The budget is $1,100. Some of that has to go to other hardware, like a vidcam, headset, DSL Modem, etc. Some has to go for software, such as Antivirus, firewall, OS, office suit, etc.
I haven't figured out how much these items will cost, so I need to leave myself a buffer in the budget.
For processor and hard drive I chose 2 options, figuring that my user doesn't need the high end version, but if they have it, their computer will last longer.
There are two configurations, using the higher and lower end versions of the components, with two drastically different subtotals:
1. Gigabyte GA-k8nf-9 ($76)
2. MSI k8n Neo4f ($70)
1. POWERCOLOR R96-D3G Radeon 9600PRO 256MB 128-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X ($79)
MSI FX5500-TD256 Geforce FX5500 256MB 128-bit DDR AGP 4X/8X Video Card ($75)
2. should I spring for the more expensive Sapphire Radeon x1300, ($95) and if so, why?
1,2. Sony DVD and CD burner: Model #: DW-Q30A BK NO/SW ($38)
Sound card: skip it unless there’s lots of extra cash at the end.
1,2. Antec Sonata II, since there is no significant price break from the Sonata I and it has a better power source ($98-$99)
(May shave money off by getting a diff. case. Can anyone reccommend one with a 450 watt power source for cheaper?)
1. AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Venice ($156)
2. AMD Athlon 64 x2 38oo+ ($322)
1. Western Digital Caviar SE 80 gig SATA ($55)
2. Maxtor Diamond Max 160 gig SATA ($90)
1,2. 17" LCD ($189)
May shave off here by using owner's previous monitor, be it CRT or LCD.
The total for version 1 is: $685, leaving me plenty for software and peripherals.
the total for version 2 is: $908, meaning that I may have to rely on freeware.
Or, I could combine the two, choosing the best for the more essential components.
Speakers, keyboard, and mouse I'm assuming my user has already and does not need to upgrade.