This build will be for two computers to be used in a small retail business, so performance isn't key, but reliability is. I need to be able to run Vista well, but aside from that, there will not be any pressing speed or memory requirements. The computers will probably run 24/7, so again its all about reliability.
I built a home PC last year and learned a lot about the process, so I feel very comfortable putting these two computers together, but I need helping figuring out what the best 'bang-for-the-buck' components are. I am tempted to buy an inexpensive name brand computer from newegg, but I think I might be able get better quality parts for not much more money if I do it myself (at least that is what I found when I built mine last year).
Time frame is soon. Withing the next 30 days, no more than 45. Budget is flexible, but let's say under $1,000 (including Vista).
I'm guessing a good power supply is going to be the key to a long, healthy, reliable life. And I definitely need some advice on chipset, and then in turn MOBO and graphics. I don't think sound is an issue at all. No OC'ing here, again reliability is the name of the game.
I very much appreciate any/all advice and thanks in advance.
Thanks for the fast response. A few quick questions.
1) Gigabyte. Only thing I would have done differently in my previous build is I was told not to use Gigabyte but instead go with Asus. I should have listened. Do you think this Gigabyte board is best, or is their a better alternative.
2) The Chip. Is this overkill at all? All the comments seem to be about what a killer OC'er it is and how fast it is, etc... Is there a less expensive alternative? This one seems great, but do I really need Tri-Core?
3) Power Supply. This is listed as an ATX. Do I need a MicroATX to fit in the case? A few of the comments listed this powersupply as being DOA. Is it a good idea to buy a tester too?
Gigabyte and ASUS both make good boards, not sure why you were told to avoid gigabyte.
For basic office work you could probably get by just fine with a Phenom II 545, it will save you 35 with a bit of rearranging the combos. Personally i would go for that third core, depending on the type of work you are doing it may make a difference, and the price difference isnt much.
Corsair makes good PSUs, but even the best product sometimes arrives DOA. Not sure what the PSU testers do, but they seem more expensive than they should be to me, there are easy ways of testing it without buying an expensive tester. ATX is the power standard they conform to, ATX PSUs fit in microATX cases just fine, the 400CX is also a fairly small PSU anyway.
1) An Asus 785G board would be fine as well. You lose the "combo" discount though. Don't stray from these two brands.
2) Yup, it's faster than you need. It's also cheap. You could consider DOWNclocking it some (the multiplier is unlocked both ways) to run cooler and save power. Cheaper chips are there, but this is a really good choice for the $$$.
3) This is a good psu at a fantastic price. Go with it. If you really want a better one, then just get a 450w Corsair even though you won't need it.
Thanks for all the great advice. Some questions I didn't really think of before, since I've never really built a 'business' machine before.
Backup. Should I go with two smaller drives and put in them in RAID 1 setup? What about other backup solutions to take the valuable data "offsite" in case of theft/fire/natural disaster. Any thoughts on that?
Power Backup. Anyone have any recommendations on power backups? I see all this at newegg:. But I'm not sure what I really need.
RAID 1 will provide mirroring, so if one drive fails, your data is still there. However, if there is a fire, then no kind of RAID will be helpful. I would suggest maybe an off-site NAS (network attached storage) that can be accessed by the computers and kept in a safe place. Alternatively, there are lots of place that provide online storage and backup.
UPS (uniteruptable power supplies) are convenient if you are working on something that is detrimental to lose. Generally if there is a severe storm or construction, you may want to save your work more often, so unless it is crucial to have constant power and the ability to save and shut down should the need come, I think you could get by without one. But if you did, something like a 600-800 watt UPS would be plenty for both systems.