When my laptop was stolen a couple of weeks ago, I pulled my 2007-vintage HP Pavilion desktop out of storage, and in no time flat the motherboard quit on me. I had wanted an incremental upgrade on that desktop, but it looks like starting fresh. (HDD and DVD are reusable, as noted below)
I've seen some build recommendations around this board for 700-800, but I'd like to stay under 600 on mine.
Approximate Purchase Date: immediately
Budget Range: max $600 including shipping
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Photoshop & Illustrator 64 bit (graphic design, lots of layers) - League of Legends - wi-fi media serving for PS3
Parts to Upgrade: RAM is important for the graphics work
Parts to Ignore: HDD, optical drive: will reuse 3.5" Samsung 640GB HDD and a Sony optical drive.... If applicable, I can even reuse HP Pavilion case and 300W PSU (but the cables out of the PSU look like they were specific to the HP configuration)
Are you buying a monitor: No
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: none
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, US
Parts Preferences: Want a capable discrete graphics card for good Photoshop 3D features and moderate-to-good LoL performance.
Overclocking: Open to recommendations
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Additional Comments: Future upgrade will probably put a SSD in, but not now. Unit needs wireless, even as a desktop.
This one is an intel rig. You'd probably want an i7 more than an i5 that can't be overclocked, so I have no doubt the AMD build would probably be better than mine. Still, since I spent a bit of time on figuring this one out, I may as well post it. You can bring it back to under $600 before rebates by getting a cheaper GTX 560.