I Want To Build My First Computer. What is a good setup to start out with?

hey guys I've been working on computers for a while now but i haven't ever actually built one.  I want to try to build one and I was just hoping to get some suggestions of a setup that would be easy to build and a good one to learn on.  Where would be a goos place to buy the motherboard, tower, cd and disk drives, cpu, powersupply etc.  Any suggestions on what type to get are welcome also.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:

P4 system case, at least 400w, includes fan stations, good ventilation
Intel motherboard...many to choose from, depends what processor you are running.  Intel is a solid product and documentation is in English ;-)  Constant updates till 2 years after initial relase of the board.

Hardrive...get SATA, whatever you can afford.. make sure above motherboard has builti-in OR the drive you get comes with an associated controller.

Memory...purchase in pairs, same specs

floppy drive.... MUST HAVE if you are trouble shooting, this comes in handy.

NIC.. built-in, go with the future 10/100/1000BT

Modem..nice to have but not necessary nowawadays, unless you want to fax out of your computer.

CD/DVD Rom drive.....personal preference of mine is Pioneer..whatever the latest model.

Keyboard & mouse.. I personally prefer USB WIRED....best performance & precision.

Monitor/LCD panel.. smaller the dpi the better.

OS?  Windows XP Pro

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Newegg.com and Zipzoomfly.com are the sites i recommend for buying computer parts. They have a good selection of cases but if you want a really nice case try Xoxide.com. Also when you get a case if it comes with a cheap power supply, throw that power supply away and get a good power supply. Some good brands are ThermalTake, Ultra, antec, seasonic. The size is going to depend on what you put in it, if you put a high end video card your going to want at least a 450 to 500 watt power supply. For the processor your going to get, that depends on what its going to be used for, if its going to be a machine thats in an office or home non-gaming use go with intel cpu and motherboard, If you want it to be a gaming machine i would recommend an AMD with either an Asus or DFI motherboard with the nforce 4 chipset. memory definetly buy in pairs as suggested the lower the cl (clock latency) the better. For an optical drive might as well get a dvd+/-RW you can get an good NEC dvdrw for 40 bucks. For the hdd get sata and any new motherboard will have an integrated sata port, I prefer seagate hdds and most of them have 5yr warrantys. If you get a sata II hdd make sure the motherboard supports sata II, i have been seeing issues with sata II hdds acting funny or just plain not working on just sata 1 ports.
danielwebbAuthor Commented:
how much do you think i could build a "budget computer" for?  I'm wanting to make it to sell to students for bottom dollar. A Non gaming system is what i'm going for. think i could do one for 250?
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
$250???? I'm thinking Emachine no monitor
$250 bucks might and i stress MIGHT be enough to get some very cheap (and probably not so reliable) hardware together. but even the oem version of xp home is $90 and oem xp pro is $140.
the last place i would buy any parts from is the internet!!!!!!!! always buy from someone local as you can always go back and get replacement parts ASAP instead of waiting forever to get an RMA and waiting for them to ship you a replacement.  also, the service you receive from a local shop, and the help they give you, SHOULD be better than anything you will receive from a person on the other end of a telephone in APOOLAND.

as far aws your budget goes, your thinking second hand castoffs or linux systems in subpar hardware configs.  we ad a thread in here a few weeks back on something like this.

my 2 cents,

Newegg has an automated online RMA service, and they have warehouses in NJ and CA.  I have never been dissappointed in the customer service in all the years I have bought from them.  They have one of the best user ratings on www.resellerratings.com.
danielwebbAuthor Commented:
ok when i said 250 i was talking hardware only. sorry i didn't specify that. i know i'll have to thrown in some extra cash on the os but I'm thinking mainly right now about just building a computer that works.  I'm thinking one of the 50 dollar mother boards from newegg.  the 40 dollar case. a 40 dollar hd, a celeron processor, 512 of ram, a 40 dollar cd dvd drive, and a cheap floppy drive.
Motherboard, CPU w/ onboard video, sound, LAN, USB. $120 before rebate $70 after

Case (Not pretty but cheap)  $30

512 MB PC-3200 RAM $30

40 Gig WD 8Meg cache 7200RPM $34

Good DVD ROM $20

If you want a floppy (Most people don’t ‘nowadays’) $18

$238 before rebates and no floppy, add shipping

$252 before rebates with floppy, add shipping

$188 After rebate and no floppy, add shipping

$202 after rebates with floppy, add shipping

All right at your $250 mark or below
Oh, and if you don't want to spend money on an OS and also do not want to take a chance on get caught with pirated software you can check out these sites:

Lots of Linux Distros to choose from

Desktop rebuild of the power house Unix style server OS FreeBSD (Very nice, I run it on one of my machines at home)

Freeware Windows clone (Not quite ready for release yet but might be good to keep an eye on it) called ReactOS

Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
@mandude0...good shopping.
danielwebbAuthor Commented:
so hypothetically speaking what would happen to someone if they were caught selling a small number of systems with illegal copies of windows on them?
a large fine and possible jail time for pirating software
perhaps you might want to keep tabs on the company that is attempting to make an open source version of windows:


try to stay out of the news and stay with legit software.

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