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As some of you may recall, we featured a Budget Badass Buyer’s Guide at the beginning of the month to provide some guidance to those looking for solid performance at what we, Maximum PC, would consider to be a reasonable price. We read your responses to the build and many felt that $1500 was a bit over what the typical user would consider “budget.” So, we took it a step further and created a Budget PC below the $1500 mark. In fact, we even dropped it under $1000. At $800, we couldn’t quite figure out if it would even be possible to construct a PC that could play the latest games or even do some basic photo-manipulation in Photoshop. We stepped up to the challenge and built this Budget PC and put it to the test against our hardcore, $5000 machines to see how they match up.
Since we are still in the process of assembling the rig, benchmarks have yet to be run. For now, we give you our parts list. Check back soon for the results from our tests!
(Prices as listed on Newegg)
Named the Best of the Best mid-range video card, the Visiontek Radeon HD 4850 offers everything you need in a sub-$200 video card. Don't be afraid to toss the latest games at this GPU, just don't expect Crysis to amaze you with anything over 10 FPS.
Sporting Intel's latest P45 chipset, the P45 Neo3 is a toned down version of the popular P45 Platinum. The board only has one 16x PCI-E slot leaving the idea for SLI or Crossfire in the dust, but with our budget at $800, adding another video card to the equation is definitely out of the question.
A few years ago, purchasing a PC with a Pentium 4 3GHz processor for under $800 was nearly impossible. Now, we can easily slip in a Core 2 Duo at a fairly low price. The E8400 Wolfsdale core features a 6MB L2 cache and 45nm technology allowing for a larger memory bandwidth. The chip also has massive overclocking potential.
We've recommended 4GB in our past build-it guides for the hardcore users, but with a budget of $800, 2GB will suffice for this system. With quality memory from Corsair, the XMS series will provide great performance for the budget user.
Case, power supply, hard drive, and optical drive on the next page!