My father's old Win98 machine is finally due for an upgrade (according to my mother), and I've been asked to put together a budget build. I've perused the stores a bit, but I'm not a true expert, so I'm asking for advice.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 2 weeks
BUDGET RANGE: $300 variable
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Web surfing/email, Flight Simulators (Dad's retired Air Force!)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (will use XP or Windows 7, whichever is best for the parts I get. I also have a mid-size case that I can use (not sure of brand/model, but it's fairly new)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg.com, also use tigerdirect and microcenter (got a microcenter store local, too)
PARTS PREFERENCES: None, but betting on an AMD processor to get more bang for my buck
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1024x768 - 1680x1050
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: reliability is the key - Dad keeps these things well past the date we'd all prefer to upgrade.
And that gives you a total of $292.94. Kevins build isn't bad, except for that part about the onboard video being crap which isn't good for flight sims . Of course, the onboard Radeon 3200 in that ASRock isn't gonna set any records either, but it's still faster than the Intel GMA X4500 on the Intel solution.
If he's gonna play any demanding flight sims you really will need a dedicated GPU (like at least a Radeon 4670).
Well, the trade off between my build and magamanx00's build is gpu vs cpu. Yes, the integrated Radeon 3200 is better than the X4500, but i would say that the e5200 is better than AMD's kuma, its better on power, and very overclockable. The cheapest AMD cpu i would buy is their new Athlon X2 250, but that is going for about $87.
That is the reason i chose the e5200 build, considering also that although the radeon is better, its still not a big enough jump to play most games. OP, you really need to bump up that budget just a bit.
Wow, much more response than I was expecting. Yes, I can probably bump the budget a bit to toss in a graphics card, to take the edge off - but I doubt that he'll need it; his flight sims aren't what anyone would call "cutting edge" (keeping in mind that he's currently running them on a very old Win98 machine).
I'll do some compares on what you've all given me over the weekend, and probably order by Monday. Thanks for all your help!