I am looking to build a system for the first time. Not into gaming but want a desktop system that will last at least 3-4 years. Do mostly Excel, Access, CS4 with web design and programming with Visual Studio. What is the best CPU for my needs an I7 or Core 2 Quad and do I need ddr3?
An Athlon II x4 system is probably the best price/performance choice for your needs. Core2 is now dead and replaced by the new i3 and i5 CPUs so you dont want to go there as parts will become hard to find.
Thanks for the input. I have never had any experience even using an AMD chip and will probably stick with and Intel. I guess I will have to do some more research. I had been looking at the barebones kits from Tiger and Newegg and was thinking of going with that for the first time as to not have to try and match up all the right components. Do not want to make an expensive mistake.
That's what this forum is here for. If you follow mavanhel's advice and edit your post to include the information in the "How to ask for new build advice" sticky at the top of the forum we can help build you the best system at your budget and for your intended use. We can certainly do better than the barebones systems pieced together by retailers.
I have never had any experience even using an AMD chip and will probably stick with and Intel.
There's not really any difference once you get beyond specs. Putting an AMD chip onto a motherboard is functionally the same as putting an Intel chip onto a motherboard, no reason to be scared away from using one or the other.
Right now, AMD has better price/performance at the lower price ranges, and most sub-$700-800 builds benefit from going with AMD chips.
Going off of what cold had to say, there isn't really any reason to go for Intel's lower priced CPUs. All of them are on an extinct socket, and are nowhere near the performance of AMD's full line.
Right now, AMD is dominating the low-end CPU market, while Intel is dominating the high-end side.
The cheapest Intel CPU worth buying right now is the i5-750 at $200. It's boards are slightly more expensive than the AMD boards too. It's possible for you to fit it into your budget, but it won't be as upgradable.
Thank you everyone for all the help. It is always nice to find people that are willing to offer their expertise to the novice. I am not a person that will upgrade a machine for a long time. I do not do any gaming so to always have the latest and fastest is not that important to me I just want a machine I can live with for 3-4 years before building a new one.