I've built one in the past with help from a friend, but I'm on my own on this one and was wondering if I could get confirmation that everything here will work together and that it's a good fit for what I need.
I'm building this for 70% graphic design/multi-tasking and 30% gaming. I wanted to be under 550$ and already have 4 gigs of corsair DDR2 PC 6400 ram and a 9500gt from my last computer.
That motherboard is a waste for your system. It supports crossfire (ATI graphics cards), not SLI (Nvidia graphics cards). You might as well just go with something like the GA-EP43-UD3L and put the money toward a real power supply. That Rosewill PSU is a POS. No active PFC, 72% efficiency, and low 12v Amp rating are a dead giveaway of a ticking time bomb.
Hm -- maybe I will go the AMD route, both of my past rigs have been AMD and they've treated me well. They say it's comparable to the i5? Will 450w be enough? There is a small combo deal with that case with a 550w supply.
The AMD setup with the suggested case and power supply would put me at about 450 still, so I could invest a bit more. Perhaps upping that mobo a bit?
The EA430 is a high quality PSU that will power up to a HD 4850. Will you be upgrading your 9500GT anytime soon? I don't really see any reason to upgrade the motherboard. The more expensive models just add options like a second PCI-E slot for crossfire, which doesn't do you any good with your Nvidia GPU.
I just purchased the 9500gt, so although I could probably afford to upgrade it I'd take a hit unless I can sell it for a decent price (I was in a rush to be able to play Dead Space and stupidly paid 100 for it at BB).
Perhaps I'll just save the extra money and put it toward a new GPU in the future, unless it'd be worth adding another 2 gigs for 6 total.
Or perhaps a faster HD considering I will be transferring and saving a lot of big files?
Your motherboard supports dual channel RAM, so it's best to use an even number of RAM sticks. 6GB isn't a good idea on your build. You also need to keep in mind that you need to use a 64-bit OS to fully use 4GB of RAM.
The new Samsung F3 hard drives are faster and cheaper than that drive.