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Speed and stability - no gaming

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May 3, 2009 3:59:00 AM

My current system is getting flaky so I thought I would see what a new one would go for. Its been a long time since I built this one, though, and would appreciate your insights.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:If the price is right, now. But if there's something on the horizon (1-2 months) that will push the price down I can wait.... maybe.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Programming, Programming, Programming. That means I'll have my IDE (Eclipse) up, a database or two running (usually Oracle, but I'm gonna start doing DB2) including whatever console or devtool they have, usually a websever and appserver running. some kind of spec in a design tool and Pandora dishing tunes. I'd like to start using VirtualBox more as well. Web, YouTube, email, etc as well, but its firing up the app I'm working on and having all those servers talking is where I'll want the power to be. No gaming (aside from the occasional Flash game) or overcloking.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard (they don't even make mine anymore), mouse (same), speakers, monitor (for now); given my needs and what comes on a modern MOBO I really can't see a separate sound, video card, or wireless lan.Probably keep my CD and DVD drives.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've always used mWave, but it doesn't matter. I typically prefer service to price, though.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU - Duo or Quad; I've always had Corsair memory, but again, I'm not beholden to them. WD SATA3 drives (2 x 1TB mirrored, spin rate is not too critical, but I think I saw some at mWave with a lot of cache); MOBO I have no clue and this is honestly I think where I could use the most help. I prefer a full tower and whatever powersupply is the most stable.If I can use my existing that would be great.(Evermax 465P-VE)

OVERCLOCKING: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280 x 1024, but I bought my mom and dad a really nice widescreen LCD and I have been jealous ever since.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need speed and power, but think GTO not Formula One. Stability is also key. It needs to run Linux (Ubuntu), but the impression that I get is that its usually the video or audio drivers that cause problems and I'll using whatever the generic onboard stuff is. I'm torn between Dual/Quad core. I'm thinking about 64 bit, but not much.

That you very much for your help.

More about : speed stability gaming

May 3, 2009 4:06:24 AM

norm114 said:
My current system is getting flaky so I thought I would see what a new one would go for. Its been a long time since I built this one, though, and would appreciate your insights.

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE:If the price is right, now. But if there's something on the horizon (1-2 months) that will push the price down I can wait.... maybe.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Programming, Programming, Programming. That means I'll have my IDE (Eclipse) up, a database or two running (usually Oracle, but I'm gonna start doing DB2) including whatever console or devtool they have, usually a websever and appserver running. some kind of spec in a design tool and Pandora dishing tunes. I'd like to start using VirtualBox more as well. Web, YouTube, email, etc as well, but its firing up the app I'm working on and having all those servers talking is where I'll want the power to be. No gaming (aside from the occasional Flash game) or overcloking.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Keyboard (they don't even make mine anymore), mouse (same), speakers, monitor (for now); given my needs and what comes on a modern MOBO I really can't see a separate sound, video card, or wireless lan.Probably keep my CD and DVD drives.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I've always used mWave, but it doesn't matter. I typically prefer service to price, though.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel CPU - Duo or Quad; I've always had Corsair memory, but again, I'm not beholden to them. WD SATA3 drives (2 x 1TB mirrored, spin rate is not too critical, but I think I saw some at mWave with a lot of cache); MOBO I have no clue and this is honestly I think where I could use the most help. I prefer a full tower and whatever powersupply is the most stable.If I can use my existing that would be great.(Evermax 465P-VE)

OVERCLOCKING: No

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280 x 1024, but I bought my mom and dad a really nice widescreen LCD and I have been jealous ever since.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I need speed and power, but think GTO not Formula One. Stability is also key. It needs to run Linux (Ubuntu), but the impression that I get is that its usually the video or audio drivers that cause problems and I'll using whatever the generic onboard stuff is. I'm torn between Dual/Quad core. I'm thinking about 64 bit, but not much.

That you very much for your help.


What's your budget and what country are you in ?
May 3, 2009 4:22:25 AM

The i7 sounds perfect for you, but like why_me said, without a set budget there is no way to make a recommendation. If you can afford $1200 or so, then you should build i7.
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May 3, 2009 5:20:21 AM

Thanks for the quick replies. As for country, USA. As for budget there really isn't one; my dad always told me "Whenever you buy something big ask to see top of the line model and get then get the one right below it". That's the kinda sweet spot I was looking for, if that makes sense. I was over at NewEgg and Pricewatch and saw the i7. Nice, but none of the motherboards I saw had onboard video. If you want a hard number it would be in the 500-800 range, but I can just see this going from a 'GTO' to Formula One, real quick. Again. I have a bad habit of doing that. :-)
May 3, 2009 6:29:11 AM

Well to be honest, I don't think you should be looking at getting onboard graphics. Yes its nice to get a MB that has onboard graphics because you wouldn't need a discrete GPU, but here's the problem with that: Only AMD motherboards have worthwhile onboard graphics chipsets, and AMD processors lag behind Intel processors in your uses. The Intel GMA4500 is alright, but you won't find it on any Full sized ATX boards with it. Just get a cheap GPU, like an HD 4350 or something for $30.
May 3, 2009 6:35:49 AM

Think about something like this:
Optical: LG DVD Drive
Case: Antec 300
HDD: 2x WD1001FALS
GPU: HD 4350
PSU: Corsair 450VX
Ram: Corsair 4gb DDR2-800 CL5
CPU/MB combo: Asus P5Q Pro and Q9550
Total of that is like $822 with shipping included, and then you get $45 MIR. The two 1TB drives kinda kill the budget, so if you need to fit an OS in that budget, I would drop one of those. Although I would give Win7 a try, its getting very good now, and its free. Some people say its better than Vista already.
May 3, 2009 9:19:23 AM

$469.90 free shipping

For rendering/encoding the i7 reigns supreme but this ain't no slouch plus mobo has been tested good to go with Ubuntu, Fedora, Vista 64 and Win 7 ^^
May 3, 2009 8:57:28 PM

xthekidx said:

Total of that is like $822 with shipping included, and then you get $45 MIR. The two 1TB drives kinda kill the budget, so if you need to fit an OS in that budget, I would drop one of those. Although I would give Win7 a try, its getting very good now, and its free. Some people say its better than Vista already.


I think you're right on the 2x1TB's killing the budget. As I mentioned my current system is starting to get flaky and I'd already lost access to one of my drives. So I ran out, got a1TB WD MyBook with ethernet connection, ran a data recovery tool, and am storing off everything that it finds (the wife was freaking about the kids' pics; to heck with my code, right?). Having that now and using it for regular backups (and this time I mean it..... again) I think makes the 2X1TB overkill. Moving to a WD640 frees up $125 of budget that I could lay into a better video card. As I mentioned, I'm jealous of the ViewSonics I bought mom and dad and once I get through this I'll probably look at getting myself one.

I think you are spot on with the CPU. For the motherboard, I'm researching and beginning to lean towards a Gigabyte in particular the GA-EP45-UD3R For memory I was thinking Corair 4gb DDR1066. As I mentioned before I'm thinking about 64 bit, but it kind of depends on how I can allocate enough memory to the virtual machines. I like having prebuilt servers stored as virtual machines then firing them up only when I need them instead of always running in the background (plus it gives me a truer test environment since I'm navigating the network to connect instead just looping back). This would allow me to expand if I can do it in 32bit Linux or even move to a dual boot 32/64 arrangment. The big problem is that when you start creating VM's they all want a full machines worth of RAM.

Also, do you think it would be possible to keep the PSU and case (or at least the case; its a full tower and quite roomy).

So to summarize where I'm at now....
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550: 270
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-EP45-UD3R : 119-15MIR = 104
HD: WD640 :75
RAM: Corair 4gb DDR1066: 75 - 20 MIR = 55

That's $400 (if I can re use my case and PSU), plus a better than average (but not crazy/Crossfire/SLI) VidCard. Suggestions on that would be great, but I'll heading to the Ubuntu forums soon to validate this as well and to get more details on the whole video driver thing. Apparently that seems to be a real sore point.

What do you think?



May 4, 2009 12:39:50 AM

If you will overclock a lot on this build then DDR2 1066 is a good idea, but thats only if you are aiming for a FSB of like 450 or better, which is a pretty high overclock. The Q9550 has an 8.5x multiplier, so 450x8.5=3.82ghz...I don't know what your OC'ing plans are. If you don't plan on OC'ing, then there is no reason to get DDR2 1066 ram, since the LGA 775 platform cannot really make use of anything faster than DDR2 800. Only reason to get faster ram is so that you won't get a ram limitation when you are trying to overclock. Overclocking to that extent would also require a better CPU cooler, which will cost you about $40.

Edit: Ok I see you said you wouldn't overclock. If that is the case then just get DDR2 800 with low timings (4-4-4-12 is what I aim for) and 1.8V or 1.9V.

That Gigabyte MB is a good one. However, the one that I suggested comes with the option of xfire if you wanted it (who knows maybe down the line you will pick up some games you want to try?), and since it is included in that combo deal its cheaper than that gigabyte board, which makes it a better deal IMO. Both MB's will overclock great. That Gigabyte MB and the Asus P5Q Pro are both excellent boards and if you know you will never use the second PCIEx16 slot, then you can get the UD3R...but the P5Q pro is cheaper and has more features...

That HDD is a great option too, very fast and reliable, but you might want to stick with 1TB...although honestly I don't know how much space your code takes up so maybe 640GB is enough.
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