Building a future-proof general purpose desktop

I am in desparate need to upgrade my pc. Here are my current specs on my home pc. I understand that anything that I get will be several times as powerful than my current pc.

AMD Athlon 1800+
512MB pc2100 DDR RAM
Compaq motherboard
80 GB hard drive
ATI Radeon 9600 SE
Ubuntu 8.04

I will be using this for basic home movie video editing, web surfing, virtualization of several OS's, and possibly playing several RTS games or RPGs( C&C3 and Neverwinter Nights 2) occasionally. I would also like this to be future-proof for at least the next 5 years. My budget is 1000 dollars. I have some ideas what I would like but I would like a few opinions on alternatives, mainly in the video card section. Not really sure what would be adequate for these purposes. Thanks. I will post my ideas on a version of a build later.
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More about building future proof general purpose desktop
  1. 8800GTS
    4GB (2x2GB) of DDR2 800 RAM
    WD 640GB SATA HD
    Get almost any C2D and overclock to 2.7GHz or higher (definitely higher a year or two from now)
  2. For $1000 get a cheaper PCI-E 2.0 8800GT, 2 to 4GB of DDR2-1066 or DDR2-800 RAM, and a wolfdale CPU (if you can find one).

    Get a SATA\3gbps Hard drive that has 16\32mb cache and at least 7200rpm. (If you need more data, you can always use your old PC's drive as a backup device)

    I guess maybe get a Quad-Core CPU if you will be virtualizing multiple OSes and doing multi-tasking and video editing.

    Just use your old monitor and Windows, and you can build a really decent and future-proof PC that will last years, depending on how out-of-date you are willing to be at the time.
  3. not a helpful comment however, future proof is impossible in the computer world. Unless you have lot's of money.
  4. "Future proof" is one of those catch phrase that means jacksh*t.

    For example, the Wolfdales (Dual Core E8xxx) and Yorkfield (Quad Core Q9xxx) are socket T (LGA775). They represent the last generation before Intel introduces the Nehalem CPU which is socket B and H at the end of this year or beginning of next year. Those CPUs will not be compatible with LGA775 motherboards.

    If "future proofing" means 6 months - 12 months then okay, you can build a "future proof" PC.
  5. quad cores, and sixty four bits ago, our single core fathers set forth to build a future proof system that could be passed on to the kids....

    A 1 GHz p3 works great today for creating and editing documents, and cruising the web. in 5 years we may actually see straight 64 bit operating systems, and microsoft will likely still be around, so you'll need a bit of ram.

    Fast dual core plus 4 Gb of ram - leaving room to upgrade to 8 GB later on should last you a while. Quad core with 4 GB of ram, and a quality cooler, and a 500 GB hard drive will run more than excellently for years to come in all situations.

    hopefully by 2012 we will see fun technologies like bio or holographic storage, quantum computing, and direct brain connections, but we can't have everything.
  6. For a 5 year system I would go with a Q6600 cpu.

    Id build this system:

    Q6600 CPU 234.99 Free Shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115018

    Motherboard 89.99 + 7.00 Shipping Total 96.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059

    CPU Cooler 36.99 Free Shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233003

    Memory 84.00 Free Shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145176

    Case: 179.99 + 16.99 shipping Total 196.98
    http://www.clubit.com/product_detail.cfm?itemno=CA1306830

    Hard Drive 89.99 Free Shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136073

    Thermal Paste 5.99 + 4.99 Shipping Total 10.98
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007

    DVD Burner 33.99 Free Shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827151154

    Power Supply 89.99 + 10.25 Shipping Total 100.24
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139004

    Vista OS 99.99 Free Shipping
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116204

    Video Card 219.99 + 7.00 Shipping Total 226.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130337

    120mm case fans 9.99 + 5.99 Shipping (Qty 2) Total 31.96

    Total is 1244.09, of course there were some rebates in there you need to mail back, track each link and you can see how much they are so you will actually pay more and get back the rebates later making your actual total after rebates what I said above.

    This is a rig that I would personally build for that long of a period but you can tone it down by getting a different case, slightly cheaper video card (9600GT 179.99) cheaper dual core CPU and trimming off the 120mm case fans.

    This is just a suggestion and is a very solid build. Tweak a few things on the list to make it what you want price wise or keep it like it is and dig a little deeper to get a better system.

    Good luck...
  7. I agree theres little to no future proofing, but we can all agree the better the system the longer it should last, hypothetically.

    My previous system was a P4 3.0Ghz Prescott with an Asus P4C 800-E Deluxe motherboard and I used it over 4 years and sold the motherboard and processor for 200.00 on ebay. Thats about as future proof as you can get.

    So, you can make a system to last 4-5 years no problem but you will realize there are so many systems out there many times over faster than yours. If you can keep your mindset in reality you can make a system last longer than most of us allow... ;)
  8. Thanks everyone for the ideas. I have been thinking about Nehalem. my wife is letting me do this around Christmas this year. So that is Nehalem timeframe. I think that I will be looking at all Nehalem news until then to see if it would be worth it to build one based on the new architecture. I think that I would be shooting myself in the foot if I don't. I don't do anything anyone would consider "high-end" but I would like to start Folding@Home. So I am definitely thinking about, if I don't go Nehalem, that the q9300 or the Q9450 would do the job well. I think that I will try to max out the ram to 8 gigs since i will be running 64 bit vista and Linux.

    Ultimately I think that based on what I am using now, anything will be lightyears ahead of what I have now.
  9. This is the ideas that I have been thinking about for my new system

    NOTE: this is a rough list of components. unsure of motherboard to use. really like Asus P5E3( gotta have that express gate)

    q9450
    scythe ninja mini
    8gb ddr3 memory
    Asus P5E3
    Seagate 320gb and 1TB Sata 2 drives ( for the video editing)
    8800gt or if they release it 9800gt
    SATA DVD Burner
    Vista and Ubuntu
  10. Im using a Presler Pentuim D 3.2 that acts as my media center and it does folding @ home now and it does great. Folding @ home, as Im sure you know ramps up cpu useage when its idle and releases it when the system needs it for daily tasks. My cpu usually runs around 60-80% daily.

    If I were you, I would use the current system you have now to do the folding @ home to keep your new system totally free to do things you want to do. Thats just my opinion. My main rig doesnt have anything extra on it so I know its not junked up with programs running in the background slowing my system down. The less you install on your main rig the better offf you will be, IMO.

    From what your saying you will be doing, anything current will be well more than enough. Its good if you can wait a few months due to all of the releases coming out. So technically you will be better off in the long run for waiting as long as you can...
  11. Dont bother building a intel system at the moment, beacause the nehalem architecture is coming out end of this year and 2009, with this Intel are changing their sockets. if you need something now, your best bet would be to make a AMD system.
  12. englandr753 said:
    For a 5 year system I would go with a Q6600 cpu.

    Id build this system:

    Good luck...


    That would die in terms of enthusiast in one year, performance in 2.

    E2160 Build for now then jump on bloomfield/lynnfield IMO
  13. acidpython said:
    That would die in terms of enthusiast in one year, performance in 2.

    E2160 Build for now then jump on bloomfield/lynnfield IMO


    Ok, that will last 12 more months then what?...

    You can always wait and there will always be something better about to be released. If your always trying to stay on the cutting edge then what you say is true. Otherwise the Q6600 will do fine for a 4-5 year system.

    Read or Reread the OP's original post and it says "for basic home movie video editing, web surfing, virtualization of several OS's, and possibly playing several RTS games or RPGs( C&C3 and Neverwinter Nights 2) occasionally."

    Nothing about being an enthusiast and having bleeding edge technology for 5 years. ;)
  14. olimd said:
    Dont bother building a intel system at the moment, beacause the nehalem architecture is coming out end of this year and 2009, with this Intel are changing their sockets. if you need something now, your best bet would be to make a AMD system.


    Nah, you'd be better off with the Gigabyte all solid capacitor and E2180 OCed to 3.0GHz until Nehalem came out.
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