I need help choosing parts for a new PC. I need plenty of CPU power, so I've been looking at the i7 Core 920 CPU. But I'm less certain of which motherboard, memory, GPU and case to choose. My main priority is that all the parts should fit together nicely and not cause me a headache, as has happened when building PCs in the past.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Now
BUDGET RANGE: Should meet my needs at the lowest cost possible. I'm expecting to pay around $1000, but no limit really.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Stock trading (multiple real-time stock charts are very CPU intensive), blu-ray ripping, h.264 encoding, internet, watching movies.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, hard drives.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: I would prefer to buy from an online retailer in the US that charges no sales tax to California. I have free shipping with Amazon.
PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel i7 Core 920. No preference for the rest, other than that I want everything to fit together nicely without any compatibility problems.
OVERCLOCKING: No, SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, if not complicated to set up (or manage if you have to switch between SLI and 4 monitor setup).
VIDEO/GPU: Fanless, Perhaps HDMI for connecting directly to TV incl. audio?
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 4 monitors at 1920x1200, but should be able to add 2 more later if I want to (3rd GPU?).
OS: Plan to run Win XP 32-bit but upgrade to Win 7 next year.
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: My GPU power needs are modest as I'm not a gamer. However, please add an alternative that plays games nicely as well. I'm thinking that since I probably need two GPUs anyway, two cheaper cards could perform well with SLI or Crossfire? I also value a quiet computer and are looking for a quiet case (with a perfect fit for the motherboard), fanless graphics cards and maybe a custom quiet CPU cooler.
these are the parts I have chosen for my new i7 build. I would appreciate if anyone has comments. I'm worried that the 500W Power supply included with the case may not be enough. I'm planning on adding a second similar video card shortly. Also, I'm not sure about the video card. I want a fanless card that has enough juice for blu-ray. Perhaps I may as well go with the much cheaper recommended HIS Hightech H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 512MB from Newegg? Is there a fanless video card that has HDMI out incl. audio for my HDTV, but also regular 2xDVI?
I finally settled on the build below. The PC posted the first time and installing Windows 7 RC was painless. I couldn't be happier. I have installed three HIS H465PS512P Radeon HD 4650 in this computer with no problems, even though the power supply is only 500W. I haven't run the GPUs in Crossfire mode or played 3D games though, but for stock trading and other types of work it works beautifully.
The Sonata case looks great. Not so quiet as I had expected, but quiet enough. No grounding problems as other users have reported. Playing Blu-Ray movies worked as well, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that audio was passed out of the DVI ports with the supplied DVI to HDMI adapter. Without a doubt the best PC I've ever built.