As component prices continue to fall, it's a great time to build a great computer for a few hundred dollars. Today I'll list the components that I'd choose for a $350 barebones system.
Note: The barebones system doesn't include a case, keyboard, mouse, monitor or OS.
Because of the feedback from a number of readers based on similar pieces in the past, I've chosen parts for both an Intel-based and an AMD-based system.
Note: I've used NewEgg as a source for pricing. This should not be taken as an endorsement and I encourage you to shop around for the best deals.
Intel: Intel Pentium E6300 This is a 2.8GHz dual-core part that's based on a 65nm manufacturing process. Price: $92
AMD: AMD Phenom 8600B This is a 2.3GHz Socket AM2+ triple-core processor. Price: $93
LGA775 for Intel CPU: Foxconn G9657MA-8EKRS2H Solid motherboard for the Intel CPU. Reliable and stable, and overall well received by users. Price: $65
AM2+/AM3 for AMD CPU: Foxconn A7GM-S 2.0 AMD 780G Solid motherboard for the AMD CPUs. Reliable and stable, and overall well received by users. Price: $70
GIGABYTE GV-R455D3-512I Radeon HD 4550 A good, all-rounder graphics card. Ideal for the casual gamer. Price: $50
Western Digital Caviar GP WD7500AACS 750GB Not the largest or fastest hard drive available, but a 750GB Caviar GP drive is a great all-purpose drive. Price: $70
mushkin 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2800 Reliable RAM from a well-respected vendor at a good price. Price: $26
Sunbeam Hush PSU-HUSH580-US 580W ATX12V A very basic PSU, but for the price you can't complain. Price: $23
Sony Optiarc Nice all-purpose CD/DVD burner. Price: $26
Total cost: $352 (Intel) | $358 (AMD)
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