Motherboard: Asus Z97-A
CPU: Intel Core i5-4590
Memory: 8GB (via two 4GB sticks of 240-Pin DDR3 1600 SDRAM)
Storage: Samsung 840 Evo 250GB (an SATA III SSD)
Optical: LG Blu-ray Burner WH16NS40 (SATA)
A few comments:
- The graphics capabilities built into the above CPU, together with the HDMI and DisplayPort outputs offered by its motherboard, should be good enough for any common purpose other than the most demanding gaming. And if you ever decide to get into gaming, then there's nothing stopping you from sliding a top-of-the-line Nvidia or AMD graphics card into one of the motherboard's PCIe 3.0 expansion slots.
- If you ever want to double your available memory, then just add two more memory sticks of the same type: there's no need to replace the ones you already have.
- If you're assembling this machine yourself, then make sure you're creating an ideal environment for your SSD's performance: plug it into one of the motherboard's native SATA III ports, be sure the SATA type is set to AHCI rather than IDE in your motherboard's BIOS, and turn off any automatic drive defragmentation that your operating system may be set to perform.
A system with all of the above components, plus Microsoft Windows, a good-quality PSU, and a good quality case, would currently cost about $1,000 (including tax and shipping) if assembled by CyberPowerPC.