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The $2000 PC Challenge! (OR "Help me with a $2000 build")

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June 27, 2009 1:24:30 AM

Hello everyone!

I am currently (with a friend) drawing up plans for a $2000 power-user computer; a do-it-all machine. We combined have a good amount of experience when it comes to building computers, but we figure we aren't perfect, and we don't know what parts would best compliment our needs, or would provide the best value.

So, since competition brings the best out of us, I have decided to create a so-called "competition". This "competition" involves you, the reader, putting together a plan for the best computer money can buy for under 2k.

In order to win, you must provide a build that offers up good value, good longevity (I would like to see upgrades years after the purchase, not months), and is perfect for the needs of the users (see below for those).

Of course, with every contest there are rules and "requirements" (which is the same as "we would REALLY want to have this"), which are below:

1) You can use any website to find parts. I prefer Newegg; Be sure to note when the price of an item includes a combo discount, a rebate, a promotional price, etc.

2) In finding the cost of your build, you do not need to include tax, but you DO need to include shipping costs. Use the zip code 03768 (a nearby location to where I live).

3) Don't include the OS, display, keyboard, mouse, etc; this is ONLY for the computer tower.

4) This computer will be used mostly for gaming, but it will also hold a large library of photos, music, and videos. It is intended to run virtual machines and handle programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Vegas smoothly without hang-ups and with rich content. As I said earlier, this is a power-user computer.

5) When making the build, shoot for a Blu-Ray Burner, a quad-core CPU, at least 8GB of RAM, at least 1TB of storage (preferably 1.5TB or more), and decent overclockability. As for the GPU, all I can say is intend to spend a great deal there; as for the PSU, DON'T SKIMP ON IT! Cooling-wise, feel free to do anything but nothing.


If you are the winner, not only will we likely use your plan as our blueprint, you will get the title as the winner of the challenge, and with it the thanks of me and my friend. Heck, we will even throw in gloating rights for you so you can tell all of your friends that you know a thing or two about computers (if you haven't already).

Of course, if you just want to give advice as to what CPU or RAM or HD(s) should be used, please go ahead and do so! I have a build in mind, but I first want to see what all of you have for an idea. Expect the build my friend and I made soon.

So good luck, and happy building!

P.S. - I almost forgot: the purchase date for this computer is set at 3 to 4 months from now.
June 27, 2009 1:46:30 AM

um this isnt remotely hard. i am currently building a PC with all of those (or better) specs, plus 2 23" monitors for $1650.
and the fact that you arent buying for 4 months? everything will be a lot cheaper by then.
June 27, 2009 2:01:07 AM

mdale13 said:

and the fact that you arent buying for 4 months? everything will be a lot cheaper by then.


That's why I added that as an afterthought (unfortunately)... I don't think everything will be "a lot cheaper" by then; sure, you will see the usual decline in the prices of RAM, HD's, graphics, and so on. But I doubt SSD's will plummet 50%, or a new graphics chip will blow everything else in the dust.

Point being, this is just a blueprint, and is subject to change, since there will be change over such a period of time. It's just that there will probably be no sudden, extreme change. And even if there were, the plan could just be changed.

Perhaps I should point out that this contest is to make the best computer for this moment? Who knows. You were right to point out that better could be bought later on, though; readers should keep that in mind.

Also... would you mind linking the build(s) you were referring to? Just want to see what you came up with! Thanks :) 

This is an evolutionary thread in that I hope it will last a while, and that the best plan will keep changing, thus ensuring that it really is the best.
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June 27, 2009 6:18:13 AM

Quote:
But I doubt SSD's will plummet 50%, or a new graphics chip will blow everything else in the dust.


Actually, those are the two things most likely.

We design a dozen builds like this every day here, and one more labelled special because it's a "contest" doesn't really do anything for most of us, I imagine.

Since we put a lot of time into this, we don't really want to do one that is 4 months out. It's a waste.

I've been non-stop on this board doing just this for over a year solid, 20-40 hours a week, and I can tell you 4 months is a very long time.
June 27, 2009 6:18:44 AM
June 27, 2009 9:01:11 AM

BY that time 1 RV-870 card will do it.
June 27, 2009 3:38:19 PM

is that card really coming out this june/july?
June 27, 2009 4:00:38 PM

It seems that many of you think I should wait a while and then repost, since 4 months is a bit of a stretch. I knew that to begin with... but I still think that the biggest change to a 2k build would be the GPU, and everything else would either cost less or have a higher capacity/power.

I guess I will just repost in a few months. It will be interesting to see what DOES change over this period of time. Does anyone know any specifics on release dates other than GPU's (which everyone seems to know about)?
!