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Build A 4GB RAM Quad Core System For $375!

Updated on July 31, 2008

I just had to laugh my poor old face right off when I saw that some poor misbegotten creature is trying to hawk a 4GB RAM Intel Quad Core Q6600 system on Ebay for $1899! No, you don't get a 28" monitor with this system, you don't even get a keyboard or mouse. What you do get is one absolutely ridiculously overpriced computer that anyone in their right mind would never consider purchasing. However, in the famous words of P.T. Barnum "there's a sucker born every minute" and most neophytes are just so bedazzled by the concept of having four cores and four gigs of RAM in their computer case that they might think that almost $2000 is a good deal. Of course that is nothing short of crazy, as all you need to do is to let your fingers do the walking to some major computer etailers and you'll see just how little these components really cost. Let's check out the current prices for components on

  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model HH80562PH0568M - $180
  • pqi POWER Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model MAD44GUOE-X2 - $70
  • MSI P6NGM-L LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce7050 / nForce610i Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - $45
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250310AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - $55
  • Linkworld 3230-18 c2228u Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply - $25

Some hardcore gamers might be turned off by the Nvidia GeForce 7050 integrated onto the motherboard. Fair enough, as it is not exactly my first choice if I wanted to get 1920 x 1200 or higher resolution at sizzling frame rates. But for the rest of us who think that an advanced, exciting game to play on our computers is Minesweeper or Solitaire, we won't ever know the difference. Many computer users get blinded by the high end video card wars and start to think that they need all this video processing power just to run their monitors. In the vast majority of cases, they are completely wrong. If you are using typical office type applications, surfing the web, etc. then all that extra video processing capability is completely wasted. You'll never know it was there. As I mentioned in my Build A Dual Core System For $198 Hub, I don't use my DVD drive at all (not even once) and I have less than 50GB filled up on my hard drive, so the 250GB Seagate 7200.10 is going to be more than enough for me and millions of computer users like me.

There you have it, a full 4GB RAM, state of the art Q6600 Intel Quad Core system with all the bells and whistles and you'll still have enough money left over from four one hundred dollar bills to buy a keyboard, a mouse, two Big Mac Combo Meals, a box of M&Ms and a gallon of gasoline! What more could you ever want, especially when we consider that we are in the midst of a fairly vicious recession?


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      jojo 7 years ago

      I think many of us would like to know the parts needed to put a starter together.A system capable of handling avid premiere cs3 etc.We would like it to be close as possible to 400 barring the possibility that we may need to upgrade the memory or HD latter of course. Seems as though the Core I5 and I7 are where its centered at?

    • profile image

      varun jain 7 years ago

      can u send me sum link whr i can configure the above and get it done in minimum budget ?



      Varun Jain

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Oxchase, the only way to go is to configure the twin brother of my current system:

      Core i7 920 on Turbo, 12 GB RAM, Velociraptor Boot Drive, RAID 1 Mirror TB Drives.

      This sucka FLIES! It's absolutely unbelievable and will run Avid much faster than any Core 2 Quad or Phenom II.

    • oxchase profile image

      oxchase 8 years ago

      What would you recommend for a very fast pc for a professional Video editing programs like Avid, Visual Fx pro etc for a realtime playback on timeline without sticking when playing back unrendered effects?

      I hope to read about your recommendation. Thanx.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Your Vostro 1310 currently has 2 GB of DDR2 SDRAM - 667 MHz SODIMM 200-pin RAM that is almost certainly in 2 x 1 GB sticks. All you need to do is to buy 2 x 2 GB sticks of identical RAM and replace them. (You can't use the existing 1 GBs unfortunately). Your recommended latency is 5-5-5-15, so don't change that. There are countless manufacturers out there, but if you wanted to go with Corsair (a very good brand), their part number for the full kit is VS4GSDSKIT667D2.

    • profile image

      machie 9 years ago

      i have DELL vostro 1310 laptop with 2GB SARTA RAM, can any one advise me how to upgrade my RAM to 4 GB with very high speed with out hasel and worries

      please email me if you can, i will be billion time thank you

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Again, I know that the specified PSU is not a system-killer, but sure, if you want to bump the budget to even $400 you can do WAY better on a PSU!

    • profile image

      Xyro TR1 9 years ago

      I live by the philosophy "If you're going to do it, do it right, not twice." To further explain this, let me use an example out of your "cheap" build. The Power Supply is not sufficient for that system. In this case, you're required to do one of two things: get a beefier power supply or get a lower-spec'd system. If you only have $375 to spend on a system, then you should get quality parts, even if they're lower spec'd, instead of cheap faster parts. If you want to build a fast system, then SAVE your money until you have a sufficient amount to buy the quality parts for your system. That way, you won't have to deal with your power supply blowing up your entire computer because it was too powerful.

    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      I fully agree with you that the PSU that comes in a case retailing for $25 is not exactly a PC Power & Cooling T1KWSR Turbo-Cool 1KW. You always get what you pay for. The reason I chose this particular cheap case/PSU combo is because a friend has one that he has used for a E6300 system and it has worked flawlessly for months. As for the SATA connector, I have just called to ask him and he claims that he has a SATA drive in the case and it's powered off the PSU, so perhaps some of these setups have SATA connectors and others don't. Regardless, I fully agree that you should always buy the best PSU you can afford.

    • profile image

      SoGosu 9 years ago

      Looks fine except that the PSU is garbage so you should probably buy a different one if don't want to damage your components. Also, that PSU has no SATA connecter so you can't power the hard drive. :o