You can BUILD a nice machine for 600 bucks. Check www.newegg.com
Good AMD (non 64) board would be the shuttle AN35N Ultra
Good AMD proc would be the mobile 2600+ (can easily overclock to 2.5Ghz, which is what mine is at now)
Memory - Mushkin about 79 bucks for 512MB (get 2 to run in dual channel mode)
Hard drive - any brand should do, get at least 80GB
DVD burner - I always recommend Lite On, but newegg has an 8x optorite for about 48 bucks.
Video card - cheapest I would get is the 9600pro, mid would range from the 5900xt, 9800pro
The motherboard I listed has onboard sound which is fine, and onboard ethernet.
The processor lacks a heatsink/fan, so be sure to get one. I have the Thermaltake TR2 from CompUSA for 27 bucks. Benchmarks show my proc beats a 3Ghz P4 EE.
I just put the 9600pro into a budget machine for a friend and it ran UT2004 beautifully. I have the 5900xt and it runs Doom3 on high smoothly.
I am looking to buy a new computer and I am wondering what are the best desktop vendors out there? I currently own a computer from CyberPowerInc (3 years old) which has been a great computer overall but their customer service sucks. Still, I have still been unable to beat their prices. Keep in mind, I am not looking to buy a computer that includes Windows or a monitor (since some vendors make you purchase Windows). I am looking in the $500-$600 range.
As a side question, is it worth it to get a AMD 64bit processor now? Also, any recommendations on the best value brands for motherboards, harddrives, DVD burners, ect. are welcome. Thank you.