I finished my computer build and it turned out beautifully. I sure appreciated everyone's help here! Now my brother is needing a computer.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:
ASAP as he has no usable computer at this time. The fan on his old Radeon 9100 has failed and he has a p4 in an abit IS7 motherboard. I'm thinking it would be better to upgrade his core components because of the design and art programs he wants to use rather than just replace the video card. This will also future proof the system for a couple years if he decides to upgrade his current graphic design programs.
As cheap as possible for the system usage below. No more than 400-500 US dollars (after tax, shipping costs and before rebates).
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
Most important: multitasking with design and art programs (adobe CS 2 which contains adobe photoshop and adobe illustrator, and studio 8 2004 edition which contains macromedia (flash, fireworks, dreamweaver), photo editing, office 2003 - business edition, surfing the net
Least important: watching movies, no games
PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
case (using CM 690)
case fans (using 120mm)
soundcard (will use onboard sound),
OS (using XP professional 32-bit but will use windows 7 64-bit later)
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
newegg.com or amazon
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
No preferences except for wanting SATA parts
needs a quiet cpu fan, preferably 120mm
Not overclocking. Need stability. No SLI or Crossfire.
He is reusing a CRT monitor. I'm not sure what his highest resolution is.
Needs to be as quiet as possible for the budget amount.
If you are building on a budget i would have to recommend an amd processor and a low-end ati or nvidia card. I prefer nvidia, so if you want to go that route a 9500gt is great. If you don't think you will require a graphics card then get a motherboard with integrated graphics. If you go with integrated graphics and don't like it you can just buy the card, then you don't waste money buying a graphics card and then realizing you don't need it. Also i prefer Gigabyte motherboards(thats just me). Get an am3 slot processor if you go with amd and just get a dual core. As far as ram goes get whatever you can fit in your budget, but i would say 2-4gb at least. If you want exact numbers i can do that if you want.