Help me build a new PC

My student loan check came today (not poor anymore!), and seeing as it’s more than I anticipated (as in, LOTS more,) I’ve decided to budget some of it towards a new PC. A good chuck of it will go straight back to the loan company, since I don’t need that much, but my current computer is on its last legs. I am getting lots of random blue screens, even after updating every driver, reinstalling XP, and testing my memory and having it check out ok. I figure there might be something wrong with the motherboard, seeing as the errors occur completely randomly (it can be during a CPU intensive game, or when it’s sitting there doing nothing overnight while I sleep.) The messages the screen displays are random, too.

That being said, it’s beyond the upgrade point. Things are out of date on it enough as it is. Just an AGP video card slot, single-core 32-bit CPU, DDR RAM, etc…I want to be able to build one that will be good enough for a few more years (cause let’s face it, Bioshock looks amazing, but I have no hope of even playing the demo of it now, and Spore might…maybe…hopefully be released next year. :stuck_out_tongue: ) I used to be “with it” when it came to hardware specs, but in the last year or two I stopped keeping really up to date with things, so rather then spend lots of time researching and whatnot, I figure I’d just have you people do it for me. :smiley:

I have always been an Athlon man, but from what little I do still know, it seems Intel has edged them back out in the past year or so and offers better dual/quad core performance. That being said, I know Athlons still offer a good performance for the price, especialyl if I get one of the older core architecture’s, but again, ths issue of future performance comes in. As far as video cards go, I think PCI-E goes without saying, and I prefer nVidia over ATI. I don’t feel a need for dual PCI-E, since from what I understand, it’s buggy, expensive, and not worth the price and effort for the added performance. And while I have a valid copy of XP Pro that still has its allowed “one transfer” left, it is the 32-bit version, but I also don’t know if the 64-bit version had its bugs worked out yet, or if getting a 64-bit copy of Vista is worth it (especially since either one would really add on to the total cost.)

I’d like to keep it sub $1000 if I can (I don’t need a hard drive or optical drives, nor do I need a mouse, keyboard, monitor, speakers, or fans. I don’t technically need a case, but I wouldn’t mind a new one, either, if I have some money left over.)

Thanks in advance.