I'm a new Brit here....as you may guess and I've come to pillage your knowledge!
I apologise now if I miss something out or unintentionally annoy you!!
My PC at work is about to conk out, its done me well but it is less than happy at the moment. I will actually be building 2 PC's (one for me, one for my boss) but they will be very similar if not the same specs/requirements.
These PC's will be purchased and built within a month as both are pretty sick, and although I have been told to keep costs down, we both like and need the best so I reckon the budget is around £1-1200. I am going to spec up 1 system and pretty much duplicate it for my boss.
The main uses of the PC will be to run AutoCAD 2D (and to a lesser extent 3D), run MS Office (large documents/spreadsheets), running payroll, and trying to do a large number of these at the same time (I often need AutoCAD running all the time) and fast, with minimal load times.
Peripherals are not required, but the PC's will be running duel monitors (DVI + HDMI HD [1680x1050 (I think)] monitors on one, std duel VGA [1680x1050] on the other)
I don't really mind where the parts come from, but out of ease a 1-stop-shop would be best, located in the UK is preferable from a delivery and tax point of view. overclockers.co.uk and ebuyer.com are names I know and have used and I need fast delivery.
As for parts preference, we have not quite decided if we will be running XP Pro (as we are now) or moving onto Windows 7 Ultimate but I have a feeling the latter will be most likely. AMD/Intel - open to suggestions as to which is best for our needs. Size of tower is not an issue, but I would rather steer clear of a watercooled system. A relatively quiet system is preferable. Fast, reliable hard drives are a must (no more than 500GB over 2 drives is needed) (RAID Array) as is DDR3 memory. Std DVD/RW are all thats required as are std sound cards as it is for an office, not for home. Bucket loads of USB ports wanted!
We won't be overclocking or requiring SLI/Crossfire unless it is recommended.
A speedy response would be very much appreciated as My boss's PC is........well lets say its not exactly working right now and I have a month until payroll needs to be run so I can get paid!!
I'm not to familiar with what works best as far as GPUs with AutoCAD, but here is the basic system:
Mobo: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5
RAM: Two of the cheapest 3x2 GB kits of 1333 mhz CAS Latency 7 sticks you can find
HDD: I'm assuming you need it to be RAID 1, right? Either way, Samsung Spinpoint F3 500 GB
PSU: 550W unit. Stick to Corsair, Antec Earthwatts, FSP and SeaSonic to get high quality units.
Case: Antec 300
Optical: Cheapest SATA DVD burner you can find
GPU: I don't know if AutoCAD runs better on ATI or nVidia cards. Either way, buy the biggest one you can. You might want to look into the workstation lines (ATI's Fire and nVidia's Quattro) if you can afford it.
I have no idea on the actual prices over there, but the above (excluding the GPU) would be about $1,000 (650 pounds).