but I'm looking to build my girlfriend a $100-ish (no more than $150 parts-wise) computer for basic use (using microsoft office, typing stuff etc. nothing intensive) I already have a case/mouse/keyboard for it, and she's taking care of the monitor, and I'm looking to optimize the following:
-motherboard (onboard sound & network card) - possibly with IDE support because I've got a couple of old IDE drives just sitting around, unless getting a newer motherboard and IDE->SATA cables would be more cost effective?)
-*decent GPU is optional, if I can fit it in the budget, but she will have no use for a decent GPU)
what kind of stuff should I be looking for to optimize performance with this price range? should i aim for a q6600 processor? or can I do better right now?
Antec Basiq 350W ($30 + $4s) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I've heard Rosewill is also decent amongst the lower end, but I wouldn't skimp on the power supply. Get cheap ram and processor, cheap PSU and cheap Mobo will potentially make the whole experience miserable.
Total- $158 after shipping, add a few bucks for the tax on the processor. You'll need a PATA controller, there just aren't many options to use IDE drives on newer motherboards.
A possible substitute, using the same RAM and PSU, would be to get an AM3 board with PATA support:
CPU-wise, depends on your budget. Check micro center again, they have great CPU prices, you could also wait for a sale on newegg; this CPU was only $60 this week, looks like it's off-sale again thought: