So you've decided to save a lot of money and build your first computer ? Congrats ! You will also know exactly which components are in your box, as well as their quality.
Since Newegg.com is my favorite place to get parts, I'll link to there for a very basic computer build:
Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811103033 Cost is $89.99 USD (not including shipping)
Memory (RAM): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231043 , 2 sticks of this, Cost: $35.98
Processor (CPU): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103717 Cost: $30.99
External DVD Drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827230001 Cost: $19.99
Wired Router/Firewall: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833156001 Cost: $24.99
AC Power Surge Suppressor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812120401 Cost: $17.99
Headset: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826140007 Cost: $6.99
Grand Total Cost: $471.85, not including shipping costs or any taxes.
Now, I am NOT guaranteeing or warrantying the quality of these parts. Caveat emptor always applies. I could have saved a few more dollars by gambling on some parts with no or lower ratings, but I decided to "upgrade" slightly.
Of course, you have to pay a monthly fee for your internet access. If your ISP does not furnish you with an ADSL or cable modem, you will have to buy your own. To be honest, buying your own will give you a much better quality internet connection, since the provided modems tend to be very cheap and of not so great quality.
You can still purchase dial-up internet access, but 1- it's really only good for email and 2- your web pages will load very slowly. However, if you need to save money, it's the way to go. A link for dial-up access: http://www.peoplepc.com/dialup-internet/
Please remember that MOST of the deals you see on the internet do NOT include: a monitor, a keyboard, a mouse, a surge suppressor, a router, or a headset.
You may not want to listen to videos or music via the net or your computer. In that case, you can deduct the headset.
You really need the AC Power Surge Suppressor so that temporary power surges and/or lightning strikes do not fry your box. Yes, you can live without one but IMHO you are gambling.
IMHO, you really must have the router. Without it, it's only a matter of time before some cracker breaks into your box from the net.
You may want to spring for a CPU fan or CPU heatsink and some case fans. However, usually the retail version of the processors comes with an included fan or heatsink, and usually most cases come with adequate fans. It's up to you.
You can also spring for an extra SATA II cable for the hard drive, although the retail version of the hard drive and the retail version of the motherboard should come with adequate cables.
I put 2 gigabytes of RAM into this box so that you can run Windows Vista or 7 with no trouble whatsoever. Running one gigabyte is destined to starve you of memory. If you plan on running a "memory hog" application like AutoCad or several applications at one time, you will need to upgrade the memory from 2 gigs to perhaps 3 or more. Of course, to properly run AutoCad, you would really need to upgrade the box completely to have more power and speed.
Last caveat: This proposed build is not fast nor superior in any way. It's a very basic system. If you must have speed or superior graphics, you will have to spend more money and buy different parts.
Happy building !