Recently, my laptop went belly up (onboard video died), so now I am preparing to buy all the parts to build my own desktop. I figure it's less convenient, but a better long-term investment. My funds are somewhat limited, and I need this to last me for 3 or 4 years. I'm basically looking for input/opinions from anyone who cares to share them. So far I've found:
AMD motherboard, video card, onboard sound bundle for $160
Board can take up to 8gb of ddr2 800 ram, sata hard drive, am2 socket type, 7600GT DDR3 256MB 128BIT PCI-E video card (copy/pasted that last part).
Athlon 64 x2 5200+ processor for $130.
I'm looking at power supplies, deals on RAM, cases, and I'm thinking about getting a 250 or 320 gb hard drive.
My greatest concern is keeping the cost down enough to be able to afford the operating system once it's all built. I can't spend more than $1k, and it'd be nice to have a decent amount for a new monitor.