The Coronavirus pandemic, and its aftermath, has restricted students to study and learn from home. Schools and other educational institutions have been closed for nearly 2 years, and all the students are forced to learn online. In this edition of PC build of the week, we discuss a super budget PC build for students. This build can also be a good option for all the coders and developers who do not want to spend a lot on their systems, if it is just their work PC.
The components recommended for this build are based on the prices and availability of the product during drafting this article. Prices and availability of the same are subject to change. Most builds of this budget use an APU instead of a GPU, but in this build we use a dedicated GPU for running all the programs smoothly.
CPU: Intel Core i3 9100F
This choice of processor might look old and obsolete, but the 9100F is still a very good and capable processor. Since the launch of the newer 12th gen CPUs from Intel, the prices of the other CPUs have gone down. For a budget PC like this one, going with the 9th Gen CPU will be a good choice.
This is a quad-core processor with 4 threads with a base clock of 3.6GHz, and a boost clock of 4.1 GHz. It is a good and capable CPU for students, and can also handle light gaming. If your budget is more than INR 25K, you can go for better processors from the 10th or the 11th Gen.
Motherboard: MSI H310
H310 is a basic motherboard chipset that is the right fit for the budget. The tasks that a student performs on a PC do not generate a lot of heat, and therefore, this motherboard is a good choice. Any H310 motherboard will come with 2 RAM slots, and a dedicated slot for NVMe SSD. If you can get a combo offer on the processor and the motherboard, then it will be a good deal. As a combo, you can the processor and the motherboard for INR 10K. If you have to buy both of these components separately, you might end up spending over INR 11K, which is not a bad deal either.
GPU: Nvidia Quadro T400
Everyone needs recreational time and activities. Having a basic GPU in the system will make it work better, and also the users to have some light gaming for recreation. It comes with a 2 GB VRAM as its graphical power. This is the cheapest RTX series card that you can buy in the market. The Nvidia Quadro T400 was not made for gaming, but it can deliver a good gaming performance for most games on the low-medium preset.
This GPU can be purchased for INR 8K, and it justifies the price with its performance. Games like GTA V run smoothly, and programs like Photoshop and Lightroom also do not show any lag.
Memory: 8 GB @ 2666MHz
The motive of building this PC is not power or top of the line performance. It is a basic PC, and for that reason, we suggest using a single 8 GB RAM stick. Since the Intel 9th CPU does not support high frequency RAM, we have used a low frequency memory for the build. This will save you money without compromising on anything. Investing in a higher frequency RAM can be a waste of money if you have no plans of upgrading in the near future. The single 8 GB RAM stick will cost around INR 2.5K-3K.
Choosing this memory configuration allows us to stay in the fixed budget, and even students and beginner coders can go for this build.
While building a budget PC, it is very easy to lose sight of components beyond the CPU and GPU. PSU is an important component of any PC build. A cheap and unreliable PSU can be a ticking time bomb that can hamper your system anytime. Investing in a good PSU is always a better choice. Keeping that in mind, a 450W PSU will be a good choice. Multiple companies make good PSUs, you can go with any brand like Corsair, Antec, etc. You can a good PSU with certifications for INR 2K-2.5K. This PSU is also ideal for any future upgrades to the CPU or the GPU.
Storage: 512 GB SSD
If you are a student, and want a PC for just attending online classes, then going for a 256 GB NVMe storage can be a good idea. However, if you are a coder, then it is essential to keep a backup of your codes and instructions. Installing a 512 GB SSD can be a sweet spot for both students and coders. You can either get an SSD or an NVMe drive. Both these options will make your system fast and more responsive. A 512 GB SSD is priced at INR 4.5K-5K. Being in a budget will not allow having a dedicated HDD and SSD. So you have to make a choice between more storage or faster storage.
Cabinet: Of Your Choice
The cabinet is the choice of the user, and it depends on the vibes that the system should give. If you like some colours, then going for a cabinet with a hint of RGB would be a good option. If you are someone who likes the basics, then going with a minimal cabinet can also do the job. Anything that fits your budget and mood can be used for the build.
With this we conclude the PC build of the week. It is important to note that this PC is not a dedicated towards gaming. It is an entry-level PC for students, and coders. For the upcoming PC build of the week, keep an eye on Techburner.