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Build A Dual Core PC System For $198!

Updated on July 31, 2008

Although the computer industry is rather rare among businesses in that the prices for their products decrease almost on a daily basis, there always seems to be a price point which is usually the minimum possible to get a fully usable system. In the last couple of years, that price has been $500 at which point you can be be considerably confident that you are purchasing a desktop computer that will handle your day to day functions, as long as you aren't one of those computer users who like to run 3D rendering and video encoding all at once while playing Crysis and watching an HDTV movie on your PC.

However, these $500 systems can be undercut by an astounding amount of money if you want to do a little shopping around. Here are the current prices for these components on

  • Foxconn 661GX7MJ-H LGA 775 SiS 661GX Micro ATX Intel Motherboard - $20
  • Intel Celeron E1200 1.6GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor Model BX80557E1200 - $50
  • pqi TURBO 2GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Desktop Memory Model PQI-25400-2GSB - $35
  • HITACHI Deskstar 7K160 HDS721616PLAT80 (0Y30002) 160GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA133 Hard Drive - $44
  • ZOTAC ZT-73TEG2P-HSL GeForce 7300GT 256MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card - $24
  • Linkworld 3230-18 c2228u Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply - $25

Keep in mind that you will likely have to do a little fiddling around with fitting the Micro ATX motherboard into the ATX case, but as long as you're willing to not have the backplates match up perfectly and maybe you're handy with a dremel tool, that is only going to present an obstacle for a few minutes. Should the thought of jerry rigging a Micro ATX into an ATX case give you the heebie geebies, just engage in a little shopping around for an inexpensive ATX mobo such as the Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS LGA 775 Intel 925X ATX Intel Motherboard which will only set you back an extra $20 and you're all set to go!

This is not a kids' system, or a kitchen computer, or a piece of antiquated junk. This dual core E1200 Celeron will perform just about as well in most daily computer operations such as surfing the web, using word processors, spreadsheets, etc. as a CPU costing four times as much. When you consider the applications that computer users generally work in, most people wouldn't know the difference if they had a dual core E1200 in one computer and a dual core E8400 on another. Furthermore, we have a full 2GB RAM incorporated into this system which is going to be enough to keep even that balky, molasses slow Vista just hopping along as happy as it can be.

A 160GB hard drive is more than enough for anyone who isn't a media packrat. I work at my PC fulltime, I have every application I ever want or need installed, I have over 10,000 songs that I listen to constantly, and my current hard drive utilization is 47GB! Exactly why do I need a 1TB drive? Same thing with a DVD drive. I don't use mine at all, so why have it? If you really want one, then they're available for around twenty bucks.

Don't get caught up in the "Keeping Up With The Joneses" spiral of PC purchasing. Evaluate exactly what you need in a system and keep an eye on the bottom line. You'll likely be very happy and so will your credit card balance.


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    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 9 years ago from Toronto

      Hmm... but on my death threat Hub you expressed how entertaining it would be to see me dismembered. I think it is a bit strange that you're calling other computer users retarded after that comment! :P

    • Ms Sooz profile image

      Ms Sooz 9 years ago from Northern California

      These style of posts are great for computer literate people. But most computer users who only want to spend $200-500.00 are not capable of putting the components together, considering every slot on your bargain computer must be color coded in case you're too retarded to plug the keyboard into the right hole and what not.