Budget PC - My First Build

Hello everyone!

I come from a very poor and technologically impaired region of a very poor and technologically impaired eastern European country; it is only last summer that I finally obtained the documents required to emigrate to Italy.

That is when I first "discovered" computing.

An old, probably stolen laptop, belonging to one of my roommates.

Very little have I done in my life that can compare with accessing the internet for the first time; I can hardly find words that could convey the shock and awe I have proved in front of a screen, while acknowledging the sheer potential contained within the mass of metal and magic that is a computer.

As far as technology and information transmission go, I had been living in a cave.

Since then, I have been learning as much as possible regarding computer technology, and I have been spending most of my free time (which doesn't amount to much, given my study and work schedule) in front of a computer, browsing trough vast amounts of content, researching as many fields of knowledge as I could.

II know, it sounds pathetic, but computers and internet have changed my perspective on the world more than anything else that I have ever come to know of.



With that in mind, I would like to ask this community's help in building my first personal computer.

So far, I have been using someone else's machine: while I am glad with simply being able to access a computer, I would rather own one.

I have recently moved to a place of my own, so I finally have the space for a full desktop configuration, which is what I would like to build, with your kind help.

My budget is fairly small: 200 euro, but I could sacrifice a thing or two and push myself up to 300.

That said, I already own a monitor, and audio system, a keyboard, mouse, and (small but sufficiently spacious) HDD, a disc drive, and possibly even a case and a power supply.

Possibly, I say, because the case/power supply that I own date back to the early 2000s, and I have doubts regarding compatibility.

What I would like to build is a simple machine, that only performs basic functions yet allows many upgrade options, so that I can improve its performance as I come to the point where I can afford to do so.

Please keep in mind that my income is low, and it would take several months for me to accumulate the quantity of money required by a new GPU/CPU: I would prefer owning a basic structure that doesn't become completely outdated within a short time-lapse.

This computer would initially intended for internet browsing, music and basic gaming. The one and only game I regularly play is EVE Online, but it does not seem to require a great deal of performance.

Recently I have been dipping my toes (alias trying not to drown) in computer code, but this is a secondary concern.

Now, my idea would be:

1) A full-sized ATX motherboard. I need plenty of space, I will probably upgrade it as much as possible. Regarding this: are full-sized ATX motherboards compatible with medium-sized cases? If so, do medium cases allow the fitting of a powerful (and thus large) GPU? I have read many complaints regarding size matters.

2) A CPU. ??? I have many questions regarding CPUs, but most of them come down to AMD versus Intel. Do these two manufacturers differ considerably? Do they have specific intended uses? Is processing power a primary concern in computer gaming? 

3) A dedicated GPU. Again, I have no clue regarding the possibilities. I have seen myriads of different GPUs and GPU manufacturers, but I lack any terms of comparison or direct experience which I could use to orientate myself. I would prefer a discrete CPU/GPU combo, rather than some integrated graphics system. Is this possible, within my budget?

Which of these components should I prioritize?

Will an expensive CPU matter more than an expensive GPU/motherboard, when it comes to gaming?

I am also considering the possibility of buying a new case/power supply combo: are there any advantages to a large case over a medium-sized one, given my requirements and intended use? As for the cooling? I do not care about noise emission, but I would rather avoid heat issues. I can afford a new medium case; do you know of any large cases within 50 euro of budget? I have thoroughly researched amazon, yet I have found nothing of that kind.

I'm afraid I've ran out of time, so that will be it; sorry for the extensive post, and thank you for reading this.

1. Atx motherboards will fit in Atx mid tower and full tower cases. Most all of them provide room for a long graphics card.

2. AMD vs Intel. AMD is the king of low cost processing. Intel can not keep up in price vs performance in low cost systems.

3. Dedicated graphics. in this range, you can fit a very weak processor and graphics card. Note very weak. you can get a Apu which is a processor and graphics chip all in one. The processor and graphics on a new AMD apu are stronger than the alternative processor and graphics card combo. I know you said dedicated graphics card, but you will have better performance form an Apu.

4. you can fit a new case and power supply. You really can with the better stronger Apu route. Its really not good to be using a old power supply because it can easily fry components. plus I don't think the one you have has proper plugs for modern parts. The case will probably not work due to incorrect attachment places for the motherboard.

I forgot to mention RAM: will anything over 4 GB of RAM do me any good?
I already own two 2 GB RAM cards, I'm thinking of recycling those. 

8gbs of ram is standard but not required. What ram specifically do you have? I fear it may be old ddr2 which would be unrecyclable for any modern platform.  

Well dang, these two things are completely unbranded.

However, they come from a 2008 EMachines el1832, which used to run windows 7.

It is very possible that that they are DDR2.

Oh well, I'll add RAM to the list of things I have to buy.

I think you may be able to salvage the case of the EMachine... I think if you salvage the case and everything else you listed, you could complete the list with this:  http://it.pcpartpicker.com/p/2Qbh8


I still think I will go for a discrete GPU, even if it's a low quality one; I really like the idea of upgrading the whole thing as I like.

I've set my eye on a 70 euro MSI motherboard, and I think I'll get a 100 euro CPU on it (there's a 6 core AMD one I've seen at 110 or so). Then I'll probably buy that Kingston RAM you linked.

As for the case/psu, I think I'll get a prepackaged combo. I've seen some under 40 euro

That leaves me with no GPU budget: I'll just wait and accumulate some more money, then get something in the 200 euro range.

Thank you for linking me that site, it is very useful.


Good luck man :)

Just remember that anything AMD that's not in their A series has no integrated graphics.  It sounds like you're looking at the AMD FX-6300 and perhaps the MSI 970A-G46 or similar.  Neither of these will get you a display.  That's fine, if you're not going to be using the computer until you get a GPU.  If you want to have something that works, try this, perhaps.

The quad core CPU is still a decent CPU, and should handle most mid-range GPUs just fine.


Also, you may want to check and see if your storage drive is SATA or IDE.  If it's IDE, you'll need a new drive.

And most cases are Micro ATX, as full ATX cases are indeed quite big.  My own computer costs ~$1000 USD, and maxes out most games, and can only fit one GPU(Mini-ITX gaming computer)

Prepackaged Case/PSU combos can sometimes be good, but most stores end up putting mediocre cases with crappy power supplies.  You don't want to cheap out on a power supply, because it's what powers all your expensive components.  There's something called 80+ ratings; and it goes up from the regular 80+, 80+ Bronze; 80+ silver, etc.  The higher the better.  80+ means that the efficiency rating is over 80% minimum.  This USUALLY indicates that the power supply is of a decent quality.  The power supply I picked out in the build above is the one I have in my own rig.  It should handle any single high end GPU just fine.

You might be able to reuse the Emachines case.  Case standards haven't changed much.  If you could link us a picture of the insides of the case, or take a picture, that may work.

I checked, it was a SATA, at least I'll get to recycle that one.

I actually ended up receiving a rather large donation from an anonymous forum user, so I went for the rig in this video ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EnOMhXkKqI), just with this http://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B00D7SDTCI/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 motherboard.