Aug 3

Buildin’ stuff

Posted by Matty

I needed a new computer for an upcoming project at home (hereafter referred to as “Project X”). Instead of going out to Best Buy or Circuit City, I figured that I would save a couple of bucks and build one from parts.

I shopped wisely and built a basic computer that fit my needs. So, what kind of computer can you build on the cheap? Take a peek and see…


needed a system that was physically small (and cute), with average computing capabilities. Project X doesn’t involve playing graphic-intensive games, it just needs to be a stable and sturdy system. To help ensure stability, I went with name brand parts.

I ended up building a far more powerful system than I actually needed, because of price points. For example I could have bought a 40GB hard drive for $37 but chose an 80 GB for $41. I bought all of the parts at This isn’t a commercial for Newegg, they just usually have pretty good deals on this sort of stuff.

Here is the cost breakdown:

  • Case and motherboard – BIOSTAR iDEQ N1 – $139.99
  • Processor – AMD Sempron 64 1.6GHz Socket 754 Processor – $27.99
  • RAM – Kingston ValueRAM 1GB (2 x 512MB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 – $56.99
  • Hard Drive – Western Digital 80GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra – $41.99
  • DVD drive – Had an old one sitting in a box – $0.00
  • Floppy drive – Who needs a floppy drive? $0.00

Total cost without shipping? $266.86. After that, it took about an hour to put the parts together. In the meantime, I saved a couple hundred bucks over what you might find in the store and got a uniquely sized case to boot. When’s the last time you saw a computer at Best Buy for under $300?

If you haven’t ever built a computer before, I would put the effort level at about the same as putting together a 6-piece jigsaw puzzle — it’s not really all that difficult at all. Just read the instructions. It’s certainly much easier than putting together a piece of furniture from Ikea. The hardest part is figuring out your needs, then making sure that you get the right parts. For example, buying the right processor type for your motherboard…

Check out the build in the exciting gallery.

6 Responses to “Buildin’ stuff”

  1. Nanc Says:

    Did you name this bitty ‘puter yet? (We’re not sticking with “Jennifer”, are we?)

    Um… also, you still need to pick up the towel, bowl, and packaging. Or do I need to post a follow-up picture of that scene? ;p

  2. Matty Says:

    Shhh!!!… you may have said too much about project X… (umm… and uh, project cleanup)…


  3. P-la Says:

    We are huge Newegg fans in our house! Look forward to watching your progress on Project X. (And go clean up your mess!!! If wifey ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!)

  4. Jen da Purse Ho Says:

    HEY! you are going to name the bitty puter “jennifer”? like mE?!??!?!?! teeee-heeeeeeeeee…

    great job on the little puter. 🙂 you rock!

  5. Rachel Says:

    Yippee! A blog update, and an information one at that. I look forward to seeing more progress on Project X.

  6. aubyn Says:

    You are building a robot jen-wow that seems really complicated.