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Good setup for an architect

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November 28, 2005 6:08:56 PM

Hi All,

I need some help for this project:
A good/powerful desktop for an architect

Budget: MAX US$1200

I'm doing this as a favour for a family friend. He is an architect and using a dual screen display. He told me he does a lot of work in CAD and photoshop so I guess I will spend some of the budget on good display card(s).

I use to work in the IT field, so I am the friendly tech-guy that take care of they mess. Now they will throw me that money so I will build them the "perfect" PC.

I just read that the dual-cores are way over budget, so I'm aiming for a single-core, dual-cpu system. As for graphics cards, I've no idea of what is good for an architect (he is definetly NOT a gamer).

So here is a list of concerns/requirements
1) Is dual-cpu gives the bang for the buck? Should I just save and use the budget on high-end video card?

2) PCI express is the way to go, but what kind of card is good for CAD/photoshop? Do I need 2 card to make dual-dispaly quick and responsive? (since I'm using an AGP ATI card with 2 display, and the response is not that seems to be only good enough for text/surfing the net) I'm not familiar to the nVidia SLI technology, would that help in a dual-card setup?

3) And this is pretty silly, since I'm leaning towards "big name brands" as my friend knows nothing about computers. If I throw him some 'unknown' names such as AMD, he *might* thinks I'm ripping him off. I just want to avoid these delicate things :( 

4) I will avoid high-temperature, high-fan noise setup. I know this totally went against a high-performance PC, but I will rather choose some less noisy, cooler temperature setup (as the recent PC I setup for them have many extra fans, and he thought the case is "cheap" and make loud noise)

And especially the CPU frequency naming thing is so cofusing, the AMD chips would not 'impress' my friend.

Please give me some suggestions on the setup and specifically, what kind of Video card should I choose.

Thanks a million.

evilC

More about : good setup architect

November 28, 2005 7:25:07 PM

1.you could get a dual core AMD within your budget. If you dont then you are slowing down his computer and making it hotter by using intel.

2. PCIe isn't a huge deal for you, you wont need SLI....but yu will have a PCIe board just because socket 939 usually comes with it.

3. read #1, its either an AMD X2 or a slower and hotter Intel. Just tell him professional firms and companies that do CGI use AMD.

4. Get an X2, it will be cool and the stock fan will keep everything cool. Get an ANtec Solution Series....the cases look simple and nice and they are durable. I have one...they are good.




The naming system is a bit weird because its hard to convey the performance without using numbers to cmpare....but you can't use Ghz.....so iIntel went to another nameing system an AMD is kinda stuck with the old one.


Chaintech VNF4, AMD 3800+ X2, 2GB kit corsair value RAM, Nvidia 6600, Antec solution series case, any size HDD will work, any optical drive you want will work.
Price those out and see how it fits in with your budget then come back with where it falls witrh prices and i will modify if i have to.
November 28, 2005 8:58:31 PM

1) Go with the faster mhz single core over the dual core....the dual core really isnt worth the extra dinero

2) SLI would be a huge waste....single pcie will be efficient

3) Kick your friend in the balls and tell him that you are building this thing. The intel cpus run hot as hell and do not match the performance of the AMD.

Go with this processor:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103529

For the case go with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811133146

and for the power supply go with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103512


I gotta leave so I will finish later ;-)
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November 28, 2005 9:15:47 PM

Quote:
1) Go with the faster mhz single core over the dual core....the dual core really isnt worth the extra dinero


Cad programs actually use the 2nd core...so they actually are worth the extra money for people who use CAD programs....they will be MUCH faster then your single core option.



Do not get this, get a 3800+ X2...it will be much faster for CAD programs.



THis is an alright case for gaming but if he has to use this in an office he will be taunted. its got too much crap on it. Get an Antec Solution series and it looks more professional and it's cheaper

Quote:
and for the power supply go with this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103512


Are you serious? you are making him buy a 535 Enermax PSU? for this setup? your high....he needs 350W MAX because he will have a low powered video card and the 3800+ X2 doesn't draw a lot of power.

Its a good PSU, a VERY VERY good one....but why pay 88bucks when one for 30 will do?

535W is overkill time 2. He could actully get what i said to get and a 200W PSU and be fine but a 300-350 would be enough for a buffer and to make sure everythign works for a while.
November 29, 2005 1:46:17 AM

Thanks for the suggestions, I will check about the prices of the parts you guys mentioned.

So I guess I will go for an AMD, which is my original thinking. But I hesitate because of the "brand" issue. Things are much simpler when I build system for myself :roll:

Any video card suggestions?

Thanks again.
November 29, 2005 11:20:28 AM

1) He has 1200 bones to spend, might as well get a very stable psu that will be sufficent for even future systems. Even getting this psu he will be way under 1200 bucks for the system

2) Actually either processor would be plenty for his apps. I run autocad, microstation/geopak work on a 733mhz p3 and it runs fine. Sure it is slow at times but seriously either would be sufficent. Most apps today arent even developed to fully take advantage of mulitcore technology but do as you wish.

3) For the case it was just a suggestion....He can get whatever case he wishes. I just recommend one with good airflow (since he wants cool temps and quiet). The one I suggested has (2) 120mm fans which will keep things really cool and will be very quiet compared to the buzzy 80mm fans that most cheap case come with. Keep these things in mind. Antec do make nice cases too.

4) For the motherboard I would go with the Chaintech VNF4 which is very cheap and stable.

5) I would go with (2) 1 gig sticks of pc3200. Corsair value select would do you justice.

6) For video you dont really need the most powerful to just run cad....A geforce 6600 would be plenty. You can pick them up sub 100bucks

Dont worry about the brand issue. Once he gets it he will be extremely pleased. We shall convert him ;-)
November 29, 2005 8:32:55 PM

Quote:
2) Actually either processor would be plenty for his apps. I run autocad, microstation/geopak work on a 733mhz p3 and it runs fine. Sure it is slow at times but seriously either would be sufficent. Most apps today arent even developed to fully take advantage of mulitcore technology but do as you wish.


You are 100% right, most programs arn't designed for dual cores and the 2nd core is often wasted.....but not for CADS programs, Photoshop, Maya, 3DStuido Max, and others. They actually are coded to handle dual core as well as a full multi threaded so you could have 200 Cpus working on some of them.
November 29, 2005 10:40:10 PM

Thats pretty sweet. I didnt know that. :( 
November 29, 2005 10:50:23 PM

Thats why companies like Pixar can use render farms....just a bunch of CPUs to render their movies.....otherwise if they were single threaded they would still be rendering toystory1 for the next 25years.
November 30, 2005 2:32:20 AM

Since CAD are optimize for multi-thread, I guess "dual" is the way to go... my question now is dual-core or dual-cpu?

From the article Single-Core CPUs Ain't Dead Yet , it seems that for high-end PC, the dual-cpu format is more cost effective(perhaps because memory and motherboard are pricier as well), and provide option for upgrade later (changing 2 single core cpu into 2 dual-core when the price drop).

From my previous experience (2+ years ago) with dual cpu (intel), there is still heavy bottleneck due to the northbridge/southbridge design. Does AMD's Hyper Transport fix such problems? Should I cosider buying 2 AMD 64 instead of the X2?

Thanks again for all the information you guys have provided.
November 30, 2005 2:36:47 AM

Get an X2, its your best choice.
!