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The cheapest PCs are here!

Ashish Aggarwal in New Delhi | April 05, 2005

Tempted by those really cheap personal computers?

While the offers sound good, consider the computers priced under Rs 15,000 only if you are not into computer games and are content to run Windows 98 because what you will get is a low-end Celeron-based 2 gigahertz (ghz) system.

The difference between this and a Rs 20,000 system is in the specifications as you can opt for 2.4 ghz Pentium 4-based system with more memory and higher storage which runs games better and is generally faster.

Xenitis Infotech recently announced a Rs 18,000 system based on Pentium 4 running at 2.26 ghz.

While personal computers are getting cheaper and better every year choosing one is still a tough task. Here is what you need to do to buy a PC that works for you and is cheap.

If the Rs 15,000 PC described above does not fit your needs you can today get a decent computer on which you can play games, work, listen to music and watch movies for about Rs 21,000 from your assembler.

Tariff Card





Rs 12,240

Celeron 2 Ghz, 15" monitor, 128 MB RAM, 30 GB HDD, CD Drive


Rs 18,000

P IV 2.26 Ghz, 15" monitor, 128 MB RAM, 40 GB HDD, CD Drive

Hcl Ezeebee Xp Xing Black

Rs 18,000

AMD Sempron 2200+, 15" monitor, 128 MB RAM, 40 GB HDD, CD Drive


Rs 19,000

AMD Sempron 2200+, 15" monitor, 128 MB RAM, 40 GB HDD, CD Drive


Rs 21,100

Celeron 2.4 Ghz, 15" monitor, 128 MB RAM, 30 GB HDD, CD Writer, PIP TV kit with remote


Rs 23,200

P IV 2.26 Ghz, 17" monitor, 128 MB DDR 333 SDRAM, 40 GB HDD, 52X CD Writer

Compaq Presario Desktop

Rs 23,550

Celeron 2.53 Ghz, 17" monitor, 128 MB RAM, 40 GB Hard Disk, CD ROM, JBL Speaker

Microsoft Assured Quality Circle

Rs 25,000

P IV 2.4 Ghz, 15" monitor, 128 MB DDR 333 SDRAM, 40 GB HDD, CD ROM, Microsoft XP home edition

Estimated street price

The branded computers with same configuration typically cost about 15-20 per cent more than the assembled ones. Lower price generally means lower memory, less storage and some other cuts.

Before getting into the nuts and bolts of a computer and its pricing here is an overview of the four families of processor in computers -- the Pentium 4 range, AMD 64 bit range, Celerons and lastly the AMD Sempron range.

While the Sempron and Celeron-based systems are cheapest ones, the Pentium 4 models and AMD 64-bit systems make up the upper end.

The entire spectrum is priced between Rs 20,000 and Rs 35,000. That's cheap as a high-end branded PC till about a few years ago used to typically cost about Rs 45,000.

Today you can get a top-end Intel Pentium 4 system with HT technology running at 3 ghz with 80 gigabytes (GB) of hard disk, 256 MB DDR RAM, 15-inch color monitor, CD writer, quality speakers, optical mouse, keyboard, internal modem and Ethernet card (for your broadband connection) and all the bells and whistles for under Rs 30,000 from your assembler.

Software supernova Microsoft, through its quality circles is selling Pentium 4 systems with HT technology running at 2.8 ghz with 40 GB of hard disk, 256 DDR RAM, 15 inch color monitor, CD drive, speakers, optical mouse, keyboard, internal modem and the ethernet card for Rs. 30,000 with sales tax extra. Plus your get original Windows XP.

Both your assembler and branded vendor would give one year free on site warranty and the quality of after sales remains so unpredictable that it mostly comes down to your luck.

With prices falling should you go for a branded PC or an un-branded one?

The jury is still out on that but price is no longer the deciding factor.

Software has become complicated since the days of Windows 98 and pirated Windows XP (which you will take from your assembler) is not likely to work reliably over time.

Irrespective of whether you are buying from an assembler or a branded vendor it is useful to under stand what does DDR RAM and 7200 RPM mean and also know the difference between compatible motherboard and the original ones. Because one major reason for different pricing in computers is due to the configurations.

For 10-20 per cent extra if your branded vendor bundles in genuine Windows XP software and also includes some office software then that is the offer that you should choose.

HCL, Dell, Compaq, IBM, LG, Zenith and many others offer a variety of configuration and the principles discussed above apply when choosing from either of the brands.

A good recipe for a cheap PC is to invest the most in the processor and the monitor as they are the only things that cannot be upgraded and make up one-third to half the cost of the system.

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Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: Add the penguin to that list if you want the PC very cheap

Hey, You can add Linux to that list of things to be on your dream PC, especially if ou are looking at a cost effective ...

Posted by Linux enthusiast

Sub: Wrong Info...

A Celeron 2GHz system is very much capable of running Windows XP and of playing most high-end games that were released at least a year ...

Posted by Kiran

Sub: Why no Linux?

Why you haven't mentioned Linux in your article? It helps to build cheap good PC.

Posted by Guru prasath

Sub: Not alls true here

hey ! not alls true here. not all assemblers are selling the pcs with pirated o/s or software. they also give licensed versions of o/s ...

Posted by Girish


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