My very first build, on an Air tight budget


Apr 15, 2009
OK, I am total newbie to this so please bare with me. just got laid off so this will have to a BIG TIME BUDGET BUILD, as i am working with very little cash. im trying to keep it as close to $300 as possible (Tough, I know). im not a gamer nor do i intend to be, im not going to use it as a TV either. i will be using the system mainly to download videos, music, make home movies with camcorder footage and school work, nothing too hardcore. OH, and I'll be running XP on it. now dont get me wrong id like to have something as fast as i can get away with given my budget. the computer i currently have now is too embarrassing to even mention, only things i can apply towards this build are the hard drive, dvd-rw and monitor.

SO FAR after some snooping around ive come up with a rough draft build, PLEASE feel free to make any suggestions that could help me out. a better item for my cause, if i am missing anything, whether adding or subtracting a few bucks here or there would add any benefit. OH, i live quite close to a frys and microcenter BTW.

CPU: Intel E5200 69.99+ fs @ newegg. id like to O/C to about 3.5 GHz

MoBo: GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L Micro ATX @ newegg 52.99+fs

RAM: G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-8500CL5D-4GBPK - 54.99 @ newegg

TOWER/Case: Rosewill TU-155 Black Steel ATX Black 0.8mm SGCC Steel Mid Tower 59.99@ newegg

= $238.00 so far ...

1) would the stock cooler allow me to go to about 3.5 GHz ? or would i need a new one?
2) are separate video cards needed ONLY if i plan on gaming or watching movies? in other words, would the integrated video be more then adequate for my needs?
3) will the stock PSU that come with my case make do, or will i have to get another one?
Try a o/c of (12.5 x 266) 3.3GHz @ 1066 fsb. As far as a video card...I have no idea what games you play and what your screen resolution is. But I do know this much, I wouldn't use that raidmax psu for anything other than a door stop or a paper weight. Combo Discount: -$10.00 Combo Price: $112.98
GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L LGA 775 Intel G31 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Intel Pentium E5200 Wolfdale 2.5GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80571E5200 - Retail $29.99 ($19.99 after $10.00 Mail-In Rebate)
Sunbeam CR-CCTF92-4 92mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail

for what you plan on doing with your pc, check out a cheap pre built like an emachine. They are decent for what you want to do, and they are inexpensive.
1. No, and I think trying to move the FSB that high with a G31 might be hard, if possible at all. Stock speeds will be just gine for what you need however.

2. Your needs are not completely clear. I can think of better onboard GPUs at the same price.

3. It's never a good idea to cut corners on the PSU, and therein lies the problem with any $300 build.

Someone who does the budget system builds over at AnandTech claims this Sigma case and PSU is adequate. I have serious doubts regarding this but supply the link anyway:
Sigma case and PSU

The PSU is made by Sun Pro, in China. They are not a recognized PSU builder and there is no further information on the company. The PSU has never been tested by a qualified reviewer, so don't bother looking.

On the other hand, I know for certain that Rosewill PSUs are junk.

Here you go:

Antec Sonata W/500W PSU $120 -I am absolutely certain that this is a quality case and the PSU is top notch.

Sigma case and PSU -I am 65% sure this a junk PSU.

Corsair 450VX PSU That's a quality PSU that will run your rig.


Dec 24, 2008
I would reuse your old computer and just rip out the internals. That Gigabyte G31 MB can achieve a FSB of 1600mhz by OC (says Gigabyte's website, as well as the box that I just got with one inside, I haven't actually tried it out yet). Get a small decent cooler like that one why_me showed you and 4GB cheapo ram and that MB you were looking at in this combo deal. If you don't game then you won't need a discrete GPU, so just use onboard graphics. This PSU is a good deal and very high quality and will power any system using up to a HD 4830 GPU, even if you OC that CPU.