I have used Tom's Hardware many times in the past for great articles for computer parts and love the charts! I just recently found the forums here and just registered. Anyway my Pentium 4 2.8 system is on its last legs and I could use a tax write off for 2009. It has been a while since I have put together a computer, but after looking around a little I may give another try. As I have not kept up with info on computer parts in the last 4 or 5 years, I am pretty much at a loss to where to jump.
After doing some searching on Google, I find there is a lot of knowledgeable people here on the Toms Hardware forum.
I do not play many games but was a fan of the old Medal of Honor games and may want to try some of the new ones when I get a faster computer.
Mostly I use my computer for invoices, some paint programs (old ones), an old version of AutoCad, internet lurking, some video editing.
Do you think if I go with a AMD I can get a motherboard with built in graphics that would be fast enough for some low end gaming? I would also like to be able to run a cable from my computer to my new flat screen TV that I have yet to purchase. So I guess the built in card should support 1080p with sound. In the future maybe I will get a inexpensive video card...or should I think about that right away?
I want to keep the cost somewhere between $450 to $600 with windows 7 os, the less the better as I want to get a 24 inch monitor also.
Maybe I should check out the Black Friday deals on ready built systems, what do you think?
THank you in advance for any insight on what direction to jump. I will probably ask more questions for a specific build after I get a little direction.
If you're wanting to try new games, you will need to get a discrete card. You don't necessarily have to do this right away, especially with the new DirectX 11 cards from ATI and whatever nVidia's ploting driving prices to do crazy things. You can get HDMI support with onboard graphics, but ultimately you will need to get a discrete GPU.
As far as BF deals, there are some for components as well. The best one coming up is Newegg's 10% cashback (through Bing) that will begin at 3 PM PST.
With that budget, you're definitely looking at an AMD build. You don't need (and won't be able to afford) their best, but they have a lot of selections for their AM3 socket. This is their newest, and will be the main socket for a few years.
Check out the "Recommended builds by usage" sticky in the General Homebuilt section. There's a good budget build (no OS) at around $500 that should get you started.