I would like some advice on choosing parts for a new build
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This week
BUDGET RANGE: 700-800 (give or take) Before Rebates
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Revit use and rendering, photo editing, gaming, web surf with multiple tabs open at once, being able to have multiple programs running efficiently at the same time, watching hd movies.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
You can start by searching "DIY PC Combos" at NewEgg, and then sorting by price but, I just did that and did not see anything that looked "really smart" for the $$$
An Intel or AMD quad core is called for ... but not a socket 1366.
You do not want Intel GMA "on board" graphics (duh).
You do want a silver rated PSU that is 600W-750W and SLI(nVidia) or CrossFireX(Ati) "ready". This is plenty of power for a two card gpu setup.
You do want your graphics card to be ATi (DirectX-11), 1GB PCIe 2.0(+) x16
You do want at least 4MB of dual channel or (3 or 6 GB of 3 channel memory.
More memory will make your system faster than "faster" memory.
The graphics card should prolly cost $250, or more. (as a % system cost/persform)
Go with a matched pair of 1TB 7200RPM SATA-II drives (boot vs. content)
There will be a choice of "display-port vs. VGA D-Sub" on the gpu card ...
You may need a vga port for your old monitor but a display port-to=vga or DVI-to-vga adapter would be more forward looking. So, even with an older VGA monitor, imy first choice would be Dual DVI (Dual Link) with HDMI and ... Alternately, trade one of the DVI ports for a display port.
3 channel mem may be (even) noticably snappier than 2 ch mem but the diff is not that great and most maainstream gamer builds opt for 4GB of 2-ch mem (fine!).
Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports can be nice, if your computer has "friends".
Firewire is very helpful (especially for DV-25 and HDV camcorder import/cntrl )
The I-7 is out of the price range, you would have to sacrifice your GPU in order to fit the I-7 in and it wouldn't be nearly as good as if you were to go with a 925/945 + 5850 rather then a I-7 and get a poor gpu.
With your attitude and needs, I don't think it would be a hoorible mis-step, to step up to a socket 1366/i920 ... True, you *would* have to sacrifice much, on the front end.
It really depends on lots of personal factors like if anyone else you live with has an upgrade cycle too. Like, if you cheap-out on the graphics and drives, up front, and get a generic "case w/PSU", you could swing the platform upgrade.
We are really talking about how many i/o oins are on the proc, vs. what is inside it or the speed.
My best recommendation is a socket 1156 Core i5 750 with the best 1GB ATi graphics card you can afford (5850?)