“About three weeks ago Grandma asked me to build her a new computer,” said Will T., 26, of Portland Maine. “She thought it was about time she upgrade her circa-2000 Dell.”
“Honestly I’m not sure why,” he added, “’cause as far as I can tell all she did with it was check e-mail and play Solitaire. But then again, with Windows 2000 I’m not sure what else you can do.”
Will went about putting together some potential specs for the new machine. “I went over a few different options with her — you know, how many cores she thought she needed, whether she wanted to opt for an SSD and so on,” he says, “but pretty much all I got were blank stares.”
Realizing that she wasn’t too picky about the components, and was quite limited by her fixed retirement income, Will went with a what he calls “the super-cheap-o grandma build.” Naturally, given the price of memory these days, he opted for DDR2 RAM, and so attempted to build everything around that.
“Basically I was looking at building a decent computer from, like, 2010,” he said. “Everything has gotten so expensive lately, I just don’t get it.”
The components for Grandma’s rig:
- AMD Phenom II 960T
- Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H Motherboard
- 8 GB DDR2 Memory
- ATX Radeon 5850
- 500 GB sata hard drive
Will says that he had most of this stuff just lying around from previous builds. “Basically, I just went on eBay to get what I didn’t already have, which wasn’t much, and slapped it all together in an old IBM Thinkcentre case I had.”
Not bad for about $100, he said, which included a cheap version of Windows 7 he got through school.
And what did grandma think? “She loved it… thought it looked charming.”