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Help with First-Time Computer Build, Three-Monitor System

I bought my first computer (Apple IIe) back in the early 1980s. Since then, I've bought mostly Windows machines - but never built one. Now I want to build one as a replacement for a mid-level CyberPower PC two-monitor set-up. For the first time I want to really OWN a computer, and that means knowing how to take it apart and put it back together again.

My research into a parts list leaves me totally confused. Can anyone help? Here's what I need:

1) The primary use for this new setup will be to run my small press. InDesign CC, Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and other such programs should be screaming fast.

2) The PC should support three monitors: a 27" in the middle, two 24" on the sides. (This is what confuses me the most: not sure what kind of graphics card/processor I need for three monitors.)

3) I'd like enough power to play the occasional game. My tastes run more to strategy games and zombie shooters, not resource-heavy, cutting-edge stuff.

Budget is less a concern than performance. I'd rather build something that will take me through the next several years than save a few bucks now and have to deal with upgrades later.

Any and all advice, help, and tips GREATLY appreciated!
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. It would be nice if you could post a budget, what you'll like to spend and what your max budget is. And what country you're buying from.

    You'll want a strong CPU*, with the right CPU your programs will run like a dream (or pretty fast atleast).

    The GPU** is what drives the monitors and most of the games, a mid-end GPU would cut it for some years of stategy gaming, would run games on all 3 monitors if you set it up properly, though when it with time gets too slow for that, you can just switch to the middle monitor and run games on that.

    Ram, you'll want DDR3 Ram, should run 1600mhz or higher, 16GB would be good, maybe you'll want more, depends on the different programs need.

    PSU***, 550w is enough if you pick a good brand, etc. XFX, Corsair, Seasonic. You'll want one that's atleast 80+ Bronze certified, not only 80+.


    *CPU = Processor, it's what mostly drives the machine when on the desktop and in programs, less important in games (still a bit important in strategy).

    **GPU = Graphics Card, what's mostly driving the quality of your games, lag is commonly caused because the GPU can't handle the

    *** PSU = Power Supply, what's delivering the power to your system, 550w is enough for almost any single-card config.
  2. Sorry for the lack of details. First time doing this.

    Budget: $1400-$1600, excluding monitors (already have the two 24").

    Buying from the U.S. (assume that Amazon and NewEgg are best supppliers).
  3. Best answer
    The site pcpartpicker.com let's me build a list with the best prices from a hole load of different companies, finds every part for sale and the cheapest place to buy it (with shipping taken in mind too!).

    From that site i could make this build for you:


    PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/k4xdrH

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($339.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($39.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: Asus Z97M-PLUS Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($126.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($333.36 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($134.99 @ Best Buy)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 280 3GB Double Dissipation Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 350D Window MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($93.49 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($55.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($92.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1529.76

    The i7-4790K is a very strong CPU, and it's pretty new too, will defently do the job well in your applications, single-threaded or multi-threaded.

    The CPU cooler is there because the stock one you get in the box isn't very good for the i7, this will keep your CPU cool'n'quiet at once.

    ASUS is a great company for motherboards, they're using quality components that are made to last, and this motherboard has the needed 4 Ram slots for 8x4GB RAM

    Took 32GB RAM, you'll never run out of RAM, and it's pretty fast RAM too.

    The SSD is for your programs and your OS, will make a lightning startup time! The HDD is for any other files you might save/have on your pc. The HDD is your Cheap storage whether the SSD is the fast expensive one.
    Files you're working on can you save on the SSD, then archive it on the HDD afterwards.

    Video card is pretty fast actually, should even be able to play the newest strategy games a couple of years from now. Current ones, it will run on the best settings OR on all screens.

    The case is made pretty clean with not too much on it, there's a non-windowed version but it actually costs a bit more.

    PSU can handle this setup and is of pretty high quality, so it shouldn't cause any problems over the years.

    I did add a DVD/CD-drive but if you dont need it, you can just remove it.

    Win 8.1 64-bit, with this much RAM you'll actually have to look for a supported OS, fortunately Win 8.1 64-bit supports it, so even if you already have a OS to install, make sure it supports 32GB of RAM, etc. Windows 7 Home premium only supports 16GB at max, ALL 32-bit systems only support 4GB!


    Well i hope this can help you, im not from the AUS, US, UK so yes there's probably some grammar issues in this text. ;)
    Don't forget to hit that "pick as the solution" button if you feel like i was to any help!
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