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$1000 CAD Core System after April 22nd <-- Fix My Setup

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April 20, 2007 11:25:09 PM

I'm shooting for a core system price under $1000. I'll be ordering this after the 22nd. I'd especially like to hear whether I should be using one of the CPUs being released next week (the 6420, etc) or whether a quad makes any sense for me.

I'll be using this for CAD, movie editing, Photoshop, and general multi-tasking. I would like the computer to be stable and "safe." That is, any OCing should be bulletproof (and, also, simple enough for me to execute.)

Here is the setup I have so far, but I'd appreciate any help because I don't have much of a clue, especially in terms of the PS, motherboard, and memory.

I am only confident in the case, video card, and hard drive -- everything else is suspect.

(everything from NewEgg)

CPU
$196.00
Intel Core 2 Duo E6400 Conroe 2.13GHz
LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6400 - Retail
Item #: N82E16819115004

MOTHERBOARD
$108.99
MSI P6N SLI-FI LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 650i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813130082

MEMORY
$106.99
Kingston 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300)
Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model KVR667D2N5K2/2G - Retail
Item #: N82E16820134046

VIDEO CARD
$139.99 ($30.00 Mail-in Rebate)
BFG Tech BFGR76256GTOCE GeForce 7600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Item #: N82E16814143049

POWER SUPPLY (I'd really like this to be efficient and free of blue LEDs or other silliness.)
$129.99
SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W Power Supply - Retail
Item #: N82E16817151027

CASE
$49.99
COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 CAC-T05-UW Black Aluminum Bezel, SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119068

HDs
$159.98 ($79.99 each)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3320620AS (Perpendicular Recording Technology) 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822148140

DVD 1
$17.99
LG Black E-IDE/ATAPI DVD-ROM Multi Read Drive Model GDR-8164BK - OEM
Item #: N82E16827136083

DVD 2
$29.99
LG 18X DVD±R Super-Multi DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE Model GSA-H42N-BK - OEM
Item #: N82E16827136108


Subtotal: $939.91

Also, do you guys think there will be any ordering problems at NewEgg immediately after the 22nd? I can imagine there will be a glut of orders.


Thanks
April 21, 2007 1:19:55 AM

Why the SLI mobo? It's a good board, but sounds like you don't need it at all. I concur on the DS3......absolute winner.....rock solid, stable, not picky about RAM, will overclock like a champ if you want, good features, easy to understand BIOS, and won't break the bank. A proven winner.

If you do decide to overclock at some point, you won't be able to with that RAM. You'll need something that is DDR-667 at the very least.

Next, consider the Coolermaster 534 instead....better drive layout and cooling for the same price.

Excellent PSU it's absolutely top shelf, good graphics card, good hard drive, DVDs are fine.


Other than those few comments, looks like you're set. It'll handle all CAD no problem. If you plan on doing 3D renderings, Viz, etc.....then better RAM and a good overclock will give a huge performance boost. But for basic 2D and 3D modelling and linework, this setup will do just fine.
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April 21, 2007 1:29:58 AM

Questions, why do you need 2 DVDs? one is plenty for most people. Ram and Cache will be your friend, get all you can. Wait a week and see what the new 4 mb CPU are priced. For Photoshop, you might want to go 3 gb. Also 2 drives add to the mix for rending and filters
April 22, 2007 8:13:06 PM

Yes, it will be compatible with the new-this-week cpus. I'd definitely suggest getting an E6420 over the E6400 - same price and 2MB more cache.
April 22, 2007 8:44:41 PM

id remove one of the dvd drives, if youre buying two due to copy protection for games/apps then just create an iso image of the dvd and mount it with daemon tools

Id also change the 320Gig to a 400Gig drive, its only a tiny bit more expensive, maybe $20
April 23, 2007 1:56:04 AM

Thanks for all of the help guys, I made almost all of the changes you suggested.

A few last questions:
- Any suggestions for memory on the Gigabyte 965P? The manufacturer's list of approved RAM is short.

- Is there anything else I'm missing here? Annoying, little things like cables? I'm not sure if my HDs come with SATA cables, so I guess I'll order some. I'll be going with the stock CPU heatsink because I'm not OCing (for now.)


------------CPU
$196.00 (hopefully less)
E6420 Intel Core 2 Duo

------------MOTHERBOARD
$129.99
GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 (rev. 1.3) LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
Item #: N82E16813128042

------------MEMORY
$121.98 ($60.99 each)
Patriot 1GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Desktop Memory Model PSD21G8002 - Retail
Item #: N82E16820220088

------------VIDEO CARD
$110 (bought off eBay, $230+ new)
nVidia Quadro FX560 128mb

------------POWER SUPPLY
$129.99
SeaSonic S12 Energy Plus SS-550HT ATX12V / EPS12V 550W
Item #: N82E16817151027

------------CASE
$49.99
COOLER MASTER Centurion 534
RC-534-KKN2-GP Black Aluminum & Mesh bezel / SECC Chassis ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail
Item #: N82E16811119106

------------HDs
$159.98 ($79.99 each)
Seagate Barracuda 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
Item #: N82E16822148140

------------DVD 1
$29.99
LG 18X DVD±R Super-Multi DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM
Item #: N82E16827136108


------------OTHER ITEMS

BELKIN F8E093 Anti-Static Wrist Strap - $7.99
Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - $5.99
LINKSKEY LKA-CR15B 19-in-1 USB 2.0 Black Card Reader/Writer - $12.99
(2) Athena Power MR-135B Black Aluminum SATA Mobile Hard Drive Rack - $49.98 ($24.99 each)

Subtotal: $939.91
April 23, 2007 2:19:18 AM

Any DDR2 RAM should work in the DS3. I'm a fan of 1.8 or 1.9 volt DDR2-800 (then again, I got an E6600 so I will not need to overclock the RAM so running cooler is important (which generally means lower volts)).

Make sure to get the Rev 3.3 DS3 instead of the 1.3 (it's actually cheaper than the 1.3 right now). Rev 3.3 supports 1333 FSB and quad-core (future upgradability).

OEM HDDs almost never come with cables. However, retail DS3 mobo (at least Rev 3.3) does come with a few.
April 23, 2007 2:21:28 AM

the mobo will have sata cables with it, i think that video card may be crap tbh, get a 7600gs instead if you can & you dont want to spend much
April 23, 2007 2:50:15 AM

Thanks for the help...I'll be sure to get the Rev 3.3 MB.

As for the Quadro FX560, everything I've read says that it will beat most gamer cards in OpenGL applications (like Solidworks) which is what I'm interested in. It's an added bonus that I won't even have the option of getting hooked on video games since it sucks that.

And, anyways, I have already bought it and I got a good deal.

thanks
April 23, 2007 3:45:48 AM

If you want it for graphics work, the Quadro are generally very good cards.

If you want it for gaming, they tend either be overpriced (for a recent one) or not support newer features.

Disclaimer: This info is from memory from looking into the a couple years ago and seeing a few tidbits since.
April 23, 2007 4:00:07 AM

Wil, I just realized that your sig looks AWFULLY familiar........maybe I've seen it somewhere........can't.......put..........my finger........on it though.

Hmmm.......


*checks Wil's sig*

*checks Skyguy's sig*


I know it's here somewhere, the answer is close.............



:wink:
a b B Homebuilt system
April 23, 2007 4:28:11 AM

Quote:
Wil, I just realized that your sig looks AWFULLY familiar........maybe I've seen it somewhere........can't.......put..........my finger........on it though.

Hmmm.......


*checks Wil's sig*

*checks Skyguy's sig*


I know it's here somewhere, the answer is close.............



:wink:


Looks like someone likes your specs ALOT!!!
April 23, 2007 4:41:51 AM

Quote:
Wil, I just realized that your sig looks AWFULLY familiar........maybe I've seen it somewhere........can't.......put..........my finger........on it though.

Hmmm.......

*checks Wil's sig*

*checks Skyguy's sig*

I know it's here somewhere, the answer is close.............

:wink:


Yep. I already had a relatively similar system specced out before even posting on these boards. With some changes (MSI mobo -> DS3, Corsair PSU -> Seasonic) and some happenstance (NewEgg out of Tuniq and Ultra-120 so I ordered Noctua NH-U12F and fans from somewhere else), my system ended up being very similar to yours. Ironically, I think I ordered the Noctua NH-U12F before you had decided to use it over your modified Zalman (or, at least, before you changed your sig).

Not really too surprising as you seem to know what you're doing and you're one of the few other people I've seen list quiet as a system priority.

I admit I blatantly stole the format of your sig as I like the compact two-line format (vs 10-ish lines I've seen for some other people).
April 23, 2007 4:44:54 AM

LOL. I did have to do a double-take on the sig layout LOL.


Hey, what can I say? A quiet build is a quiet build. There are only so many components out there that will achieve performance AND quiet, right? This combination seems to work well.

Although, you have more money than I do with that GTX and those Raptors ;) 

How loud ARE those Raptors anyway? And do they really make that much difference??


[/off topic]
April 23, 2007 4:46:10 AM

Looks great! With that extra cash go for another 2x512 MB of Gskill and you're set to go! :) 
April 23, 2007 12:48:25 PM

[off topic]

I decided to "burn" the extra money for a GTX as I've never spent more than $200-ish on a graphics card before (and usually end up upgrading 1-2 times). I figured this time, I'd try the top-of-the-line since I knew I wanted a DX10 card.

I haven't built the new system yet (still waiting on the last few orders to arrive) but I have a 36GB and 74GB Raptor in my current computer and they are very quiet (the whole system is virtually silent except the optical drives).

They definitely make a difference. I've never done an objective test to find out exactly how much. With the better performance from perpendicular recording 7200 drives, it's probably not really worth the price.
April 23, 2007 12:55:00 PM

Quote:
Thanks for the help...I'll be sure to get the Rev 3.3 MB.

As for the Quadro FX560, everything I've read says that it will beat most gamer cards in OpenGL applications (like Solidworks) which is what I'm interested in. It's an added bonus that I won't even have the option of getting hooked on video games since it sucks that.

And, anyways, I have already bought it and I got a good deal.

thanks

my bad, we have a few quadros at work and i didnt really like them, but if the performace is the best with openGL then great buy :) 

Best of luck with the rig
April 25, 2007 3:18:24 PM

How are you setting up your HDs?

you may want to get 1 more small one for a photoshop scratch disk and system swap space.
With you want vista then you should have 4GB of RAM for and photoshop.
2 GB should be ok if you are useing XP.[/code]
April 26, 2007 2:03:38 PM

Thanks for your help guys, the parts are arriving.

I accidentally got the rev 1.3 Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 motherboard instead of the rev 3.3 (despite suggestions to the contrary.) For a non-OC rig, should I bother returning it? The rev 1.3 does support FSB 1333mhz.

Here is the info I found online:

* Rev. 1.0: FSB 1066MHz, one system fan header, ALC883 (Vista Basic Logo)
* Rev. 1.3: FSB 1333MHz, one system fan header, ALC883
* Rev. 2.0: FSB 1066MHz, three system fan headers, ALC888 (Vista Premium Logo)
* Rev. 3.3: FSB 1333MHz, three system fan headers, ALC888


And Joe, I was considering running my main HDs in raid 1 with my auxiliary drives acting as a scratch disk (but it would be nice to have a small, dedicated drive like you suggested.)
April 26, 2007 2:34:03 PM

the rev 3.3 has Quad support, does yours? I think I would keep it, since most of the differences are minor.
April 26, 2007 2:52:03 PM

I need the extra fan headers, but not everyone does. Unless you need those headers, I would think all that extra hassle isn't worth the return.....?
!