I came across a decommissioned work PC. I signed it out and scrapped everything except the CPU, RAM and HDD. It's a great light work PC with integrated graphics (not adding a GPU yet). I built it primarily for my grandparents to replace their old i3-2xxx PC.
I spent as little as possible (well almost).
So far, it's an oldie but a goodie. It's locked but can still handle hefty workloads with 8 threads. Per some reviews, it can still handle a GTX 1070 with no bottleneck so there's room for expanding.
Cheap, cheap, cheap. Looks good. It fits very loosely on the CPU/motherboard. It uses plastic mounting brackets and pegs instead of threaded screws so there is no way to tighten the fit. I believe this is causing some higher temps but I haven't taken the time to reseat, reapply thermal paste, etc. I might do that and update this review if temps improve. It's a great product if you're on a very tight budget.
So, finding a 2nd gen Intel motherboard is VERY difficult nowadays. I finally found this refurbished model on Amazon from a reputable seller for a very reasonable price. It's got the pre-RGB ASUS quality we all remember and it's not ugly as sin. It worked perfectly out of the box with the latest BIOS too. Very pleased.
Very standard RAM for it's time. Quality product from a named brand. I'm not able to run it at 1600MHz. I think this is due to the locked CPU. It will not run with XMP enabled so it's running at 1333MHz for now.
Good quality, standard HDD. 7200RPM as a primary/OS drive gets the job done. I'll probably replace it with an SSD later and convert this to file storage.
This was an Open Box item on clearance at Micro Center. I was looking for something in this price range but I also wanted a quality, name-brand case. Despite the price, I'm pretty disappointed with the manufacturing and material quality of the case. There are panels where the rivets are coming apart so I had to be careful with building so as to not twist or lift the case in a certain way. But it was easy to build in and has all the standard features. This is clearly Corsair's attempt at making a quick buck at the low end of the windowed-case market. Stay away! There are other cases in this price range with better quality.
Got this on sale and with a MIR on Newegg.com. Can you ask for more from a $24 PSU? Probably not. It has the power, 80+ rating and, most importantly, fully sleeved cables. There aren't many sleeved cables in this price range. Kudos to Corsair for adding this feature to their low-end products.