I have an online business and need internet speed speed speed. I am not all that pc knowledgeable. not sure how much of a difference a custom build can have on internet speed, but i want to turn over every stone and see what i find.
i will do one thing and one thing only on the machine i expect to have built... surf and buy, surf and buy, surf and buy. internet only, nothing else needed. my other mchines will do the other stuff.
also, i want the machine to not just be fast, but stay fast.
i realize that having the right isp provider, the fastest package through them, using a fast browser, and other things contribute to internet speed perhaps more than anything else.
You dont need a $2000 computer to surf the web. a $500 computer can do that just as well. In my experience cable is faster than dsl, but get whatever is fastest available in your area. if you go with cable make sure to get a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem so it supports channel bonding. You'll want 8 gigs of ram which doesnt cost much nowadays but the biggest speed boost you'll see on your computer is by having an SSD instead of a traditional hard disk. your OS and web browser will load up very quickly. You can skip the dedicated graphics card, it is not necessary for your use. the built in intel GPU on the new ivy bridge chipset will be plenty fast enough.
If you want your computer to stay fast, limit the programs you install on it. dont install any screensavers or a bunch of shareware games that will add a bunch of bloat and spyware on your computer.
Personally I also find that Linux is faster than Windows (and its also free) so feel free to try it out as well. Ubuntu 12.04 would be a good one to start with for a beginner.