Jun 19, 2002
Ok... so I'm trying to help a friend build a computer. Basically, his old one is so completely old and hosed that there's absolutely no point in even wasting time trying to get it working. He's simply going to take his hard drives (which the comp/XP setup no longer recognizes) and move on.

Basic facts:
- NOT a PC gamer. *WILL* not be a PC gamer. Isn't a PC gamer. HEY!! He doesn't game on PCs!!!
- Currently has an extremely low budget, but should be getting a decent job before too long.
- Main focus is music and lots of it.
- Very small chance of possibly doing some video editing some time way in the future (from videos taken on a phone).
- Likes to use photoshop from time to time, but doesn't do anything major and most likely won't.

Given this, my initial plan was:
- a mobo that has at least somewhat of an upgrade path
- decent on-board sound
- on-board gfx
- a case+PSU since he doesn't need anything special
- a fairly decent CPU to the point that he most likely won't have to upgrade for a decade. Not a quad core, but the board should allot for the possibility of a quad core should he decide to get into editing or whatever.
- a good chunk of memory, again to the point he won't have to upgrade for a decade.

Quick question before I list my picks so far... has newegg drastically reduced the amount of inventory they have? It seems like there are *way* less options in some categories than before...

Anyway, here's the list:
- $55 COOLER MASTER Elite RC-330-KKR1 Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 350W Power Supply
- $84 - $15 MIR MSI P43 Neo3-F LGA 775 Intel P43 ATX Intel Motherboard
- $164 Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80570E8400
- $60 - $30 MIR OCZ Platinum 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ2P10664GK

Total: $364 - $319 AR

Can you think of something better? Lower price? Better stability? I haven't been in the game for about 2 years now, so my knowledge is not at all up to date.


Dec 24, 2008
Don't get that case for the PSU, its garbage. The case is fine. Here is how I would build a cheap system:
You can get a better CPU if you want, and maybe a discrete GPU:
If he will do video editing you can OC that CPU on the stock cooler to around 3.2-3.4 ghz or so, or perhaps invest in an aftermarket cooler. The E8400 isn't really worth the price if you want to keep it cheap, as the Core 2 line overclocks very well and you can match its performance with a cheaper CPU.


Jun 19, 2002
I picked that case fully expecting the PSU to be garbage because, and I already made this *very* clear to him, if he ever *does* plan on upgrading to a video card, he MUST get a better PSU. There will not be one without the other. For what he's doing now, a cheap PSU is fine.

I'll definitely take your mobo choice into consideration though... admittedly that's probably the area I'm weakest in at the moment.

Also, he doesn't need HDs, and if he does want more space, I'll just check slickdeals until there's a good HD buy. I should have clarified in the beginning.

You make a very good point about the core 2 cpus and cost, and I'm well aware that Intel did a brilliant job in terms of their overclocking capacity, but I'm looking for something that will be stable... again, the whole decade idea. I realize a decade is a bit far fetched, but overclocking pretty much takes it out of the picture entirely. That's also the reason that I didn't even consider a CPU fan... because I was planning on *no* OC.


Nov 24, 2008
LGA 775 has no more upgradabiltiy, the only this to go to is quad core and the those aren't great over the E8400. The AM2+ can take the AM3 chips. Whether it matters or not the 790GX has much better onboard GFX card. Enermax Case/PSU AMD 7750 with Biostar 790GX Corsair DDR2 800 $45 - $25MIR LG DVD Burner $25 WD 320GB AAKS $55

$295 - $45MIR

edit: upgrade to AMD Phenom 9600 for $25.
The OP's list doesnt include a gfx card. Theres no onboard gfx either .

MykC's build is much better , and while the cpu is a fair bit weaker its more than enough for the intended use, and the build includes the best onboard gfx available


Jun 19, 2002
Haha... I'm an idiot... I did miss the onboard video.

Yeah, AMD would probably be the cheaper way to go. See? *THIS* is why I made the thread!

Thanks guys.