Build a dual monitor system for schooling

I am shopping around because I want to replace my 3 year old laptop. I want to go with a desktop with a dual monitor set-up. I don't game, I won't watch movies on it, and all I really do is school and email. I wanted to try and build it myself. I'm not a computer guru by any means but I am an avionics tech on aircraft and have confidence that I can figure it out. I just need some guidance on what parts to buy. I have the monitors picked out, just 2 cheap 20" LCD monitors for $119 each from Newegg. I need some guidance so I don't spend for bells and whistles I don't need. I do however want to make it so that it's not obsolete in a day. Someone at work told me to go with an i3, i5, or i7 processor. Basically here is what i'm looking for, any suggestions as far as a parts list? i would like to try and go through Newegg. thanks for the help.
- dual monitor so i can work on two applications at once, one on each screen
- cheap build but not so cheap it's slow and my 3 year old laptop is better
- the tower will be in a cabinet/desk so will need to make sure it cools well
- i don't game
- should i get a graphics card with two digital outputs?
- would like to upgrade to windows 7 64-bit

thank you again for any input.
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  1. Any current DDR3 based cheapo 785G..or 880G/SB850 if u want bells and whistles like USB/SATA 3.0 would be fine Just remove w/e u dun need off below (or add for that matter hehe)

    Go to BIOS and enabled Surround View from default "Auto"

    With IGP = 2 displays
    > 2 displays u need to add in a Radeon class discrete (no gaming then something cheapo like HD 4350/5450 would serve just as well)
  2. thanks for the input
  3. so something cheap like this would work? it would allow for the two 18.5" monitors you showed?

    HIS H545H1G Radeon HD 5450 (Cedar) 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Low Profile Ready Video Card

    if i ordered your parts list and this card that's all i would need? no additional cables or anything?

    and as far as the assembly, all hardware will be included? i could probably watch a youtube vid on the assembly and setup right? how esd sensitive is this stuff? would i need a grounding strap or just make sure i'm careful and just assemble on a table?

    really do appreciate your help.
  4. Nah the HD 5450 is required should your need for multi displays grow beyond just 2 - the integrated HD 4250 IGP on that 880G motherboard does 2 x displays fine ^^

    Ah even better a DIY Video Blog done up by one of our forum members here:

    I Built My Own Computer And Saved Hundreds Of Dollars
  5. thanks
  6. Yep happy shopping/building and cheers ^^
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