APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: End of October. Once Win 7 ships.
BUDGET RANGE: $600 before rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Poker, Internet, Movies, Video Streaming (Hulu), Visual Studio
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor, Speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg.com
PARTS PREFERENCES: AMD seems the most budget friendly.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes (Stock heatsink, air)
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 2560x1600 (Dell 3007WFP)
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Due to a fairly firm budget I've opted to go with a mobo with onboard graphics and 128MB sideport. I assume this will be able to handle a 30-inch monitor at native resolution without issue. Any advice, improvements, cost-cutting ideas are welcomed. Thanks!
The rest looks good, although I don't know if the onboard video will handle that large of a monitor for video - it definitely won't for gaminng. YOu can find cheaper, decent cases but it is more a matter of style and preference.
Stick with the Antec 300, its a sweet case. Shortstuff made a good suggestion for the psu and case combo if you are going to use it as a general system as you are stating. If theres any doubt you may want to add a more powerful video card later then get a better psu now.
The Athlon CPU is a pretty big step backwards from the Phenom II x3. I wouldn't make that change unless you absolutely have to. The same goes for the motherboard and RAM. I wouldn't use DDR2 in a new build since it's nearing EOL and prices will only go up from here. The AM3 motherboard and DDR3 RAM offer a much better upgrade path for only a minimal investment. It's worth it IMO.
Thanks a lot guys. Like shortstuff said, I think sticking with AM3 and the better CPU is the best bet. I will also go with a better PSU (OCZ 500W) since there is a decent chance that a game will catch my eye forcing me to eventually get a video card.
I know there are less expensive cases than the Antec 300 but I like the design and am willing to pay a bit more knowing I'm going to look at it everyday.
As of right now the build is going to cost around $625 including the OS. I'm going to keep an eye out for any deals and will likely start ordering withing the next week or so.