Here is a build that I put together for running Illustrator and Photoshop CS3. We also run job management software at the same time, as well as email. Please take a look and let me know what you think.
I'm not sure the HDD is big enough or that I'm sold on the video card. This is a work computer and will not be running any games. We may do some video editing down the road but is not a main function. I also need a decient case.
Video card isn't a big deal for CS3 or most graphical functions. Most of the painful operations (rendering etc.) are pure CPU.
Your main bottlenecks will be:
2 Memory (amount)
3. Hard drive (speed)
so any (more) money spent should go toward those catagories.
COmments (based on your selections):
1. Looks pretty good as far as price/performance
2. Do you have a baseline as to how much your other programs are using currently? Its a good starting point to see if 3.25-3.5 GB is enough (32-bit) otherwise you may want to consider a 64-bit system. YOu may discover that you want more... I've seen basic office work eat a GB of memory on PC's fairly easily (e-mail, word, background processes).
3. I would consider one of two things, either having two disks or getting a Raptor. If you google around you'll see various recommended setups for CS3 products that generally recommend seperating the scratch file from other files in order to help performance. I don't really recommend raptors much... but it is an option as it should improve load times on what always end up being huge files.
Have you considered 64 bit OS and more memory?
Yeah I'd stay away from the 8600 series considering all the hoopla with the soldering and all. As for the Hard Drive I'd definitely go with a better, bigger drive. You may think 250GB is a lot of space if your not going to play games, but if you do a lot of work in CS3 you'll find that space rather limiting quickly. This will be especially true if you do any video editing and start making those multi-hundred meg projects. Go for at least a fast 500GB. Check out Toms Hard Drive Charts to compare.
Actually I don't really want a larger hard drive. There shouldn't be any graphic files stored on this computer, they should all be stored on the domain. If I give the user to big of a hdd he will neglect putting files on the server and our archive system will fail.