Depends on what your looking to do. Processors that come Oem only have usually a 30 day warranty, but that is usually enough to tell if your chip is dead or not. Its very rare for a chip to fail if it has been working for 30 days with no problems. The retail chips on the other hand have a 3 year full warranty, and they come with the heat sink and fan, all the goodies. Cases dont matter, buy a quality case from a reputible company. I suggest onvia for free shipping, or buy.com, and buy will match prices on anything you find online. All other things its really up to you. I have never had a problem with oem ram, or hard drives, they usually carry the same warranty as retail. You dont get much more with a retail box with those items either. Video cards I can go either way, sometimes I like the nice box, and the bundled software. Drives are the same way, sometimes I want the cables that come with the drive. Motherboards I would go retail all the way so that you get everything that was supposed to come with it. That is my 2 cents, let me know what your looking for and I might be able to help you out.
Thanks A ton, I've been doing alot of research but because this is my first building experience it's very time consuming and there is alot to know. It is great to get input from somone who has the experience.
I have decided on the following components:
AMD Thunderbird 750
MB: MSI K7T Pro (Had trouble deciding between this and ASUS K7V but went with K7T because I don't think I'll be overclocking)
Case: Antec SX830
I also could use some help with with video and sound cards, memory, and a 30GB 7200rpm hard drive? I won't be doing any gaming (no time as a student) so would a quality 2D card be better? Was originally thinking of Voodo3 3000 w/video out but now I don't know. I'd like to spend about $150 for video,around $50 for sound and around $100 for ram. This isn't set in stone thought.
Hey Andyjz, heres what I think. For a hard drive an IBM Deskstar 75GXP, 30GB; it's around $150-$175 online. For sound a SB Live value is around for <$50. Video Geforce2 MX for around $125-$150. Maybe spend around $200 on an ATI Radeon 32MB DDR. For memory you want PC-133. I'd get crucial but it's a little expensive, 64MB = $75, 128MB = $150. Let me know if you want anything else. Have fun...
I agree with Jumpem, on the suggestions for other components. IBM GXP, SB Live, and Ge force. Maybe you would consider a Duron to save a few more bucks. Another option for video card that you might be interested in is the ATI all in wonder. I just bought one for my girl friends machine. It is 32mb, with TV out, and with a tv tuner built in. So you can hook up your cable to your computer and watch TV on it. It also has a DVD decoder card so you could buy a snappy DVD player and have a nice multimedia system. For a student this is great because one less TV to pack. I think the PCI version is on sale right now at buy.com, I got mine at comp u plus.com. They were running a rebate when I got mine though. Let me know if you have any more questions. There are lots of options though, dont limit it to what I think. Keep asking around. Good luck.