The Budget System: Part 1 – Components

Having the recent need for a budget system that could give the best bang for the buck, I decided to take the plunge and build a PC. This would be the first PC I have built in quite some time mind you. Since previously I have mostly used my computers for programming, along with general internet browsing, I hadn’t really had the need to upgrade to a more powerful system. But my recent divergence back into PC games (thanks for the sweet deals Steam), along with the need for a decent video editing machine, presented the opportunity to build a more powerful system. Oh, and on the Cheap of course!

Revisiting fellow pundit Kary Brown’s CPU Manifesto, along with various discussions on the Techpedition Podcast, led me to the PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard.  What is the ‘Hardware Leaderboard’? The hardware leaderboard is PC Perspective’s list of the  components needed to build the best personal computer you can get for your hard earned dollars at various price points. The systems range from the best budget system you can build, all the way up to the current dream system you could build if money were no object. Basically it’s the dummy’s guide to building a great system. And as mentioned earlier, my eyes were squarely set on the budget system. Let’s take a look at the specs.

Budget System Component List

What I Got

What I Skipped

What I Added

The Hardware Leaderboard page has an in depth summary of each component, so I won’t really go into details there. But, as you can see from my component list above, I took some liberties by dropping the Caviar Hard Drive that may have cost me a bit of performance hit in the end. This was more than an acceptable divulgence of the original specifications to stay within my budget. Adding the case put me over the top and I had to make a sacrifice somewhere. Besides, nothing is keeping me from upgrading the hard drive at a future date. Additionally I opted to double the memory which I was sure would add a bit of performance gain.


All in all, building a great system with the PC Perspective guide is trivial. Like I previously stated, ‘a dummies guide to building a great PC’. I didn’t really want to cover the assembly of the system because there are plenty of guides out there for that. But I think it’s more than important to talk about performance, which I’ll cover in my next article.

Tech head or not, the Hardware Leaderboard has done the hard work, and provided us a sure fire way to get a quality PC up and running with little or no problem. Next up, we’ll talk performance.

Stay Tuned For “The Budget System: Part 2 – Performance”