APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Possibility of next 48hrs or longer if worth it to wait (for specials)
BUDGET RANGE: Option 1: Around 700$ Option 2: Around 1400$
STEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Web browsing, Office, Light Photoshop, Light video editing, watching movies
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Mouse + Keyboard
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Canada purchase, NCIX for build option, price matching and lower shipping cost
PARTS PREFERENCES: Never had AMD, but no preference as long as system is stable
OVERCLOCKING: Not really SLI OR CROSSFIRE: I don't think so
MONITOR RESOLUTION: No idea, need to purchase one!
For parents. Need stable and reliable system that will last 4 years!
There are two budget options because I could go with an i7 build but I'm thinking it would be overkill, hence me looking for a budget system with some upgradeability that should do the job for the next 4 years.
Good 20" Moniter should suffice
Will run Windows 7, something with virtualization might be good to run on XP mode
Would a dual or quad core build be enough or should I go i7?
DDR2 or DDR3?
The setup you have chosen is good but the dual core might be enough for now but would easily show signs of slowing down in a year or 2...So it is better you get the Quad...And for your usage, it is not necessary to go with i7...
Here is a config that you can consider...
intel Q8400/ AMD X4 940...Both are very good CPUs...either would do...
intel - GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R (Would require a separate graphics card as no onboard video is present)
If you dont play any games, then get the ATI 4550...
AMD - ASUS M3A78-EM AM2+/AM2 AMD 780G /
GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-US2H (Has a decent onboard video so no separate graphics card is required)
For intel -
DDR2 800MHz with CAS 4
For AMD -
DDR2 1066MHz with CAS 5
PSU - Change to a better Quality PSU -
Antec EA430/ EA380/ Corsair 400CX - These are 80+ certified PSUs...
^ If you are going to use that mobo, you would also need to get an AM3 CPU like X4 945/ X4 955...And it doesnt have onboard video...
And Yes DDR3 would be a better way to go...but they dont have significant performance boost over DDR2...
And the GIGABYTE GA-MA78GM-US2H that you have listed is just a DDR2 mobo...you cant use DDR3 with that...