Can You Build a PC for Less Than $100?
I was reading The Simple Dollar where there was an interesting post on the cheapest fully functional PC a person could use. The post was sparked by the author's own experience of building PCs for people and just where you can cut costs. He says you can get a computer for less than $100. Here's how:
Hardware: Trent (the author) suggests scouting around garage sales and social networks specializing in giveaways to find free or cheap hardware. This includes the CPU with a CD or DVD drive, a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. He also threw in speakers. His theory is that people are forever upgrading their computers and usually get rid of good quality equipment for free or at a throwaway price. According to him, this is the only step of the process that involves spending money.
Software: For the OS, Trent recommends the Linux distro Ubuntu. Like most Linux distros, this one is a free download or you can have the Ubuntu folks mail you an installation CD. Ubuntu comes with almost all the programs an average person needs on their PC.
My thoughts: While Trent's PC building post suggests that a cheap PC is possible, I'm not so convinced. For one thing, picking up hardware at a garage sale can score you a good deal, you also have no idea what you're getting. Not to mention the havoc someone can wreck with a hard disk that hasn't been wiped clean.
My other source of hesitation is the choice of Ubuntu. While I have no problems with it, I don't think it's effective for computer novices, who are the recipients of this kind of PC. Thirdly, old hardware components are notoriously power-hungry. There's no point in building a cheap PC if it's going to feast on your power bill.
Overall, I think it's possible to build a cheap PC but you may just get more than you bargained for. What do you think of these PC-building suggestions? Would you want to use a computer built this way? What's the cheapest you think a PC should cost for a novice user? Let me know in the comments.Advertisement