Anandtech's Monthly Hardware Reviews
AnandTech: Weekly Buyer's Guide: Entry Level System - May 2004. A great resource, Anandtech is bascially doing weekly guides to hardware. Every month they cover Entry level (week 1), Mid-range (week 2), high-end (week 3) and overclocked (week 4).
This month, the recommendations are:
* CPU: AMD Athlon XP 2000+ retail or AMD Mobile Athlon XP 2500+. $57 or $97 shipped.
The Mobile Barton is great because it can overclock and the multiplier is unlocked so you don't have to drive up the FSB speed insanely.
* Motherboard: ASUS A7N8X-X (nForce2 400). $69 shipped.
* Memory: 2 X 256MB OCZ PC3200 EL (Enhanced Latency) CAS2.0 module. Price: $65 per module shipped. ACtually get two if you can.
* Video: 64MB Sapphire Radeon 9200SE. $39. This is true if you don't get a Shuttle box (the SN41G2).
* Case: CaseEdge TS1 Mid Tower
Price: $40 shipped. You can get from PCclub.com and it includes a 300W power supply
* Disk: Western Digital WD800JB (80GB) 7200RPM (8MB cache). Price: $69 shipped
* Optical: Lite-On 52x32x52x16 Combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive. Price: $49 shipped
* Or get the Shuttle SN41G2 as an alternative to both the motherboard and the case and video card.