Need Advice - Design PC (Updated)


Feb 27, 2010
Hi everyone, I previously wrote about this a month or so ago and got some great advice. But I'd like to see if I can bring the cost down a bit.

I'm planning on building a computer for my Father to use for designing kitchens. I havent really done design work before, so I dont know how powerful the hardware needs to be. The system requirements for the program he uses dont seem too hardcore: [...] uirements/

Approximate Purchase Date: Next Week or two.
Budget Range: 500-700 before rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: 20-20 Technology's Design v9, Office 2010
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers, Monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Whatever is cheapest. I've used Newegg, Amazon, and TigerDirect in the past.
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences:
I'd like to try one of the new Sandybridge i3
Also leaning towards at least 8GB or RAM.
Please include Windows 7 in price.
Overclocking: No
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: Dual 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 Monitors
Additional Comments:
#1 requirement is to run the design software smoothly. Which hardware is most important when doing 3D design work? How powerful of a graphics card will I need?
#2 I think he keeps his PC tower in a cabinet. Is that really bad for the health of the computer?
#3 Originally we spec'ed out a new i5. But Now I'm thinking about going i3 and saving some money there. How much of a performance hit will the design software take from losing the 2 extra cores? Should I consider a different processor? I just like the Sandybridge CPUs so much. Plus I heard that the new i3 performs similar to quad-cores in its price range.
#4 Micro-ATX is no longer something we are interested in. Just whatever is cheapest will work.

Thanks for any advice you can offer. Please feel free to chime in if I am completely forgetting something.