Please advise on my new (first time) custom build.

Please advise on my new (first time) custom build.

I am not a gamer but I do some video editing, 3D CAD, and a lot of digital picture editing.
Budget under $1,000 and must be very upgradeable.

The computer I have now, was a Dell XPS 500 I upgraded to the maximum and have been very happy with the 10-year lifespan.

For now I will use the existing (2) CRT monitors, keyboard, mouse, and maybe PCI board(s), Win XP.

New build:
Case & PSU - Antec Sonata III with Antec Earthwatts EA-500 - $99.99 Newegg
Motherboard - ASUS P5Q-E - $159.99 Newegg
CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz - $169.99 Newegg
Memory - mushkin 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Timing 4-4-4-12 Voltage1.9V - $53.99 Newegg
Graphics board - ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP – Retail - $182.99 Newegg
HDD - ? Help please.

8 answers Last reply
More about please advise first time custom build
  1. I would get a velociraptor and a big 7200rpm drive for backup and mass storage.
  2. Western Digital 640MB SATA fast, good size and cheap at $85
    E8500 for only an extra $20
    all else looks good
  3. If you're not a gamer, save a lot of money on your graphics card by getting a HD3650.
    I have read that video editing software may benefit from a quad core CPU. Check out a Q9450 or Q9550. Unlike the Q6600, they have the new SSE4 instructions that some graphics software may be able to use.
    I agree with dirtmountain on the HDD. Depending on the criticality of your work, get two for RAID-1 or at least three for RAID-5.
  4. did tirez miss that this is a 1k build?

    +1 to the wd 640mb best price per gb you are going to find.
    Dual core vs quadcore is sort of in limbo right now. if you were strictly gaming i would probably recommend the dual core as higher clock for the money. but with video editing and CAD you can take advantage of 4 cores. might be in your best interest to look into the q6600. you can even do a little overclock pretty easily if you need a little more speed from it.

    ram - typically i recommend getting 1.8v ram. this is standard. anything with the voltage increased is typically to get the cl down. so sort of a company overclock. better to get it at its typical (jedec standard) and then oc if necessary. mushkin is great ram so might want to try and see what the price is for that same brand but 1.8 v (probably around $45 so save you a little)

    great choices on board and gpu

    system would be very upgradeable but as far as future use with newer programs, games etc you would probably want 4gb ram and vista 64 bit. but that is something you can do later when you have the money and you would only be out the $50 on ram you are spending right now.
  5. didn't see jtt283's post when i wrote. would agree with q9450 or 9550 if you can fit it in the budget. those are a big improvement but q6600 is a good alternative if you can't.
  6. Thank you all for your help. I made some of the changes you suggested.

    Changed to:
    CPU - Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz

    Memory - Mushkin 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 - timing 5-5-5-12 Voltage 1.8V

    Graphics board - SAPPHIRE 100236L Radeon HD 3650 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16
    HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card – Retail

    HDD - Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s

    $99.99 Case & PSU
    $159.99 MB
    $189.99 CPU
    $44.99 Memory
    $59.99 Graphics
    $84.99 HDD
    $639.94 Total before mail in rebates.

  7. You are well under budget. considering your usage i would look into a quadcore. your uses may take advantage and as far as future I would expect more and more programs are going to take advantage of multithreading. the q9550 is only $5 more than the Q9450. So basically if you go quad. I would pick between the 9550 and the q6600. Q9550 is best but most expensive. Q6600 is a good value and good overclocker. worth considering.

    q9550 - $325 2X6mb cache 2.83ghz 1333mhz fsb
    multimedia instruction: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4, EM64T

    q6600 - $190 2x4mb cache 2.4 ghz 1066mhz fsb
    multimedia instruction: MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3,SSSE3, EM64T
  8. +1 @ bdollar

    Going with a Q6600 has zero effect on the total cost, and even upgrading to the much better Q9550 still leaves you $225 under budget. Unless that $1000 budget was a worst-case-scenario, "I'll spend it but only under threat of death" kinda budget, I'd strongly suggest jumping up to the Q9550.

    If you can wait a couple months, nahelam will be coming out soon and the holiday shopping season will also be starting. So if you're really hesitant to spend $325 on a processor, you'll probably be able to get it cheaper if you can wait a little bit. No guarantees, but it'd make sense that Intel would cut prices on the old generation of stuff when the new generation hits the market.
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