Originally Posted by gsteffens
How do I go about compatability, like motherboard to CPU, and power supply, etc?
For starters, which company will you go with? Intel or AMD. Most will say Intel at the moment, because right now they have the upper hand in performance. But there's no problem going with AMD, if you chose them.
So with Intel you go with a Socket 775 motherboard and CPU, because that is the latest from Intel. And if you chose AMD, you go with an AM2+ motherboard and CPU.
With the power supply, any reliable brand of power supply will be fine. Top brands include PC Power & Cooling, Corsair, Silverstone, FSP(Fortron), SeaSonic, Antec, etc.
With memory, you go with DDR2. As it is widely available, and it is at it's lowest prices.
Graphic cards. You go with PCIe slot graphic cards, because they are the newest type of graphic cards. There are two versions of PCIe type graphic cards, and that's 1.1 and 2.0. Obviously 2.0 is the latest and the one to go for. And the newest motherboards are 2.0 compatible. Don't worry if you've settled with a PCIe 1.1 graphic card, because it is backwards compatible with motherboards supporting PCIe 2.0.
Hard drives and optical drives. Go with ones that are SATA, because again, SATA is the latest. For hard drives stick with either Seagate or Western Digital, because they are the top two brands. Optical drives doesn't really matter with the brand. An optical drive is an optical drive.
If you are planning on overclocking, an aftermarket CPU cooler is recommended. Most of latest ones, are compatible with most of the Intel and AMD sockets.
And for short, I've already made a guide that picks out the best or recommended parts, in my Recommended PC Components guide, in my sig:
Recommended PC Components
...There are three sections. From low, medium, to high-end/budgets.