APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Within the next few weeks.
BUDGET RANGE: 1000 - 1200 but may be convinced to increase the budget.
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT:
3D modeling /rendering (Google sketchup until I can save up for 3ds max or maya), Graphic Design (Gimp until I can save up for adobe CS3 or CS4, I'm not on top of what is current atm), Gaming (currently WoW, Team Fotress 2, Half Life 2, and Portal, but will eventually get some of the more recent games ), internet browsing, multimedia, general computing.
PARTS NOT REQUIRED:
keyboard, mouse, speakers, and an asus 23" widescreen lcd for gaming http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (I plan on getting a second monitor, 22 to 24 inches (possibly 27 to 30 inches if the price and quality were right), more suited for graphic design, but its not included in the budget for this computer. I understand CRT monitors have superior color accuracy. However, I'd prefer the desk space gained from using LCD over a CRT monitor. So any suggestions are welcome, but I'm looking at the dell 2209wa (for its e-ips panel), which I don't think is in stock at the moment. I also plan on getting a monitor color calibration device soon, but it isn't in the budget atm. To put it simply, the budget is only for the case and everything in it.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS:
Newegg.com and Tigerdirect.com, there is also a Microcenter not too far from me
OCZ, Corsair, or Kingston memory
Asus or gigabyte motherboard with support for 24gigs of ram if possible
Nvidia GPU for CUDA
OVERCLOCKING: Maybe. I've never done any overclocking before. I would be willing to try a stable overclock.
SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe, down the road when I have the budget for it again and I need or want the extra performance
MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080 for the Asus 23" widescreen, but I might try for higher on my design monitor
The component list got a little more expensive every time I tried to edit it to be cheaper. It may be better to use an older Intel quad core, especially if I can upgrade to i7 at a later date. I've upgraded the ram and video card in my computer, so I have a little experience with putting components together. As far as harddrives go, I don't know much about raid and multiple hard drives, but I think I should do a fast drive for the os and programs and 2 large stable mirrored drives for storage. If there is a better way I'd love to know.
Also, I would like to try dual booting linux 64 bit and windows vista 64 (or windows 7), and if possible, try triple booting with mac osx in addition to the other two, but that may be out of reach for my first build.
Hard drive and ram combo:
OCZ Gold 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model
OCZ3G1600LV12GS - Retail
Western Digital Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
I apologize if it is hard to understand the wall of text. Ask me questions if you need something cleared up and I'll attempt to clarify to the best of my ability.
Thank you very much for any suggestions or assistance offered.
The i7 920 is available @ Microcenter for about $220 including Taxes...
The rest of the component choices are very good...But the 700W PSU might be pushing it if you plan to add one more GTX 275 later (Though it would easily handle, but having some headroom would be good)...
Where did you find an i7 920 on Microcenter? Maybe its just because its set to the local microcenter version for availability information for me, or I was looking in the wrong place, but I didn't see any i7 920s. I'll have to go back and look harder.
I didn't know how large a PSU I would need, so I just randomly picked the 700w from the list of combos with the case.
Unfortunately, since my first post, the ram and hard drive combo has been removed, so I need to alter some things. Also, after posting, I saw some barebones systems on tigerdirect.com. So I'm gonna alter my build and post it in another response to this thread.
I was confused at first two - it was not listed with all the other (what few they have) processors, but was linked to a sub-header ad on the home page. Strange they did not add it to their processor list.
I see you mentiond CS4. If a college student, are you aware of the fantastic discounts they have at college bookstores. They might not all be the same - and some may not be advertised. I went to mine to buy Dreamweaver (list $399) for their advertised price of $199 and found they had a new deal whereby I could buy the complete Web Design Suite (list $1799) with Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and other programs for only $285, so I went with that instead. They had similar deals on other CS4 suites.
I have seen educational discounts for the adobe progams before during past college semesters. However, I didn't attend last semester, but am planning to during the upcoming fall semester. I don't remember if there were any discounts through my school, just that I saw some from the companies themselves, and from the journeyed website which gives discounts on software for students. Regardless, I have to wait until at least September for any discounts, when I'm officially a student again.
Also, thank you for the link to the forum thread. You've given me some more info to go through and consider. Before I posted this thread, I was trying to read through threads for builds similar to what I'm trying to do. From what I gathered, rendering was more dependent on the processor and ram, not the gpu. If I wasn't going to do any gaming on this computer, I would for certain go with a worstation gpu. A friend was telling me I could get game performance out of a workstation gpu similar to an older gamer gpu. I'm not sure how much, or if its true at all.
Either way, you've given me plenty to read over, which I thank you for.
Edit: Forgot to add that a $1000 + worstation gpu is out of the budget for the forseable future.
With regards to gaming on a workstation GPU, I should have elaborated that I considered going that route, as it would give me better performance for the workstation part of the computer, while still being able to game, though not with graphics at full tilt so to speak.
Also, I should have elaborated the 700W PSU was chosen because of it being part of a combo with a case I liked, and not knowing how much wattage I needed, causing me to go with one I thought might be adequate. Its good to know I could get away with the 700W, especially if I use a workstation gpu. However, I think I will find a 750 or 800W instead when I edit my build.
I've spent some time reading through some of the threads you've linked, and checking out the parts on newegg..etc. I think I need to lower my budget to 700 or 800, as I can't look at any list I make without cringing.
Part of the problem is the hard drives. I gather 1 boot disk, 1 storage disk, and 1 external backup disk is the fastest, cheapest, and reliable setup I can do, but 3 disks add 100 to 200 or more dollars to the components list. I don't understand how I would have to organize my files and programs just yet, still have to read up on it, but if theres a better cheaper set up I'd probably go with that instead.
I've also been considering an amd phenom ii x4 955 or 945 build to fit in the lower budget. I just want to make sure the amd build can do everything I need it to (I'm sure it can, I just want to optimize the performance). One concern I have is being unable to sli nvidia cards. I only plan on getting one gpu for now, but if I wanted more graphics capability, I would only be able to get a faster individual card. I want to stick with nvidia for CUDA, unless radeon has something similar.
I'm gonna post an amd and intel build a little later after I get some sleep.