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First Workstation Build for CAD and Rendering around $2000

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June 4, 2009 10:29:18 PM

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: About 2 months

BUDGET RANGE: $2000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: CAD and Rendering

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS, optical drive, multi-card reader

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: mainly newegg.com, I use pricewatch.com to check other site prices

PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel

OVERCLOCKING: Yes

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Not Sure yet

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I'm looking for a solid machine for about $2000. I know I can builder a more powerful machine but I'm planning on building another one in about 8-12 months and that will have all the goodies. Just a little info about me, I am a Grad Architecture student so this won't be used for professional work. However, I have been using a MacBook Pro for the last 2 years to do all my work and am tired of how long renders take and the performance of CAD and 3D software on my laptop. So this machine will be a workhorse and my laptop will be my day to day.

- PARTS LIST -

Case: Thermaltake Spedo Advance

Processor: Intel i7 920
I am getting the processor and mother board from my brother so I can't really change that. I know the mobo only has four slots for RAM but I'm cool with it for now.

Mobo: Intel® Desktop Board DX58SO

Memory: Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D PC3-12800 6gb kit triple channel

Primary HD: Western digital velociraptor 300 gb

Secondary HD: Not sure yet, this will be for storage.

Video Card: ATI 100-505553 FirePro V5700 512MB
I went with a FirePro V5700 instead of a Quadro because the performance to price ratio was better.

PSU: Kingwin ABT-800MA1S
Not sure if this will be sufficient in suppling the power needed, I didn't want to spend too much on the PSU if I don't have to.

CPU Cooling: Zalman Reserator 1 (or 2)
I know I need liquid cooling if I overclock. I'm looking at the Zalman only because from what I read they are relatively easy to install for first timers and its silent. What do you guys think? Are there better systems out there?

So, this is the tentative build list. Any help and suggestion would be appreciated!
June 4, 2009 11:20:13 PM

That is quite a case...but if its what floats your boat then I guess its fine. I would probably opt for something like the Haf 932 or Antec 1200

Look at this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
That PSU is also much better, and will be plenty for your system. Don't get the Kingwin PSU.

That ram is way overpriced, you can probably get 12gb for that price, which would help you out in your applications. Look at this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The i7 can't run at faster speeds of 1333 with more than 6gb of ram, so just get 12gb of DDR3-1333.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
That ram is more expensive, but it has tighter timings and at 1.5v, that is high quality ram. Again, get two kits for 12gb for the best performance.

VRap drives are only a little faster than the WD Caviar black drives, and the price increase isn't worth it at all IMO. VRap drives are worth about half of their price (they are also very loud and power hogs). If you want super speed, get two WD3200AAKS or WD6401AALS Drives in Raid 0. It will give you more storage, be faster, and cost less (the WD3200AAKS Drives are also very quiet).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For the storage drive, I would get this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You do not need water cooling for the i7, I'm not sure why you are under that impression. This CPU cooler will take you to 3.8ghz easy:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!