Hi, I've been reading here for several weeks; you guys are amazing!
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:Within 1 week BUDGET RANGE:$500-$600 USD Before Rebates. Prefer no rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Very heavy internet research (6-8 windows, 40-50 tabs in each), Writing and testing code, Heavy Word/Excel/Access/Outlook usage, listening to music, watching videos (an occassional movie). No Gaming.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED:Case/PSU - I just received Antec Sonata III with stock (earthwatts 500W) PSU. I have keyboard, mouse, monitors (2 X Acer 22in), Windows 7 Pro 64, speakers
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:newegg.com (live in Calif, so pay tax & shipping), amazon (no tax/shipping), anywhere else COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:USA
PARTS PREFERENCES:So far I am liking Intel I5, Gigabyte OVERCLOCKING:Not really, but my mind could be changed. I was planning on just the stock cooler SLI OR CROSSFIRE:Nope
MONITOR RESOLUTION:2X 1680X1050, at some point I think I would like to add a 3rd monitor
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS:I'm struggling with the choice of GPU. I don't think I need something very powerful and may be able to save some money here. The card must be able to power 2 monitors (either VGA or DVI or 1 of each). At some point in the future I would like to add a 3rd monitor. Also, I'm leaning towards 8GB of memory. Seems like most builds here recommend 4GB. Is 8GB really overkill? Seems like everytime I have upgraded a PC in the past 6 years, the first thing I do to solve problems is double the memory...
Reading the comments on newegg for the I5-750 has convinced me I should get an aftermarket cooler now rather than later. If anyone has some suggestions for an inexpensive one, it would be appreciated. Seems the stock cooler really is terrible.
Not sure that memory is compatible with the gigabyte board. It is not on the 'approved' list and one of the newegg commenters said:
"Cons: Would not work reliably in my Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2 Core-i5 motherboard. Frequent BSODs in both Windows 7 RC and Windows XP. Problem solved when I switched to Gigabyte-approved memory supplier. Now I'm stuck with RAM I can't use and no longer have the packaging for."
All in an Antec Sonata III case that I have already. Win 7 Pro 64 coming.
That leaves about $80-$100 for a hard drive and DVD drive. Any opinions on 8G vs. 4G RAM? I think many would suggest 4G of RAM and getting a better video card. If that is better for my uses, I would be open to it. If the video card I have now and 8G would be better, let me know that too. Opinions on aftermarket cooler vs. stock for a non-gaming machine? Anywhere else I can cut costs?
Your links are broken. I would go with the G.Skill Ripjaws Series RAM suggested by Why_Me. You can't put any weight behind Newegg reviews. That was most likely just a noob that couldn't figure out how to manually set the RAM values in the BIOS. The Ripjaws series are designed for the i5 and i7 chips and will work fine with your motherboard. They offer faster timings at a lower voltage for only $4 more than the kit you linked above. That's a no-brainer IMO.