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New PC for Development Environment and Casual Gaming

Hello everyone,

I am looking to upgrade from my current setup - an aging i7 920 with 12 GB RAM / AMD 4670 HD. My PC has served me well over the past 4 years but lately I have noticed that it lags quite a bit with my different coding tools like PHPstorm open.

I am a systems developer and I spend around 80% of my time on coding (.NET on Visual Studio or PHP on Jetbrains PHPStorm) and running multiple VMs. I play games quite a bit but I am not obsessed with running them at the highest quality - as long as they run smoothly and I can play through them I am happy.I am also very unlikely to every overclock anything. I connect to my router using powerline adapters so a minimal wifi setup would do.

I do however run 3+ monitors all the time. Accessibility to ports on the front panel is also important, so is the number of USB 3.0 ports. And I would very much like a quiet PC.

I have two recently purchased SSD drives of 256 GB that I would like to reuse along with 3 1 TB SATA hard drives which have my data backups.

I don't have a fixed budget but obviously I would like to keep the costs to a minimum. Essentially I am looking for the entire base unit minus the hard drives (I have DDR3 triple channel 667 memory but I am told I cannot reuse these?). I would be extremely grateful for any advice on what CPU/Mobo/RAM combination would work best for me.along with a mid range video card that would allow me to play most (if not all) modern PC games at decent quality. I would further welcome advice on PC Cases and power supplies. I know to an extent this is dependant on personal preferences, but like I mentioned having a quiet PC is somewhat important to me. I quite like a minimalist approach and in the past I loved my Antec P180. I was learning towards Fractal R4 but I have read that it has issues with its noise control.

Once again, I would be extremely grateful for any advice and guidance.

Regards

Alex
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about development environment casual gaming
  1. Here you go: It'll run rings around your current build. :)

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.66 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($142.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 270X 4GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Nanoxia Deep Silence 2 ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Micro Center)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic G-750 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($94.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ NCIX US)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
    Other: Intel BXTS13X Water/Liquid Cooling Thermal Solution for Socket LGA1150/ LGA2011 / LGA1366 / LGA1156 / LGA1155 ($94.99)
    Total: $1142.58
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-07-25 08:43 EDT-0400

    Of course, the video card is up for debate. THe one I included will run 3 monitors easily, but you can spend more or less as you prefer. Here is a similar-priced Nvidia card:

    Video card: http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/compare/msi-video-card-912v303020%2Cmsi-video-card-n760tf2gd5oc/
  2. Cheers for that mate! That setup looks perfect. I might get the nVidia card instead of the AMD one. Do you reckon bumping up the memory to 32 GB would offer any better performance for compiling programs?
  3. Most likely not so much that you'd really notice it.You can always monitor performance and if it is memory (RAM) constrained, you can add in the extra 16GB.
  4. Karsten75 said:
    Most likely not so much that you'd really notice it.You can always monitor performance and if it is memory (RAM) constrained, you can add in the extra 16GB.


    Right - so managed to get the board and the processor but I am still huntil around for the RAM. Would buying 2133MHz RAM make any difference? quad channel Ripjaws at 2133Mhz seem to cost more than what I paid for the board and the processor. Would this actually have any impact on how fast the system is?

    Cheers

    Alex
  5. You will see very little benefit from that much faster, very expensive memory. :) Just look around for DDR3-1600 240-pin DIMM memory in a kit with 2x8GB sticks. Post what you found and we can check compatibility (which usually should be fine).

    what country are you in? - Oz or the UK? :) If I had known, I could have used a local PCPartPicker - might have made your life easier.
  6. Karsten75 said:
    You will see very little benefit from that much faster, very expensive memory. :) Just look around for DDR3-1600 240-pin DIMM memory in a kit with 2x8GB sticks. Post what you found and we can check compatibility (which usually should be fine).

    what country are you in? - Oz or the UK? :) If I had known, I could have used a local PCPartPicker - might have made your life easier.



    I am in the UK mate. Also - Whilst I have ordered the processor and the board - the seller has just written back to me saying he has a 4930K processor for 250 pounds - which is close to what I paid for the 4790K - would this help me in anyway?

    Cheers again mate! I am very grateful for all your advice.
  7. Best answer
    xclone said:
    Also - Whilst I have ordered the processor and the board - the seller has just written back to me saying he has a 4930K processor for 250 pounds - which is close to what I paid for the 4790K - would this help me in anyway?

    Cheers again mate! I am very grateful for all your advice.


    The Intel i7-4930K processor is probably faster, but it needs a different motherboard that will also cost more, and has 130W power requirement vs the 84W of the i7-4790. It can support quad-channel memory, so that's a plus, but then you have to probably add 2 more sticks of RAM as well. You can either break up the 16GB into 4x4 or go to 32GB with 4x8.

    Specs: http://ark.intel.com/products/77780/Intel-Core-i7-4930K-Processor-12M-Cache-up-to-3_90-GHz

    Comparison: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2226&cmp[]=2023 (cut 'n paste_

    You will notice that the newer i7 is a tad faster in single-threading performance - reflects the age of the older architecture.
  8. Karsten75 said:
    xclone said:
    Also - Whilst I have ordered the processor and the board - the seller has just written back to me saying he has a 4930K processor for 250 pounds - which is close to what I paid for the 4790K - would this help me in anyway?

    Cheers again mate! I am very grateful for all your advice.


    The Intel i7-4930K processor is probably faster, but it needs a different motherboard that will also cost more, and has 130W power requirement vs the 84W of the i7-4790. It can support quad-channel memory, so that's a plus, but then you have to probably add 2 more sticks of RAM as well. You can either break up the 16GB into 4x4 or go to 32GB with 4x8.

    Specs: http://ark.intel.com/products/77780/Intel-Core-i7-4930K-Processor-12M-Cache-up-to-3_90-GHz

    Comparison: http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=2226&cmp[]=2023 (cut 'n paste_

    You will notice that the newer i7 is a tad faster in single-threading performance - reflects the age of the older architecture.



    cheers mate! I think I will stick to the original specs you suggested. And hunt around for the 1600Mhz memory. Thank you very much again! I owe you a drink if you are ever around Liverpool, UK.
  9. use http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/ to help you find the components that are available in the UK
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