I received $2,500 to build a computer for tech school, but there is a catch: I was expected to return some of the money. Normally this would not have been a problem, but evidently tech schools are now checking for pirated software. My personal computer was not allowed to go with me to tech school. I had to come up with a computer that was under $2,500.
I started with the first thing needed, the case. I purchased a basic case, which was nothing fancy. It was a Mid-Tower case with sliding side panels. The case came with two USB ports on the front and a 300-watt power supply. Normally, I would not have gone below a 400-watt power supply, but on a limited budget this would work if I did not fill the computer up. The case has four external 5.25 bays, 2 3.5 external bays, and 1 3.5 internal bay. The price of this case was $42.99. .
After I picked out the case, I needed to start filling it. I picked out a motherboard and CPU bundle because it was cheaper. I would have bought the motherboard and CPU separate if I had more money to spend, and I if was building a high end system. The motherboard I picked out had a 400MHz FSB, 2x4x AGP slot, five PCI slots, on board audio, network adapter, four USB ports, and three 2100 DDR ram slots. It also came with a one year parts and labor warranty. The processor it came with was an Intel P4 2.4GHz CPU. The CPU's system bus was 533MHz which is faster then the board can handle, but it will just run at 400MHz instead. I might upgrade the motherboard in the future. I would buy a 533MHz FSB if I have more money. I will be able to use that CPU if I do decide to upgrade in the future. The bundle costed $255.99. .
The case, motherboard, and processor have been picked out. Then I needed to purchase an item to keep the processor cooled. I bought a CPU fan for a P4 2.8GHz and a thermal compound to stick the fan to the CPU. The thermal compound transfers the heat on the processor to the heat sink on the fan, and the fan blows the heat off the heat sink.