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~$1200+ multi-purpose pc

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July 21, 2009 1:51:47 PM

***Bumped and updated, with a new price tag. Ready to pull the trigger, just need to finalize and bargain hunt!***

Hi! I'm terribly sorry my first post is asking something of you all, but I hope to contribute more once I get my new pc built =]

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Before the end of august (fall semester) BUDGET RANGE: $700-$1,000

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, lots and lots of coding, media server for my ps3 =]. Medium amount of dvd/cd burning.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Speakers. Last PC I built was 2005 I believe, and there's not much worthwhile to salvage. DVD burner could be neglected unless there's good value and some reason I should upgrade from my old one.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: newegg. never had a problem with them, also they ship a lot of stuff from nearby here. I once ordered something at 6am and had it the same day I placed the order! They kind of won me over. But price can always change that.

PARTS PREFERENCES: Well my last build was amd and ati. I've never been upset with either until recently, but I expect that after all the years. That said, I'm open to both amd/intel ati/nvidia. ASUS has been good to me in terms of motherboards, so I wouldn't hesitate to give them a go with anything.

OVERCLOCKING: Probably. SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, if it fits the budget. When I game I like to game big.

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Always loved to run the high resolutions, but I guess this is something dictated by budget.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: This is where it gets interesting. I want this for school, and also gaming. I'm a Computer Engineering major so I do my share of coding. I have recently purchased a dell m1330 that's pretty loaded, and I love it to death. But the urge to build a new desktop has set in. Also, gaming on a laptop isn't exactly fun, nor is programming for that matter.

I live in a single person dorm room however...so it's tiny. With just the supplied furniture in it, there's not a ton of room. Then add a bookcase cause I'm a nerd, a tv stand and a 32" tv, a ps3, a wii, my hockey equipment, and now a desktop....room is a concern, and so is heat for that matter. There's space for a tower, it's not like I've covered every inch of the room with stuff, but the space concern is more like my car. Fitting everything in it when moving in or out is a serious challenge so far, without even having the desktop + monitor. I can't be specific as to whether or not I want a micro, just that I'm leaning away from it, but am still open to the idea.

I guess why I come here is because I'm so open to options that I don't even know where to start, so thanks in advance =]

I should also mention that I have a ton of movies on my old hard drives that I plan on keeping, and a bunch more that I plan to store on a hard drive. The idea is to have a 1tb, possibly in an external hard drive aside from the desktops hard drives, or maybe most of it on the desktop and a smaller external, (which is probably most practical) who knows! Portability of my media is an attractive idea, but whichever way I go with storage, it is included in the budget.

Thanks again!

More about : 1200 multi purpose

July 21, 2009 5:44:45 PM

At this price range, and including a monitor, you are clearly looking at an AMD build. I have one question first.

Are you coding for quad core or are your compiling/debugging programs coded to use quads?
July 22, 2009 12:04:57 AM

Proximon said:
At this price range, and including a monitor, you are clearly looking at an AMD build. I have one question first.

Are you coding for quad core or are your compiling/debugging programs coded to use quads?


Thanks for the response! I plan to be coding for quad core (eventually, at least).

Oh thanks for the awesome guide by the way. It's come in handy already and I'm sure it will help with some more decisions :) 
Related resources
July 22, 2009 2:49:12 AM

That's what I was afraid of :)  It's a bit harder to fit in a decent quad.... maybe an X4 920, or a good deal on a 940 combo...

X4 940 and 790X
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

G.skill 1066
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4870 1GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

750TX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec 300
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There's a start.
July 22, 2009 2:53:27 AM

Another possible option is to use this quad/mobo combo and the memory listed below
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If your budget is really tight definitely stick with the one proximon listed as that will give you a good solid build especially if you dont plan to upgrade for many years, the only advantage to the one i listed is better future expandability if AMD drops DDR2 controllers
July 22, 2009 5:16:59 AM

Good suggestions! Also there has been a recent turn of events where some fool bought a bunch of my junk off amazon, so I might be able to try and go for the x4 955 =] though that also means a more expensive motherboard I'm sure..
July 22, 2009 7:13:24 AM

Actually that combo Hunter linked is only 10 dollars more for an X4 955 and a VERY nice 790GX board. It's all AM3 though so you'll be spending 15-20 more on DDR3. Still, a total of 25-30 dollars is not a big deal I think. Now that I'm off the laptop...

Combo - X4 955 and Asus 790GX board -275
OCZ Platinum 1600 4GB At CAS 7, these are very strong modules for the price. At 1333, which is what you will run them at, you should get CAS 6 and possibly even 5-6-6-18, which would be insane. I was going to recommend something cheaper, but a lot of RAM is out of stock right now. -76
--
Combo- Antec TP-750 and Antec 900 -218
You mentioned the Antec 900 I think. Good combo deal with the PSU, which is quality and modular. PSU will run a second 4870, should you wish to upgrade in the near future to crossfire :) 
--
XFX 4870 1GB -150
--
WD Caviar Black 640GB -75
HP DVD burner -26
--
Logitech wireless KB and mouse -27
--
Acer 22" monitor -150
I put this here for reference only. You want to buy your monitor locally from someone with a good dead pixel return policy and avoid shipping costs.

That uses up your 1K.
July 22, 2009 8:48:06 AM

Proximon said:
Actually that combo Hunter linked is only 10 dollars more for an X4 955 and a VERY nice 790GX board. It's all AM3 though so you'll be spending 15-20 more on DDR3. Still, a total of 25-30 dollars is not a big deal I think. Now that I'm off the laptop...

Combo - X4 955 and Asus 790GX board -275
OCZ Platinum 1600 4GB At CAS 7, these are very strong modules for the price. At 1333, which is what you will run them at, you should get CAS 6 and possibly even 5-6-6-18, which would be insane. I was going to recommend something cheaper, but a lot of RAM is out of stock right now. -76
--
Combo- Antec TP-750 and Antec 900 -218
You mentioned the Antec 900 I think. Good combo deal with the PSU, which is quality and modular. PSU will run a second 4870, should you wish to upgrade in the near future to crossfire :) 
--
XFX 4870 1GB -150
--
WD Caviar Black 640GB -75
HP DVD burner -26
--
Logitech wireless KB and mouse -27
--
Acer 22" monitor -150
I put this here for reference only. You want to buy your monitor locally from someone with a good dead pixel return policy and avoid shipping costs.

That uses up your 1K.


Holy crap, you're my hero! Good call on the monitor, sadly the only stores around here is bestbuy or target. I just have this feeling that their policies will suck, but I'll check it out. Wish we had a Frys !

I've never touched any ram but Corsair but I'll go with your suggested here. Also, you tempt me with Crossfire ! I'll pull the dvd burner from my older desktop, but the combo drive will have to stay I suppose.

Hows your experience with that keyboard/mouse? Wireless has given me problems in the past.

The budget could technically go higher...I'm just trying to find a way to justify it heh =]

oh also, Hunter good call on that combo. If I decided to go 955, I really would have bought them individually for $80 more than I needed to!
July 22, 2009 7:00:23 PM

Excellent suggestions. I'm a fan of both the 900 and the 300 and am impressed by the combos you guys pulled out.

That's a nice build for the price (especially since it includes the monitor).
July 22, 2009 8:40:35 PM

I have used Logitech wireless in the past and it's better than MS wireless, or has been historically. I used a wireless setup because you mentioned the small space and I thought the flexibility with the KB might help when making room for other projects.

If the wires are no big deal, they are a safer bet.
July 22, 2009 10:42:33 PM

I didn't even consider that...plus it would make moving in and out a little easier when i don't have to wrap up wires. Blah, more to think about haha. I put a bunch of stuff on ebay a few days ago to see if I can land an extra two hundred or so to not feel guilty about spending...and it's looking good! Assuming I managed to bump the budget to $1200 (currently laughing here at the $700+ title I gave this :p ), where would you spend that extra 200? Ram? Crossfire preparations? Cocaine? :D 
August 12, 2009 2:59:36 PM

Bumping this guy! It's been a little while now but I've got the funds ready and waiting, and they're more than I expected. Out of nowhere my father decides he is going half with me on a monitor (he has a thing about monitors and tvs). So excluding a monitor for now, the budget is $1200ish (a drop lower if it's not huge value).

So I'm doing a similar build to what has been suggested, but am looking for a few things. Other recommendations based on new price point and few weeks having passed? And also then some Monitor suggestions, 22" or 24". Nothing unreasonably priced but its pretty flexible here.

Thanks guys =] just needing to pull the trigger so if there are killer 1 day combos, I'll jump on it right away.
August 16, 2009 10:31:11 AM

*bump*
Any input? I've got a lot of key parts somewhat finalized below. I was following most of the suggestions above. but half the stuff is now out of stock. Also I have some blank slots that I haven't chosen on yet, and just threw an estimated price in. So recommendation are aprpeciated, as well as they are on anything I have already chosen.

My budget is higher than expected, as stated above. Looking at $1200 and ignoring the monitor in that budget, although monitor suggestions without price consideration (though, still reasonable) are appreciated.

ASUS 790GX + AMD Phenom II X4 955 combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$301 after rebate

Heatsink?
~$30ish?


RAM
Patriot Viper 4GB (2 x 2gb) x 2 for 8gb
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
overkill?
$170

Graphics Card
Asus Radeon HD 4890
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I'm a little more unsure about this than I am everything else. And I'm rather unsure of the whole build to begin with :p 
$200 after rebate

Case + PSU Combo
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
I am not totally sold on the case or the PSU, but I'm not sure I will find one where I will be. Also is 550W going to be enough?
$165

Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar 1TB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Not sure if I should go with a smaller hard drive, or smaller hard drives to match the size even. I am fairly confident that I will make use of a lot of the space, so the amount doesn't feel quite like overkill to me. There was also an OEM version for like $10 cheaper. I figured I may need the wires.
$105

Drives
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... if it comes back in stock, otherwise..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... maybe.
$26

Puts me at something like $918
Should I try and go Intel?
Should I try and use Crossfire?
Do I need a better PSU?
Did I go overkill on the RAM? With that motherboard I can't very well do 6gb anyway, so the jump was to 8.
Do I suck at math?

I considered faster hard drives since I feel that is often a neglected place to put some money, but I'm still not sure if that seemed reasonable.

Not worrying about OS.

Oh and as for Crossfire, I was never fully onboard when the idea when it came out, and the fact that if I want quad core, they have to be 8x is slightly depressing and only further throws me offboard for it. Still, a second card could be a decent idea? Convince me if so, please :p 

Some money has to go to mouse and keyboard but I don't plan on going crazy there so I'm neglecting it in my $1200 price point.

I'm very skeptical because I was doing research all night. I'm sure I missed technical and compatability things in my sleepy state. I'm hoping to order either tonight or early tomorrow morning. So I'm going to assume the out of stock items aren't coming back in.

Oh don't forget to point me at monitors if you will :p  I'll give the local shops a look around but that pretty much points me to costco and bestbuy.

Oh! final note. The case...whatever I wind up with better move air through it pretty well.......and uh, be light. Basically perfect I guess =(. Carrying it around from time to time will be a pain if its full steel I think. I live in a single dorm room - so it's small. If I don't have above average cooling, the room could become an oven. I'm not worried for me, I'm worried for the computer! Also for the fact that the school decides when I have AC, Heat, or neither. I turn it on, as high as I want, but it's not always available.

Thanks, sorry for the length yet again.
!