New Build System Advice

I'm looking to build a new desktop as my dual core laptop is starting to give me issues and my old Celeron desktop is just too old (yet still working like a champ). I haven't built a new machine is close to 10 years and everything is a tad overwhelming so I'd like some advice as to what I should build for my needs.

I'm a graphic designer so I need to use the Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, etc...). Besides doing my work I'll be using the machine to surf the web and some light gaming (Half-Life 2, Counter Strike, Team Fortress). Nothing really fancy as I have an Xbox for other games.

I'll be running Windows 7 32-bit and already have a copy as well as a case, sound card, disc drives, monitor, and peripherals. I'm looking to spend around $500-700 in total. I plan on buying the parts by the end of the month from Tiger Direct (unless I can find a better deal elsewhere).

For this build I will need a CPU, Mobo, Video card, RAM, Wireless Networking card, and a Power Supply only

I've been looking at building it around an Intel i5-2400 or 2500 with:

Asus Mobo
WD 500GB Blue or Black HDD SATA
4GB DDR3 (Corsair)
Nvidia Graphics Card
Wireless card
Power supply ~500 watts

CPU: The i5 should more than meet my requirements and my budget but is there any REAL difference between the 2400 and 2500 besides 0.2 mhz and about $30? Also, from reviews, most people say the included fan doesn't work very well and it runs on the hot side. Is that really the case and if so what sort of aftermarket fan should I get? I'm not interested in overclocking.

Mobo: There seems to be a major issue with Asus and their socket 1155 boards being hit or miss as to whether they even work. Is this still an issue or has it been resolved? I've always used Asus and never had any issue with them and would like to continue using them. At the same time I don't want to nor. do I have the time to play around with customer support in India and have to send the board back 3-4 times to get one that works.

HDD: For what I'll be doing do I need a WD Black or would a Blue be fine? I'm not interested in SSD at this time.

RAM: Only need 4gb and Corsair seems to be the best both in value and quality.

Video Card: Given what I want to do I'm looking for a mid level Nvidia that will handle the above programs without any trouble but at the same time not become antiquated overnight if that makes sense. I also plan using dual monitors (HD LCD flat panels around 22" min) after I get the machine built and my wallet recovers so the card needs to support them. I was looking at the GTX 550 but the reviews paint a less than worthwhile picture it seems.

Wireless Card: Any recommendations on a good INTERNAL wireless card? I've been reading reviews for a lot and am having trouble finding one that is worth anything, IE people don't say it breaks within 2 months.

Power Supply: Given the above list will 500 watts be sufficient or should I get a bit more? Any stellar brands and/or brands to stay away from?

Any and all help is appreciated. If you need to know anything else please ask.

5 answers Last reply
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  1. cpu: the i5 is great, if you want to save some money you can get the amd phenom II x4 or the athlon x4 or about the same you can get a true 6 core for the same price the amd phenom II x6 great for gaming all great for gaming. some other cheap ones are the fx series but those have problems with a few games (i only know of 5 games) mobo, lots of great amd mobo's for under 100 bucks im not sure about intel ones im sure there is though
    ram: very cheap, all you need is 4gb to play any game if you want to run servers or do some video stuff or something 8gbs isnt much more (like 30 bucks more)
    video card: a great card that can run any game at max settings is the gtx 550ti its only about 120 bucks and runs cool. i have never had a problem with it
    wireless card i dont know much about just look around i guess
    power supply: 500 watts is a minimum i would say just to be safe. some good brands are coolermaster and corsair just goto newegg and sort it by the watts you want and then sort by best rating, put a price limit if you want

    i will edit with a build about the same stuff and a price
  2. i might as well ask. do you prefer amd or intel or do you not care?
  3. here is a amd CPU system i would recommend everything is compatible and it adds up to 505 USD for the most expensive ones and 380 i think for the cheapest of the things i listed

    cpu: amd athlon or phenom II x4 around 3.3 ghz 90-100 USD
    or for the cpu you could get a fx series processor its amd's newest sereis and they are cheap and cool and work great
    they work differently than other cpu's basically like intels series it has the emulated cores so if your cpu needs more
    muiltitasking it can but unlike intel they are dedicated so with intels you need to open 5 programs for it to kick in
    but with amd it is always active (thats a very basic explination)
    for their 8 core its 160-190 for the 6 core its 120-140 there is a quad core one but the phenom/athlon is better than it

    mobo: 75 USD

    graphics: nvidia gtx 550ti 115 USD

    ram: 4gb (2x2gb) 30 USD

    wireless card: i dont know much about. i think they are less than 50 USD

    power supply: 40 USD 530W good reviews lots of connectors

    if you prefer intel i can try and look for parts but i do not know intel that well
  4. Hello Chairs,

    Thank you for taking the time to help me. I've always used Intel, Asus, and Western Digital and will continue to do so. Just my personal preference/experience.

    I've pretty much settled on the i5 2400. Its priced well and will do everything I want. People have been mentioning that its good but "should of gone for the 2500" but the only real difference seems to be a negligible power increase and overclocking ability something which I have no interest in doing.

    For mobos, it seems the Asus H67s are just fine but certain models seem a bit sparse in the stores. The H61s sound worth while too. I'm going to continue researching them. Any thoughts?

    Have you used G skill RAM before? I'm leaning toward Corsair or OCZ. Any thoughts?

    What would be a good ATI card these days for what I want to do? I bounced back and forth between ATI and Nvidia back in the day and never really saw much difference and I did a lot of PC gaming. Always wound up back with ATI though. Is there any real difference between them anymore? I'm not planning on doing much PC gaming at all so I don't need anything really fancy but I don't want bare bones on board either. Again a two monitor capability is a must.

    Thanks for the other info as well. The emulated core description was just fine and makes sense. I'll keep digging for wireless cards. I don't know why they're so hard to find. That power supply looks good, I'll keep it in mind while I keep searching for everything.

    Thanks again for the help,
  5. so the cpu differences are basically just OC ability which doesnt really matter cause you arent interested in it and it can do anything anyway

    for the mobo all i can really say is read reviews, look for a cheap one but try not to cut performance and reliability

    i have used the G skill ram, it is good but there is better with how cheap ram is you could just get better (make sure its compatible with your mobo and cpu)

    ATI vs nvidia its like amd vs intel, its purely opinons they do have ups and downs
    ati has more OC and nvidia is cheaper i think its the 6950 or 6850 thats cheap but still good from ati. the 550ti from nvidia is really good plays bf3 maxed out at 60 fps and since you arent doing any hardcore gaming it should be fine. its only 120 bucks
    theres always those 50-80 dollar low profile cards that will play most games but not maxed out
    few examples of those are

    another good card for under 100

    also ati is now amd they are the same but most sites sort their good cards under amd
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