I've searched the forum but there's no thread that quite fits my needs.
I haven't built a PC in years. Fundage issues -- but the last one I did kicked patootie. Cutting-edge. Now, however, I find that I'm forced to go with a more moderate budget, and am looking for a spot of help. My local store is trying to shaft me by charging 20-50% more than the online vendors -- + tax. So..let's say I may drop by for a sale, but not for my main system components.
I'd like to spend less than 600 dollars, but it looks like I'll be spending at least 700, and I'm looking to build a bottom-end gaming computer. I'll be cannibalizing as many parts from my current rig as I can.
Primary use is of course gaming, but as I'll also be my home office computer it'll need to be fairly silent. I've read about a hundred reviews and comparisons and frankly, I'm lost.
I need a new case, probably with a new, silent PSU. I'd like it to have great airflow. I think I want one that is ATX 12V 2.0 compliant? The Thermaltake Tai Chi makes me happy in my pants but is waaay out of my price range. Is the Raidmax X1 a decent choice? Is there a better one available for under 150 bucks? I'd like to keep the case I purchase for at least 5-8 years, so I'm willing to spend a bit more on it. Suggestions?
I've selected an Athlon 3800+ X2 for my CPU -- do I need to worry about what kind of core it is? Manchester?
I've selected the following CPU cooler: http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/arcofr64pro.html
Is that a good choice?
Mobo: I'm completely and utterly lost here. I'd like a decent budget option with room for expansion and possible overclocking in about 6 months. PCIe preferred.
GPU: Again, I'm befuddled. I don't care about the brand, I just want one that works and is happy. Probably nVIDIA, because it's really easy to update your drivers, but if ATI has a swanky card for cheap I'm willing to investigate. I'd prefer a PCIe card, unless there's a really good reason for selecting AGP. Preferably Shader Model 3.0 compliant. I'd love to be able to run things like F.E.A.R, but particularly RTS games for years to come.
RAM: Whatever goes with the mobo and CPU. Probably 2 gigs of DDR, but as for the particular type and brand... :: Shrugs :: A value-conscious choice preferred.
Speakers, Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Operating System, HDD & Optical Drive: I'll be cannibalizing these from my current system. Using old Boston Acroustics speakers that sound better than anything currently available for under $125, LaCie electron blue 22 Flatscreen CRT monitor, Logitech MX518 gaming mouse, a retail copy of XP I bought years ago, and the keyboard type I've been using for years, the Microsoft Natural Keyboard Pro. My HDDs are a 200GB 7200 RPM drive for storage and a 36GB Raptor as main system drive. My Sony DVD RW +/- will also be used in the new system. I'm probably not going to bother with salvaging my 3.5" floppy.
Any advice is gratefully accepted, and I'd like to thank ya'll for your help.