APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Asap
BUDGET RANGE: $400-500 US
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming (World of Warcraft with a sweet UI, maybe some SF4, and Starcraft 2 if it ever comes out), some photoshopping, and idiotproof web browsing for my little cousin
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Case
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I would prefer newegg.com, but am open to other reputable sites.
PARTS PREFERENCES: Nice quality parts I won't have to worry about for a few years
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1600 x 1280, I may upgrade to a new monitor some time if/when my A90 dies on me.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I <3 this forum
I'd suggest going AMD for that Price Range. Let me list a recent $500 build for you to consider (and then modify to fit your needs)
Athlon II X2 250
Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P (or non T version for DDR 2)
1066 or Greater DDR3 (or DDR2 800)
Sapphire ATI 4650 DDR3 (would prbably change to 4770 or 4830 or 4850)
OCZ ModXStream Pro 500W PS
Hard Drive: whatever you like, I got a WD Black 500GB
DVD: likewise, I got a Samsung SATA
Case: personal preference, I got a Cooler Master Centurion 5
If you plan on OCing, you'll want an aftermarket cooler. Also, you may want to switch to a Phenom II X2 550 if you plan on OCing.
All of those can be found on Newegg for decent prices (that is where I got my parts from).
Again, this is just to start a basis for discussion.
Not too bad for the build in the 2nd post, however, I personally would not get the Cooler Master case. It's not that I'm saying it's a bad case, but it appears to be 45 bucks. If it were me, I'd grab something cheaper, maybe this for example.
So realistically your cost with these changes should stay around the 500, but I'm thinking it would do a lot better with your games. And the black edition should allow more OC headroom should you decide to do that.
Thanks for the suggestions! I'm leaning towards Outlander_04's build, maybe with a better GPU.
the 4850 is stronger than any of the other suggestions in the thread
Keep in mind a dvd drive will cost you $30 if you need one , but if you get on newegg and search gfx card and have a look at 4870's .search by lowest price ..... you may see some listed around $125
Its worthwhile reading the charts section of this site to see how hardware compares