Hello all.  VERY new to all of this, but interested in possibly building a PC in the near-future.  I'm hoping to stay in a range below $500 (budget build).  All of my knowledge is basic and I'm really not even sure where to start.  What kinds of hardware do I need to get?  How to I get an OS?  What are good specs vs bad specs on any particular piece of hardware?

Is there some central place I can go to start my research and find the answers to the above questions?

Thank you for all of your help.

Perhaps I should add just a few comments about the setup I plan to have to help guide me.  I hope to use an HDMI cable to a TV to use as a monitor.  The keyboard and mouse will be wireless.  I was thinking of using Windows 8, but I'm still on the fence about it.  After ServicePack 1 comes out, I will make my final decision on the OS I plan to use.

Watch these if you have no idea what your doing. They will teach you alot.


Ok, buying and installing an OS is very easy, the main problem is : What do you want this PC for?

If you go for windows 8, you are expending around 140$ already (that's what it costs), and you get around 360 bucks to make the build now. If you spect to make a gaming rig out of this, i'm sorry to dissapoint you.

If you only have 500 bucks today and hope to game, I would build with something like this:

Build it and Install Ubuntu or Mint 14, those are OS are great for starters, they do feature decent games (steam on linux yeah). If you still want the Microsoft OS, you can add it later.

And there are other things you can later add: More ram, SSD, Optical drives, etc. 


Thank you very much!  I will watch these tonight.  Already started and I'm almost done with the first one.  Learning A LOT!  I can already tell this is going to become a bit of an obsession until it's done...  lol

You make a valid point, but the $500 I mentioned was without the OS (my fault for not mentioning that).  I will eventually need this computer not for gaming, but for video editing.  If it weren't for that, it would just be a home theatre PC.

OH!  And I also want to eventually capture gameplay from my consoles (sorry, I realise PC gaming is superior for its graphics and modding abilities, but I just never got a hang of the keyboard and mouse).  So a good video card is definitely in order and I will be doing a lot of research there, but everything else is still a bit in the air.

you need a motherdoard a cpu a gpu(graphics card) a power supply an os you can buy as a disk for 95 bucks on amazon it is windows 7 ram a hard drive a case an optical drive to install the os and watch these it will teach you a lot

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1045T 2.7GHz 6-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Amazon) 

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)

Memory: Mushkin Silverline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($54.99 @ NCIX US)

Storage: Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.98 @ Outlet PC)

Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB Video Card ($119.99 @ Microcenter)

Case: Zalman Z5 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)

Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)

Total: $494.90

don't buy windows.