System Usage from Most to Least Important: Needs to be able to handle large graphic files, a secondary hard drive (w/RAID?) - we have replaced the computer every year or two after it "blew up" and have lost software and important files
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: looking at a build from HP
3rd Gen Intel Core i7-3770 quad-core processor (3.4GHz, 8MB shared cache)
8GB DDR3-1333MHz SDRAM
1TB 7200 RPM SATA hard drive
***considering 2nd hard drive 500GB SATA
GRAPHICS CARD - NVidia GeForce GT630 or 640?
Power Supply - 300W but I think I should upgrade to 460W based on comments here
Don't laugh - this is all new to me! Would love to build from scratch but a little beyond my current skills.
If you go with HP I would definitely upgrade the power supply. A couple of tweaks. The i7 may be overkill. Check out an i5 build possibly along the same lines. Use the money saved for a better graphics solution. Also, instead of doing RAID, consider investing in an external hard drive, then getting yourself on a backup schedule. Make a system image of your system first off, then if you have a crash, you just replace the part, and can restore from the image, and just have your other data backing up to where the data can be restored, as if you make a backup image, that image is only current as of when you make the image.
They aren't bad, but he will want something balanced. Another thing to consider, get an SSD. I work with a guy who's a web designer, and he installed a 120gb SSD into his computer and has his Adobe programs loaded on that. He's running a Phenom II, 8 gb of ram, and a GTX 560. But he said when he put the SSD in, things just pop vs with a standard hard drive. Have you considered building perhaps?