD, with Win7 Pro, and it does a good enough job for my purposes...I was given that in trade for a loan I'd made to my daughter's former boyfriend, oh well, guess it wasn't a total loss.

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Tough Cost Limit

by TheChas In reply to Home Computer

At $400 it will be hard to build up a system unless you use used components. The computer component market in the US is pretty much geared toward gaming and other high end systems.

Windows 7 OEM is $90 to 140 US
AMD AM3+ motherboard with CPU and RAM is going to run at least another $100 if you keep it REAL low end. Figure on $250 for a reasonable system.
Then, at least another $100 for HDD, DVD, and case.
Add another $100 if you need a monitor.

The good news is that you can get motherboards with all the other parts built in, so you don't need a video card or NIC.

I use newegg for most of my computer part purchases. I have found it to cost just a few dollars more for new then for refurbs or older models at other sources.

I have had decent results with Biostar and ASUS motherboards. Gigibyte is another brand I would consider.

If I want to get an inexpensive system, I go to my local computer recycling center. They have low end (4 year old) systems for about $100 and newer systems for around $200.

As to consumer level systems, it is very difficult to buy a new system that does not have Windows 8 on it. Places like Tiger Direct or Comp USA might have a few Windows 7 systems.


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