I was wondering if you guys could recommend any changes to my proposed system or if I'm missing anything. I am aiming for a price around 1,050 dollars.
Asus A7n8x (deluxe) motherboard
256mb CL 2.0 ddr-333 ram
Athlon XP 2100+ or 2000+(Tbred B)
ATI Radeon 9500 pro 128 mb
Lite-on 52-24-32 Cd-RW
Generic Dvd-rom drive
Maxtor 80gb ata/133 7200rpm
17" Nec monitor
Logitech z-640 5.1 speakers
Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0
An Antec ATX form Factor 300watt case
Thrustmaster Firestorm Dual Analog 2 Gamepad
Also What kind of Cpu Fan do you recommend? I read the TH review of 55, but I am still unsure as to which one is the best. I want to overclock my 2100+ to 2300+. And does Serial ATA really make any difference?
"Long live the Dreamcast..., wait it's dead? long live Sega and the PC."
Unless you're planning on overclocking, get the retail AMD CPU, as the retail fan is "good enough" and it's quiet as well. If you are planning on overclocking then the Volcano 7+ is good, cheep, and fairly quiet. There's better HSF, but they are noiser and more expensive. If you really want good advice on a HSF then ask this question in the overclocking - cooler and heatsink forum.
All your other choices are good. If you want to shave off a few bucks then a 42x or 48x lite-on burner only adds a few seconds to each CD you burn.
About the only thing I would think about upgrading is the monitor and the mouse. A 19" monitor is a "must have" for myself. And now that I have upgraded to a cordless mouse you wouldn't be able to pay me to go back to a corded one. I can't even begin to explain how much better a cordless mouse is than a corded one, I feel like I've just had my shackles removed and been set free from jail. They're usually on sale at the local Best Buy or Staples as well.
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if you're gonna be running winxp and playing newer games, you might want to add another 256mb of ram, both so you can use the dual channel feature of the motherboard, and because unreal tournament 2003, for instance, uses a lot of memory if you can provide it (otherwise uses pagefile, i assume)
i second the volcano 7+, it's cheap and has a speed controller for the fan (you should be able to pick one up for about $35, a song for such a high performance heatsink/fan)
the tbred B is workin out well for people, so i second that too