I'de greatly appreciate your advice on a bargain media server type computer that I'm going to put together. Budget is what it is: just moved so cash is low and need is high ... old computer stayed at old house. This will be my only computer at the new place.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: within 7 days
BUDGET RANGE: < $400 After Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Media server through X-Box 360, Online Video, Internet Surfing, Programming (Linux and Visual Studio)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor (I don't have speakers, but I have a home theatre system with audio in that i could use to save budget), may be able to skip the OS if necessary and use Ubuntu or similar, but want to explore Windows 7 option.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: wherever i can find the best deals
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: No preference, unless I can somehow get a Xeon based system in this price range (not sure if possible) [Why? The experience would benefit some products we use at work]
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Probably not
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680x1050 [I don't think i need 1920x1080if I'm driving the TV with the X-Box]
believe it or not you can build a pretty decent system for 400$ I just put together a basic gaming rig for 350$
I am kind of a newb when it comes to all this stuff but I would go with a good price motherboard + quadcore cpu build and just get 2 or 4 gigs of memory for now, make sure you will have room to put more ram in the future, newegg has the best combo deals, im sure you could find a nice xeon based setup there, what helped me save money was looking at items in generes of "Free shipping" Combo deals, price range selections. I purchased a radeon 4650 for like 55$ and it works awesome for all the games I play usually on high settings with my dual 22' displays.
AMD X2 5600+ (54$)
4GB gskill 800mhz memory (89.99)
Radeon 4650 512mb version (40-50$ i cant remember)
Thermaltake spirit heatsink, (14$)
WD caviar green 500gb 32mb cache (50$ free shipping)
I just build my brother a budget build for under 200$ because all he does is surf the web and use microsoft office
amdx2 5600+ & thermaltake heatsink for 70$
I put a Foxcon am2 motherboard with onboard video
(36.99 with free shipping and it works awesome!)
2x1gb 667's for 35$
roswell black basic looking case 20$ with free shipping
samsung dvd burner for 26$ with free shipping
wd green cavier 500gb for 50$ with free shipping
oh and I just got him a cheap 350watt psu it was like 20$, I did my homework on it first though because I didnt want to get him something that would break.