Making your own computer from cheap computer parts will not only cut your expenditure but also will be an experience you will like to cherish. The advantage here is that you get all the features you need and discard everything you consider unnecessary. If all you need to do is basic word processing, email or some Net surfing, the cheap computer parts you will require are:
1) CPU: A socket 478 motherboard and CPU will come in handy. Considering everything, this seems the best buy. As socket 478 motherboards mostly have Intel components they are very stable. 2) RAM: Although 256 megs of DDR SDRAM will suffice, 512MB DDR 333 should be ideal. DDR SDRAM is the type you would prefer for a socket 478 motherboard (with Pentium 4/Celeron CPU). 3) Hard Drive: As buying more space doesn’t cost you a great deal more, an 80 GB drive should be the right choice. 4) CD Writer: Any CD writer faster than 32 speed will do. You can find one for under $30. As it is so cheap, it can be used as your CD ROM to install Windows and other applications. 5) Graphics Card: At least a 64 megabyte AGP card is better. It is important only if you want to play games. 6) Sound Card: Procure a Soundblaster Live by Creative labs. They are cheap and reliable. 7) Monitor: Buy at least a 17-inch monitor to protect your eyesight. 8) Keyboard and Mouse: Try a new optical mouse. A Logitech combination includes both a cordless mouse and matching keyboard.
Remember, although older parts can be less costly, you need to spend a lot for an upgrade. Be careful so that you don’t buy defective parts in the name of cheap computer parts. The situation now may be better due to stiff competition, but chances of finding defects still remain. It is better if you check the authenticity of the long warranties offered by the companies as well.