<edit> If you're new to this thread, please discard everything but this:
Well anyway, this is what I've ended up putting together. Way over budget, but whatever lol.
Any changes/suggestions? I really wasn't sure about the RAM I picked (many similar but different options), or the mobo for that matter, but I think I did a pretty good job? I'm also considering just going with a e6400 instead of the 6600 and getting a new monitor because the one I'm on now sucks ***. I'd like this computer to be suitable as is though for a long time without needing upgrades so maybe I should just go with the 6600. ahhhhh idk.
Core 2 duo e6600
ASUS P5W DH DELUXE CONROE 975X LGA775 1066FSB DDR2 PCI-EX16 ATX SUPPORT CORE 2 DUAL CPU
OCZ Platinum Revision 2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM Unbuffered DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit System Memory - Retail
SAPPHIRE 100150SR Radeon X1900XTX 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 VIVO PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
BFG Tech BFGR650PSU ATX 12v 2.0 and EPS 12V 650Watts Power Supply UL, CE, FCC CLASS B - Retail
Thermaltake Tsunami VA3000SWA Silver All aluminum made Modern Dream Tower Chassis Computer Case - Retail
Logitech MX518 931352-0403 2-Tone 8 Buttons 1x Wheel USB + PS/2 Optical Mouse - Retail
Thing is I'm waaaaay behind on my research and I'm a total n00b in the first place...I've never pieced together a machine before. Typically before I buy anything I research all options, maybe ask for a bit of help here or there, then carefully come to my own conclusions.
I'm just pi$sed right now because of some recent issues and I want a new computer...like right now...or yesterday....or last week. I had been waiting for vista to come out but oh well. Speaking of which, will vista be completely compatible with the same hardware that XP is? I hope so...
Basically I'm budgeting myself for a flexible $1k for a new build discounting a vid card so I can get a better one down the road. I need everything down to a case and power supply.
I'd like to go with a cpu that's OC friendly that will run well on air cooling. I haven't read **** but my friend picked up an opteron for a couple hundred bucks, has it OC'd considerably on air cooling, it runs stable, and at least for what he's using his machine for, it's running similarly to the way his fx60 machine was running. Dunno what the benchmark differences were though.
I also hear good things about the core 2 duo?
**** guys, I really don't want to rush into **** and I don't know much about what I'm doing, but I really need to get a new machine built.
Any suggestions/links/anything is appreciated.