Seeking advice on affordable home-build graphic design workstation


Well, I promised my GF that I would upgrade her PC for X-mas this year.

My budget is $500 but I could go over by a bit if it seemed worth it.

I already have an ATX case and a descent PS.

Her old pc has IDE hard drives so it would be nice if her new mobo had and IDE bus as she has a ton of pics and stuff.

Should I go with a dual-core or quad for that budget? What should I look for in terms of hardware for a graphic design workstation?

I'm sorry, but I normally build for gaming purposes, haven't really ever spec'd out a build with graphic design in mind.

FWIW, she mainly uses Photoshop CS3, Quark, and Illustrator.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


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  1. hmm mmost motherbaoreds now only have 1 IDE, becasue its going out and getting replaced my SATA drives or simpler how ever tehy still have one, you will be able to put a maxmum of 2 on the boared, however I persome your optical drives are also IDE, putting them with the HDDs might cause some problems

    for a multimidea machine I would have a quad core q6600 or a AMD 9850 ( I say for a reason ;)) the q6600 is alittle expesnive looking on newegg

    I know this is the better 9950 version but who cares it is cheaper and it will do its job

    next will will need a motherboard means of oyur budget I would go for a 780G(still need the graphics card) chip setit cheap and it does its job and well, you do not need no more and its got futrue expesnion properites..
    For Intel you only need something like a P45 or 35 a 35 chipset will be cheaper IF GOING FOR INTEL that is

    memory depends on operating system really vista 3GB for that sysytem XP I would only stick 2Gb in it, this would be DDR2 RAM cheap effective what more do ya want

    harddrives I would personly go for SATA hardrives they are faster, and more future proof, you might need something like 500Gb stoarge space if not more

    the graphics card maybe interesting, but you don't need a nvidia GTX280 or anything near so i would say HD4670 or 9600GT something like that, if that over shoots your budget thanpull the GPU down more. that should help a little
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