Well, two of the computers in my house recently died out. Have another thread on it, but I'm expecting the worst so I'm planning a parts list in case they don't come back alive.
I haven't built a computer in years so I'm out of the loop on which models to look for. I read that even prebuilts nowadays can get even cheaper than buying your own parts, so that's also something I'm considering...
I'm trying to build a budget computer (Under 550$ each hopefully? 400+ would be awesome but something tells me that ain't happening), that can at the very least play Left4Dead at medium settings. It's not for me, but for my siblings. I guess Diablo 3 and SC2 would be better benchmarks? I think they'd kill me if I build one that couldn't play them although I don't think system requirements are out yet.
I'm deathly afraid of parts being incompatible. Upgradeability would be nice to save some money long term.
Well if your going to go for a cheaper cooler master case (great brand btw) then it's hard to beat the Centurion 534 for airflow/cooling. It has a meshed front, side airduct and vent, and is set up to run 3 x 120mm case fans. It comes with two of them, but you deff. want to add that third one for better airflow/cooling.
Best bargain cpu's are the E7200 (my fav btw) and the E5200. E7200 has more cache and a multiplier of 10.5. So with a decent heatsink you can easily move up your FSB to (10.5 x 333) and run it at 3.5GHz @ 1333 FSB. With the E5200 it has a multi of 12.5, so it's easy to move up your fsb to (12.5 x 266) and run it at 3.32GHz @ 1066 FSB.
http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?name=E7400 Combo Price: $135.59 Free Shipping
E7400 Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz 1066MHz 3M LGA775 CPU, OEM
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro CPU Fan For Intel CPU
ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound
The OCZ Fatal1ty PSUs have not been reviewed yet, AFAIK. Antec (esp. Earthwatts), PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, and Seasonic would all be safe choices. An Earthwatts 430 is $55 now.
I liked the looks of that Coolermaster case, and bought one. I had to properly tap some of the standoff-holes, but that wasn't too big a deal.
If you are not going to overclock these, stay away from the E5200 as it is slow at stock.
I'm looking for an excuse to buy a 4670 myself. It uses very little power, and for the games I play (Guild Wars and Sacred 2 mostly), should be fine. My primary rig has a 4850 in it, which is overkill for those games at 1680x1050.
Oh, and I agree with xthekidx on the Seagate drives. I would not buy one. I've been getting WD drives, mostly 320MB, and they've been fine. For $80 though, I may pick up at least one or two of the one he linked.