Budget Range: 800 ( prefer to spend the least as much as possible )
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Digital Painting, Photography editing, Adobe After Affects, Sony Vegas, Adobe Illustrator.
Parts Not Required: I have a Mid tower case, probably be buying a full tower for that nice air flow.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: microcenter, seems to be cheaper and I live quite near to one. I don't mind newegg.
Parts Preferences: Confused between Intel and AMD cpus, would prefer whatever is helpful to a ggreat computer performance for media editing, could careless about gaming. I was thinking around 16g of ram, is it overkill? lol
Overclocking: Not needed.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080, wouldn't mind duel monitoring.
Additional Comments: Basically a pc rig built for digital painting and video GFX editing.
A little background info of me:
Majoring in Illustration so I deal with both digital and traditional artwork.
Video gfx editing is just a side hobby whenever I get the chance along with taking pictures of random things and fool around with it in photoshop.
For this kind of usage, either Intel or AMD are viable. I would go for either the i5-2400 or the FX-8120. I would imagine most of those programs will make use of the 8 cores so the FX-8120 may be the better option here.
Something else though, I wouldn't worry about getting a full tower for the sake of airflow. With no high end graphics card or heavy overclocking, you really don't need much airflow. A half decent heatsink and a couple of 120mm fans will be more than enough, I would go for a mATX case personally.
With the RAM I would say 16GB is probably overkill but there's no harm in leaving room for 16GB in future.
Mushkin Silverline 8GB
ASUS M5A88-M AM3+ AMD 880G
Seagate Barracuda 500GB
ASUS HD 6450 1GB
Fractal Design Core 1000
Seasonic SS-300ES 300W
Sony DVD Burner
COOLER MASTER GeminII S524
Total - $603.91 (Newegg)
Most will say that the aftermarket CPU cooler is overkill but those CPU's can run quite hot so for the peace of mind, quietness and overclocking potential I think it's worth $35.
Generally this build should be pretty quiet and leaves plenty of room for upgrades.
The spare cash could go to your other monitor or an SSD, either would be great.
I am waiting for delivery of a rig I will build this week. I use mine for similar purposes. You may want to search the forums for the software you will be using. I searched for Photoshop, Adobe, CS5, and Lightroom in my travels and following a link to the Adobe forums and discovered that Adobe software is very partial to Nvidia GPU over any others. Also these kinds of programs love memory and fast processors. They render in 2D so a high end GPU is not req but I had additional needs and have a GTI 560 ti w 1 gig of ram. PS and some others love hyper threading but I couldn't squeeze more money into my budget. The whole thing cost me $961 . here is a link to my last post about the build http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...
This Antec PSU 750W is available today on Newegg $65 after mir.
You need a monitor so plug a 24 inch into the build to give you a feel for overall cost and we can look for ways to help shave cost if you are over budget. I don't think you want to do what you are planning with a smaller monitor. HDD prices are through the roof due to shortages. My friend who is a major buyer for his IT company tells me the shortage should be over by June. You could go with a smaller drive now and add another when the time comes. The next place to look for savings is the GPU
There isn't really any reason for him to go with 750W unless he was going for dual HD 7970's or something. He doesn't really need a powerful graphics card, just something basic to be able to drive dual monitors and take some pressure off the motherboard.
The build I suggested for example would pull around 150W under load, maybe 180W max.
JM - You are right but he is in college and a bigger PSU for the same money would give him some ability to upgrade GPU or possibly SLI as budget allows. He said maybe SLI. I designed mine to allow me upgrades in the future that don't involve PSU or Case
Budget drives a lot of the choices.