APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: from now until end of April
BUDGET RANGE: $450-$550
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: The PC will be for general use. Watching online vids (hulu, netflix), midlevel gaming (Civ IV & V, GTA4, World in Conflict), productivity (Microsoft Office suite), dvd rip viewing, some video editing (After Effects, Premiere Pro)
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: I have these parts already: Radeon 4670 vid card, sata Seagate harddrive, pata Sony dvd drive, Win7 OS, keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1440x900
Here are the parts I've chosen. Please verify that they are compatible and particularly if the power supply is too much. I was thinking I would be fine with something in the 400-499 Watt range but wasn't sure. Also, I'm open to other motherboards and cases if anyone thinks something else would be better or knows of deals. Thanks for the help!
The main lure of the i3 and i5 Clarkdales is the IGP. If you aren't going to take advantage of it, it's not a very good buy. Since you already have a 4670 and plan on some light gaming, I would suggest going AMD and getting an Athlon II X4 630 at $100, $25 less than the i3-540. The two extra physical cores will be better for editing and similar tasks, and in some cases, for gaming as well. The i3's HT helps some but can't compare to the extra physical cores of the 630. You can also get a better mobo at a lower cost as well if you get an AMD system. This Gigabyte, for example, in addition to offering the 2 x USB 3.0 ports that the P7H55D-M EVO does, also offers SATA III and costs $30 less. By saving $30 on the mobo, you could also get a Phenom II X4 955 at $160 for a total mobo+CPU cost of $255, costing only $5 more than the i3 + P7H55D-M EVO and offering more features and performance. Intel is only worth the money if you want i7 performance or if you take advantage of the i3/i5 Clarkdales' IGPs.
Let me rephrase. If not for the IGP of the i3/i5 Clarkdales, only the most stubborn of Intel fanboys would buy them. Capisce? Even if the i3s and i5s had Core 2 power usage, people would still buy them as long as they had the IGPs.
Also, for future games, the AII 630 will destroy all similarly-priced offerings from AMD, because more and more games will take advantage of extra cores. Furthermore, the OP stated that the PC will be for general use, and that heavy gaming is not an interest. And GTA IV was listed as one of the games MR1 plays, and that will definitely run smoother with a native quad-core.
To tell you the truth, the 4670 would be the bottleneck of both an i3-530 and a 630 system when it comes to gaming. The i3's greater OC headroom would be obsolete. But outside the realm of gaming, the 630 has the upper hand.
yeh, don't do less than a 4850 1gb for 95$. I still like the i3s low power usage, elecricity is expensive where i live. people think Crysis is one of the best looking and hard to max out games. They're wrong. GTA IV is terribly un optimized, and nearly imposible to play on budget cards.