Build It: A $1,500 All-Around PC

By Jason Cross  |  Posted 2004-06-30 Print this article Print

The faithful readers of ExtremeTech have asked the crew to piece together a less task-specific machine. So here it is: a sub-$2,000 PC that works well for a wide variety of applications.

Usually, when we do a Build It story, we piece together a rig for a very definite purpose. Typically, the idea is to choose an aggressive price and show our readers how a little careful shopping and part selection can come together to make an impressive...something. Perhaps its a Digital Audio Workstation, an inexpensive gaming PC, or a cheap Web-surfing rig. These have been well-received, but this time we wanted to do something a bit different. In our forums, the feedback to some of our past Build It features was positive overall, but a common question kept resurfacing: What if I dont want a PC optimized for a single purpose? What if I want to edit digital photos, perform offline 3D rendering, play games, record TV, watch DVDs, rip and listen to music, and maybe do a little home recording?
Well if thats the kind of PC youre looking for, this article is for you. Obviously no inexpensive PC is going to have what it takes to do everything, but well take a stab at it anyway.
To read the full story and to get the guidelines ExtremeTech followed in pricing out their $1,500 do-it-all PC, click here. Check out eWEEK.coms Desktop & Notebook Center at for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
Jason Cross Jason was a certified computer geek at an early age, playing with his family's Apple II when he was still barely able to write. It didn't take long for him to start playing with the hardware, adding in 80-column cards and additional RAM as his family moved up through Apple II+, IIe, IIgs, and eventually the Macintosh. He was sucked into Intel based side of the PC world by his friend's 8088 (at the time, the height of sophisticated technology), and this kicked off a never-ending string of PC purchases and upgrades.

Through college, where he bounced among several different majors before earning a degree in Asian Studies, Jason started to pull down freelance assignments writing about his favorite hobby—,video and computer games. It was shortly after graduation that he found himself, a thin-blooded Floridian, freezing his face off at Computer Games Magazine in Vermont, where he founded the hardware and technology section and built it up over five years before joining the ranks at ExtremeTech and moving out to beautiful northern California. When not scraping up his hands on the inside of a PC case, you can invariably find Jason knee-deep in a PC game, engrossed in the latest console title, or at the movie theater.


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