I'm stuck and need some help/experience determining which CPU to buy for an experimental build.
I am working on a computer I intend to use to educate myself - I'm tired of being intimidated by computer basics like updating a bios, drives, loading images, partitioning, formatting, RAID, etc., etc. Experimenting on my primary home i5-2500 that I built is getting crazy. So, I'm building an affordable computer to mess with - what I have so far is listed below. I'm trying to balance price and future upgradability. A year or two from now I'll drop a better CPU into it, but until then, I don't need to overdo it.
On a side note, I don’t do any gaming on the computers - that’s done on an Xbox - so I've stuck with the Intel integrated graphics and the H67 chip-set for the SATA III and RAID ability.
As for the CPU, the i3 was my choice until the reading the CPU guide here in the Forum and two articles on xbitlabs.com reviewing the G540 Celeron verses the G620/G84/G85 Pentiums verses the i3 series (links below). With the costs of the i3s ~ $130, the Pentiums ~ $90-100, and the Celerons ~ $50-60, the articles make a good case for the Celerons and the Pentiums. The reviews on New Egg are also very favorable for the G530 Celeron and Pentiums.
Here's my dilemma - I understand the data in the reviews, but I don't have the experience to turn that into real world usability.
For $50 a G530 Celeron sounds interesting, particularly for what I'm doing, but if I start experimenting with audio programs or reinstalling ISO images is the G530 going to become slow as mud? Is it even worth considering a Celeron or a Pentium for what I'm doing? $50 -$60 sounds a lot better than $135, but slow is downright…..painful!
I'd really appreciate any advice you have that might put these CPU levels into a real-world context and keep me for spending too much or getting too little.