So, recently I did a build guide on a $250 “gaming” computer build that you could get brand-new on Amazon. But what happens when you have a budget so slim, it’s cheaper than a Nintendo Switch by a whole $100? What you have, to be honest, is some questionable money-making decisions.
The brain of all computers is the CPU, or Central Processing Unit. This dictates the commands for your PC, and most processors now contain integrated graphics cards, or tiny little transistors that are built into the chip. For this build, coming in at $41.42 is the AMD A6-9500. Now, this is a pretty good processor for the low price that it comes with, including integrated Radeon R7 graphics on board, the ability to bump the performance up to 3.8 GHz, and compatibility with our motherboard. Which is fortunate, because I don’t want to cough out another $70 or so dollars to get a new CPU to update our BIOS.
As most people are familiar, our motherboard is a giant circuit board that contains all the vital components for our PC, including our storage, RAM, CPU, and all our necessary connectors to the front of our case (more on that in a minute.) This is also extremely fragile, so for the sake of the part that takes up a fourth of our budget, don’t use it to play Thanksgiving Day football. So, as I said earlier, this does work with our CPU (according to PCPartPicker), supports up to 32 gigabytes of 3200 MHz memory, and has support for an M.2 slot. And for anyone unaware, an M.2 drive is a form of SSD, or solid state drive. A solid state drive is a form of storage that is faster than a mechanical hard drive. If you don’t know what a hard drive is, we have a problem. You’re using the Internet right now to read this article, so look it up, boomer. For $55, it’s one of the better motherboards you can get in this price arena.
Now, I mentioned RAM earlier, but if this is your first time working on a computer, RAM is short-term storage your device uses to process commands and do whatever else you do on a computer. And for this build, I chose eight gigabytes of Patriot Signature Premium 2666 MHz RAM. Now, this has two sticks of RAM, which may not be easy to upgrade int he future because our motherboard only supports dual-channel, but you could bump this up to sixteen gigabytes later down the road if you’re into that kind of thing. And you could bump this up to 3000 MHz if you’re feeling risky, but there’s always the chance your PC could catch on fire, and all of your wonderful $200 PC goodness will be lost. So, yeah, not ideal, but eight gigabytes of RAM for $31 isn’t too bad.
Now, most people are going to get offended whenever I say this, but I’m using a 400-watt power supply for this build. I know, calm down, but this is a $200 PC. What were you expecting, a be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11? In the words of Indira Gandhi, mistakes were made. Anyways, this is a 35 dollar power supply from my buddies over at Rosewill (just kidding, but Rosewill is a cool brand that makes good PC components). And what do you get for that money? Support for our case, for one, along with Micro-ATX build compatibility, and that’s about it. This is really as cheap as it gets in the power supply world. Also, I’d recommend getting some Velcro ties to keep all the spare cables out of the way, but then again, that’s a matter of choice.
And your computer is useless without storage to keep it all in, and as mentioned above, our motherboard does support the M.2 form factor (if you don’t know what that is, re-read my wonderful explanation above.) And there’s only one real downside; with 128 gigabytes of storage, it’s not going to be the fastest thing on Earth, but for what you’re getting, it’s a good all-rounder storage solution for such a cheap build.
And what about the case? Well, it’s not RGB, but it is another product from Rosewill. And yeah, the case for the build may not be the most beautiful thing ever, but it has enough connectivity to make it usable. The Rosewill SCM-01 features one USB 3.2 port, two USB 2.1, and support for Micro-ATX builds. And that’s about it, in all honesty. It’s a simple case that supports all of our features well.
So, in my last PC build, I screwed up and posted all the part links individually, so just use the PCPartPicker link below.