Budget Range: Around $500.00. If I can get the performance for less, then even better.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Office, Internet, iTunes, amateur photo and video editing.
Parts Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, video card (Intel integrated with CPU is enough, I'd think?)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Canadian shops, or Newegg.ca, would prefer not to wait for shipping though.
Country of Origin: Canada
Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, not picky about the rest as long as it's got a good reputation.
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050
Additional Comments: I haven't included a case/PSU in my build because I'm looking for some suggestions on cost efficient case/PSU set-ups, nothing fancy needed. Also, I wasn't sure how compatible the micro-ATX board I looked at would be with different cases (am I strictly limited to micro-ATX cases?). I think I've got all components covered, once a case and PSU are added - please let me know if I've miscalculated.
MOBO: ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
(I saw the ASRock one as well, I like that ASUS has a 3 year warranty (vs. 1 year on ASRock), I also saw an Asus ITX factor, which had USB 3.0, HDMI (I think), etc. Would that be a better choice for only +$10.00?)
Case: You can use the- NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK = $37
PSU: You can use the- Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D $45
Note: If you can, choose a MoBo that supports 6GB/s transfer because it allows the full potential of your HDD
If I were to build a system for you, I would use the AMD Phenom II CPUs because overall it's cheaper.
Here it is:
CPU: AMD Phenom II x4 955 $115
MoBo: BIOSTAR A870 $60
PSU: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D $45
CASE: NZXT GAMMA Classic Series GAMA-001BK $37
HDD: HITACHI Deskstar 7K3000 HDS723015BLA642 $65
RAM: Team Elite Model TED34096M10667DC $34
Graphics: Radeon HD 4650 $47
DVD-ROM: SONY Black 18X DDU1681S-0B $17
Actually an HDD cannot utilize the 6Gb/s line, since it cannot even saturate the 3Gb/s line.
HDD's run around 120MB/s. The sata 3Gb/s line can take up to 280MB/s. Putting the Sata III stamp on HDD's is nothing but a cash grab. It doesn't matter, it's a marketing ploy.
A good Intel build can be had for around $600, but I would agree with an AMD build as the workload is light. Below is another build option to consider. It includes an AM3+ motherboard with two open memory slots for that future "if needed" CPU and MEM upgrade..
I'd say go with Striker's i3 build, that gives a lot more than i expected for $500 in terms of CPU and RAM. It also has a SSD, craploads of storage space and good upgradability. If you want to save some money on it though you could get 4GB of RAM, 500GB/1TB HDD and maybe a cheaper motherboard as i'm sure upgradability isn't too much of an issue.
Good advice again from both of you. I'll admit though, stubborness and personal preference, I'll probably stick with Intel, although I will consider dropping down to the i3. I know the integrated graphics in those CPUs are pretty decent (for what they are), and now I'm hearing from my brother that they want to "play games".... if you can even call 'Smurf Village" a game.
I've contacted some local shops and received a quote for $490.00 for a build with the i5, mobo, 8gb RAM, 1.5TB HD, CM case +400w PSU. It's more than they need, but the price is fairly reasonable, and it's nice to have a little 'growing room'. I'll probably stick with that set-up, unless there's a major flaw in my logic.
A few things there.
-Drop to i3. Seriously, you won't notice any difference.
-Please, do NOT get 8GB of ram for their usage. I included 8GB in mine just in case. You only need 4GB and that's for sure.
-1.5TB not really needed. Again I included in my build simply because whomever needs it may need the space.
-last thing, make sure it's a quality PSU.
You should look for 80+ certification. Also look at PSU's from Corsair, XFX, Antec, Silverstone, Seasonic, and the occasional Xigmatek. Coolermaster makes OK psu's, as long as it's 80+ you should be ok.