I've been researching, learning, and still learning and I have finally found a computer that's relatively cheap but will blow a chunk out of brand name computers. Here's the list I have and even now I'm starting to order some of the parts. Hope it helps! ---------------------------------------- BAREBONES Raidmax Scorpio Aluminum Black/Red ATX Mid-Tower Case Price: $105 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=11-156-126&depa=1 Asus P4P800 Deluxe i865PE P4 (800FSB) Skt478 DDR ATX Motherboard w/Audio, LAN, RAID/Serial ATA Price: $128 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=13-131-450&depa=1 Intel Pentium4 2.6C Ghz 800Mhz FSB HT Price: $173 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=19-116-159&depa=1 Zalman CNPS7000-AlCu Aluminum + Copper CPU Cooler for AMD XP Socket 462 & 754 and Intel Socket 478 Price: $36 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=35-118-108&depa=0 Corsair XMS3200 (DDR400) 1GB TwinX Ultra Low-Latency DDR RAM Price: $212 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=20-145-450&depa=1 74GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000RPM Serial ATA 8MB Cache (use for OS and progs) Price: $292 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProductDesc.asp?DEPA=1&sumit=Go&description=22-144-160&searchdepa=1 Sapphire Atlantis ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB Price: $352 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=14-102-281&depa=1 Lite On 48x24x48x16 CDROM/CDRW/DVD Combo Drive Price: $56 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=27-106-192&depa=1 Logitech Elite Keyboard & Logitech MX310 Mouse Price: $29 + $23 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=23-126-114&depa=1 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=26-104-136&depa=1 Power Supply Cable Splitter (x2) Price: $5 = $10 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=12-101-203&depa=1 Total: $1416 FULL Creative MegaWorks THX® 6.1 650 Price: $330 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=36-116-127&depa=1 Sound Blaster® Audigy 2 ZS Price: $88 http://www.newegg.com/app/viewProduct.asp?description=29-102-162&depa=1 My Total: $1854 ---------------------------------------- Believe me, this is cheap compared to what performance you will get. Those speakers aren't what I'll be buying, I'll be buying the GigaWorks 7.1 speakers but NewEgg doesn't carry those yet. Let's go through the parts, shall we? Case This case is almost exactly like the Thermaltake Xaser III but without all the extra fans and comes with a power supply. Motherboard This motherboard is a 865P chipset motherboard. The latest is 875P but Asus provides a "Turbo" mode on the 865P and besides, the performance for both chipsets is almost identical. CPU Why buy a 3.2Ghz CPU for $500 when you can buy a 2.6Cghz for $173 and overclock it to 3.4Ghz? Fan This has the best reviews as a P4 fan and was recommended to me by a friend. Memory A little pricy, but you'll never have to worry about not having too little memory. If you're a gamer, it's a must since new games will be memory hoggers. If you don't like the 1GB idea, do NOT go below 512MB. Corsair was the cheapest and seemed to have the best reviews. Hard Drive You may opt for the smaller but cheaper 36GB version but the 74GB version is quieter and faster than its predecessor. Look at the reviews for the Raptor series, it is the fastest IDE hard drive and should be a requirement for high-performance desktop systems. The motherboard comes with SATA support so no need for a controller card. Video Card This is where your needs will differ. If you are a gamer, either go with the 9800 Pro 128 or the 9600 Pro 128. Don't bother with the overrated XT series or 256MB versions. This has been a dream come true for me, excellent performance and excellent quality. CD-ROM Why spend $40 for a CD-RW and a DVD drive when you can get both in one package for $50? The Lite-On version was the best cheap version. If you want the best of the best, go with the Plextor drives. Keyboard and Mouse Logitech is hands-down the best input device manufacturer. The Elite keyboard coupled with the MX310 is a dream come true for gamers. Splitters The case power supply has too few cables, and it was recommended to by two splitters. Speakers Gamers want the best. The 6.1 system is not the best but it's damn good. If you don't plan to watch THX DVD movies and play EAX 2 games, I'd recommend a cheaper solution. Sound Card The motherboard comes with a sound system, but if you need EAX 2, THX and 7.1 support, better go with the Audigy 2 ZS series. Other The motherboard comes equipped with GB LAN and SATA and RAID controllers plus a sound system.