Help building a cheap non-gaming PC


Mar 31, 2011
I need to build a PC for a friend (who has no knowledge about computers whatsoever) which is to be used for everyday common tasks and nothing else (i.e. surfing the internet, online banking, watching movies/listening to music every once in a while etc)

Would it be better to just buy one prebuilt or is it cheaper to build one myself? I'm leaning towards the latter, and I do have experience with building a PC from scratch (built me a gaming powerhouse a while back) so that's not an issue.

I'm looking for suggestions on cheap, but reliable parts to put in it. Also, would it be possible to build one in the $200-300 range?

I'm currently looking at the following motherboards which are on sale:

I also need suggestions for the other parts (CPU, PSU, Computer case, and so on...)



Dec 14, 2012
If this is just for light computer use you can get a decent pc for $300. You will have to watch for some deals to do it and it won't be a beast.

Cheap build:
FX 4100 Black Edition 3.6GHz Quad-Core Socket AM3+ $99
GA-78LMT-USB3 Socket AM3+ $50
Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR3-1333 $35
Z9 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $35
AMD Radeon HD 6450 1024MB DDR3 $65

I already had a psu and hdd for it but you can save a little with a cheaper graphics card and less memory. I also got the mobo for free. The cpu offered $70 off a mobo.
There are some cheaper parts you could buy since they probably dont need a quad core. This build cost the person I built it for $220 and they are happy with it. They do some light gaming and mostly internet browsing. You could also pick up a cheap TC102 Mid Tower ATX Computer Case with 500W Power Supply or Diablotek case with psu. They aren't quality psus but generally last a year or two with no issues.

I'm sure a few people will rag this build. But it's cheap.

Didn't notice your links to Intel boards, so not sure that you like AMD. Haven't built a cheap Intel system in a while so not too sure on that.


Jun 25, 2011
This is a really, really cheap build that will suit him just fine.
The HD 2500 graphics are within 15% of the performance of the HD 6450 dedicated card, this makes it perfectly suitable for watching movies.
This does not include a Hard Drive, or an Optical drive. Will you be re-using one?

PCPartPicker part list

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($67.53 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Intel Extreme Master, Limited Ed 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($31.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Rosewill FBM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($34.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Raidmax 630W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($38.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $213.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-14 15:06 EST-0500)


Dec 24, 2011
Here's one with an optical drive which ends at 217 bucks with rebates.

AMD A4-5300 3.4GHz Dual-Core Processor $49.99
MSI FM2-A55M-E33 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard $47.24
Crucial Ballistix 2GB (1 x 2GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $9.99 (x2)
Samsung Spinpoint M8 250GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $39.99
Rosewill R363-M-BK MicroATX Mid Tower Case w/400W Power Supply $54.99
Lite-On IHAS324-98 DVD/CD Writer $19.99

Just as long as you get a dual core trinity, llano, celeron or pentium(1155 socket on both though) it'll be more than enough for basic use. The llano and trinity will have slightly better graphics and the celeron and pentium will be slightly faster in cpu tasks. But in regular use I doubt you will be able to tell the difference.
It will use ver little power so even the usually lower quality psu you get part of a case will be more than sufficient.


Oct 12, 2010
alvine was making a superlative, not a factual statement.

No OS, No Monitor, yes it is possible to build a $200-$300 build. No, you do not want to buy this prebuilt, they'll mark you up on bad items.

Intel Pentium G630 - $74
MSI Z68A-G43 - $65 ($40 after rebate)
Cooler Master Elite 430 Case - $46 $36 with rebate
Corsair 8GB CAS 11 1600 - $46 ($36 with rebate)
Cooler Master eXtreme 500W - $48 $10 promo, $10 rebate, brings it to $28 if before 12/18
Seagate Barracuda Refurbished 750GB 7200RPM HDD - $60

Totals: $274 if before 12/18, $284 if after.

Graphics is built into the CPU.

*Edit* all links are newegg - canada