Okay, here's the skinny:
It's long past the time when I ought to be replacing my computer. But I've been holding out a little. My current computer is a barebones system with pieces from an even older computer.
I'm currently running 933 mHz, 40 gig hard drive, and a dvd-rom/cd rw drive. The sound and video are integrated in the barebones system's motherboard. So basically, what we have is me building a computer almost from scratch.
I want a sweet system that will last me a few years, run photoshop and several instances of iE simultaneously, and be able to handle video decently enough for streaming video off the net, RCT2, and hopefully some day video editing software.
My soundcard doesn't have to be amazing, but it has to be decent enough to avoid the popping that I sometimes get when listening to game audio while running other stuff (granted, that could be a memory problem)
Here's the tough part: I'm trying to do this for between $500 and $700, definitely under $1000. I figure the best way at this point is to just buy one part at a time.
Now, ordinarily, I'd have made the hard drive the very last thing, but I found this great deal and seeing as how I'm filling up my computer very quickly with photos and video, this is something I could actually use now if need be (though I'd probably hold off, I remember what a pain it was reprogramming a hard drive to move from one computer to another w/out erasing it).
For the people who know pricing and speeds, does this look like a good hard drive for my eventual system, and does the price look like a good deal?
Then I have questions about CPUs and memory. Which is the better type of RAM, the PC3200 or DDR Ram? In other words, for future upgradability, which type should I be getting now? How about CPUs? I know pretty much how things work for Intel with the Pentium Chips, but I never know how the AMD chips compare. What is the Pentium 4 equivalent in AMD? Which is superior? Which chips are the consumer-level crud to be avoided?
Also, if anyone knows of any better places on the web to buy components (because I know there's cheaper than Fry's out there), I'd really appreciate some links to them!