The $500 PC is a great idea, but let's say you needed a new PC for yourself. Money is a consideration, but not the only one. You want to put together a PC based on what's going to last you a few years. Evaluate price / performance on all parts.
Is the Core 2 Extreme X6800 necessary at $975 when you can get a Core 2 Duo E6400 for $220? (I just pulled CPU prices, this may not be the best pick)
Would you go RAID?
What video card?
Assume that this is for you, for your one and only PC, booting up every day for e-mail and office, and able to play a few games on Saturday night. Also assume that you are paying the bills for it.
I think this is a little more realistic than the $500 rig. I'm building a new rig, and I'm not setting a $500 limit, but I'm evaluating every dollar spent.
Have everyone assemble a PC, get prices from an online vendor, and post benchmarks for everything. Personally, I'd do it without a monitor, but it's up to you.
That is an Excellent idea for a article and I will most definitely bring it up at the next editor meeting. I do believe that while the $500 gaming system is a good idea it is quite difficult to piece together anything of value for that price (considering a decent case + power supply is already over $200)
i like, a personal representation of everyones interests through the pc that they would build; im sure there would be a lot of diversity, with most tastes represented; if each person did a brief write-up on their choice it would allow some personality and a good representation of some expert opinions