Old-Polack, I have used both Intel and AMD CPU's. I tend to like AMD better. They seem more stable. I was reading that the i-core intels are better than AMD cpu's.
Can you provide me a link that says one way or the other?
I don't have a credit card or debit card. I won't be here long enough to get either if I wanted one nor long enough to wait for them to deliver it probably.
If they do deliver it I surely don't want it delivered to my front door. My downstairs neighbor steals mail and the neighborhood will steal anything the UPS driver leaves by the front door.
The neighborhood is so bad that if they can't get into a mailbox to get what they want they steal the whole mailbox.
I was hoping that someone here had some recent experience building a new 'modern' computer and any caveats they might have.
That does put a major kink in that plan then.
I mentioned it because my son almost had to whack me up along side the head to get me to get a debit card. Because of previous bad experiences with credit card companies, the idea of any plastic card didn't sit right with me. Now, I've had the same $20.00 bill in my wallet, just in case, for about three months, and it's the only cash I carry. I've had the debit card for nine years, and use it for everything.
I'm retired, so at home most of the time, live in the county, outside of the city proper, have neighbors that are some distance away, and have my computer desk next to a window facing the street, so I see the UPS truck coming, and am at the door waiting when the packages get delivered. The thought of neighbors stealing deliveries left at the door didn't even enter my mind until you mentioned it. That alone puts a damper on that idea. Sorry about that.
My take on the Intel/AMD thing is that Intel currently is the leader in top of the line chips, (ie work accomplished in a given amount of time) but their prices are out of line for the most part, for all the mid range chips. Reviewers like to compare chip vs chip starting from the top down, and that stacks the deck in Intel's favor. The truth is, we don't all need top of the line computing power, with no regard to price. We all have a budget we use to balance what we desire with what we can afford. If one compares, not on a chip vs chip basis, but rather what computing power can I get for x number of dollars, AMD comes out on top just about every time. I have yet to have an AMD CPU fail on me, and I've abused quite a few, with overclocking and such. My personal experience is that they are rugged, and dependable, even when pushed well beyond their stated capacity. As always, YMMV.
With your stated $500.00 budget, you could build an 8 core AMD powered unit with at least 16 GB DDR3-1600 RAM, if that's what you are aiming for. That would be MB, CPU, RAM, PSU, a reasonable quality graphics card, and possibly some peripherals; basically the core components of a very nice modern computer, with some extras. You already have an SSD and other reusable parts, and a case. If your graphics card fits a PCIe slot, which any modern MB would have, then it should be good to go also, leaving that part of the budget free for something else.
Every MB I've purchased since 2003 has had on board RAID capacity, though I really haven't felt the need to use it as such. The board I had for my 2003 personal build had both IDE and SATA RAID available and on board controllers for 12 hard drives; 8 IDE and 4 SATA. I ran it with 5 IDE hard drives, and two SATA, but with the RAID set in a JBOD configuration. I'd still be using that MB, at least as a secondary unit, but the video card fried, and took the graphics slot with it. It was my first 64 bit system, and I really liked that board, but by the time it died I couldn't find another like it as a replacement.
Unless your PSU is already one with a 24 pin MB connector and has an additional 4 + 4 or 8 pin 12 volt connector, you will probably need a new one. I know that sucks, but I ran into that problem a couple of rebuilds back, where I couldn't reuse a perfectly good PSU because it had all the wrong connectors for the new MB, and no SATA connectors available, except as adapters, which would have made the installation rather ugly and cluttered looking. There are modular units available that have many different cable connection combinations that plug into the main unit individually, so you only use the ones you need, and only as many as you need, so you don't have a lot of excess wiring cluttering up your case. I've been using those exclusively for any PSU replacements, or new builds, since 2005.
I too have used both Intel and AMD CPUs, but the last Intel was a Pentium MMX 200. To upgrade that at all, with Intel, would have taken a new MB with a different CPU socket, and different RAM type. Instead I dropped an AMD K6 III 450, into the same MB, and overclocked it to 550, with 384 MB pc133 RAM, giving new life to the unit for another 4 years. It bench marked as the equivalent of an Intel 900 at the time. Each new build, or rebuild, since then has been AMD based, and I've never been disappointed.
I favor discrete graphics cards over on board GPUs just because I can choose the quality of the individual card, and tend to stay with nVidia, because they historically have offered the best Linux support. I liked the quality of the ATI cards I've had, but the Linux driver support dwindled there for a while, so I switched to nVidia based cards, back in 2003, or thereabouts. The ATI support has improved lately, but I'm not up to date on the ATI numbering system, with regards to comparing video quality against a specific nVidia card.
I know all this is kind of general, but it's a bit hard to get more specific, not being you, and knowing what it is, exactly, that you really want from your new build. I hope it's of some help.