Looking to spend less than $500 in addition to my current parts. . .

to build a decent machine.

I have a spare case, a spare version of Windows Vista Basic, 400 watt power supply, hard drive, a cheap crt monitor, dvdrw. . . basically everything but a motherboard, ram, and cpu.

Would it be in my best interest to spend less than 500 dollars on a motherboard, ram (at least 2gb), and a cpu to build my own set up - or would it be cheaper to purchase a prebuilt desktop? I know generally it is hard to build extremely low-cost computers that compete with mass produced low cost prebuilt desktops, but i'm in this price range with the extra hardware/OS lying around.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

PS. If you had 500 to spend on a motherboard, ram, and cpu, what would you purchase?

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I'd start with WinXP, not Vista. Vista has a Back To The Future feel, with the daily/hourly BSODs.

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Bob Willard

If you're seeing BSODs in Vista, I'd look at your hardware and drivers very closely, Vista has proven to be the most stable OS I've ever used.

That being said, I selected my parts for this system with Vista compatibility in mind, so not only was Vista not an issue, but nor was the switch to x64.

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