Being the masochist I am, I decided to build my wife a computer rather than buying off the shelf. There were a couple of reasons behind my thinking but the main one was cost/perfomance.
Yes I could buy her a Dell on the cheap for about 400$ less becuase we just bought the monitor. Or I could using parts on-hand build her a 3ghz dual core PC for about 200. I chose the later.
First off let me say I am NOT a novice computer builder. I have been making my own out of components for at least 15 years. I know what to do and how to do it so (Don't try this at home, unless you KNOW what you are doing)
Newegg.com is the MOST Excellent electronics store. I caught a break in that first I got a combo-deal and then they took an additional 10$ of the price of the system board.
I had the following for Karens computer:
Antec Super Lan Girl*Computer Case
Samsung 22" Flat Panel
16x and 22x DVD Burners
Roswill Memory card reader
Silverstone Fron Port Bay Device
250GB SATA II HDD
750GB SATA II HDD
I bought the following at NEWEGG
AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor Processor (3.0ghz X 2) (AM3)
Gigabyte MA785GM-US2H Mother Board
2 GB of Muskin DDR2 PC800
500 Watt Coolermaster Power supply (Compusa)
AMD really was the only choice for price/performance. Its steady under load and gives her computer a much needed kick it didn't have before. Passmark score of 1566 with onboard video.
The motherboard was a good choice I actually bought 2 one for Karen and one for me. The mother board has 5 SATA Ports and HDMI, DVI, DSub ports, 6 USB ports and headers for 6 more. It supports AM3 Chips using the 785 Chipset.
I formatted the 250 and loaded it up with Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit (which I found out is incompatible with Webshots Desktop :( ). Luckily that won't be an issue as we are not re-newing the subscription. Sorry webshots.
The masochistic part is that I asked a friend of mine if he knew anyone who wanted a computer (my wifes old one) and a couple of days laer he said yes and when could I get it for him. I told him he could have it once my parts came in and I had Karen's computer working ( I figured the parts would come in Monday, Tuesday for testing and Wednesday he could have the computer, Yes I know I'm an idiot).
Parts were right on time, build went smooth right up until I tried to start it. Power Supply under wattage. Ran off to CompUSA and bought a 500watt. Problem solved, still wouldn't start. Removed all the cables and traced my front panel cables and oops I missed the little pins to connect the power button. Oh well connected it up and it started.
Verified all the settings and began loading 7, wow the OS loaded quickly and I was ready to load the drivers put the disk in and loaded all the drivers and then began the software load. That went really quick too.
Below is Karens computer in her Antec Super Lan Girl Case.
*Karen stickered her case for one to cover a broken SATA port and 2 to make the case look like it was owned by a girl.
** About 2 weeks after I had her computer up I noticed a problem and I was correcting it in the software when the computer crashed taking all of her data with it. Thankfully I had backed her data up but not the software. Oh well its fixed now.