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The Almighty Buck Hardware

Building 2011's Sub-$200 Computer 394

Posted by timothy
from the trade-one-form-of-depreciation-for-another dept.
adeelarshad82 links to PC Magazine's recent account (updating a similar quest detailed last year) "to see if a decent PC could put together for less than $200. Turns out that between some great deals, an AMD processor, and a Linux OS, it can actually be done." They actually come out with a decent-enough system for that money — but omitting an optical drive in a full-size desktop computer build seems something like cheating.
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Building 2011's Sub-$200 Computer

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  • re: optical drive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ZankerH (1401751) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:07PM (#37293216)

    but omitting an optical drive in a full-size desktop computer build seems something like cheating.

    It's 2011, dammit, why do people still use optical drives?

  • no, it's time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:08PM (#37293226) Homepage

    "omitting an optical drive in a full-size desktop computer build seems something like cheating"

    Optical disks? How quaint! :)

  • Re:no, it's time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanneM (7445) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:36PM (#37293358) Homepage

    "You do realize people still buy software, and that it still comes on optical disks."

    This is a Linux system they built, though. Shrinkwrapped software is very rare, verging on nonexistent, for that OS.

  • by vux984 (928602) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:54PM (#37293470)

    I've got to say, at this point there's no contest as far as basic functionality goes, and for doing the things that "most people" tm do on their computers most of the time. Linux is clearly superior to Windows. I dare you to take a dual boot challenge.

    I'll take that dare... here's where linux breaks down for "most people" tm:

    1) Itunes - sure there are plenty of great media players and what not for linux... but if you have an ios device whether its a new ipod, ipod touch, iphone, or ipad (and literally tens of millions of completely normal people do, they need itunes).

    2) TurboTax etc... yep its just one week a year. But millions of completely ordinary people do their taxes with this type of software.

    3) Miscellaneous Toys - from the child friendly Barbie photo manipulation software that came with the Barbie camera to setting up your new Logitech universal remote to an AppleTV to programming a Lego Mindstorms creation with LabView. This affects far more people than you might think.

    4) Video games - Believe it or not, lots of perfectly normal people play everything from World of Warcraft,to Left4Dead, to the copy of Bejeweled or Riven they picked up at Walmart for $7 as an impulse buy.

    5) Peripherals - Printer fax scanner copier combination devices in particular still suck with linux. Getting printing going is usually relatively straightforward, but anything else is a complicated crapshoot.

  • by CaptCanuk (245649) on Friday September 02, 2011 @10:03PM (#37293520) Journal

    Missing:
      - keyboard
      - mouse
      - network cable
      - monitor?
      - USB key to install from
      - Friend to copy OS onto your USB key
      - taxes (for those lucky to have them)

    I think the real cheat is any budget that involves a mail-in rebate.
    The article starts out about financial difficulties and then provides a price that doesn't reflect the walk home price. 3-6 weeks you might make that money back IF you are lucky that the rebate was honored.

  • Re: optical drive (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 02, 2011 @10:32PM (#37293682)

    > It's 2011, dammit, why do people still use optical drives?

    Because the lightning fast internet connection that (I'm assuming) you have isn't available in every household on the planet.
    It's hard to feel 2011 when you have a 1997 internet connection at home.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Friday September 02, 2011 @11:03PM (#37293798) Journal

    Browsing isn't what it used to be. For many people, browsing means playing Farmville on Facebook, which will eat up a lot of CPU and memory. And no, Zinga programmers don't really care about efficiency on your computer, only on their servers.

  • by RobbieThe1st (1977364) on Friday September 02, 2011 @11:41PM (#37293944)

    Since moving to Linux 2 years ago, both Windows and OS X are crap.

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