Alright, guys. I think I got lucky on this one. My motherboard (Asus K8N) is dying so I needed to do something to replace my current setup. I also needed it to not cost much. Here's the build...
AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ -- $105 (Free shipping!)
(Open Box) BIOSTAR TFORCE 550 -- $50 (Free shipping! woot!)
(Open Box) Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 -- $52 (Not free shipping)
(Open Box) EVGA GeForce 7900GS -- $110 (Free shipping!)
CORSAIR XMS2 1GB (2 x 512MB) DDR2 675 (PC2 5400) --$69.99 (Free shipping!)
Power Up Black 2559 ATX Mid-Tower Case (250mm Side Fan and 120mm front) -- $50 + shipping
Total cost is right around $460 with shipping.
The case didn't include a power supply, but I already have a 520 watt that I'm going to put in it. I've also got CD ROM drives coming out my ears. It's all ordered and has started to come in already. Let me know what you think. I'll post benchmarks when it's all here.
EDIT: Yes, I plan to overclock it. I've also got an Audigy that I plan to put in it, as well.
I hear that that board is exceptionally go with an OC for being as budget as it is.. The 550 chipset is pretty cool. Study RAM, but I would reccomend PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) for overclocking an Athlon x2, I see that you are on a budget so you might be getting the best u can.. If applicable I would get some 800, and maybe 2GB (1GB x2) So when the time comes when you need two, you won't fill up all your slots if u get the same RAM.. Overall and considering the budget, Id say its pretty good, just the what I said about the RAM, and the mobo is pretty basic....
Looks like a great cheap build. The only thing I would change is that I would go with the 3600+ Brisbane and overclock it. You can get a combo with a brand new Tforce 550 for about $140.
Only other thing I have to say is that I don't trust open box items. Somebody returned them for a reason. The Egg may say they tested them as working, but you don't know how thorough their tests were... there may be some defect that you won't discover until you spend a few hours putting the system through its paces.
I thought about going with the 3600+, but I've read it's usually best to get the best processor you even if you're planning on overclocking it. I want to make sure it'll be fast enough for me when I don't overclock it.
Regarding open box deals, I understand what you're saying. I'm a little nervous too, to be honest. I've got an 8 hour blender rendering that will take care of making sure everything works okay. If something fails I'll send it back within the 15 days.
My PSU is something I got at CompUSA in a bit of a hurry as my old one wasn't working and I needed something quickly (I'm not normally a CompUSA shopper). It's a 520 Watt with smart cabling. It's BTX compatable. Everything should work with it as it's not even 6 months old.
I'll probably be looking at getting better RAM (and more) when I have some more money. From what I understand, the 4200+ at 2.6 (what I'm shooting for) won't bottleneck until you get to around the 8800GTX. So I'll be able to go 8800GTS and know that I'm not underpowering it with a slow processor.
I'd have gone Core 2 Duo, but I just didn't have the money. I want to get a Core 2 Quadro with DDR 3 memory around this time next year.
Thanks for the comments! I should have a system built by Friday night and some benchmarks on Saturday.
My old specs, in case anyone is interested...
AMD 3000+ clocked at 2.4ghz
ASUS K8N socket 754
1.5GB RAM at 401mhz (off brand, but it OC's pretty well)
6800LE unlocked all the way with 350/840 clock speeds
Sound Blaster Audigy
Western Digital 80GB HD