Looking to build a PC desktop - Need Feedback

I currently own a Dell Studio 1537 Intel Core 2 Duo laptop but want to switch back to a desktop. I figured I'll just use an iPad when I need something portable. I need some hardware advice since I'm not a computer expert. Ideally I want to build a desktop computer so I don't have to upgrade for a few years. A CPU that can handle multi-tasking is a must since my current Core 2 Duo isn't cutting it.

Below are a list of activities I frequently do with my laptop:

Browse the internet with multiple tabs open
Stream shows and movies
Listen to music
Chat with friends
Play some games - nothing too heavy on graphics

Below are a list of software/programs I frequently use:

Photoshop CS5
Illustrator CS5
Adobe Acrobat
Digsby
Tweet Deck
IE9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera - I need to open all 5 browsers sometimes without lag.
Windows 7
Microsoft Office 2010
iTunes

As you can see I'm not building a gaming desktop, although I prefer to have a separate video card instead of an integrated one in case I want to upgrade to a better one down the line. So basically I need a desktop that's scalable so I don't have to replace a lot of hardware if I decide to upgrade in the future. My current budget without a monitor is around $800.
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  1. As you arent a hardcore gamer, here's what I suggest.
    Intel Core i3-2100 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz

    Samsung Spinpoint f3 1TB

    HAF 912 Mid tower gaming case

    Windows 7 Home premium OEM

    Sapphire 5850 XTREME

    Corsair CX 500w PSU

    G.skill 2x2GB 1600MHz DDR3 ram

    That puts you at around $600. I haven't added a mobo. Do you want USB 3? that will be a deciding factor.

    EDIT: forgot ram
  2. thanks for the responses. regarding the cpu, since i don't want to upgrade for a few years would an i3 processor be sufficient enough or should i upgrade to an i5 or i7? i know i listed my budget for $850, but i'm willing to cut corners on certain things as long as i'm investing it towards a better hardware. like i don't really need to purchase a brand new tower since i already own an old ATX tower from my older desktop.
  3. The i5 K1114 or the i3 i suggested will both do fine. The 2400 is more powerful, but you won't really need it unless you intend to game. The question here is, To game or not To game? If you don't ever plan on gaming hardcore, we could get this build down to around $600 total. And I suggest getting a new case, as they do more than hold parts. They provide airflow and cooling, which are essential to a desktop's life.
  4. thanks for the insight regarding the case striker. as far as gaming, i might play a game here and there but to be honest the last game i played with my pc was nba 2k9 and counterstrike (i think). i might play a game like command and conquer every so often but not enough to consider my self a gamer. i mainly use my ps3 for gaming. however, if im building a brand new desktop i might play more games if my computer can handle it. still though, i wouldn't consider myself a gamer.
  5. With your uses you really don't need much power. The i3 is about 2-3 times more performance than the core 2 duo you have. So you would be fine with it I think. Did you need a monitor? I wasn't sure and added one anyways.
  6. great call guys. so far i'm stuck between i3-2100 or an i5-2400. price point is fairly close i'll determine which one i want down the line. k1114, i do need a monitor but i'm sure i can find one for sale down the road.

    the good news is that i've narrowed down which processor i'll get. next is the motherboard. i'm super clueless which one will suit my needs. i plan to install windows 7 64-bit, so i'd like to have say 6-8gb of ram. ideally i'd like to have additional slots to add more ram in case i do need it in the future.
  7. You really only need 4GB of ram, as you will most likely never use more than 3gb. It's a common misconception that more is always a good thing. In this case, quality is better than quantity for you. So you might consider getting 4GB now, and adding some if you need it in the future.
  8. my laptop currently runs 3gb but it feels laggish. maybe it's the processor that's slow but i'm not sure. i'm fine with just 4gb now and adding more if needed. as long as i have enough slots then i'm not overly concerned.

    what motherboard do you suggest?
  9. For upgradability, the mobo is a no brainer. Get 4gb ram now and have 2 empty slots. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157246

    Let's just go over every part.

    Case: We suggested 2 different ones but it really comes down to personal looks.

    GPU: While the 5850 is a great deal (price at that performance is usually 170) I don't see you needing much. The 5770 is a great budget card but is only 30 less the 5850. You could go lower even to a 5670 or 5570 and if you start to game on pc then you can upgrade.

    Cpu: I'm just going to add to what I said before and say the i5 is about 25% more performance at $60 more than the i3. That's about 50% higher price but price always goes up more than performance.

    Psu: 500w is the recommended for the i5 and 5850, the highest amount of power I would suggest for you. But that covers bad quality psus that can't sustain 500w so a good 430w is fine. Your budget would be fine and just to be on the safe side get 500w.

    The monitor is currently $20 off so $110 for a 21.5" 1080p monitor is a good price.

    Hdd: The samsung is a bit faster than the seagate and is only $2 more but you probably won't notice a difference. It really doesn't matter.

    Ram: Well it's currently the best price to performance right now. H61 can't actually run faster than 1333 so it will downclock it and have better timings and 1333 ram costs exactly the same.

    It seems I forgot a dvd/cd drive. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135204
  10. Now the only problem I see is that a p67+2500k combo is only $47 more than a 2400+h61 with the selected parts. Not including video card and monitor. Would you need the extra power with an overclock, probably not, but an i3 build is $100 less.

    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
    Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ...
    Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    CORSAIR Builder Series CX500 (CMPSU-500CX) 500W ATX12V v2.3 Active PFC Power Supply
    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
    ASRock H61ICAFE LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52400
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM
    TOTAL: $621.12 Shipping Included. Before MIR.

    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit English 1-Pack - OEM
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K
    MSI P67A-C43 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
    Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ...
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-4GBXM
    BYTECC 6 ft. 18AWG Power Cord w/ 3 Conductor PC Power Connector – Black Model POWERCORD-6K
    TOTAL: $668.50 Shipping Included. Before MIR.
  11. +1 k1114 Though, a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133383 would make better video editing and such, How big is your monitor?
  12. how's the stability of an nvida compared to a ati? from my understanding nvida is a bit more expensive but more stable. i plan to purchase 24 inch monitor.

    btw, do you guys suggest getting the newer, but more expensive, nvidia 500's or the older 400's? considering i don't play much games, i don't see the benefits of buying the newer technology if i'm not going to utilize it. i just need something that's 1080p comparable or better.
  13. addison said:
    +1 k1114 Though, a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133383 would make better video editing and such, How big is your monitor?

    Benchmarks please?

    Anyway Cash, It really depends on which program you are using. They are equally stable, it's really about which can be better utilized by your programs. Some prefer stream processors (ATI) and some prefer CUDA cores (NVidia). As for the 400's vs 500's, it depends. The 460 is still a very good value, with the next step up being the 560 ti.
  14. addison said:
    +1 k1114 Though, a http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133383 would make better video editing and such, How big is your monitor?


    He did not state video editing and that would only apply with premiere. Even then, amd has opengl acceleration and you'd want to encode with the cpu for better quality. And the 550 is a horrible choice when a 460 is better performance for a lower price.

    It really doesn't matter nvidia or amd or what generation. Amd is cheaper right now and you pick which ever generation has the best value.

    A 5770 can play crysis on high at 1080x1200, more power than you need. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5770,2446-7.html The 460 is not on there as the 5850 is better performance at a lower price. The 5850 is on there.
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