Assistance with a workstation/gaming build, under $950

I put together this part list for a friend, but after looking at this again, it looks unbalanced.

Here were her requirements:

  • She does digital art, uses Photoshop.
  • Good for multitasking (20+ tabs in chrome, music (itunes), skype, etc.)
  • Gaming (Borderlands, Mincraft, Silent Hill, Battlefield)
  • Needs a monitor, 17"-24", 1080p 
  • $950 >
  • Needs a cheap keyboard
  • Needs a DVD-RW drive
  • Windows 7
  • Black and Blue color scheme 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I was curious if anybody had any experience with the monitor I put in the list, or of any better suggestions.

i personaly think for the things shes doing with her system, it would be better to go intel, but yeah it will be pricy.

But the current build is not bad at all, only trow in a better mobo

also since shes doing graphical design i would say try to find a ips monitor, cause of better colors and better viewing angles.

i made this:

I appreciate the assistance, I will have to talk to her, see if she is willing to push her budget.  I figured the IPS would be the way to go, and that one is a bit bigger too. 

After discussing the other list with a friend of mine from work (not the artist), we decided that we need more information about the AMD processor before we decide to pursue suggesting the upgrade. Both of us have used premium i5's and i7's, but have never used AMD.

I'm sure that the processor is good, but I am already getting close to the budget. Is there any reason why I should pick the intel over the AMD? And a potential motherboard substitute?

Thanks again in advanced

This is for a non-overclocking build. I know its over, but there are reasons. It has the speed and power to do everything you want at 1080p.

It has an SSD to work and play games from so there wont be any lag. 8GB of ram for multi-tasking. A very good IPS monitor for best color quality for the digital art.

I put in windows 8.1, but it is faster and you just get "start is back" for $3 and it is the same is windows 7 only better.

The extra money in this build is worth spending. Less than this I think would be a mistake.. If you must go cheaper, then go with a AMD R9270... but its a big step down (not that its a bad card).

The current intels are way ahead of AMD processors. AMD are still good, but you need to overclock them to perform better. If you aren't overclocking, then go with the best you can afford. AMD is especially good for a lower end machine with a strict budget, or if you intend to overclock quite a bit. Intel is just superior at the moment for stock speeds.. that is not to say the slowest intel is way better than the fastest AMD.. but and i5-4xxx will out perform any 4 or 6 core AMD processor at stock speeds.

As for motherboards. I like Asrock for budget builds. They have a very good reliability rating and good software and features. I recommend the pro series. I put in my build below for an example.