Build Your Own €500 PC

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One of the things we really enjoy doing for the blog is setting someone a fairly unreasonable budget and then asking them to build a PC with it. It’s something that Ryan has come to see happen a little more often than he’d like really, but since a lot of people had asked what was the cheapest someone could reasonably expect to build a PC for, we decided to see how low we could push our resident Welshman.

This machine was built around one of our upgrade kits, click through to see its product page 🙂

I should probably note here that Ryan did put this build together under duress – we did have to keep telling him to stay under budget, no matter how sensible it seemed to go “just a bit” over the €500 mark. If you find yourself with a little extra, don’t hesitate to use this build as a base and flesh out the bits and pieces you find wanting.

We’ll take it from the top now. The first piece of advice was that you can pick up an Upgrade Kit from us that contains the CPU, motherboard and RAM in one pack, which saves some organisational woes.

CPU:

When it comes to processor, you’re most likely going to want to skimp a little but not so much that you’ll hobble the entire machine. Anyone who’d guessed we’d be going with an AMD processor on our budget build won’t be at all surprised to see we’re using the Phenom II X2 550.

Click through to see our page for the AMD Phenom II X2 550 🙂

AMD’s Phenom II X2 550 is a solid dual-core, socket AM3 processor that runs at a respectable enough 3.1GHz. Moreover, it’s a reliable processor, so you should find it just runs and runs forever; it shouldn’t be something you need to worry about having to replace later unless you plan on upgrading, in which case, this may not be the best build for you…

The AMD Phenom II X2 550 will set you back around €88, which isn’t bad at all. It’s a nice start to a low cost machine.

Motherboard:

Of course, having found yourself a nice, cheap processor, you’ll then need to find yourself a nice, cheap motherboard to plug it into.

Click through to see our page for the MSI K9N6PGM2-V 🙂

Fortunately enough, that’s not really a problem; MSI’s K9N6PGM2-V may have a name that’s barely distinguishable from a license plate, but it’ll do the job nicely. Not only will it do the job nicely, but it’ll also give you eight USB ports, if you feel you’ll need eight.

The best thing about MSI’s K9N6PGM2-V is that it weighs in at just €36.50, which makes it a bit of a steal for anyone building a very tightly budgeted system indeed.

RAM:

The RAM included in this bundle is 2GB of Corsair’s Value S. PC 5300 DDR2. It’s cheap and it’ll get the job done, and Corsair memory is generally nice and reliable, which is a solid recommendation 🙂

Power Supply:

The power supply for this build doesn’t need to be able to manage anything monumental, so going overboard with it would just be a bit of a waste of budget. Instead, we’ve gone with a 400W Corsair.

Click through to see our page for the Corsair 400W power supply 🙂

Corsair’s CX 400W will set you back by €46, which isn’t going to break the bank. Moreover, it’s won a shower of awards, which makes it an easy power supply to recommend on a build like this, where you’re not in any real danger of needing a vast amount of power.

Graphics Card:

When it comes to graphics, your options are always going to be limited by a combination of your motherboard and your budget. Sapphire’s Radeon HD 4650 fits the bill neatly without dragging up the price like mad.

Click through to see our page for the Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 🙂

The Radeon HD 4650 boasts 1GB of DDR2 memory, an output resolution of 2560 x 1600 and a clock speed of 600MHz. It is, as you might expect, a PCI Express 2.0 x16 card too.

All the specifications aside, you’ll be pleased to hear that Sapphire’s Radeon HD 4650 will set you back by just shy of €50, which isn’t all that much in the scheme of things.

Operating System:

We had a bit of a poke at Ryan for saying that when he was building a €1,200 gaming PC for the blog he could include a copy of Windows 7, then later having to remove it so that he could stay on budget. To shove that in my face, he’s managed to fit a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium into his €500 build. That’s no mean feat, considering the fact that Windows 7 alone is €89.

Of course, the only real way to fit in an OS is if you already have a hard drive floating around that you’d be happy to recomission as the main drive for your €500 PC. Otherwise, you’ll need to splash out and spend some money on a hard drive for yourself, but since this is such a slim budget built, we figured there’d be a lot of people who wanted to cannibalise parts from another machine, and a HDD is one of the parts easiest to loot from an old machine without having a massive impact on performance or how you assemble the build.

We’d recommend the Samsung SpinPoint F1, you can’t say fairer than 1TB for €69…

Display:

Of course, never one to just rectify something he’s done before, Ryan has gone one step further and managed to fit a display into a €500 PC build, which is always impressive.

Click through to see our page for the eighteen and a half inch Acer widescreen 🙂

It’s only more impressive that he’s managed to fit in a nice display with his build. Acer’s 18.5” widescreen manages a maximumresolution of 1366 x 768, which isn’t bad at all when you consider the fact that the whole build manages to arrive under budget, with just about everything you’d need except for a keyboard and mouse.

You can pick up the Acer 18.5” widescreen display for €109 and it’ll round out your €500 build quite stylishly.

Case:

Normally, we’d have the case somewhere near the top, but it seems as though Ryan may or may not have been a little ambitious when it came to inputs and stretched to include a keyboard and mouse.

Click through to see our page for the NZXT Gamma Steel tower 🙂

In the same way as the Windows 7 incident, his enthusiasm for getting as much as possible in may or may not have resulted in this build almost not having a case. Fortunately, he was willing to drop the mouse and keyboard in favour of actually having something to put all the parts in 😉

The case itself is an NZXT Gamma Steel tower, and it hits that €45 sweetspot neatly, keeping us nicely under budget.

Closing:

So, there you have it. In keeping with the theme of our recent builds, we’d love to hear if anyone else has anything better they can manage for on or under the €500 mark.

We’ll also be arranging a competition, so whoever manages to most impressive build for at or under the €500 mark will win themselves something nice. It’s win-win for people who enjoy trying to put together a machine on a tight budget, and we know you’re out there.

We’ll post the details of the competition in our forum at boards.ie – I’ll link it here once its up, so that people can get involved and, as is necessary in competition, trash talk one another and ridicule each other’s builds.

If you already have computer components that you would like to add to your PC, why not register for and bring them along with you to one of our Build your own PC classes and we’d be happy to show you how to do it! Visit http://www.komplettblog.ie/events/ for location and dates.

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3 Responses to “Build Your Own €500 PC”

  1. Ryan Says:

    Nice blog Marc. And good luck with the competition guys ! The prize is quite nice !

  2. Competition – Build Your Own « Komplett Ireland Says:

    […] did make Ryan put together a PC for €500 during the week, and his went very well indeed. So we’ve decided that we’ll see what the rest of you guys can […]

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