$1000ish full system? specs

Hi all,

so, I'm building my first pc in about 12 years...yea, it's been awhile.

I've been doing some research, reading some bang for the buck articles, performance tests, etc....and this is what I've come up with. *I wish I bookmarked all the reviews and performance tests. if I find them again, I'll post here.

I plan to use this box for development purposes. I plan to use ms winserver 2008 and multiple VMs mostly to go through installs, configurations, and customizations of Ms products and servers.

Case: Antec 300
Total Price: $48

Power Supply: OCZ StealthXstream 600watt
Total Price: $37

Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45 - UD3P
Included: Driver disk, 1 SATA power cable, 1 SATA signal cable, 1 SATA bracket, 4 SATA 3Gb/s cables, 1 IDE cable, 1 Floppy disk drive cable
Total Price: $123

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400
Total Price: $191

Memory: OCZ four 2GB 1066 DDR2 - 8gb total
Total Price: $86

Hard Drives: I'd like to run the Raid 1 that comes with the motherboard. I realize that performance will suffer a bit, but I don't want to rebuild the system when the drive goes.
After reading this report, I'm leaning towards two 640gb Caviar Blues, even though they're marketed as an everyday hard drive.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/14380
Opinions? I'm open to other hard drive suggestions.
Total Price: $130

DVD +/-RW drive: LG with lightscribe
Total Price: $24
Purchased Already.

Graphics Card: MSI 512mb 9600 GT
Includes: Driver Disk, HDTV Cable, S-Video Cable, Power Cable, DVI to VGA/D-sub Adapter, DVI to HDMI Adapter, S/PDIF Cable
Total Price: $71, minus whatever I get for selling Far Cry 2.
Purchased Already.

Monitors: I'd like 22" WS DVI monitors, but the only I've found so far has been Asus monitors to fit the budget, and they haven't had great reviews. I'm leaning towards 19/20" Acers. Hopefully this weekend will bring some sales.
Total Price: Based on my specs above...I have about $290 to spend on 2 monitors and dvi cables...Should I skimp on something else? Should I just spend a bit more?

Keyboard and mouse: I have a wireless combo I got for free and I've also got some that I plug in for the installs.


Any tips/advice/help would be great!

Cheers!
13 answers Last reply
More about 1000ish full system specs
  1. The WD 640 Black (WD6401AALS) is a little faster than the blue (WD6400AAKS).
    Both are very good disks anyway.

    You haven't listed an aftermarket cooler and you haven't mentioned overclocking. I suggest using DDR2-800 instead of DDR2-1066 if you're not into overclocking. Edit: in fact, you should NOT overclock since you're doing work on this PC and stability is essential.

    You could downgrade to GA-EP45-UD3R and save a few bucks, unless you expect to use 3 or 4 monitors eventually.
  2. thanks for the tips...

    Noted about the hard drive...

    So, an aftermarket cooler is essential with this system? Any suggestions for this setup?

    Why the 800 over the 1066, isn't faster better? ;)
    I just this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/244328-30-ddr2-1066
    It looks like there's a bit of science, art, and some patience needed to get these 1066's to work efficiently. I'm open to overclocking the cpu, but I haven't begun to go down that path yet.

    I've read nothing but stellar reviews everywhere I looked about the ud3p, so I'm confident I'll stick with it. Unless, some other crazy deal comes along in the next week...
  3. The thread you referenced is old but has some good points.

    First off, populating all four slots on a P45 motherboard takes some extra twiddling and patience. This is all made easier if the voltage of the RAM is lower.

    For that reason, I would recommend:

    G.skill PI Black 800mhz
    or, if you are going to overclock beyond 400FSB
    G.Skill 1100Mhz

    Both of those have very low voltage requirements, and yet perform well.

    As mentioned in that other thread, faster is not better when it comes to DDR2 in an LGA775 board. Simply increasing the speed of the RAM does not help performance, but overclocking helps. RAM might NEED to be faster then to match the speed of the CPU, and so having RAM capable of higher speeds can be good, if you intend to overclock.
  4. the difference between 800 and 1066 is extremely small. it's not worth the extra money. also, if you're going to be working with alot of VM's, i would suggest getting a better cpu, maybe a Q9450 or Q9550. an i7 system would be a little out of your budget.
  5. what's up Nik!
    Thanks....Here's the thing about the RAM. I thought it might be worth 10 bucks more, because that's the cheapest 800 RAM I could find.

    I read a lot of forums/reviews talking about overclocking the 9400 to 3.0ghz is very well within reach for the 9400. Do you think that's enough? At closer look on the intel site, I see that the 12mb cache looks mighty tempting... Here's the review I read about the processors... http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,2845,2336852,00.asp

    Yea, I priced out an i7 first...but, it looks like it will run me about 300 bucks more.


    Nik_I said:
    the difference between 800 and 1066 is extremely small. it's not worth the extra money. also, if you're going to be working with alot of VM's, i would suggest getting a better cpu, maybe a Q9450 or Q9550. an i7 system would be a little out of your budget.
  6. tsamo said:
    thanks for the tips...

    So, an aftermarket cooler is essential with this system? Any suggestions for this setup?


    I'm open to overclocking the cpu, but I haven't begun to go down that path yet.




    Yes, if you really want to overclock you should get an aftermarket cooler. I'd recommend the Xigmatek Dark Knight.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029
  7. well...I think I finally get it....
    for 1066, the dram needs to be 533. This would move my memory multiplier to 2 and my clock multiplier to its lowest setting-6. However, that moves my clock speed to 3.19. I have a feeling that the stock cooler won't handle this high speed and I won't try it until I have an aftermarket cooler....

    So, I think I either should've bought 800 memory, a faster processor, or an aftermarket fan.

    arg....oh well...
  8. To run the RAM at 1066 change the voltage and timings to the manufacturer specs and then change the FSB to memory ratio.
  9. Get this combo instead of the P45 and Q9400: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.165047

    $288.99 for a Phenom II 940BE and a nice Gigabyte 780GX mobo. Insane deal.

    And get the Pi Blacks.
  10. 790GX... Yeah, that's excellent value. Trades blows with a Q9550/GA-EP45-UD3P in game benchmarks and has similar features and it's $100 less.

    LOL, I just recommended it to somebody else in the thread before this one :)
  11. aevm said:
    790GX... Yeah, that's excellent value. Trades blows with a Q9550/GA-EP45-UD3P in game benchmarks and has similar features and it's $100 less.

    LOL, I just recommended it to somebody else in the thread before this one :)


    Newegg just cost the price of the 940 by another $20. Nice :sol:
  12. so, i probably need a faster proc or a new cpu fan to keep the 1066, right?
    It's either that or just be happy with 800...right?


    tsamo said:
    well...I think I finally get it....
    for 1066, the dram needs to be 533. This would move my memory multiplier to 2 and my clock multiplier to its lowest setting-6. However, that moves my clock speed to 3.19. I have a feeling that the stock cooler won't handle this high speed and I won't try it until I have an aftermarket cooler....

    So, I think I either should've bought 800 memory, a faster processor, or an aftermarket fan.

    arg....oh well...
  13. tsamo said:
    so, i probably need a faster proc or a new cpu fan to keep the 1066, right?


    No.
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