Newbie looking for advice on building 1st computer

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I am looking to upgrade my computer and I have come to the conclusion that I will try and build it myself. The pc that I have at this time is over 4 years old and its time to upgrade. At this time my computer is as follows:
Pentium II 350
10Gig hard drive
32MB Viper TNT2 Ultra AGP (later installed)
Philips 12X8X36 CD-RW (later installed)
56K modem

The main reason that I want to upgrade is because this thing is slow. Many of the new games that are out require a much faster pc than what I have. I also do use it for my basic financial recording.

First, I could use some insight on the idea of me building it myself. I am pretty green, but I did put the video card and the CD-RW in myself. I surely doubt that this has any bearing on whether or not I can build one myself, but I am eager to learn unless I am directed otherwise.
I could use some advice on what hardware to buy - looking at a pretty tight budget between $400-600. Here is approx. what I am looking for -

Athlon XP 2100+
Case ?? ATX ??
Motherboard ??? ( have no idea)
Video card - can go cheap for now and add later
40+ Gig hard drive
CD ROM - ( does it need to be replaced?)
Burner ??? (again, does it need to be replaced?)

I am not sure if this can even be done in this price range, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again
ddr ram is quite cheap maybe you could add more, could work out better for you in the end, unless the computer is just for typiin etc, nothing to hard
C'mon is there not anyone else with any suggestions??????
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Unfortunatly, your not going to be able to upgrade that system and get any performance increase as the Proccessor is your big bottleneck.

Spend all your money on new Athlon XP 1600+ or higher, a new Soyo Motherboard, and some DDR memory, then put your old crap in, and upgrade as money allows.
I guess I should have been more clear. I am not actually looking to upgrade my current system itself, I am looking to start from scratch and build a new system. The specs that I have listed are the specs that I am shooting for. I could use advice as to where to buy these from, and also if they are appropriate. Also, the reason that I posted my old system, is to see if any of the hardware could be used to cut costs on the new system. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Honestly, for 4-6 hundred, your not going to get much.

I would go to and do what I suggested,

but its up to you.
Athlon XP 2100+
Case: Mid-tower and yes ATX
Motherboard Asus a7v8x
Video card - Radeon
40+ Gig hard drive, 7200rpm stear clear of seagate
256DDR RAM (PC2700 or 3200)
CD ROM - ( does it need to be replaced?) no, but i would eventualy
Burner ??? (again, does it need to be replaced?) no, but i would eventualy

and about pricewatch i'd stear clear of janky companies, go to pricegrabber and read reviews... DOA's are a big problem with alot of internet retailers and so are RMA problems

newegg, techdepot and googlegear are the best places IMO

if you want to save money go with the athlon 1800 at 1.53 ghz, you'd be amazed but it's equal in speed to the pentium 4 2.0ghz
Thanks for the reply - that was what I was looking for. I was trying to find out some actual recommendations for model #'s and brand names. I am pretty set on the Athlon 2100+.
I am wondering what the scoop is on the Asus A7V333 MOBO. What are the differences between the A7V8X and the A7V333???
RAM is pretty straight forward.
Also, what about just buying a barebones system with MOBO, chip, RAM and HD for now and fill in the rest as needed?
Thanks for any help, it is appreciated.
Hmm lotta good suggestions, heres mine.

You can get a really nice case from at a really nice price. I live by pricewatch, but its true, make sure you stay away from shotty companys, learn what companies produce the best of what products.

We just built a computer for a lady on a very limited budget, built it for $580 total, thats with 17" monitor.

-XP 1700 OC'd to 1.46 (i think) ( it was somtihg around there.)
-256MB ddr-pc-2700
-Asus A7s333 (i got the board for $52 off pricewatch. Retail Box)
-20gig HD (If your still on dial up, dont need a large HD, your never gonna fill it up)
-Enermax Powersupply (BIG BIG BIG nono is to buy cheap ps, i only buy enermax, they have proven time and again to be the industry leaders is not only quality but price as well, a 350watt enermax you could pick up for like $50 and it would last you threw this computer, and probably the next.)

If you start getting into OverClocking, your definatly gonna want a decent power supply, as you will need it. You can easily get more bandwidth from your ram by puitting some heatsinks on them. Keep everything cool.

Suggestion 2 - Buy a Soyo Dragon kt-400 Ultra Platinum edition mobo, and 1 gig of pc 3200 ram. that should about eat up that budget :)

you really do have to be carefull of what companys you buy from and who they are made by

Such as - if your gonna buy a radeon card, ONLY by BUILT BY ATI , if its powered by ati, its not gonna hold strong.

When buying ram, make sure you buy it with a cas rating of 2.0, 2.5 is getting pretty slow these days, and you will regret it soon.

Read up about ECC/parity and non parrity. Do you want error checking, sometimes comanies will sell you unallocated memory :(

Learn your bus speeds!! Theres no sense in running pc3200 or pc 2700 ram if your bus lines arent fast enough, it will just waste it, and your money.

Wow, sorry i got carried away,

bottom line is, putting a computer together really isnt all that difficult, its just making sure you have the right parts.

Good luck man.
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