No problem! I love helping people out with tech the best I can, so you're really doing me
The Core i-series debuted in late 2008, so the assertion that they were good for rendering was perfectly valid then. Not so true anymore, a whole lot changes in 6+ years. You might hear a lot of talk about "Intel CPU's are better than AMD's at everything" or maybe something a little less fanboyish, but it really depends on how you look at it. If you have a Core i5 at 3.5 GHz and an AMD Athlon X4 at 3.5 GHz, then yes, the Core i5 will stomp all over the AMD CPU. The difference is, the AMD CPU isn't meant to compete with an i5. The 3.7 GHz Athlon X4 860K http://www.materiel.net/processeur-sock ... 107788.htm)
will cost you 78€, while the 3.1 GHz Core i5 4440 http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00152678.html
goes for 178€, more than double the price. The i5 is faster for most things, but it's not twice as fast. Plus, Blender uses all the processing cores it can, so the cheaper AMD option will be quite close in performance to the i5. Ultimately the decision is up to you, but from my point of view it makes no sense to pay more than double when Blender can make the most of an AMD processor.
As for the hard drive, the best price on those two sites for a 1TB drive is this Toshiba for 54€: http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00134399.html
. Moving up to 2TB, the price increases to 75€ http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00152552.html
and again to 95€ at 3TB http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00152553.html
. Anything above that is a worse deal. These are all pretty average drives, which is all you need.
I can't recommend cheaping out on the RAM; good RAM is a necessity in my mind, having learned the hard way how important it is
For 81€ you can get this high-speed, high-quality kit, and I can say that since my uncle used the same RAM (albeit at a slower speed) in his video editing/encoding machine, and it's performed admirably. http://www.materiel.net/barrette-memoir ... 72625.html
The GFX card is a bit trickier to pick out. I haven't come across many specific recommendations, and the GT 730 I suggested might not be enough in retrospect considering that some Intel graphics processors are actually faster. If you're feeling paranoid about performance, the GTX 960 is brand new and a really nice card, but I doubt you'll accept the 200€ price tag. http://www.materiel.net/carte-graphique ... 12399.html
The 109€ GTX 750 is a lot more reasonable, and still a good rendering GPU. http://www.materiel.net/carte-graphique ... 00403.html
. If that's still too expensive, the GDDR5 GT 730 is as low as I'd feel comfortable recommending you to go, at 56€ http://www.materiel.net/carte-graphique ... 05724.html
If you want to splurge on an SSD (and you should, they're fantastic even on old computers that severely bottleneck the transfer speeds), a 120GB won't cost too much more than a 60/64GB model, and it will offer very fast (450MB/s) transfer speeds and some nice breathing room for dual-booting for 58€. http://www.materiel.net/disque-ssd/king ... 87611.html
Now for the case. This one goes for 23€, but it's not particularly durable and the inside looks very dated, not that that's a huge issue http://www.materiel.net/mini-boitier-pc ... 84150.html
You might have better airflow and a better looking rig with this one for 30€ http://www.materiel.net/boitier-pc/ante ... 10506.html
We haven't discussed the power supply or motherboard, so I'll assume you want something along the lines of "just enough to make the other parts perform at their best."
There's a great deal on this Gigabyte mobo http://www.materiel.net/cartes-meres-so ... 95881.html
, 49€. It has the best chipset in its class so this is a very good price.
With the best parts I have listed in each category, you're looking at a power draw of about 310W max, so you'll want at least a 400W power supply, and more is great. This one's highly rated and doesn't cost too much, coming in at 48€: http://www.ldlc.com/fiche/PB00105016.html
. I wouldn't run this PSU with a GTX 960 and an overclocked processor, but for one of the less lofty configurations it'll get the job done.
I don't know if you need a Blu-ray/DVD drive or not, so I'll let you handle that
With these "blueprints", if you will, you're looking at a total cost of 389€ for the basic configuration (1TB hard drive, GT 730, no SSD, cheapo case) and 639€ for the premium (3TB drive, SSD, GTX 960, better case), plus another 100 if you really
want an i5. These prices don't include shipping charges; I'm willing to find the parts, but I'm not figuring out shipping!
All told, I think you'll be very happy with any combination of these parts. You might want to throw in a few case fans just for good measure, as good airflow will let the processor use its boost function more when needed.