kingarthur_kom, on October 3rd 2005, 09:10 PM, said:
Get a good power supply. Some poor bastard spends $50 on a no-name case with a no-name powersupply and then complains that their computer turns itself off occasionally, won't wake up from sleep, etc. (hmmm...) Don't be that poor bastard. An Antec Sonata II is a very good case and it comes with a good powersupply, get one of those if you have no clue.
video card (be very careful when choosing sometimes 128mb doesn't really mean it has 128mb)
If you are buying a card based on how much memory it has then you've got other problems, plus you might as well mention the only times this happens.
Geforce 6200s with "turbo cache" and some of the new Radeons with "hypermemory" only come with 16-64 MB of onboard memory. Reputable stores might list 'supported' or 'shared' system memory used to augment the card, but the specs will be show how much is actually on the card. Check out the manufacturor's page for detailed specs just to be sure.
cooling fans (sometimes come with case, however the CPU needs a seperate one)
The CPU probably comes with one, if you read the specs. Get a third-party one only if you've researched what you want, which you probably haven't.
Windows the dreaded OS of doom (XP Pro is best, this will probably be the most expensive part)
Why pro? What does pro have that you need? What does pro have that you can't do yourself? Get an OEM copy of XP home (and a fan or something) for cheap, or OEM pro if you want to spend more for fun.
Ok, here's my detailed suggestions. Target price around $750 US from Newegg (plus shipping and OS). Newegg, Monarch Computers, and (in Canada) NCIX are preferred over fly-by-night competitors with the lowest price.
Sonata II case, $100 (not much reason to pick another case+PSU except price)
Athlon 64 3000+ (venice core), $146 (overclock to risk a faster CPU for cheaper)
PNY Geforce 6600GT, $179 (look at benchmarks for alternatives)
DFI nF4 Ultra-Infinity motherboard, $105 (cheaper boards exist, others have more ports)
2xmushkin Value 512MB PC3200, $90 (2x1GB would be better)
Maxtor DiamondMax 10 160GB hard drive, $77 (how much space do you need?)
black BenQ DW1640 DVD+DL disc burner, $40 (very good burner, better than Apple's choice of Pioneer in many tests, certainly much cheaper)
You can add a soundcard if you really notice and want cleaner sound, but that's about it. XP Home OEM is $109 at Newegg.