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21 Nov 2009  

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Googling will reveal numerous guides. You could buy a book, but they are likely to be outdated due to rapidly changing tech, model numbers, etc.

General process:

Decide what your PC needs to be able to do, specifically. What tasks? How often? Are you impatient and want "speed"? Is PC noise an issue for you? Do you have any intention of overclocking?

Decide on your budget within $200 or so

Research and more research. The critical components are case, power supply, motherboard, RAM, and hard drives. Some brands have good reps, some don't. You aren't likely to need a fancy board with overclocking features galore. Identify the highly regarded brands.

Within those good brands, search for components in the mid to upper mid range price wise. You aren't likely to need a 600 watt power supply or a $250 motherboard. You wouldn't need to spend even $100 on a video card unless you are heavily into games.


Better motherboards: MSI, Gigabyte, Intel, Asus; Intel excellent if you won't overclock
Better RAM: Corsair, Crucial, Kingston; no need to get fancy here if you don't overclock
Better hard drives: Samsung, Western Digital, Seagate; all are a crapshoot and can be DOA
Better power supplies: Seasonic, Corsair, Antec
Better cases: Antec, Coolermaster

Just my opinions.
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