Need help in choosing low cost workstation

Good time of day :)
I would like to ask you, experienced tech guys (and girls), for some help in choosing low cost (700$-800$) workstation (photoshop, illustrator, indesign). Up to 1k $ with quality monitor (samsung/lg). No gaming for me.
Looking for balanced rig that won't blow my budget...

Almost sure in:
HDD - WD Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM, 64MB, SATA III WD1002FAEX
Case - Antec Three Hundred
PSU - Corsair VX 450W
CPU Cooler - Arctic Cooling Freezer 13 (any other ideas?)
DVD - Asus DRW-22B2S DVD±RW x22 (or shall i prefer LG/Samsung/Pioneer/Optiarc ?)

Have no idea:
Monitor - any Samsung/LG/other LED display (really lost here...)
CPU - Intel or AMD? Dual core or more? Will i3 be best for me with new integrated GPU or shall i buy an older one?
Motherboard - depending on the platform : Gigabyte or Asus ...
RAM - 4gb ddr3 @ 1600 or to buy more memory but slower?
GPU - shall i get one at all? will i benefit from it? ( web browsing, few HD videos and graphic design)

Sorry for being so unspecific in my request, but i really don't know what CPU i have to start with... :(
5 answers Last reply
More about need choosing cost workstation
  1. I'd choose an i5 Intel quad core cpu in the $300 range, coupled with a socket 1156 mainboard from Asus or Gigabyte....

    Dell has some nice prices on assorted LCD monitors from time to time...24" wide screens are remarkably inexpensive these days

    DVD drives...pretty much all the same, IMO.....LG/Samsung, anyone you have heard of!

    ANy graphics card will do for display and editing of photos, and almost any $70 and up video card by Nvidia or ATI/AMD is usually superior to most integrated/onboard graphics solutions....

    4 gb of DDR3/1600 is plenty, IMO....
  2. You don't need a graphics card for a workstation, nor do you need a $300 quad core, so i5 is out.

    Your best off going with a AMD x2 with mobo that has integrated graphics such as 880G or i3 with H55 motherboard. 4gb of 1333 memory. Pretty much all monitors have a 3yr warranty so stick with Samsung, Acer, Asus, Dell, Viewsonic, etc.
    Gigabyte and Asus both make excellent motherboards. Personally I would go with i3 and H55. Hope this helps.
  3. Thank you guys for the answers!
    I am really afraid to pick i3 - too bad experience with low level Intel products in the past... Although i5 with its 4 cores seems too much for me, since 90% of the time i wont use it.
  4. Oh well for very/extreme CPU intensive workstation with no leverage on GPU this is my usual low cost config
  5. i3 is not a low level Intel product. LOL

    i3 is 32nm, 4mb cache and has hyperthreading which allows it to "act" as a quad core in many scenarios.
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