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New Build, plz advice, for Educational purpose

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October 13, 2008 1:15:36 PM

Hai guys,
for my educational purpose i'm going to build a new PC, so tech guys at tomhardware community please help me.

First off, just a bit of background, i'm Learning the following Certification courses - MSCE, CCNP, RHCE, and some others.
my career path is in the computer Hardware and network side.
so to make my study and work easy at home, i'm trying to build a new system, so i can do lot of virtual machine works. - to test software, windows, and you know what..., and to make my study and work easy.

So the most important thing is the system should be able to run lot of virtual machines (at least 5 at a given time), so the performence is important but price comes first.

other things i would be doing in my pc would be :
1. Games (i'm not a hardcore gamer), but i play the following games,- MSTS, Trainz 2006, NFS (series) , C&C (series), Mafia, GTA (series) - (series means all versions). but i dont always play games in full graphics so dont recommend ATI 4870 or GT280.

2. Music, movies and internet browsing

3. development in Visual Studio 2008/ sometimes photoshop (rare)

4. Encoding Videos (DVD to Dvix), MPEG2 to Xvid, to flv, to 3g, and etc...

PC components should have/be
1. Intel SYSTEM
2. Intel Core 2 Quad
3. DDR2 Ram
4. MB makers: giga-byte, asus, msi
5. Intel P45, G45 Chipsets or P???
6. OS: Vista Ultimate x64

for now I have selected the following
1. MB: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P
2. RAM:
3. CPU:
4. VGA:
5. Soundcard:
6. HDD:
7. Power supply:

i'm trying to go for the max ram possible
i would like to hear about other Intel chipsets also ?

what kind of virtual images will i will be running?
Windows XP, 98, 2000, 2003, vista, 2008, Redhat, And others, but most of the time XP and 2003

and no Intel Core i7 advices,

the above ones are not must, but i would like it that way, you can advice me on your own idea.

so i have given the info all you need, but still something may be missing so please ask me.

and i live in sri lanka , outside US so no newegg, but please give me the newegg links to check the products out, (image, etc..)

so please help me build this system, thank you for your advices
October 13, 2008 1:58:50 PM

MB: P35-DS3L/P45-DS3L (the UD3P AFAIK has a few BIOS issues)

RAM: Any 2*2GB DDR2 800 from Corsair, Crucial, Patriot, G.Skill. If using 64 bit OS jump it up to 6-8GB since you are working on VMs.

CPU: Q6600 is the best bang for buck in most places.

GPU: Probably a 9600GT or may be a 8800GS/9600GSO.

HDD: I recommend the WD AAKS 640GB which is almost as fast as the old Raptors.

PSU: Corsair 450VX or any other good brand PSU. (ie Antec, OCZ,etc)

Case: Personal choice.

Not sure about prices there, but in US that would add up to ~ $ 550-570.

Also do you plan to OC?
October 13, 2008 2:53:22 PM

Good suggestions from Shadow.
Related resources
October 13, 2008 4:17:14 PM

huron said:
Good suggestions from Shadow.


+1 for shadow.


Also, omit the sound card. Onboard HD sound is very good.
October 15, 2008 3:23:27 AM

Hello guys,
thank you for your advices,

i wanted to know is
what about Intel P45 Chip ?
what about Intel new 45nm CPUs ?
you said Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P has few BIOS issues what are they ?
wont an bios update fix those
October 15, 2008 5:17:48 AM

The ATI HD4850 would be a great match GPU for your needs. The 45nm Q9550 would also be a great CPU since you will be running a lot of VM's and doing encoding, Photoshop, etc... You should also look into 8GB of RAM with 64-bit Vista. The extra RAM will come in handy with the virtual machines.

Here are some Newegg links so you can check out some specs, pics, etc...

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You can get 2 of these kits for 8GB. You should look for RAM that has low timings and runs at its rated speed at the standard 1.8v.

Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD6400AAKS 640GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS EAH4850/HTDI/512M Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Edit: The GA-EP45-UD3P you originally posted should work fine. It looks like a very nice board. I haven't heard of any BIOS problems with it. If it does have some minor problems, they should be fixed by a BIOS update like you said.
October 15, 2008 7:12:24 AM

shortstuff_mt, thank you very much, but little high price,

and when is intel price cut coming and anyone have any details on that, i hard that it was on 19/10/2008

I don't like doing the research and I know there are boatloads of tom people that would be willing to put in their two cents. So, basically I'd like you guys to 'build' a computer for me. that's why i asked.

I just don't have the time to do the research to get the most bang for my buck. I know there are people on here that have spent countless hours doing just that, and I am pretty sure they wouldn't mind helping me out. I'm looking for specific parts, what processor. There are hundreds. What video card, there are hundreds., what chipsets or Mainboards, what RAm
October 15, 2008 11:17:24 AM

^The problems with the UD3P BIOS is that some settings mainly the RAM voltages won't stick. Depending on the RAM you get this could be a problem. esp. for RAM higher than 1.8v. There was a thread about this at xs.
!