Building for stability

I want to build a system designed for reliability and processing power with a reasonable price tag. the main purpose of the system will be encoding and trans coding videos, image editing, and large storage array to keep all the completed work. Because stability and reliability matter most to me I will not be overclocking. I can't seem to find many reviews of motherboards focusing on stability of the system so I want to hear your opinion on platforms and processors with this end goal in mind. In the past I have been very preferential to AMD but they don't seem to keep up with Intel these days on almost any performance metric however they seem to offer a more well rounded feature set in their chipset with the 790G. with all that said I'll layout some of my expectations and see what comes back from all of you.

must be at least a dual core preferably quad core >2GHz (please recommend)

motherboard must include 1394 fire wire and PCIE 2.0(please recommend)

I expect 3-4 GB of ram (plenty of proven RAM modules out there but if you recommend a DDR3 system or a FB-DDR2 system feel free to put in your 2cents there as well)

stable, reliable, and efficient power supply (please recommend)

I'm not worried about the hard drives given that there are plenty of proven drives out there (I will probably run 3-4 drives 1 for main applications plus a raid array for storage. if budget allows I will make 2 raid arrays but I'll leave that for the end)

Graphics card is not a high importance because the system will not be focused on gaming however I expect to find a reasonably capable card

over all I want to spend around a $1000 more is ok but I must keep it below $2000

I am running a very old system currently and it just can't keep up with my current needs so I know anything will be a major improvement but I want to look for a system that can stand the test of time as I only make incremental upgrades over the years but don't replace the full system for several years. just for a laugh my current system info is below:

Athalon 64 3000 (754 socket)
NForce 3 250GB chipset
1.5GB DDR 400 RAM
x1600 PRO 512MB AGP graphics card
and almost 1TB in storage (from 4 drives not in a raid array 120,160,200,500GB)
7 answers Last reply
More about building stability
  1. The Asus 780g should be a good motherboard for your needs. It has very good onboard graphics, and supports raid configurations 0/1/10.

    For the processor I would go with the Phenom 9750. Solid quad core from what I've read and it will not break the bank.
  2. Will you be wanting to keep the RAID controller on the motherboard or will you use a 3rd party controller?
  3. How many watts is that 9750? The 780g cannot reliably support 125W processors. Considering the OP's stated use, an Intel CPU is probably the better choice. The current Wolfdale CPUs support the new SSE4 instructions, which may apply directly to encoding apps. I was able to get a Q9450, and I understand Microcenter may have them again for $299. I do not have personal experience with a mobo that meets your specifications, so I will leave that to others.
    Something like an HD3650 would probably suffice. It would certainly be a leap up from what you have now. If you do think you might play some games, you might prefer an HD3850 or even an HD3870; avoid Diamond as a brand.
  4. rozar said:
    Will you be wanting to keep the RAID controller on the motherboard or will you use a 3rd party controller?

    Probably leave it to the motherboard for RAID as good controller cards get costly very fast.
  5. The stated requirement for PCIE-2.0 does not make sense.
    If you are not heavy into gaming, this will not matter.
    Even then it would be of little use.

    I would start the build around the Q6600 CPU which can be had for around $200-$225. Fry's was just selling them for $190, but the sale is now over.

    The Look at the Gigabyte DS3P as a good starting point.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128083
    It has FireWire and is should be extremely reliable.

    Combined, this should be around $375 or a little less.

    The next item I would toss in is the ANTEC SONATA III Case/CPU Combo.
    It includes the Antec Earth Watts 500 whic is very good quality and 80+ Certified for efficiency. This will cost you about $100 online, but often can be found for less.

    I concur with the HD3650/HD3750/HD3850.
    They don't use alot of power and are great at what you are looking to do.

    From that baseline, one of the first things I would look at upgrading is the CPU. As JTT mentioned, the Q9450 is an excellent choice. While the performance difference is not great at this point in time from the Q6600, the added SSE4 instructions will significantly help in the next 1-2 years. Especially in what you will be doing.
  6. I would go Intel and since you will not be overclocking I would also use an Intel motherboard. The DP35DP is a board I have used several times for Corprate type builds lately and it is rock solid. It is also a desktop board with RAID 5 ability. Go with a Q9450 for Quad core or E8400 for dual core. The chassis is a very personal thing because it is what you will see when you look at your computer. I like the Antec 300 chassis and it will house 6 drives with plenty of cooling. (no annoying blue lights from hell either) You will need to add a video card to this because there is no onboard video card. Like the above said HD3850 or HD3870 would work well, or if you dont like ATI pick one from Nvidia.

    Basically build around DP35DP, either the 9450 or 8400 and buy the basic Crucial memory DDR2 800. No need to buy special overclocking memory for this build. Crucial is also rock solid.

    A few links for you......................

    http://www.intel.com/products/motherboard/DP35DP/index.htm

    http://www.crucial.com/store/partspecs.aspx?IMODULE=CT2KIT12864AA800

    http://www.antec.com/uk/productDetails.php?ProdID=08300
  7. zenmaster said:
    The stated requirement for PCIE-2.0 does not make sense.
    If you are not heavy into gaming, this will not matter.
    Even then it would be of little use.

    I would start the build around the Q6600 CPU which can be had for around $200-$225. Fry's was just selling them for $190, but the sale is now over.

    The Look at the Gigabyte DS3P as a good starting point.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128083
    It has FireWire and is should be extremely reliable.

    The next item I would toss in is the ANTEC SONATA III Case/CPU Combo.
    It includes the Antec Earth Watts 500 whic is very good quality and 80+ Certified for efficiency. This will cost you about $100 online, but often can be found for less.

    I concur with the HD3650/HD3750/HD3850.
    They don't use alot of power and are great at what you are looking to do.

    From that baseline, one of the first things I would look at upgrading is the CPU. As JTT mentioned, the Q9450 is an excellent choice. While the performance difference is not great at this point in time from the Q6600, the added SSE4 instructions will significantly help in the next 1-2 years. Especially in what you will be doing.


    The main reason for wanting PCIE 2.0 is future proofing I know any 2.0 card should be backwards compatible and the full interface bandwidth is far from being used but compatibility issues tend to worry me and not work as advertised.

    As for the case I have an old Antec full tower case that can probably be used. But I'll admit the SONATA is pretty and at that price to include the PS it would be worth it.

    Do you think the 500W will be sufficient?
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