I have a challenge for you computer-building experts on here, and I hope you can help me figure out the best computer setup for my situation.
I need to buy a new computer, which will be used for Internet, multimedia, gaming, and occasional DVD viewing (Blu-Ray upgrade possible). I create multimedia PowerPoint presentations for work on occasion, along with photo editing for personal use. The computer will have Office Enterprise 2007 installed on it. I play Neverwinter Nights (plan to get NWN2 after upgrade), Sid Meier's Pirates!, Civilization III, etc., but may add games such as Halo to the list. It needs to be powerful enough to run what I have now to the fullest extent without a problem and also keep up with newer games and applications for at least a few years before upgrades would be needed, but I would like to keep total cost to about $1k (if possible). I already have a monitor and speakers, so those are not part of the budget for this build.
1) Case size: it would have to be a mid-tower, with depth less than 17.5", width less than 9.5", and height less than 18".
2) Case does not need to be flashy, just needs to hold the parts without overheating, etc.
3) The power button and any easy access ports should be on the front, as the tower will be enclosed and placing them on the sides or top (as I've seen on some cases) would be counterproductive.
4) No extra door covering the disk drives would be preferred, but is not necessarily a deal killer.
5) Needs an internal 3.5" 1.44MB floppy drive.
6) Dual internal HDD required. One will serve as a backup.
7) Dual internal disk drives required, one Blu-Ray DVD (RW?) and one Lightscribe DVD/CD+R/RW preferred.
8) Multi-interface needed for camera memory cards, memory sticks, etc.
9) Potential for upgrading graphics/sound/memory without changing out motherboard if possible.
10) A regular Internet keyboard and mouse (one with two buttons and a scroll wheel that also functions as third button) are good enough. I don't want a keyboard with backlit keys or anything. I prefer having the keyboard and mouse wired so that I don't have to fuss with batteries.
I will be using a ViewSonic 22" monitor (VX2260wm), which has full 1080p HD capability (1920x1080 res. and a 16:9 ratio), and HDMI and DVI with HDCP inputs. The speakers for my surround sound are Logitech X-230.
I have an hp psc 2410 photosmart all-in-one printer/fax/scanner/copier that will be connected this computer.
Am I better off trying to build one myself with parts, order a custom-built one from a site such as iBuyPower Custom Gaming Computers - Gaming PC & Gaming Notebooks
, or should I just go to Best Buy and get something off the shelf and perhaps throw a couple of upgrades into it? If buying off the shelf, I won't touch Dell or Gateway due to past experience with those companies. I prefer HP or Compaq computers.
I would also like to connect this new computer and my old computer (going to my wife) on a home network so we can share our cable Internet connection. Due to the layout of the room/house, a wireless connection would be preferred, but I have concerns about privacy and unfortunately don't know anything about setting up a wireless network.
Is anyone able to meet this challenge and help me out?