AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX240OCGQBOX
AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core Processor Model ADX240OCGQBOX - Retail
Item #: N82E16819103688
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
HIS Gift - Stormrise Game Coupon Bundle
HIS Gift - Stormrise Game Coupon Bundle - Retail
Item #: N82E16800999372
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$400 is not enough for 8 gigs of ram. The Antec case + 500 PSU is quality and ATX and can be reused in the future. The MSI mobo has upgradablity. You just need to drop in a new quad-core cpu, beefier gpu, another Gb NIC, or whatever if you wish in the future. The mobo has IGP that supports dual outputs. Your monitors need to have D-SUB/DVI inputs.
Primary supports 18-, 24-, and 30-bit digital displays at all resolutions up to 1920x1200 (single-link DVI) or 2560x1600 (dual-link DVI)
You could downgrade everything for a total of $400-ish, but you'd be getting DDR2 which is outdated. Any parts of the above list can be reused in a future build. The mobos with dual Gb LANs are over $100. Not worth the money, IMO. Best get a Gb NIC.
This is my first time dealing with an on-board SATA RAID controller so this may be a silly question but here goes...
I forgot to mention needing a DVD burner. Can I use a SATA burner, use two of the onboard SATAs for my RAID1 array and a third for the burner? Or must I go with a PATA burner (which are a bit more expensive)?
Yes, you can get any other quality psu you want, but Antec is a well known good brand for both psu's & cases. If you haven't bought an Antec, now would be a good time. I built a pc with that Sonata case for a friend. Then a Solo for another friend. Both are well thought out. Both have front dust filter for easy cleaning. The actual wattage usage would be under 50W-ish idle and 100W-ish load. 400W will do just fine. The thing is modern mobo manufacturers recommend a 400W+ psu. You can find this in the manual.
You can use all SATA burners/harddisks. Make sure you create a RAID 1 for both harddisks. It won't matter where you plug the drive in.