I'm considering building a desktop since it sounds kinda fun and I've enjoyed taking apart my laptop many times (and successfully putting it back together). I'm definitely not a hardware expert but not a total idiot either.
I'm also just not thrilled with any of the mainstream computer companies and don't feel the need to pay for their customer "support".
here's "the form":
• Approximate Purchase Date: By Jan 2011
• Budget Range: $600-$1000 (after rebates) but I could be convinced to revise this.
• System Usage from Most to Least Important: Web browsing, website development, office apps, audio recording and editing, streaming video content, basic photo editing
• Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse
• Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com seems to be the most popular here
• Country of Origin: USA
• Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I'm interested in trying AMD, hdmi out, good sound quality, wireless networking. I have an audio input interface that connects via firewire that I'd like to set up as well. I'd like a big hard drive just cause.
• Overclocking: Maybe
• SLI or Crossfire: ?
• Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, 1920x1200 - I would like to have this wired to my hdtv (42") for video playback as well as a modestly sized monitor for everything else.
• Additional Comments: I know I'm not planning on doing any hardcore gaming or video editing but I still want something fast.
I ignored the other stuff you said and went by this: "I know I'm not planning on doing any hardcore gaming or video editing but I still want something fast." This is overkill for surfing the web and media duties but you said $700-$1000 and FAST so here it is. You could get a way with a lot less for what you plan to do with it vs. what you want it to do.
The choice of case here is arbitrary -- it's a highly rated case that I know well but you might pick something more to your taste/style if it's too ordinary.
CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 ...
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$147.98 after $10 rebate
If it's not going to be for gaming you generally just want to focus on processor, ram, and storage and then add a nice multimedia card such as a 5450 or 5550. The cpu should just either get the 965 dougie says or an i5-750 both will overclock nicely and be very fast. If you do some serious photo editing you might think about getting 6 or 8 gb of ram so you have plenty of room to play around with. Then get as much storage as you need/want for your budget.
890GXes in general are over priced IMO - if u want 8/8 CF capability abd using discrete anyway i would say the Asrock 870Extrme3 is a winner ^^ If u not sure gaming on the table 785G/790GX or if u want USB/SATA 3.0 880G/SB850 would suffice and hold off discrete GPU till u start gaming