Where to start?

I am starting a new build (my 3rd, but 1st in about 3 yrs), and I am unsure where to start when looking at the new generation of CPU's. My 1st 2 builds where both Intel, because at the time C2D Intel processors where the way to go. Once I decide on a processor, I can get everything else together, but I really want to make sure I get that pick right.

First... I use my computer for mostly for light gaming (wow mostly) and for designing with Photoshop and Illustrator.

Having said that, is there a noticeable difference in AMD and Intel processors in those applications? Or would I do well using any brand, but sticking with a certain type/core #?
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More about where start
  1. For For light gaming, AMD is better simply because you don't need an expensive intel processor. AMD has a good quad core for $199 that goes from light to heavy gaming. Also, the motherboards for AMD are generally cheaper.
  2. So are AMD and Intel generally on par with each other again? From looking at the CPU charts, looks like Intel is still tops in the extreme high end, but AMD is right there in everything else.

    So an AMD build would make sense, and save some cash.

    Any recommendations on an AMD CPU or mobo combo with PS/Illustrator and some gaming as a focal point?
  3. What is your budget?
  4. I want to keep it under $1000, which shouldn't be a problem considering I have a few parts I am going to reuse.
  5. ...
    Here is a list of good processors:
    $90 Athlon II x4 @ 2.6 Ghz: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103706
    $109 Phenom II x3 BE @ 2.8 GHz: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103652
    $129 Phenom II x4 @ 2.8 Ghz: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103656
    $179 Phenom II x4 BE @ 3.4 Ghz: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727

    As for motherboards, what are you looking for in it? Good for SLI/Crossfire? Integrated Graphics? Form Factor?
  6. I am going to be reusing an Antec Nine Hundred case, which would hold an ATX or m-ATX motherboard. I would like the ability to SLI/Crossfire, although I may or may not start out that way. I am not a big overclocker, but I would at least like to have the ability to do it. I will be reusing a sound card, so onboard isn't necessarily needed either.
  7. Do you have a preference to Nvidia or AMD?
  8. ASUS SLi $139: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131636
    ASUS Cross $107.99: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131646
    Gigabyte Cross $139: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128416 One thing to note about this one, there is no onboard graphics!
    Gigabyte 3x Cross $179: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128441 One thing to note about this one, there is no onboard graphics!
    MSI x4 Cross $199: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130274 One thing to note about this one, there is no onboard graphics!

    The ones with no onboard graphics may be SLi also but, as I am presently pressed for time, you will have to research that yourself.
  9. I am not a fanboy of any brand. I prefer bang for the buck, not buck for the brand.
  10. Well at the moment, the best for bang came out 2 days ago the GTX 460: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%20600007323%20600062521%20600007779&IsNodeId=1&name=1GB
    Here is Tom's Review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-gf104-fermi,2684.html
    The SLi efficiency is much greater than Crossfire, and 2 of these is better than the gtx480 which is $490est. and Nvidia's biggest player right now.
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