the bottom line here is it only complicates things to try and be too specific.. prices change thing come and go.. and except the odd really must have.. everything else is much of a muchness.
i say amd cos amd is the best.. i say anything except the grfx cards dosnt matter that much..
could be a 754 socket could 939.. could be any make of mobo.. could be any lower end amd 64 could be any higher end sempron.. it really dosnt matter.. it will all do the job required of it.. the priority is it must be cheap.. mostly argueing which is the best of the cheap is a waste of time.. everyone will come up with their own oppinion..
i picked that grfx card cos it is special.. it isnt a low end card its a card that only a year ago would have cost as much as the total budget for the $500 PC.. its really an X850 XT PE board being sold off as a cheaper low range card with a single slot cooler on it.. another one would be the saphire gto2 but that would require a bios flash to get the full 16 pipes working..
the other option would be the 6800gs.. a little bit more expensive and it dosnt go as well..
anything less and u are on the edge of good gaming..
1 gig of oem type pc3200 memory.. nanya stuff is okay.. most of the oem boxes on the planet have nanya memory.. oem cos its cheaper and saves more for the grfx card..
abit ax8 via chipst board.. cheap (but not the cheapest) cos its via and clocks and performs as well as the best.. runs cooler than the nforce boards as well and dosnt need a fan on the chipset.. i have one myself..
cpu.. i would say the 64 3700 san diego core but it will go over budget so anything that fits the price and costs less.. i also have one of these..
the parts i quote are the basics for a top end machine but might not quite fit in budget.. the cpu will hit 2.9 gig faster than the stock FX57.. the abit ax8 board will take it there.. so will the nanya oem memory..
the card i mention will hit 6500 in 2005.. mine goes over 7000.. but 6500 is pretty much guaranteed
the basics for a cheap high performance rig.. but they might go over budget.. i aint familair with US prices for the said parts..
what gets spent on the other bits and bobs is how cheap they are.. 80 gig HD.. cheapo burner.. cheapo case.. u have the power supply it seems..
the AX8 board is worth buying cos it will let u get the most out of whatever cpu u stick in it.. but if it goes over budget find cheaper one..
i know the things i mention will go very well and cant be beat bang for buck.. just not sure if they fit in the overly tight budget..
as for overclocking.. well u dont have to.. but if few tweaks in windows gets your performance up by hundreds of dollars its hard to be against it.. he he
u could even beg borrow or steal a few bits to go with the bits u have to buy..