I came here around Christmas time asking for assistance for my $2,000 i7 build and you guys helped me very much. My new PC is great and I have all of you and your input to thank for it.
I now have another build to do, but this one will be very different.
Both of my aunt's need a PC upgrade. They will mostly be using it for office work and browsing the web. They want it to be fast, but not be a gaming computer. I'm trying to keep it under $500. They prefer Windows XP (which they have a copy of) Taxes are not an issue (they live in PA). I would be ordering one for each of them. Mouse, keyboard, etc. are not needed. I have, so far, come up with this:
DVD: SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223F - OEM
Unless they have full versions then the license is non-transferrable. Pre-built systems usually use OEM.
Your system sounds like a good choice except for the monitor.
There are lots of review around on monitors. Basically, you'll have to pick a price and look for the best one.
One warning about monitors. Many are 1280x1024 which is a 5:4 ratio. However, they inexplicably offer only 4:3 ratios (such as 1024x768, 800x600) below the max resolution. Stick to the 1280x1024 and you are fine but go below and the ratio of things is off a little. Even my 1600x1200 (4:3) recommends 1280x1024 when 1280x960 (the correct ratio) is offered as well.
I think 19" non-widescreens are the best deal for most. Non-widescreen offers slightly more area and is currently better for web pages and text documents.
Look at your price range then Google for reviews. I'm typing this on my sisters 17" CRT and it looks gorgeous. Too bad CRT's are hard to find as the viewing angle, colour and contrast blow away all LCD monitors.
So would you guys recommend I go with the e5200 and G31 mainboard? Spend the extra money on a higher end display? Which one do you guys think is the best bang for the buck? How is the onboard video on the G31, and on that note..exactly which one would you recommend? I prefer Asus but I'm open for anything. Sorry for all of the questions, but my family is trusting me to build this for them, instead of Best Buy, and I want it to be a nice gift for them.