Re: advice on system please

D Thomas wrote:

I need to build a system almost from scratch. I have an ATX mid-tower case
with a 500 watt power supply and a new one terabyte WD sata drive.

Money is tight but I don't want to waste money by buying a poor performer.
I'll be dual booting XP/Ubuntu Linux and I need to find the best value:

3) motherboard - at least dual core - prefer Asus if possible
4) cpu - at least 2.8 ghz, I like the 3.2 ghz AMD

One of the Fry's CPU/mobo combos of the week? The last bargain was
their $29 (after rebate) Intel E3300 with MSI G31TM-P21.

5) video card - prefer Nvidia with 256 mbyte or 512

Even lots of budget graphics cards have 512MB now, including the
Nvidia 7200 that's currently free after rebate at Fry's. It's
probably more important to get something compatible with DirectX ver.
10 or ver. 10.1, which may become a requirement in 1-2 years.

6) what are the best brands of memory today?

Something with chips marked with the part numbers or logos of actual
chip makers, like Micron, Nynix, Nanya, or Samsung (but not Kingston,
Corsair, Patriot, G.Skil, etc., which are not chip makers). If you
can't read those markings on the chips you should avoid the memory
modules. Memory from Crucial that is NOT their Ballistix
"performance" memory is good. BTW always check the memory voltage
because you don't want anything with a voltage rating higher than what
the actual chip manufacturer recommends, that is, 1.80V for DDR2 or
1.50V for DDR3 (unless the DDR3 is the low voltage type, in which case
you want 1.35V), as that indicates the chips failed testing at
standard voltage (raising the voltage is a good way to cover up
marginal defects). Test for a couple of days with both MemTest86 (not
just MemTest+) and Gold Memory, at standard voltage and timings. Even
one error is too many.