New Mid-Range Build Advice


I've been monitoring the forum over the past while, and appreciate all of the expert opinions posted. I'm venturing into my first build. So far I've got the case (Antec Sonota III with 500W Earthwatt PS) and a HD (Hitachi Deckstar 320gb). I'm looking for suggestions as to what CPU/mobo combo I should go with. Being new at this, there is so many ways I can go.

Mainly using the system for internet - video streaming - word processing - music - photo editing (I do lots of editing), but no real gaming. I would like to have a system that will take me well into the future with good ability to upgrade. I've decided to go with on board video and sound because of the lack of gaming. Is this wise? I've also considered AMD CPU's just because of price, but it seams that Intel is going to respond to that soon (i.e. E8400). Looking to spend about $300 on the combo. I have been considering the E8400, but have been reading about the lack of supporting mobo's for this right now (with the BIOS issues). Looking for the best "bang for buck" with what I'll be using it for.

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  1. I'm no expert when it comes to the boards with on board video, but most of the Intel chipset ones appear to micro atx boards. Nothing wrong with that other than they are smaller in size. I take it you're not going to be overclocking? Here are the latest Intel chiset boards with video from Newegg. Pick the ones you like and check the Mfg website for compatability with the CPU you want to go with. Bios issues can be dealt with by flashing to the version you need. You also will need ram unless you already have some.
  2. No, I don't plan on overclocking. I was reading another post here, and maybe a separate video card might be the better option. I'm trying to learn as much as I can.
  3. I have also bought 2g of DDR2 667 value RAM
  4. I think that is a wise choice. The P35 chipset is the next step up from the other boards. Even if you don't plan on overclocking, they are very stable and they give you the option to do so if you wish,you should give it a try, you don't have to go to extremes, have a little fun and gain a free performance boost. Here's 3 to consider;

    Ati is about to bring out some new <$100 video cards, maybe worth waiting on. Here's a look;

    Now you're going to be over budget though, the E8400 is $200 maybe a little more
  5. $300 buys you an E6750/GA-P35-DS3L combo, for example. It's more than you need, IMO. An E8400 would be better but you need to flash the BIOS. TBH I don't know yet if that BIOS is available already and what the procedure is for that board.

    If you prefer AMD, you can even get a quad CPU+mobo for the $300.

    AMD Phenom 9500 Agena 2.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor

    GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard $110

    Generally, the quad will do better when dealing with videos or Photoshop, if your software is smart enough. Otherwise, and especially if you overclock, the E6750 is better.

    Onboard audio should be fine. Try it for a while. You can always add a sound card later if you're not satisfied.

    Onboard video stinks, IMO. I can see it on my Dad's HP box and it's barely good enough to play DVDs. I can see his screensaver stuttering... I'd get a cheap card, like the HD 2600Pro or 8500GT.
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