I went to school for computer maintenance years ago, but this will be my first build for myself. I worry that I am missing something or that something will not be compatible.
Approximate Purchase Date: this week
Budget Range: wife will lest me spend $500 of our tax refund. I could maybe get away with $600
System Usage from Most to Least Important: programming with eclipse, media management/conversion for audio video and ebooks, device management for ebook reader mp3player network attached storage and video game systems, internet browsing, maybe star wars the old republic someday
Parts Not Required: keyboard, monitor, mouse, wifi card(PCI?), and I have a 160G 2.5" HDD w/ cable
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com
Country: United States of America
Parts Preferences: AMD multi core, SSD for Windiws 7 OS
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe someday
Monitor Resolution: I'm afraid I don't know. I have several older monitors for now, but would like to upgrade to 2 widescreen touch displays eventually.
Additional Comments: I just want to get up and running now, but would later like to be able to add more RAM, two touch screen monitors, a card reader, and more storage. I really value quick and smooth multitasking and would like to be able to convert file formats while programming and surfing the internet.
My Newegg wishlist looks like this right now:
LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer - Bulk - Black SATA Model iHAS224-06 LightScribe Support - OEM
That puts me at a total of $511.74 after shipping and there are 2 $10 mail in rebates(that I will probably never send in) and 1 $10 gift card(that maybe I can use for my card reader). I looked at tigerdirect as well, but the things I wanted cost more or weren't there. I am writing this on a 10 year old pc and would like to make this build work for a long time as well with RAM, HDD, and other upgrades. I have 1TB of network storage and I use one of my game systems for media playback, so I don't care too much about audio/video storage or playback, but I might want to play a PC game someday.
When you want to play games, you're going to want a graphics card and then I suggest you upgrade the PSU. I bought a case similar to your with a built in power supply and it simply wasn't powerful enough when I installed my HD 6870. Good luck!
If you ever want to play games, that computer is pretty bad. You're not going to do a lot better for your budget, at any rate. Here are the things that jumped out at me.
1. That's a seriously slow processor, and you're going to feel it.
2. You don't have a GPU. You might get playable framerates in games, but only if you reduce settings to minimum, and only on older games. The Old Republic just isn't happening on those onboard graphics.
3. Your memory is really slow. Get DDR3-1600. It's the sweet spot for cost to performance.
4. A 40GB SSD is nearly useless. You'll get Windows on it, and basically nothing else.
I think you've got slightly unreasonable expectations of a $500 rig. An SSD is a huge mistake at that price point, you'll just be constantly frustrated by the inability to install anything to your C drive. Without a discrete GPU, you're going to be severely limited in what games you can play, especially considering that board is rocking a 4000 series chipset (which is now three full generations out of date).
Why don't you just try putting the cash into upgrading your old rig? $500 will buy you a nice SSD, mid-range video card and a RAM upgrade. Or, pick up one of AMD's APUs to beef up your gaming abilities.
As a budget builder myself, I have built a lot of AMD systems over the past few years. They have been absolutely suitable for their intended purposes, however the evidence is undeniable that there is no longer a price segment where AMD makes sense; buy an AMD CPU to upgrade an older system, but anything new should be Intel. The following build is right at the edge of your budget, but will mop the floor with any AMD build.
Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 ...
If you want to get costs down, save $70 by getting an i3-2120, but I think multitasking will be smoother with 4 real cores instead of a couple of hyperthreaded ones.
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721050DLE630 (0F13178) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Untested, but the hard drive market is still bad. I'd risk one of these myself though, so I don't have a problem suggesting it.
ASRock Z68M/USB3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
$94.99 -$10.00 Instant $84.99
Z68 will give you the "latest and greatest" feature set, including faster connectivity with USB 3.0 and SATA 6Gb/s, plus SRT, so you can add a SSD later and speed up the system.
Rosewill R101-P-BK 120mm Fan MicroATX Mid Tower Computer Case
As cheap cases go, this one has plenty of room inside, and the fan is quiet but effective.
SAPPHIRE 100326L Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Mail in Rebate Card
I know you don't intend to start out playing games, but this card is good enough to let you at least sample any game out there. If you decide you want to play a particular game on higher settings, you can upgrade.
Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ...
Model #:EA-380D Green
$59.99 -$14.00 Instant $45.99
This has been my "goto" PSU on budget builds for years. It is strong enough to run a HD6850 later if you like. Note that right now, and for the next hour or so, there's a great Shellshocker deal on a 620W Neo Eco. If you think you might want an even more powerful video card later, may as well get that one now.
G.SKILL Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-8GBNT
G.Skill has become my RAM of choice; it just works. I've never had a DOA stick, or had to RMA any. I'm one guy, so the sample size is tiny, but I can't say the same about AData, Crucial, or even Mushkin.
LG DVD Burner Black SATA Model GH24LS70 LightScribe Support
One optical drive is much like another; this one has LightScribe support though.
Shipping will no doubt go over $600, but there's at least one rebate that should bring it back down again.
I would buy any of these parts myself, and some I have. I think this will perform significantly better than any AMD system, especially a FX.