Although I'm a geek through and through, I haven't been keeping up with the hardware side of things lately. Which means that now I'm looking to build a machine for the first time, I've lost myself in a big soup of Core 2 Duo (doesn't that make it a quad??? but there is already a quad!), AMD PhoneHome and random other things.
So... I would love your help in pointing me in the right direction. Considerations:
1. Here in the UK, what's a good place to buy component? I don't care for super-fast delivery but I want cheap and reliable. I'm assuming online is best and I've been looking at eBuyer.
2. Should I get everything from scratch or are there good barebones systems out there?
3. Budget is £300-500, the lower the better.
4. Linux compatibility is important.
5. I already have a DVI monitor.
With that, the questions:
1. What mobo + CPU combo to get? Is a quad core processor really necessary these days? I do some graphics work but nothing complex - just cook up some images for websites. Is an FSB of 1033 needed or would something lower work? What's a good cheap Intel processor?
2. What kind of RAM to get? What are the good brands? I think 2GB is sufficient for now.
3. Case + PSU. I've come across 650W PSUs and that just struck me as ridiculously high. What's a good PSU size these days? Any good cases to consider? I don't care what it looks like - the key is how easy it is to build with. Size is also important - nothing too big.
4. I can figure out a HDD and a DVD+/-RW drive. Is there a good cheap BluRay drive? If not, no matter.
5. Graphics card: I have no idea how to choose one. I want something good and fast, but I don't do 3D gaming. A good middle-of-the-range card.
-CASE: Antec Sonata3 comes with a decent power supply for about $100 American.
-Processor: Q9550 (quad 2.83 GHz) or a E8400 (dual-core 3 GHz)
-Memory: 4GIGs of DDR2 cost about $40 right now.. Try Kingston, Corsair, Mushkin
-Motherboard: Asus p5q pro or deluxe
-Video card: ATI 4830
-MX-2 thermal paste.
Unfortunately I am in Canada, I have no clue where you buy hardware… that list should get you started.