Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP - Preferably before Christmas
Budget Range: $500-700 ($600-ish being where I'd like to end)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Picture/Video Editing, Web Surfing/E-mail, light gaming
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: Only real preference on parts is Gigabyte or ASUS for the Mobo
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080, but not a deciding factor
Additional Comments: I'm actually putting together a build for my father, who has been trying to find a prebuilt desktop (had been looking at Dells, but to no avail) for a few months. I have built a few of my own PCs, but am finding it hard to adjust to his budget and usage. Was hoping to find a nice mix and would like find a high-value PC that's not skewed towards gaming. Also, he'd like a more professional looking build, so something like the Antec 300 cases would be preferred to anything with a few hundred neon lights and overstated plastic.
I am stuck in a pattern of starting a reasonable build and deciding to upgrade here and there, ending up with a build for gaming (and an extra $200-300 of where we would like to be) and am hoping we can find the right mix of CPU/GPU/etc. Ultimately would like the best bang-for-buck build at the $600 price range for an overall unit.
First, thank you all for the advice thus far. I apologize for the delayed response in getting back to the thread.
To answer the last question, the Adobe Photoshop suite (Photoshop, Lightroom, etc.) and Premiere Element for video. Its used primarily for photography, as my father dabbles in professional photography (semi-professional would probably be more apt) and does it as a hobby.
I put together a build with the advice of the group, interested in responses:
- AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
- ASUS M4A88T-V EVO/USB3 AM3 AMD 880G USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard
- G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model
- HIS H467QR1GH Radeon HD 4670 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready
- Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
- ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
- Antec Three Hundred + BP430 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case 430W Power Supply
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM
Total comes to $643.91 with a $10 MIR.
Have been toying with the Intel i5, but think this build offers the best value for the purposes it will be used for.
The 430W Antec Basiq may be one of the few Antec PSUs I wouldn't buy; HardwareSecrets found it to be mediocre.
In early 2009, that GPU choice would not have been a bad choice, but as 2010 winds down, the stronger HD5670 is only another $10 or so, and this GTS250 which offers PhysX is only $65 if you play the rebate game and win: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Thanks for the info on the PSU being..."meh" with the 300 Bundle I had been looking at. I got excited that the price was so good for the case and power supply, but I guess there's always a reason behind it.
I'm stuck on the 4670 and the 5670. I like that the 4670 has more memory, but the more I read, you'll never really tap into it given the limitations of the card (comparatively to the 5670). Not married to the ATI cards, just looking for the best sub-$100 gpu.
Well, as Batuchka pointed out, if your video apps can use CUDA processing, you would be better served by the GTS250 (the deal on the one I linked appears to expire today, but there may be another). A GTS240 can handle CUDA too, but is sufficiently weaker in anything else than the HD5670 that I suspect it wouldn't be worth it.