APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within 2-6 weeks.
BUDGET RANGE: $600-800 USD.
SYSTEM USAGE: Web surfing, watching videos, listening to music. NO GAMING!
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitors. Windows 7 Home, 500GB 2.5" SATA HD.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i3-540 but open to suggestions (I used to prefer AMD CPUs).
OVERCLOCKING: Nah, don't care-prolly won't.
MONITOR: I've got two Acer X233H 1920X1080 monitors and they only have one VGA and one HDMI port on each.
PRIME CONSIDERATIONS: Small desktop footprint, As quiet as it can be considering power needs. Multi-monitor support using VGA and HDMI is essential.
SKILL LEVEL: Advanced. I built my own desktops since the 386 days but stopped 7-8 years ago and bought laptops exclusively since then. I am largely ignorant of the current state-of-the-art in home builds.
1. An Atom system would be too underpowered but an Intel i5 might be too much for my needs.
2. I tend to have multiple browser windows open and an excessive amount of tabs open in them.
3. I watch a lot of video podcasts or have a Slingbox window open.
4. I listen to music with my Zune client or Pandora but don't have fancy sound requirements. A couple of desktop speakers work just fine.
5. I don't care about HD or Blu-ray.
6. Did I mention small and quiet? Mini-itx is essential and as quiet as can be. CPU heat sink preferred but not a fetish. This is also why I'm tending towards on-board video: no GPU fan noise.
7. I might eventually upgrade it for use as a home server or HTPC but this is not an essential consideration.
CPU: Intel Core i3 Processor i3-540 3.06GHz 4MB LGA1156 CPU
GPU: On-board is preferred.
M/B: Gigabyte Socket 1156/Intel H55/USB3/A&V&GbE/Mini-ITX Motherboard.
RAM: Minimum of 4GB but will buy up to 8GB if it gets me a nice peppy system.
CASE: Antec ISK 300-150 Black 0.8mm cold rolled steel Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case 150W Power Supply or something with a small footprint.
OS: Windows 7
OPTICAL: DVD burner but no preference.
I think that's everything but I will edit and flag anything that comes to me after posting. Thanks in advance for any comments.