Barebone Computers


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Barebone Kits

Since the beginning of computing sellers have been selling computers in kit form. Companies now refer to these kits as barebone kits. Unlike in the old days where you had to solder in the chips, resistors and capacitors today's kits typically don't involve quite as much hard work. They usually come with at least a case, a motherboard, processor and fan and some memory. They usually don't come with anything external to the case, so no monitor, keyboard or mouse. Many component shops stock barebone systems, so shop around to get the combination of components you require.

The advantage of the barebone system is that if you buy it from a reputable company, you get a set of components that have been tried and tested together, so the memory and the processor are compatible with the motherboard which is in turn compatible with the case etc. If you lack a little confidence particularly if this is your first build then a barebone kit may be the way to go.

The disadvantage of a barebone system is that the bundle of components is usually fixed. You can't say, this kit is perfect, but instead of this processor, can I have that processor.

We are going to have a quick look at a barebone kit from Tiger Direct. We're not really advocating this barebone kit over any other, but just to let you know what you get for for your money.

Syntax - SV266AD - VIA Socket A ATX Barebones Kit with Athlon XP Processor, 300Watt Power Supply, 256MB RAM, 80GB Hard Drive, 16X DVD-ROM Drive, 64MB AGP Video Card and Black Ultra Dragon Case

Here is what you get in the package for the nice price of $349.98

For further details click here

For details on other Tiger Direct barebone kits click here

The case is a rather nice Dragon Mid Tower. A nice black gloss case that while it is not too over the top, will allow you to show of the all important internals through the clear side panel. This is a is a quality product and one of our favourite cases at the minute.

barebone computer case

The processor supplied is the AMD Athlon 1800+, this is not the latest available, it was about three years, so it may start to struggle with some of the more recent games. The processor is considerably slower, but also considerably cheaper than a current top of the range Athlon 3200+  
  The motherboard isn't bad, from a top quality manufacturer, but is not the latest of models. It will support up to an Athlon 2600+. In 6 months time if you feel your processor is not quite up to it, you could upgrade to a 2600+, although bear in mind that if you want to go faster than this, you will need a new motherboard. barebone computer motherboard  

barebone computer memory

It's important that memory comes from a company you trust and as far as we are concerned, Kingston fits that bill. 256K DDR is just right for this PC, remember, you can upgrade by adding some more at a later date as there is another DIMM slot available. although it would have been nice to have a couple of spare slots.  
  You are not going to get much better than this cooler. It's just what you need for this processor.  
barebone computer hard drive
80GB hard drive, great. Again from a quality manufacturer.  
DVD-ROM is OK, but it would have been nice to be able to burn your own CDs. No matter, a simple and cheap upgrade to this kit will allow you to do this.
barebone computer optical drive
barebone computer graphics card
Neat little graphics card with 64mb of video memory. Again all that you need.  
A 300W power supply is all that you need for this system, but if you want to upgrade your motherboard in a couple of years time, you may need to upgrade this power supply towards 400W .
barebone computer PSU

In summary

In summary this is quite a nice quality package housed in a beautiful case, however while this would have been top of the range three years ago a lot has moved on in the world since then and if you are thinking of using this solely for gaming then it will soon be starting to show it's age. For further details click here.

For details on other Tiger Direct barebone kits click here.

If you really now believe that building a computer is too much for you, then why not look at our buying a computer guide.


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