$400 budget rig for web browsing?
Yeah, but for that price you can get a tablet or laptop. Besides the obvious savings on keyboard, mouse, and monitor, you get the ability to use it at Starbucks or McDonald for free.
but to each their own.
I gave up competing with Chinese labor about 20 years ago.
I still build my own because I am:
1. A control freak. I don't like S. Jobs, Sony, or Microsoft telling me how I can or can't use my own hardware.
2. I like the challenge of building the very best...while not extremely cheaply...not at boutique prices either.
At the low end, web browsing utility...I think you are kidding yourself if you think you can beat the mass production... their margins are too thin, their economies of scale too large, their OEM discounts too large and their labor costs so insanely low that you just don't have a chance.
I know I am paying more, but I like the ability to customize.
In the grand scheme of things...are you ever going to regret skipping that $20 Starbucks break so that you can have an efficient, quite power supply instead of a droning hot box fan by your desk...??
Like I said earlier...simple choice for me.
PS My dad has crap computers also so I know the pain of convincing them to spend more. I really can't stand to be in his office for more than 10 minutes because of the heat and noise...but hey, maybe when I'm 75 I'll be deaf and cold all the time too.