Budget Range: $500 - 600 or so Before / After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: kids games (3 -5 year old kids; not WoW, or Crysis), photo editing, some video editing (home movies), internet video
Parts Not Required: keyboard mouse speakers monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: prefer tool less installation unless it's just little screwdrivers. I don't particularly want to spend $$ on new tools. AMD CPU; would like to use 2 hard drives (one for backup).
I'd like something other than the often recommended Antec NSK4482 Chassis since I've read that there's an interference with Kingwin Hard drive rack
Overclocking: Maybe next year... You TH folks claim it's easy; perhaps after I have a few miles on this build and I've little to lose
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1366 x 768
Additional Comments: Plan to run dual boot with Win 7 and Linux; preferably running Win 7 as virtual machine. Ideally, I'd like to be able to upgrade this in a couple of years, perhaps with new CPU assuming I could. Perhaps going from Athlon to Phenom or tri-core to hexa-core... Don't know if that's even realistic.
I'd like to take one of your recommended builds and go with it; however when I start to get into the details, it seems that there are often contradictions in advice. Doesn't sit well with the voices in my head.
I've copied a couple of examples from the TH website:
In the first, I'm perplexed by the recommended “bargain” build needing a CPU cooler.. Is that really necessary?
Can I get a compatible motherboard that doesn't need the added GPU?
It also doesn't seem like a “bargain” to use DDR2...
CPU: AMD Athlon II X3 445 Rana 3.1GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Desktop Processor ADX445WFGMBOX
MOBO: MSI 785GTM-E45 AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 - Retail
HSF: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ... - Retail
GPU: SAPPHIRE 100254HDMI Radeon HD 4650 1GB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - Retail
DVD: LITE-ON CD/DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM
Case: COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Is the following actually a better match for my needs? Or is it too short on memory? Do I need a GPU to do photo editing without bogging down the system?
CPU: AMD Athlon II X4 640 Propus 3.0GHz Socket AM3 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor ADX640WFGMBOX
MOBO: ASUS M4A785TD-M EVO AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model TW3X2G1333C9A G
HSF: None Required
HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
PSU: Antec Antec EarthWatts Green EA-430D Green 430W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power ... - Retail
GPU: None Required - This system will use on the onboard video, since graphic power is not a priority.
DVD: SAMSUNG DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223L LightScribe Support - OEM
Case: COOLER MASTER ELITE 335 RC-335-KKN1-GP Black SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case