Mmkay. Took me a while to read all this thread, and I have seen a lot of valid points, and a lot of stuff that is off a bit. I have a lot of experience with different parts, being a computer tech myself. I work on dozens and dozens of machines in a week, and build at least 5 new machines every other week nowadays. I'll touch on all kinds of different parts.
PC Chips are pretty much crap, but you get what you pay for. They are the cheapest boards on the market atm, if I'm not mistaken.
ECS boards, especially the LGA 775 series, are susceptible to burning up a bit more easily than most other boards, we have run into a lot of problems with the ECS line, all different kinds of mobos, not naming all the model names.
EpoX boards are DECENT, but I wouldn't trust them in my own machine. I havent dealt with a lot of them, but the few I have dealt with have been poorly made. I may be assuming a lot, but having seen maybe half a dozen different models, seeing the same type of build, I condemn most of the line.
And to comment on the guy that said a Gigabyte mobo had Foxconn parts, a lot of mobos have foxconn parts. Not just that one. Gigabyte has been very good to my customers, as has Foxconn.
and ASUS boards are sheer joy.
Obviously, stay away from Celeron. They are just would-be P4's that didn't pass the Pentium test. True, I have seen some that do work alright, and we have built some celeron machines, including from the D series, and they work...but I wouldn't want it in my machine. For a budget system, a Sempron works a lot better than a Celeron, I havent had many problems at all with Sempron, but again, I wouldn't want one in my personal system.
And I would stay away from LGA 775. Interesting locking system, but the heatsink/fan combo causes way too much stress to the motherboard with the way it connects.
I don't know why you guys don't like Rosewill, they make very good budget RAM in my experience. RAM to stay away from would be All Components (though the SD-RAM series seems to work alright) and pqi. But with RAM, most of it does it's job, no matter what, and those brands I mentioned aren't HORRIBLE, just lower performance than other brands.
mmkay. Netgear routers are huge pieces of crap. Buy a D-link. And Belkin Wireless Desktop PCI Network Adapters...you know, the think you stick a PCMCIA networking card into for your desktop PC...are horrible. First off, they only work with the Belkin networking cards. Second, only 11mbps. Third, they almost never work. Belkin networking products in general are just...bad.
Seagate HDDs are IMHO the most reliable drives around. Most Maxtor and Samsung drives I have had major issues with in the shop here. WD has some issues, but they are overall a good drive, especially the Caviar series.
And as another note, SATA, while it is faster, can also be harmful to your motherboard. The SATA inputs arent put on the motherboards very well, and can stress it out more than you like...if yu use SATA, make sure you dont fiddle with the cable much at all, trust me.
The worst case I have ever seen, the way it is built and shipped, here. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811195014
HORRIBLE. Every case we have gotten has broken parts, major dents, seriously flimsy material, and a lot of sharp ends. The last one we got came with a PSU that didn't have an ATX 12V plug (the square 4-prong one for the mobo), hence, making it completely useless. Upon talking with others, ASYS as a brand is just crap. And Powmax isn't too great, I have a Powmax case and it works pretty well, but i have some issues with the fact that it is a bit flimsy.
The stock fans that come with the AMD 64 chips, you may want to replace. Anything 3200+ and under is alright with it, but for the higher end ones, go with a new heatsink/fan combo.
Sorry for the uber-long post. All of these are based on personal experience, no fan-boy comments whatsoever. :P